soci lecture 4

soci lecture 4 - Read the Fine Print: Impact of a...

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Unformatted text preview: Read the Fine Print: Impact of a Globalized News Media SOCI0064: Globalization and Information Society: Myths, Facts and Emerging Patterns Week 4 Dr. L. Cho, PhD E-mail: Lifcho@hku.hk DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY General Housekeeping • Next week Feb 7: Chinese New Year holiday • Essay Due: Feb 9, 2011 • Personal experienced couched in theoretical framework • Feb 14: Guest Speaker Dr. M Dean • Generation Y: It’s All About Me • Analyze how young people are portraying themselves in today’s global information society Objectives for Lecture 4 Identify who controls the news media Examine what shapes our view of society and influence our perspectives of the world Understand the impact of a globalized media What is globalized news media? • World-wide integration of news services and products Who Controls the News? • In Mainland China? • In Hong Kong? • In our Globalized World? News Flow Determines News Control • International news flow follows the structure of international power • Major distributors of news are based in: the United States, the United Kingdom, France. Major News Agencies Control the News Flow • Three major news agencies Associated Press (AP), Reuters and Agence France- Presse (AFP) process and disseminate more than 80 percent of the international information that is broadcast around the world.(UNESCO figures) • Two other major sources of international news are CNN (based in the US) and the BBC (based in the UK) Framing the World’s World • With the sole exception of local news, readers are almost entirely dependant on major news agencies for reports on events beyond their own borders. SCMP International News Source Exercise: 1. Search through the International Section of SCMP 2. Identify the news source 3. Comparative analysis Hong Kong: South China Morning Post February 24, 2008 (International Section) March 5, 2008 (International Section) Others 12% Reuter 27% AFP 12% AP 49% Others 36% AP 20% Reuter 16% AFP 28% Cultural Imperialism Theory: Imposing Western Views • Western nations control the media • Powerful effect on Third World Cultures by imposing in them Western views What is News? • Not “found” or “gathered” • Selected and created • Creation of a complex political, cultural and business process • Includes selection, exclusion and framing of events into a form intelligible to specific communities (Gitlin 1980) Framing • • • • • Where is this? Who is this man? What is he doing? Where is he going? Why is there a body hanging from the side of his boat? Wen Wei Po Aug 20, 2010 http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20100820_1.htm What’s News? • Frequency (Timing) • Threshold – Absolute intensity – Intensity Increase • Unambiguity • Meaningfulness – Cultural proximity – Relevance • Consonance – Predictability – Demand • Unexpectedness – Unpredictability – Scarcity • Continuity • Elite Nations • Elite People • Reference to Persons • Reference to Something Negative (Galtung and Ruge 1973) News is a cultural product… • “What we see before our eyes is determined by what we carry in our heads ” Defining Our World: Reporting on the Middle East Source: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/ap-report.html Defining Our World: Reporting on the Middle East Percentage of Children’s Deaths Reported in Headline or First Paragraph Source: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/ap-report.html Issues • Biased reporting (war, famine, military coup) • Unbalanced flow of news • Unfair distribution of technology The developing countries felt • International news organizations had a responsibility to report not merely disasters, but also other developments in their countries • International news flows were one sided, with more news from the rich countries to the poor countries, and less the other way around • They wanted to develop their own international news agencies • Concentration of the media • Commercialization of the media • Unequal access to information and communication • Over dependence on external sources Attempts to change the flow.. • In the 1970s and 1980s, UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization, was the scene of a bitter debate between developing countries and the west. • Analyze communication problems in modern societies • Mass media and news • Emergence of new technologies • Diminish these problems to further peace and human development The MacBride Commission Report • UNESCO set up a commission of distinguished experts led by Nobel Laureate Sean MacBride to look at ways to ensure a better flow of news • “Many Voices One World”- report released in 1982, made 82 recommendations calling for “a free flow and wider dissemination of information.” Opposed by Western Nations • A threat to press freedom, and an attempt by developing country governments to dictate what the major news organizations should and should not report. • A threat to the commercial interests of western news organizations • Opposed by western nations who saw it as an attempt to put restrictions on the press. The big media organizations tried to address the problem by • Becoming more local, developing local and regional content, hiring more local staff • Time, CNN, The Asian Wall Street Journal, all have Asian editions, and say they provide an Asian perspective New channels of information failed to develop in the 1970s and 80’s • The debate happened during the Cold War period and became part of the larger EastWest conflict • Developing country media companies did not have the resources to go global. • Alternate sources tended to be seen as government controlled and lacked credibility Some alternative news media • IPS- Inter Press Service: a news agency founded in 1964 by an Italian-Argentinian journalist, Roberto Savio • A not for profit association of journalists: reporters in over 100 countries. • Uses local, developing country perspectives • Weakness: depends for funding on various aid organisations- not commercially sustainable Al Jazeera • Al Jazeera: Launched in 1996 as an Arabic language television channel, funded by the Emir of Qatar • Resolutely independent: it has annoyed all the major Arab governments as well as the US • Very popular among the Arab people: an independent news source with an Arabic perspective Control Room • Award winning documentary (Part 1 to 9) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgGUG3h zV6g&feature=related • Filmed in April 2003 • At the start of the Iraq war • “Explores how truth is gathered, presented, and ultimately created by those who deliver it.” Conclusion • International news comes from a handful of global media organizations based in the west • News from these organizations is factual, but driven by western perspectives • Need for a variety of news sources, especially local and regional ones • New emerging sources of information: Aljazeera, Xinhua (China) • Role of new technology: enabling citizen journalists, bloggers, twitters Cultural Imperialism Theory • “The importer” of cultural imperialism as an (active or passive) attitude of superiority • “The receiver“ not necessarily perceive this • Absorbs the foreign culture passively through consumption of foreign goods and services. Framing as Bias? • Sociologist and communications professor Michael Schudson (1982) argued that ‘framing’ is not the same as intentional ‘bias’ • Impossible to avoid framing • Every narrative requires including something and leaving others out; consciously or unconsciously • Every narrative makes assumptions about the world • Crucial for media to balance various perspectives so citizens can make informed decisions based on different points of view What you can do: Read the fine print… References • Gitlin, T. (1980) The whole world is watching. Berkeley: University of California Press. [Framing] • Reese, S. (2001) Prologue in Framing Public Life: perspectives on media and our understanding of the social world. Stephen Roose, Oscar Gandy and August Grant (eds.), pp.7-31 (Mahwah, N.U. Lawrence Erlbaum) • Schudson, M (1995) The power of news. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press. • Special thanks to Mr. Thomas Abraham - Parts of this lecture were adapted from his lecture on “International News: Who gets to tell the story” http://jmsc.hku.hk/cms/component/option,com_magazine /func,show_article/id,3/Itemid,33/ ...
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