Lectures 8-9

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Transcript Lectures 8-9

UAMG 3053
Week 8 & 9
Culture in Cyberspace
1 : imperial government, authority, or
2 : the policy, practice, or advocacy of
extending the power and dominion of
a nation especially by direct territorial
acquisitions or by gaining indirect
control over the political or economic
life of other areas; broadly : the
extension or imposition of power,
authority, or influence
Modern Imperialism
To Malaysia, British and Japan were
once our imperial governments. Our
resources were taken by them as their
own and they reorganized our social
structure directly
But in modern day, we are looking at
the international communication and
trying to link Communication
Imperialism to cultural Imperialism
and media Imperialism
Modern Imperialism…
Johan Galtung, a structuralist, tried to
link international communication to
cultural imperialism
Five types of imperialism: economic,
political, military, communication, and
Imperialism can be introduced in any
one of these five forms and the spread
to the others
Modern Imperialism…
The instant communication afforded
by tele-satellites and the movement of
enormous data and information across
national facilitates control of the North
over the South
For structuralists, the international
communication system is said to be
“vertical” from North to South and
there is no “horizontal” communication
taking place
Modern Imperialism…
1. High levels of industrial capacity
and technological innovation exist only
in the developed economies of North
2. Western news agencies which
dominate international news gathering
and dissemination (AFP, AP, UPI, and
Nonaligned nations demanded for a
New International Economic
Order (NIEC) during a special session
of the General Assembly in the United
Nations meeting
There are imbalances in international
relations that allegedly enrich the
North and perpetuate dependency for
the South
That led to the demand of a New
World Information Order (NWIO)
from the Third World nations
The demand of NWIO was meant to
balance international inequalities in
the flows of information, news, and
communication technologies
The United Nations Educational,
Scientific, and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) funded The MacBride
Commission to review “the totality of
the problems of communication in
modern society”
1978 and 1980
- The Commission published
Interim Report
- The Commission published a
Final Report
The MacBride Report intensified some
of the hostilities on both sides (North
and South) of these debates
To defend the status quo and to
defend a free market in international
news, the Reagon Administration
withdrew from UNESCO
Despite the report, problems in
international communication remain
E.g. the West in general and the
United States in particular often suffer
from their lack of information in regard
to the true nature of events in much of
the world
At the same time, the centers of EastWest conflicts are shifting from North
Atlantic to Third World context (i.e.,
Afghanistan, Central America, and
southern Africa)
The “New Order” in
International Relations
1950s and 1960s – the rise of
nationalism and the end of colonialism
– most of the Third World
Many less developed countries (LDC)
gained political independence but their
national autonomy (self-government)
continued to be compromised through
other means
The “New Order” in…..
Many LDCs remain dependent on their
former imperial states for trade,
technology, expertise, and cultural
The proposal for an NIEO addresses
four key areas to promote rapid
development in the Third World, while
simultaneously reducing the
dependency of the LDCs on the West
Four keys of NIEO
1. LDCs were to be given absolute
sovereignty over their natural resources,
including the right of nationalization
2. Preferential treatment was to be given to
Third World goods in Western markets
3. Grant, gifts, and other transfers of
advanced technologies from the west to the
Third World were to be vastly increased and
funded by the wealthy industrialized nations
4. New controls were to be placed on
multinational corporations (MNCs) which
operate in the Third World
NWIO followed NIEO – because
LDCs still rely on foreign sources for
news and communication technologies
The technology necessary for
modernizing a national agency or
broadcasting studio is primarily a
Western export
Four keys of NWIO
1. Absolute sovereignty for LDCs over
all of their “information resources”
2. Preferential treatment for Third
World news in Western markets
3. Direct grants and other gifts of
advanced communication technologies
from the West to the Third World
4. The breakup of the Western
transnational news agencies (TNNAs:
AFP, AP, Reuters, and UPI)
Two dimensions in the
flow of information
Stevenson & Cole (1984)
The East and West flow The dominant and industrialized
countries of the capitalist West and
the socialist countries of Eastern
Europe along with the former Soviet
Two dimensions ..of flows
The North and South flow - the “industrialized countries of the
Northern Hemisphere and the
developing, mainly nonaligned nations
of the Third World, located
psychologically if not always
geographically in the Southern half of
the globe”
Three Schools of Thoughts on
International Communication
A) The Conservatives –backed by U.S.
government – politically most
powerful group of thoughts
 They denied that imbalances in
international information flows are
due to the activities of governments
and media in the West
The Conservatives..
