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GLOBALIZATION OF MEDIA
Globalization is a buzz word these days. It is more heard in the arena of economics where
transnational corporations are widening their scope of activities and earning massively. So strong is
the
thrust for expansionism by the world corporate sectors that governments and other international
organizations like the UNO etc also at times seem to be only working for the cause of this sector. The
wave
of globalization is not without criticism such as it is designed to make a few rich and the rest poor not
only
in the financial sense but also culturally. The debate is raging high.
Media as an international entity – both as a corporate sector and as a tool to represent culture of the
region
it belongs to – is also caught in the globalization campaign as many fear the new trend may prove to
be
much horrific for the developing countries and regional cultures.
Here below we will examine various aspects of the globalization of media.
Media and consumerism
The media and communication industries are a leading sector in facilitating overall globalization. In
the first place, the role of telecommunication is critical to globalize production strategies. It is
inconceivable
that the pace and depth of globalization could have been sustained over the past decades in the
absence of
sophisticated telecommunications networking. Furthermore, content (or “copyright”) industries, such
as
television, music, video, film and the Internet, directly through advertising and indirectly through the
promotion of consumerist and individualistic lifestyles, are at the forefront of cultural preparation for
consumerism, an essential precondition and accompaniment to the opening up of new markets for a
huge
variety of products, and to the breaking down of cultural and other barriers.
Another factor in the globalization of the media and communication sector is as a powerful agent in
the
transformation of social, cultural and political structures. This is, of course, partly the flip side of
media and
communications as a means of opening new markets and softening up cultures for consumerism,
although
there is more to it than that. It is this set of (often unintended) side effects of the globalization of
media that
have the most impact of all, namely the evolving cumulative impact of the gradual commercialization
of
media and communications on critical social functions, such as the formation of individual and
community
identity, cultural and language diversity, the capacity to participate in the political process and the
integrity

from early times gazettes. had an income of close to $25 billion. Time Warner.of the public sphere. Viacom. such as Time Warner. Media centralization Global Media experts maintain that these processes directly influence general commercialization of media in the world and thereby most certainly democracy. pamphlets. Bertelsmann. educational and human rights purposes. in their opinion. In this regard. (For example. and in regions and on continents as well. to become a part of the process of media centralization spearheaded by some 30 TNCs with the aim of taking control over the media. but also thanks to acquisitions and mergers. and News Corporation. both as an idea and system of governance. their trend is. global media systems do not develop linearly in this direction. to the first newspaper editions in today’s meaning. Disney had $24 billion. Disney. which thus watch over the information and ideological orientation inside nations. Although. Their economic power is primarily thanks to a broad range of production and publishing activities. first of all their financial wealth measured in billions of dollars in annual income. Media freedom and objectivity declining . which primarily have big film and television productions. all the way to the appearance of the first electronic medium and development of television and internet experts analyze the dynamics of the global media market and explain the strategy 140 and funding of major media corporations. internal growth. the biggest media corporation. and News Corporation had $10 billion). Dominance of TNCs backed by governments Analyzing the effects of many historic. economic and political factors to have influenced the most important characteristics of globalization of media systems in the last 15 years. and the use of media for development. (The biggest media corporation. the availability of information and knowledge in the public domain. as one can see have imposing data indicating these companies’ clear profile. economic interests unreservedly help the political structures in large countries.e. and that what can be observed is a domination of large countries and powerful transnational companies (TNC) which. gradually and more or less. according to the effects of market laws. Time Warner. These TNCs are top players on the global media market. was created in 1989 as a result of a merger between Time Incorporated and Warner Communications Incorporated). i. annals. also affect the sphere of media industry and media systems. After providing a short historic overview of the appearance and development of the first massive medium – press – and its historic predecessors.

who often face the dilemma of whether to write truthfully and accurately (?) or not to allow themselves to be neutral in writing for the sake of – higher interests of the media giants they work for. are today thrown into question by the fact that commercial values in the media have taken root with primacy. say all these processes in media systems. The marketing – media – TNC – IMF scheme operates throughout the global system. accuracy. freedom of expression. Instead of civil journalism.The slogans under which the first media appeared. first of all through the structure and content of programs in all types of media. and are already resulting in a loss of public journalism and criticism of journalists. fair reporting. and it promotes an elitist consumer culture within the broader society. stimulating application of neo-liberal rules based on penetration of private investments and reduced social appropriations that can be a very dangerous combination in a system of extreme inequality. Herman and Robert W. may influence the particularity and sustainability of authentic characteristics of national cultures which succumb to the consumer spirit of the media industry conglomerate. McChesney. IMF blamed Edward S. Poor and less developed regions in terms of information and communications experience a particularly big effect on this character of the modern media. How to combat the alternate media? 141 A solution to preserving national and media authenticity and pluralism is in alternative non-profit . with journalists who balance among neutrality. what is present is new journalism with products which constitute commodities. hushing up truth and a media system insensitive to the local and the regional needs. The famous saying that the media create the culture of entertainment is now at work. objectivity or. This has a negative effect on program quality and the demands of public opinion which is under its influence. The local cultural and political media landscape of these countries is strongly affected by the operation of political and media systems of wealthy countries. facilitates media penetration of the great powers into underdeveloped countries. the general trend of media insistence on entertainment and light contents is a consequence of the almost completed commercialization of the media. to ruthlessly enter national and international arenas –that have a fatal affect on the character and structure of media programs. freedom of writing. even better. As a result. through some of its programs. the two American university professors. after integrating with one another in the above two ways. It is precisely economic market relations – which guide transnational companies. are also supported by economic giants such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which. But these processes may result. along with countries which TNC and their influences originate from. principles of truthfulness. Hapless media standardization Standardization of media.

