Globalization of Media: Global-Local Negotiation with Special Reference to India


The Globalization process, which began around four decades ago have transformed every aspect of human life today, especially culture.  This transformation has been both positive and negative, both empowering and suppressing.  In this the role of the media has been the most efficacious; for media has been and today is the very vehicle of globalization. Perspectives with regard to media globalization differ. According to some, media globalization is leading to the horizontal integration of communications. World System Theory throws more light on this. There have been five major facets of media globalization. For long media/cultural imperialism have been talked about. Connected to cultural imperialism has been the Electronic Colonialism Theory. The recent theoretical and critical analyses of globalized media and their impact on cultures however reveal that cultural change has to be understood as a dynamic articulation between local and trans-cultural forces. Moreover, cultures are far more resilient than proclaimed and find numerous ways to diffuse and rejuvenate themselves. Under globalization thesis it was thought that audiences are passive receptors or victims of the media. Ethnographic study of viewers from some remote parts of the globe reveal a different picture. An active audience adapt global media fare to their own environment and use it creatively. Further, research shows that globalization of media only benefits the proprietors and media managers is not entirely true. Therefore this paper, in the context of the recent developments in broadcasting across the world, would like to challenge the perhaps overstated impact of media and cultural imperialism.  The paper would do this through a detailed descriptive-explanatory study. Besides the traditional alternative media, the emergence of Internet and Social Networking, have facilitated the oppositional (code) reading into media products by audience. Today it would seem that the world has done with the particularly negative phase of globalized media.  In fact these days an almost reverse process of localization and regionalization, in constant negotiation with global elements (technology, capital and other know-how) is being witnessed. Counter-media flows, diasporic adoption of ethnic media, and reverse media imperialism is on the increase. This is particularly evident in South Asia and in India.

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