They see the imbalances in news flow
as being caused by certain “natural”
characteristics of information
gathering and dissemination
Deny the charges that a free market of
information and a free press have
adverse effects on underdeveloped
The Conservatives…
Stress on the positive aspects of a free
market in news and information –
Western technologies serve as a tools
of development for the Third World
Defend the status quo in International
communication and argue against
governmental control of the mass
media – either the Soviet form of
censorship and government controls,
or the American tradition of press
The Reformists
Receives much broader international
support that conservatives from many
Western journalists and media
Admits that imbalances in information
flows are due to the West’s nearmonopoly of newswires and
The Reformists…
Recognized the harmful social and
political effects that result from the
unregulated actions of Western TNNAs
Believe that the current international
order can be made more effective and
equitable through a series of
incremental adjustments
The Reformists…
Believe much can be done on the
current context
E.g., reduction of costs of
communication for LDCs (lower
newsprint costs)
E.g., Western assistance to train
journalists from LDCs, and increased
coverage of Third World nations in the
Western press
The Reformists…
Reformists proposed to advocate more
coverage of ongoing projects for
social, political, and economic
“Development journalism” to replace
“spot news” which concentrated on
episodic events such as riots, coups,
and disasters
The Reformists…
two-way form, horizontal, interactive
flow, a process of give and take
Called for a mix of governmental
controls and free press institutions
The Structuralists
Neo-Marxist journalists, Third World
diplomats, and theorists like Herbert Schiller
and John Galtung
Believe that the source of global
informational imbalance can be found in the
West’s desire to retain hegemony over
formerly colonized areas
To Schiller, communication dominance has
replaced more direct forms of political and
military control
The Structuralists…
Control of communication and
information is also said to be the
means by which Western MNCs
promote their economic interests at
the expense of the developing nations
John Galtung, a structuralist, tries to
connect communication imperialism
and cultural imperialism – the former
leads to the latter
The Structuralists…
Divided nations into a) the center
(developed) and b) the Periphery
The center dominated the network of
The center owns the major news
The center provides the definition of
what is newsworthy for the Periphery
The Structuralists…
Journalist and media users in the
Periphery come to “see events with
center eyes”
These factors erode the cultural
identify, national sovereignty, and
political independence of developing
The Structuralists…
Structuralists view the current order in
international communication as
extremely unjust and beyond
Argued that a new order is need to
replace the current international
The Structuralists….
Place a much heavier emphasis on
balance than freedom
To achieve political and economic
autonomy, Third World or
underdeveloped nations must become
technologically self-sufficient
Tutorial 10 - Questions
In brief, explanation what is Cultural
Imperialism and how does the imbalance
flows of information effects the
underdeveloped nations?
Explain the two dimension of flows of
information. Do these two dimensions of flow
still exist?
Do you agree with the conservatives, the
reformists, or the structuralists?
Based on your extra reading, what will the
dependency of East Europe media suggest?
UAMG 3053
Week 8 & 9
Culture in Cyberspace
Two Conceptions of “News”
What is News? – Much of the scholarly
and diplomatic debate about NWIO
revolves around this simple question.
News as commodity
News as social goods
News as commodity
In Western context – news is treated
as a commodity
Western media provide international
news in the form of “merchandise
rather than a service”
News stories are selected for their
impact, exoticism, and ability to
Contents of international news are
determined by market interests
News, historically, serves a particular
economic interests and catered to specific
cultural taste
A news report tells what, when, where,
why, who, and how (later)
A well-written news story should be brief,
to-the-point, and clear – “good” news
News as social goods
New as social good developed during
the 20th century campaign for
LDCs tried to improve and broaden
their industries, educational
institutions, and general social welfare
all at the same time
Social goods…
All national assets, including
information, came to be seen as
resources held in common, under
absolute sovereign control of the state
Information was to be employed as a
tool for rapid development
Cultural Imperialism and
Media Imperialism
Cultural Imperialism Theory,
developed by Herbert Schiller in the
late 1960s and early 1970s
Cultural Imperialism is about the
struggle and shift of power and control
that lead to domination and the
erosion of local culture.