. decentralization of global media and economic giants is possible through concentration of alternative media markets. and after that at a higher level.media which would form a non-profit public sphere. Consequently. Alternate media could be developed at local level.

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one of the largest global music businesses with nearly 60 percent of revenues from outside the United States. TBS. Unlike News Corporation. television network launched in 1995 to provide a distribution platform for Time Warner films and programs. a 27 percent increase over 1993. CNNfn. It is carried on the Tribune Company's 16 U. TV households. television stations. The Cartoon Network and CNN . twenty-four magazines.Sl (a cross-production with Sports Illustrated). The Time Warner strategy is to merge the former Turner global channels - CNN and TNT/Cartoon Channel . a U.Time Warner $25 billion .S. Time Warner has devoted itself to producing programming and channels rather than developing entire satellite systems. significant interests in non-U. with over 200 subsidiaries worldwide. including CNN. TNT.S. the largest media corporation in the world. a subsidiary of CNN. more than 1. Disney $24 billion .1997 sales Time Warner. was formed in 1989 through the merger of Time Inc. It is a major force in virtually every medium and in every continent. broadcasting joint ventures.with their HBO International and recently launched Warner channels to make a four-pronged assault on the global market. it has a family of pay channels and is available in over 35 countries.S. Warner Music Group. with approximately 1. HBO International has already established itself as the leading subscription TV channel in the world. and global cable television channels.1997 sales .S. Time Warner expects globalization to provide growth tonic. which reach 25 percent of U.000 movie screens outside of the United States. Turner Classic Movies. Time Warner is moving towards being a fully global company. Time Warner is also one of the largest movie theater owners in the world. it projects that its annual sales growth rate of 14 percent in the middle 1990s will climb to over 20 percent by the end of the decade. is also established as the premier global television news channel. however.000 screens outside of the United States and further expansion projected. Time Warner selected holdings Majority interest in WB. and Warner Communications. People and Sports Illustrated. Headline News. CNN International. including Time. several U. beamed via ten satellites to over 200 nations and 90 million subscribers by 1994.S. Time Warner has zeroed in on global television as the most lucrative area for growth.

including more than 550 Disney retail stores worldwide. and in India ESPN provided over 1. capitalizing upon the enormous Disney resources. Disney World and stakes in major theme parks in France and Japan. consumer products.' one Viacom executive states. several major film.and family-oriented Disney Channel into a global force.S.S. U. ESPN2 and ESPNews. who controls 39 percent of Viacom's stock.O. . Viacom has targeted global growth.S.S. ten U. Disney made the move from being a dominant global content producer to being a fully integrated media giant with the purchase of Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion. share of revenues from 23 percent in 1995 to 50 percent by 2000. video and television production studios including Disney. Disney selected holdings The U. television stations and 21 U. in Asia it is table tennis. it is implementing an aggressive policy of using company-wide cross-promotions to improve sales. orchestrated the deals that led to the acquisitions of Paramount and Blockbuster in 1994. It has already included the new Capital Cities/ABC brands in its exclusive global marketing deals with McDonald's and Mattel toy-makers. ABC television and radio networks. thereby promoting the firm from $2 billion in 1993 sales to the front ranks. "We're not taking our foot off the accelerator. the television sports network. with a stated goal of earning 40 percent of its revenues outside of the United States by 2000. Miramax and Buena Vista. First. "The Disney Channel should be the killer children's service throughout the world" Disney's executive in charge of international television states.1997 sales C. Viacom $13 billion . Disney has possession of the unquestioned global leader.E. one of the biggest acquisitions in business history.Disney is the closest challenger to Time Warner for the status of world's largest media firm. radio stations. theme parks and resorts.S. Second. With the purchase of ABC's ESPN. Sumner Redstone. Disney's stated goal is to expand its non-U. Its first order of business is to expand the children. In Latin America the emphasis is on soccer. In 1995. including Disneyland. Redstone's strategy is for Viacom to become the world's "premier software driven growth company" Viacom's growth strategy is twofold.000 hours of cricket in 1995. Since 1992 Viacom has invested between $750 million and $ 1 billion in international expansion. and global cable television channels Disney Channel. ESPN.

