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Participation of Media and Media

Technologies in Globalization

Submitted By:
Malvika Singh
M.A (Mass Communication and Journalism)
C-923, Gaur Global Village,
Crossings Republic,
Ghaziabad, 201009


Mass media and globalization have a shared history. They both go hand in
hand and aid each other in attaining sheer finesse. Globalization means
going global and mass media with its different channels helps endlessly in
this process. Today we dont have to go a foreign location to watch a world
cup match. We enjoy it in our homes comfort. Mass media and globalization
make it possible. It is because of this phenomenon that we get to live in what
the Canadian scholar Marshal McLuhan calls, a Global Village. In this
global village we, as different nations of the world, share a common culture
and each others achievements and griefs. Thus globalization is both a result
of mass media endeavors and a proliferative agent of the same.


The term "globalization," like most terms of public discourse, has two
meanings: its literal meaning, and a technical sense used for doctrinal
purposes. In its literal sense, "globalization" means international integration.
Its strongest proponents since its origins have been the workers movements
and the left (which is why unions are called "internationals"), and the
strongest proponents today are those who meet annually in the World Social
Forum and its many regional offshoots. In the technical sense defined by the
powerful, they are described as "anti-globalization," which means that they
favor globalization directed to the needs and concerns of people, not
investors, financial institutions and other sectors of power, with the interests
of people incidental. That's "globalization" in the technical doctrinal sense.
--Noam Chomsky
Often we come across sentences like we are living in a globalized world or
the media is fanning the process of globalization. Many obvious questions
flash in the mind; what is globalization? How is media related to
globalization? How is it fanning the process? Well if we talk about media
first, we can refer to it as Octopus; having its tentacles penetrated in
everything. Media acts as a channel through which an idea or a concept is
propagated across a vast spectrum. It has played different pivotal roles

hitherto and still is playing some of the big ones. We, as consumers, have
lately discovered the resurgence of media in the big picture. It has
entertained, informed, helped providing justice, put forth different issues;
national as well as international, to name a few. Media has now added one
more feather in its hat by acting as a pro to the process of globalization.
Globalization literally means going global; around the world. It means
expanding a phenomenon beyond geographical boundaries, which hitherto
remained restricted to the regional boundaries. Also, the process by which
the people across the globe are unified and function together. More often
than one, globalization and internationalization are used interchangeably but
there is a slight difference. Internationalization refers to the relation between
countriespolitical, economic, social etc where as globalization refers to the
integration of economy on a global scale. Globalization has changed the face
of the world. Things which were inaccessible due to space constraint can
now be accessed, anywhere round the world. We can share the culture,
information, views, technology etc with someone who is sitting thousand
miles away. We drive cars that could only be seen on the sophisticated
European roads. The social causes now have an international appeal to them.
Views on international politics and economy are shared. This would not

have been possible, had the process of globalization not taken place. The
credit goes to media and its different panels.
Media has emerged as one of the causative agents of Globalization. Its
participation in the globalized world is humongous. Various media tools
such as television, newspapers, magazines, mobiles and lately, internet, have
fastened the process of globalization manifolds. All these act as channels to
send the message and get the feedback. Television and internet are the fastest
of all. Different broadcast channels flash news and people often confirm it
from the net. This helps in spreading of an idea real fast. Internet provides
many versions of truth, each catering to a certain moral, ethical and
psychological standard. People choose their version of truth and hence are
convinced faster. This helps in the promotion of an idea which in turn aides
globalization. Media is bestowed with the power to convince people, so
much so that the people start viewing things from the serving mediums
view point. This is where the media starts to rule the psyche of the audience.
It has some set theories, with the help of which it manipulates the emotions
of its consumers. In Todays globalized world, where media has become a
little bit of everything, there are some set theories which determine the
viewpoints of people. Theories that build and change perceptions, set
agendas, manipulate public emotions and above all spoon feed the

audiences, so much so that they become largely dependent on the media.