Stated that global mass media are
basically dominated by Western
Cultural Imperialism…
It suggested a one way (imbalance,
vertical) flow of information
Western nations control flows of
international news and information,
allowing them to undermine the
cultures of the rest of the world
Cultural Imperialism…
To Petras (1999), imperialism is a
“systematic penetration and
domination of the cultural life of the
popular classes by the ruling class of
the West in order to reorder the
values, behavior, institutions, and
identity of the oppressed people to
conform with the interest of the
imperial classes” (p. 140).
Cultural Imperialism…
Western domination over the media
also means the ability of Western
media to impose Western views
Western media serve as a vehicle from
Western values, Western norms, and
Western culture
Along with news and entertainment,
Western media carry to the LDCs
images of a more prosperous life and
more exciting lifestyles
Cultural Imperialism…
Third World nations are dependent
upon the West for their international
news and entertainment broadcasting,
they allegedly become molded in the
West’s cultural image
Western way of life is said to effect
social, political, and economic changes
on the Third World nations
Cultural Imperialism …
E.g., it stimulates desire on Western
culture – demands for a more
westernized lifestyle increase the
demands of Western goods – lead to
increased importation of Western
commodities and increased
dependency by LDCs on their Northern
trading partners
Cultural Imperialism …
Anthony Smith, “the flow of media exports
acts as a kind of ideological prerequisite for
the flow of other material exports” – the
condition of cultural imperialism
Referred by Thomas McPhail as “electronic
colonialism” – the dependency relationship
established by the importation of
communication hardware, foreign-produced
software, along with engineers, technicians,
and related information protocols…”
Assimilation and Acculturation
Melting Pot or Salad?
Rethinking acculturation and assimilation
Acculturation defined as the “cultural
changes” resulting from contact with various
societies over time.
Generally regarded as one strategy of
acculturation, assimilation has been
understood as a process of melding,
whereby one culture changes its cultural
characteristics entirely in order to acquire
the culture of the host society.
E.g Hispanic population in United States
Chinese in Canada
Indonesians in Malaysia
Cultural historians have begun to explore
the extent to which Hispanics are changing
American culture.
As Hispanics adopt American ways, their
own traditions exert a growing influence on
American culture, from tastes in food and
popular music to the economic and politics.
Hispanic youth tuned into popular American culture,
its fashion, music, television and films and
connected to the Internet.
E.g signs of assimilation point to the recent study
by Nielson Media Research in 2000 found that
younger Hispanics prefer watching TV in English
even in household where adults speaks Spanish.
These signs of assimilation require a more nuanced
view. It also noted that Hispanic youth now see
regularly see many Latino icons in popular movie
actors and pop stars such as Penelope Cruz,
Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and
Christina Aguilera
Media consumption Among Hispanics
Spanish-language media outlets catering
both Spanish only speakers as well as
Hispanics who speaks English.
Spanish radio station in U.S increased from
210 in 1992 to 550 in 2000.
By adding this acquisition to TV and
Internet audiences, communication
companies hope to increase market
Magazines – Latina, Latin Style, Hispanic
Business and Hispanic Network
Internet networks – Spanish-language
version such as AOL Espanol
In summary, Hispanics acculturation
in the U.S presents a mixed picture.
Exposure to popular American culture
through multimedia channels –
together with the economic
advantages generally associated with
acculturation- has contributed to
Hispanic assimilation, especially the
2nd and 3rd generation Hispanics.
Tutorial 10 - Questions
In your opinion, what are the factors
that helps to contribute assimilation
and acculturation among minorities?
What are the two conceptions of
Curran, J. (2002). Media and Power.
New York: Routledge.
Meyer, W.H. (1988).
Transnational Media and Third
World Development. New York:
Greenwood Press.
Petras, J. (1999). Globalization: A
critical analysis. Journal of
Contemporary Asia, 29, 3-37.
Schiller, H. J. (1973). Communication
and cultural domination. White Plains,
NY: International Arts and Sciences
Stevenson, R.L., & Cole, R.R. (1984).
Issues in foreign news. In R.L.
Stevenson & D.L. Shaw (Ed.), Foreign
News and the New World Information
Order (pp. 5-20). Ames, IA: The Iowa
State University Press.
Green, L. (2001). Chapter 9. Pg 153.