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Does Globalisation of the media offer more or less opportunities for democracy?

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Introduction

Does Globalisation of the media offer more or less opportunities for democracy? We live in society today where the media plays an alarmingly big part in how we see the world, and how our opinions are formed, whether it is from what we watch on television to who we vote for. The media has helped to make our society a democracy by placing emphasis on issues that at one stage in time would have been considered strictly private issues such as child birth, homosexuality, child care, domestic violence, and sexual harassment. Due to this democracy we now look differently at politics, and are more active in whom we want in office, and how we want our children to be raised. The globalisation of the media has increased our access to information about people and events around the world, but in the process it has also shifted issues on what should or should not be in the public domain.1 The media performs an essential part in our democracy socially, politically, economically and culturally. It is the main source of political information and allows us to access political debate. ...read more.

Middle

But this is a misconception, as Western Products, Hollywood values and advertising dominate nearly all of the media. More often now than not the information that is transmitted by the media is infotainment and advertising. The media is used so that audiences find it more difficult to have an impact on policies, goals and directions of their own social, economic and political institutions. As mentioned the media is owned by transnational corporations that command huge economies, run from the top and are interlinked in various ways. Their first interest is profit, and to construct an audience of a particular type. One that is addicted to a certain life-style with artificial wants. Their primary function is selling audiences to advertisers. They don't make money from their subscriptions. They make money when an advertiser pays them. They believe in free market principles for others, but not for themselves. The major corporations in every society rely very heavily on state subsidy and state intervention.6 Making a profit from their advertising fees means that media outlets are influenced by various corporate interests. News coverage and other media content is therefore affected. ...read more.

Conclusion

Women are also represented in the media by glamorous models, actresses and news presenters. The problem with a globalised media in a democracy is that it can ruin the public infrastructure and that in turn means the demise of the public sector, which results in privatisation and more commercialism. Media ownership and media concentration becomes a problem when audiences are not becoming well informed because the audience or public can not act as an authoritarian. The danger of living in such a world means that while there is an increase in the mode of communication, new forms of identity and community there is an equal loss in political sovereignty, economic opportunity and cultural diversity. 1 Healey, Justin Mass Media and Society, Spinney Press, 2000 2 McChesney Making Media democratic, Boston Review issue 23 3 Mowlana, Hamid Globalisation of the mass media, London-Sage Publications, 1997 4 Tunstall, Jeremy The new Hollywood Network Cartel and Europe, Carleton University Press 1998 5 Chomsky Noam Media and Globalisation Third World Network, 1996 6 OECD Globalisation: challenges and opportunities OECD Publishing 2000 7 Wiseman, John Global Nation, Cambridge University Press, 1998 8 Kortin, David, The mythical victory of Market Capitalism Goldsmith, Edward and Mender, San Francisco 1996 9 McChessney, Robert Global media, neoliberalism, and imperialism, Monthly review, volume 52 issue 10 2001 ...read more.

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