Some of the important theories are MSD (Media System Dependency),
Agenda Setting Function and Technological Determinism.
Lets have a look on the account on how these theories affect the globalized
world and aid the process of globalization on the whole.
Media System Dependency theory, proposed by Ball-Rokeach and De-fleur,
explains the dependence of society on the media. Of late, the world has
witnessed the resurgence of media as a new court of justice. We look up to
media for anything which is supposed to be given or done by authorities
falling under the governmental paradigm. Media acts as a channel through
which exchange of various kinds take place. News and views from across
the globe pour in and the consumer is equipped with the desired set of
information. It helps him globalize in a better fashion and he becomes linked
to the rest of the world. Also, MSD theory explains the relation between
media and the society. The version of truth presented by media is instantly
taken by the society and feedback is given. The amount of positive feedback
reflects the amount of globalization.
Media also build consents and make or break pre conceived notions. This it
does through the Agenda Setting function. It is very important for the
process of globalization. The world in which we thrive is an economic and

globalized world. Obviously, there are many foreign companies seeking a

market in developing countries like India. Nevertheless, to build a market in
India is a Herculean task as the Indian market is colored. Here, the masses,
who are generally the middle class, go by the image of the company
concerned. So, to attract the potential consumer, the company needs to build
an image and who, other than media, can do it best? The organization
concerned appoints a media house which acts as its PRO. Hence, comes into
being the game of manipulation of the emotions of the people. The multinational companies play a pivotal role in process of globalization; aided by
The notions, ideas, beliefs, moral and ethical values of people, lately, are
affected by the media on a large scale. In a sense, media determines and
controls the thought process of public. Its akin the Agenda Setting Function
of the media. What people think and how they think are humongously
regulated by these channels. The primacy of human mind seems to be taken
over by technology. By technology, I mean everything that compliments the
human life by making it easy. Technology guides and regulates the thought
process of people. In a sense, people cease to apply their own intellect and
blindly follow what is being offered to them. This quality of the audiences

is tapped by the media giants as well as the big corporations. They use it
according to their will and need.
Also, transmission of culture has always been an important function of mass
media. It aids in facilitating culture exchange and multiple flows of
information and image between countries through international news
broadcasts, television programming, new technologies, film and music.
Before the 1990s, mainstream media systems in most countries of the world
were relatively national in scope. Since then most communication media
have become increasingly global, extending their reach beyond the nationstate to conquer audiences worldwide. International flows of information
have been largely assisted by the development of global capitalism, new
technologies and the increasing commercialization of global television,
which has occurred as a consequence of the deregulation policies adopted by
various countries in Europe and the US in order to permit the proliferation of
cable and satellite channels. Globalization theorists have discussed how the
cultural dimension of globalization has exercised a profound impact on the
whole globalization process. The rapid expansion of global communications
in the 21st century can be traced back to the mechanical advancements of
technologies during the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, which started
mainly with the invention of the telegraph in 1837.

Nevertheless, it was the evolution of technologies capable of transmitting

messages through electromagnetic waves that made possible the
advancement in the globalization of communications. The emergence of
international news agencies in the 19th century, such as Reuters, paved the
way for the beginnings of a global system of codification. Nonetheless, it
was not until the 1960s, with the launch of the first geo-stationary
communication satellites, that communication by electromagnetic
transmission became fully global, thus making the globalization of
communications a distinctive phenomenon of the 20th century.
However, every coin has two sides. Continuous studies in the field of mass
media have given birth to umpteen modernization and development theories.
The key theories in international communications grew out of international
relation studies. The modernization or development theory in the area of
communication research emerged in the Cold War context and were largely
preoccupied with the ways in which the media could help transform
traditional societies to include them into the capitalism orbit. The
dependency theories of the 1960s and 1970s were perceived as an
alternative approach grounded in neo-Marxism, and which adopted a
theoretical framework that saw capitalism and inequality as a key

