Globalising Media Content and Industries


Globalisation has had an immense impact on media industries and media content. There is no doubt that globalisation has enabled media (such as television, computers, music, gaming, film etc) to be among the primary forces behind the current restructurations of social and cultural geography. The positive impacts of globalisation include: the development of a ‘Global village’ and hybridisation; while the negative impacts include: the risk of disrespect and exploitation of cultures through hybridisation and the threat of cultural imperialism.

1. ‘Global Village’

Globalisation has enabled greater global interactivity and connectivity which has significantly transformed the structures of media industries and thus the content mass media produces. As a result of globalisation, figuratively speaking, the world has become a smaller place, enabling people to be in closer contact with each other. The ‘global village’ is an empowering image whereby media has the power  to transcend national boundaries in a democratising process, which in turn enables a diverse range of information and voices to be freely disseminated.

Mass media have been forced to recognise and embrace this new global era of greater global interactivity and connectivity. Now, traditional news broadcasters inform people and generate discussion on worldwide events and issues. For example, transnational news services such as CNN, BBC World, Euronews, Sky News and Star News have all emerged as the ‘town criers of the global village’ (Hjavard, 2001) in the past two decades. This heightened global media interactivity and dialogic media landscape facilitates greater participation in what Stig Hjarvard refers to as, the ‘global public sphere’. This informed ‘global public sphere’ of world events, further foresters international development and progress as it facilitates a culture of shared responsibility for global issues such as poverty and climate change. For example the global coverage of the killing of Brazilian street children incited global outrage and discursive responses, which had a profound impact on national politics in Brazil. This is an example of a positive and effective impact of the transnationalisation of the mediated public sphere through news corporations.

2. Cultural Hybridisation

According to Wai-chung Ho, globalisation promotes the meeting of cultures, whilst simultaneously encouraging regional differences (Ho). Now, across the globe, all forms of media have been enriched through greater interactions go global cultures. For example, this practice has been evident in Hong Kong whereby popular music such as Cantopop electronic music entails the production of a multi-faceted dynamic of international and local factors. Thus globalisation encourages popular musical practices to look towards global styles for inspiration, whilst also looking inwards to recreate national music styles and forms. This also enables  industries to attract international audiences and disseminate greater cultural knowledge.

For example, this practice has been evident in Hong Kong whereby popular music such as Cantopop electronic music entails the production of a multi-faceted dynamic of international and local factors. Hybridisation also enables the emergence and strengthening of local cultures on the global spectrum.

However, hybridity also has the danger of causing cultural disrespect when traditional meanings are lost.

3. Cultural Imperialism

Cultural imperialism is the process whereby one culture distributes its values and ideas culturally through the media (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2008). The cultural domination of America — Americanisation — through Hollywood Films, television and franchises demonstrates this. Thus diversity is threatened when traditional cultures are destroyed through the intrusion of Western values. Thus traditional cultures are destroyed through the intrusion of Western values. This essentially threatens difference and diversity of cultures, ultimately leading to the production of a ‘monoculture’.

Reference List

Ho, W 2003, ‘Between globalisation and localisation: a study of Hong Kong popular music’, Popular Music, vol.22, no.1, pp.143-157.

Hjarvard, S 2003, ‘News Media and the Globalization of the Public Sphere’, Kommunikations Forum, 24 March, viewed 4 September 2014, <>.

O’Shaughnessy, M & Stadler, J 2008, ‘Globalisation’, in Media and Society, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp.458-471.

Wang, D 2008, ‘Globalization of the Media: Does it Undermine National Cultures?’, Intercultural Communication Studies, vol.17, no.2, pp.203-211.

Wu, D & Ng, P 2011, ‘Becoming global, remaining local: the discourses of international news reporting by CCTV-4 and Phoenix TV Hong Kong’, Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, vol. 25, no. 1, pp.73-87.


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