one of the world's three largest theater companies. News Corporation is putting most of its eggs in the basket of television. Until around 2005. Scribners and Macmillan. magazines (14 percent) and book publishing (12 percent). films and children's shows . Fox television network to provide programming for its nascent satellite ventures. and global cable television networks.1996 sales The News Corporation is often identified with its head. Blockbuster Video and Music stores. Viacom selected holdings Thirteen U. News Corporation is spending billions of dollars to establish these systems around the world. MTV has used new digital technologies to make it possible to customize programming inexpensively for different regions and nations around the world. expanding to every continent but Antarctica in 1996 and 1997 and offering programming in several languages. areas where growth is expected to be greatest for commercial media. News Corporation has been masterful in utilizing its various properties for cross-promotional purposes. MTV is the preeminent global music television channel. Nickelodeon has been a global powerhouse. five theme parks.S. specifically digital satellite television. M2. News Corporation $10 billion . Asia and South America.and beam them via satellite or TV stations to homes in the United States. Although News Corporation earned 70 percent of its 1995 income in the United States. newspapers (24 percent). Murdoch expects the surest profits in the developed world. TVLand and Paramount Networks. including MTV. the world's largest video rental stores. reaching 90 million TV households in 70 countries other than the United States. although the risk is considerable. Asia and Latin America.Viacom's two main weapons are Nickelodeon and MTV. including Simon & Schuster. . Rupert Murdoch. whose family controls some 30 percent of its stock. sports. Murdoch's goal is for News Corporation to own multiple forms of programming . its plan for global expansion looks to continental Europe. Its 1995 revenues were distributed relatively evenly among filmed entertainment (26 percent). if only a few of them establish monopoly or duopoly positions the entire project should prove lucrative.S.S. television (21 percent). It plans to draw on its experience in establishing the most profitable satellite television system in the world. available in 250 million homes worldwide and in scores of nations. News Corporation can also use its U. Europe. Nickelodeon. especially Europe and Japan. video and television production. and at using its media power to curry influence with public officials worldwide. U. Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone says of Murdoch that "he basically wants to conquer the world" News Corporation operates in nine different media on six continents. television stations. In 1996 Viacom announced further plans to "significantly expand" its global operations. film. the booming British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). book publishing. VH1. Showtime. It is already a world leader in children's television. including Paramount Pictures. 50 percent stake in United Cinemas International.news.

S. twenty-two U.S. Sony is a dominant entertainment producer. Fox broadcasting network. each of which it purchased in 1989 Music accounts for about 60 percent of Sony's media income and film and television production account for the rest. Although NBC currently constitutes only a small portion of GE's total activity. NBC owns U. including fx. and Latin America.S. It has been aggressive in expanding into cable. with non-U. making it one of the three largest newspaper groups in the world. television and radio networks and 11 television stations. The most dramatic expression of GE's media-centered strategy is its 1996 alliance and joint investment with Microsoft to produce the cable news channel MSNBC.S. along with a complementary on-line service. and global cable networks. after years of rapid growth it is considered to be the core of GE's strategy for long-term global growth.News Corporation selected holdings The U. like CNBC.S. station group. Asia. and its media sales are expected to surpass $9 billion in 1997 Sony hopes to capitalize upon its vast copyrighted library of films. music and TV programs to leap to the front of the digital video disc market. . where it is poised to be one of the two global leaders with Matsushita. U. often under the Sky Broadcasting brand. television stations. followed perhaps by a global entertainment and sports channel. Sony also enjoys a 25 percent share of the multi-billion dollar video games industry. Britain and the United States. Fox News Channel. fxM and Fox Sports Net. From this initial $500 million investment. revenues increasing from 20 percent of the total in 1985 to 38 percent in 1995.S. including the London Times and the New York Post). with the shift to digital formats these games can now be converted into channels in digital television systems.S. Sony $9 billion . where it now owns several cable channels outright. NBC and Microsoft are also developing a series of TV channels in Europe aimed at computer users. covering over 40 percent of U. NBC (GE) $5 billion . Its operations have become increasingly global.1997 sales (media only) Sony's media holdings are concentrated in music (the former CBS records) and film and television production (the former Columbia Pictures). ownership or major interests in satellite services reaching Europe.. NBC and Microsoft plan to expand MSNBC quickly into a global news channel. some 132 newspapers (primarily in Australia. a 50 percent stake (with TCl's Liberty Media) in several U.S. the largest U. TV households. and an expected 50 percent in 2000.1996 sales General Electric is one of the leading electronics and manufacturing firms in the world with nearly $80 billion in sales in 1996.