perspective in understanding the impact of power relations on global

The Media System Dependency theory, as explained earlier, lays focus on
the fact that the mass media aids the first world countries in their capitalistic
quest, thereby disturbing the balance of power and aggravating the economic
disparity between nations. Globalization is thus seen as having consequences
for the distribution of power and wealth both within and between countries.
Not only this, another flipside of interdependence of mass media and
globalization is cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism theories of the
1970s and 1980s highlighted how the media in developing countries
imported foreign news, cultural and television genre formats and also values
of capitalist consumerism and individualism. The core critique of the
imperialism thesis was that the developing countries had established a
relationship of subordination in relation to the First World countries that had
historical roots in European colonialism, culminating in a centre-periphery
relationship. We can take America and Mexico as example where the former
is a centre state and the latter is a periphery state.
It has always been argued by the communication scholars that the US-based
transnational organizations serve to undermine the cultural autonomy of the
countries of the South. They see the US developing an imperialist control of

the world through mass media. Many American scholars were critical of the
modernization perspective and the idea that the Western media entry in the
Third world contribute to national development. Many international media
giants like Reuters, AP, UPI and AFP have been assigned a role by media
scholars of having contributed in spreading a global agenda and in creating
particular perceptions of the South as being a place of corruption, coup and
disaster for Western audiences. However, these four news agencies remain
key players who dominate the dissemination of news and information with
majority of the newspapers and other media organizations depending on
them for international news. One of the core reasons of this dependence is
the limited number of alternatives.
Nevertheless, technological advancement has not only shattered social
boundaries of the world; it has brought tremendous transformation in all
fields of life. Marshall McLuhan has stated that the world is a Global
village. This has happened due to advancement in the fields of science and
technology. People of the world now live in close proximity. They share
their joys and sorrows with one another. They benefit from the inventions
and discoveries made by other people. It is the media that creates the
experience of global shared time, especially by informing people around the
world about events that they can share. Communications give people a

chance to contact other people in distant locations whatever the time.

Globalization of any country is reflection of that country. This cutting edge
of technology has provided us the opportunity to move from a stagnant
phase of ignorance to a modern era of revolution and logic. As we are living
in rapidly and constantly changing times, change is around us, about us,
within and without us. Another function which the mass media performs
today is that of a watchdog. We can learn about wars, revolutions,
earthquakes, floods etc in different parts of the world through mass media
aided globalization. For example, the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria, where
thousands of people have been uselessly killed and hostages are being
mercilessly beheaded, is promptly relayed thousand miles away on our
television screens. We sympathize with our fellow brothers and sisters and
share their grief. The terrifying cases of Ebola epidemic started somewhere
in Africa and precautionary measures were being taken thousands of miles
away in India. We learn about the different functions the UN is performing
in various fields of economic uplift and international trade and relations
between states. The editorials of popular newspapers are useful
commentaries on national and international affairs. They tell us about social
matters like debates, public meeting affairs, transport problems, price levels,
art, literature, religion and so on every now and then.

Also, general health programs get easily publicity like campaigns for child
health, family planning, awareness about AIDS, TB and Swine Flu.
Television can be used to teach uneducated people. We can have programs
for teaching the basic details of languages. Such programs can be extremely
useful for our villagers and the working class people in the cities.
Mass media aids globalization and vice versa. It helps to reveal the news of
peoples misery so that concerned authorities can take necessary steps. The
whole world has become a global village due to media. Today the powerful
effects of media have spread in every society of all over the world. Now
with the advancement in the field of science and technology, we are globally
interconnected and communicate with other countries. There are a group of
computers that can communicate with each other connecting million of other
computer networks in the world. World Wide Web is collection of millions
of changing documents on computers all over the world. These documents
may contain the books, magazines, pictures, films and information one
needs. The different websites that run into millions, offer information in the
sciences,arts,religion,education,commerce,industry,agriculture,law and
almost every topic or subject. The internet has surely brought countries and
nations closer. It has functioned to help in the development of the world into
global village.

Media is the root cause of some major developments in todays world;

globalization being one of the most important. The way media with its
different panels shape the mentality of people is incredible. Globalization is
the buzz word today and media claims the full credit of fanning it across the


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Page 129
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