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Essay Sample on Global Communication

Date published: | Lisa Barlow

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There is a free sample of answers and questions that can be done together with the team of writers at The Original Essay. There are two extended answers that illustrates historical and social and digital aspects, data and information.

Discuss the changes that took place in global medias cape with the rise of 1980s neoliberal policies since the 1980s and continued in the 1990s with the help of widespread availability of digital technologies. How did these changes affect national media systems in the Global South and how did their media systems develop as a result? Use Tim Haven’s chapter and various cases such as Africa and others from the video lectures to illustrate your answer.

The neoliberal policies were market-oriented reform policies associated with free-market capitalism and fewer government restrictions. The neoliberal policies of the 1980s and the early 1990s marked an era of significant transformation in the global media landscape. The period was marked by two significant developments: the political-economic liberalization of the television industry with a view to keep up with the international standards and the analog-to-digital switchover. For instance, in Africa, the 1990s political liberalization saw an end to the state monopolies on television broadcasting, marked by the licensure of private radio and TV stations that were previously regulated by the government (Eko, 2019). Rather than the previous government totalitarianism, the period also saw the creation of new regulatory agencies to act as legal and ethical watchdogs in the media industry. These agencies include the Communications Authority of Kenya (in Kenya), the High Authority on Communication (in Gabon), and the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (Tanzania). As a result, a majority of African countries modified their radio and TV systems to suit the changing geopolitics and the happenings of other countries.

Despite some African countries using myriad censorious and authoritarian tactics to maintain a monopoly in the field of broadcasting, there eventually emerged a new phenomenon where private and independent television stations entered the broadcast landscape. The attempts to monopolize the broadcasting sector can be noted in countries like Cameroon and Gabon. For instance, Eko (2019) reports a case where the Conseil National de la Communication, the media regulator in Cameroon, banned a Cameroonian private TV channel (Vision 4) based on Gabon, for allegedly reporting fake news regarding the death of Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba is 2018. The move was an act of attempting to assuage the hurt feelings of the Gabonese regime that had imposed a six-month ban on Vision 4 on the basis of the accusation that it had reported fake news (the president had only suffered a major stroke and was recuperating in a Saudi Arabian hospital). However, despite such moves seeking to monopolize the control over broadcasting, private radio and television stations have continued to thrive in the broadcast landscape.

In another significant transformation in the global media landscape, the late 1990s and the early 21st-century also marked the emergence of Pay-Tv in the Global South, particularly in Africa. The Pay-Tv service, essentially a subscription-based service, saw the entry of international satellite broadcasters like DSTV, Canalsat Afrique, ZAP, and StarTimes in the African media landscape. Today, Africa is perhaps the fastest-growing market for subscription-based television services. The emergence of Pay-Tv in Africa also significantly increased the broadcasting of local content to quench the local demand as these services are required to reserve a certain percentage of their airtime for local content.

There was also the analog-to-digital TV switchover as television networks sought to phase out the traditional analog infrastructures and networks to digital, with a view to keep abreast of North American televisions and the new technologies. The switchover not only gave viewers better picture and sound quality but also gave them a wider choice of programs from the increased number of channels. The switchover also intensified international competition between companies like StarTimes group and Thomson and Sagem, which were seeking to supply digital technologies and content.

In conclusion, it is undeniable that the neoliberal policies had a monumental impact on the radio and television systems of the Global South, particularly in Africa. Even amid the efforts put in place by some African governments to maintain an environment of broadcast monopolies and censor some information, the emergence of private and independent media houses represents a touch of fresh air in the media landscape of Africa post-Cold War era.

Elaborate on the ways in which media users engage with global and transnational media. In your answer, discuss how transnational media such as (Turkish TV series in Gulf countries, K-pop in Canada) have been received by their audiences and how global media technologies such as the internet, ICTs, and social media have been utilized for social movements and/or community development (Brazil case study).

The phenomenon of media globalization has contributed to a radical transformation in the media landscape of media users today. Today, the production and distribution of disparate media products take place in the transnational context. Media users can rely on news and content from transnational media outlets in the comfort of their homes. This can be partly attributed to the rise of social media and the emergence of subscription services. The resulting effect is a globalized media landscape. The same trend can be witnessed in the music industry. For instance, according to Yoon (2018), globalization has shaped K-pop music which is native in South Korea, and its rise overseas – in countries like Canada. The ‘South Korean’ music has striking similarities to the style of American pop music. The transnational K-pop has meant that the Canadian audience can enjoy the experience of the music as a form of cultural hybridity. The transnational fans of K-pop music also interpret it as a form of global imagination.

In the advent of the internet and social media, transnational media practicing the traditional methods of censorship are often snubbed by their audiences who instead turn to social media for more reliable news. For instance, during the Gezi Park protests, whereas media houses like CNN International broadcasted the clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers live, Turkish television stations practiced their conventional censorship techniques (Tufekci, 2014). Surprisingly, a channel like CNN Turk was airing a documentary about penguins. The reliance on social media for more reliable news at the expense of censored media can be exemplified in the case of a Twitter user who took a photo of both CNN International (broadcasting the live protests) and CNN Turk (broadcasting penguins) and tweeted it out. The picture elicited a heated debate on social media, with numerous Twitter users dubbing CNN Turk “the penguin media.” The next couple of weeks saw protesters turn to social media and the international media to get a glimpse of the protests.

Social movements have also been integrating and utilizing digital technologies like social media and the internet to advance their causes (Tufekci, 2014). These technologies are used with a view to organize, popularize, and promote effective communication of their goals. Social media has, for instance, empowered disparate factions of society by essentially giving them the tools they can use to their advantage. An example of the use of social media to advance disparate causes is typified by Zuckerman (2010). In the TED talk, Zuckerman (2010) reports of the “Cala Boca Galvao”, a campaign on Twitter focused on saving the Galvao bird, a rare and endangered Brazilian bird. The move was aimed at saving the endangered life of the Galvao given that about 300,000 birds are killed every year during carnivore parades. By simply tweeting the phrase “Cala Boca Calvao”, 10 cents would be donated to a global campaign to save the Galvao bird. The campaign, which gained popularity during the 2010 world cup was so successful on social media that it topped Twitter for 2 weeks. This effect demonstrates just how technology is shaping disparate sectors, including the media landscape. Straubhaar and Davis (2018) appreciate the importance of technology by linking transformative empowerment to digital inclusion in a social context. The approach entailed the incorporation of computer skills into musical production training in Brazil. The approach essentially included computer skills and internet training in Salvador, Bahia. It also sought to train the Afro-Brazilian young people how to use networked technologies in their economic lives.

Essay References

Eko, L. (2019). African television in the age of globalization, digitization, and media convergence. The Routledge Companion to Global Television.

Straubhaar, J., & Davis, S. (2018). Drumming and digital inclusion: music, identity formation, and transformative empowerment in Afro-Brazilian community development NGOs. Development in Practice28(3), 374-387. 10.1080/09614524.2018.1435628

Tufekci, Z. (2014). Social movements and governments in the digital age: Evaluating a complex landscape. Journal of International Affairs68(1), 1-18.

Yoon, K. (2018). Global imagination of K-Pop: Pop music fans’ lived experiences of cultural hybridity. Popular Music and Society41(4), 373-389. 10.1080/03007766.2017.1292819

Zuckerman, E. (2010). Listening to Global Voices [Video]. https://www.ted.com/talks/ethan_zuckerman_listening_to_global_voices

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