Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

3-2006

Conference Name

International Studies Association

Conference City

San Diego

Abstract

The news media are major purveyors of globalization. Globalization becomes present to the citizens of the world as news media reach out to a global audience. As improving communication technologies have made real time global communication possible, northern networks like CNN and BBC have used the technology to develop globally oriented television news programs. Their offerings, CNN WorldView and BBC World, attempt to connect with a global audience. The further development of the web has allowed organizations with considerably less funding than BBC and CNN to try for a global audience as well. The southern network Aljazeera, for example, recently supplemented its Arabic language programming and began to produce a news website in English in an obvious attempt to extend its global reach.

The technology and professional norms of the globalizing media are largely a creation of northern actors. They have had an important influence in establishing a common platform, a space in which political and media elites create the news. This space has been, at least till now, largely a northern space, reflecting northern professional "best practices" and appealing to northern audiences. Further, Aljzeera's production of an English language website uses not only a northern language but also points to an audience using that language. Southern actors have largely had to try and fit themselves in. At the same time, the emergence of globalizing media with southern roots, such as Aljazeera, has allowed southern media actors to speak in a somewhat different voice. To survive in the common communication ecosystem, they must also differentiate themselves and create their own niches. Northern dominated common technology and norms have driven the convergence of globalizing news media and the integration of international communication. At the same time, northern and southern identities and interests, ideologies and interpretations now interact in the mixed, hybrid space that is the emerging international communication order.

Comments

Revised version published in “Globalizing Media and North-South Initiatives” (with G. R. Boynton), in Rafael Reuveny and William R. Thompson, Eds., North and South in the World Political Economy (LondonUK: Blackwell, 2008).

Can also be found at

http://inpress.lib.uiowa.edu/globalizingcommunication/NS20061026/NS20061026.html

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