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With the idea of globalisation comes a lot of questions such as has globalisation had a positive or negative effect on the media, not only in Britain but worldwide and whether globalisation is, in fact, an idea, opinion or facts which have proven to be a struggle over a number of years especially in accordance to the range of books which discuss the topic of globalisation such as ‘The myth of media globalization’ and ‘The media and globalization’.
Globalisation can be defined in many different ways, and with globalization being such a broad topic the number of definitions online and from various theorist’s range. For example, three of the main definitions that I discovered all focus on a different aspect and viewpoint of globalization. For instance, definition one states that globalization “refers to the rapidly developing process of complex interconnections between societies, cultures, institutions, and individuals worldwide. It is a social process which involves a compression of time and space, shrinking distances through a dramatic reduction in the time taken – either physically or representationally – to cross them, so making the world seem smaller and in a certain sense bringing them “closer” to one another” (Tomlinson, 1999:165), whereas definition two focuses on globalisation being “the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa” (Anthony Giddens, 1990:64) which in turn suggests that “Globalisation refers to all those processes by which the peoples of the world are incorporated into a single world society, global society” (Albrow, 1990:45). Solely from the wide variety of definitions which many different media theorists have established, and the multi-purpose use of the word globalisation in a number of different subjects including business studies, geography, and media-based subjects contributes to the extent to why globalisation is considered to have changed the media in Britain and had an everlasting effect; but not only does globalisation have an effect on the countries financial state but it also has a direct link on the effect of the industrial sector and the involvement of the countries culture.
The media can be broken down into three main platforms which are print, broadcast, and e-media. According to Ofcom’s News consumption of the UK: 2016 report which was published on the 29th of June 2017 the statistics link perfectly to the idea of globalization changing the media in the UK and this can be due to many reasons which I will outline. In terms of E-media “Nearly half (48%) of adults say they use the internet for news nowadays, an increase from 41% in 2015. + Broadcaster websites/apps are used by 23% of all adults for news, 20% use social media sites, 17% use search engines and 15% use newspaper sites/apps.”. In terms of print, the “Overall circulation of printed newspapers has decreased since 2010. National daily titles have decreased from 9.2 million in 2010 to 6 million in 2016” and lastly in reference to broadcast “One third (33%) of UK adults say they consume news through radio, and this has remained stable over recent years. + BARB figures show that in 2016, adults watched an average of 110 hours of news on TV. 16-24s watched 23 hours in 2016 compared to 33 hours in 2015. In contrast, adults aged 65+ watched 215 hours in 2016 – a figure that has changed little since 2010.”
From both the chart showing the use of the four main platforms for news ‘nowadays’ and the statistics shown in the report in relation to globalisation which came about in the 1400’s and continuously grows (shown on the timeline of globalisation attached) suggests that globalisation has, in fact, changed the media in Britain as the years have gone by as the use of traditional media outlets such as television and newspapers (printed) have been decreasing gradually over the 4-year period of 2013-2016 which is forecasted in the chart. Whereas the internet has been steadily increasing from 32% to 48%.
This brings me on to the argument of globalization changing the media in Britain in a negative way. In relation to the increase in new media and technology which came along with globalization and contributed to it significantly. There is less of a need for printed texts such as newspapers and magazines as the internet became more popular and with the decrease in the number of print production this resulted in less of a need for journalists. As a matter of fact, with the use of interconnectedness worldwide, communication is easier between countries so news can be transferred and discussed easier instead of everything being done locally which is more time-consuming. Although this may seem to benefit the media this is a negative due to the fact that this causes a decline in the need for the print industry and could lead to a loss of cultural identity. As a matter of fact, this was suggested in the book ‘Power without responsibility’. Some key statements range from the idea that globalisation “does mean that we share some cultures internationally – and perhaps lose our own”, “yet, conversely, one of the most disturbing aspects the ‘globalization ‘of the media is that it has led to cross-continental cultural ghettos and silos of narrow interests in which people only encounter the like-minded” and “it is harder to get people to pay attention to anything other than the familiar and comfortable”. This is understandable when linked to the hypodermic needle theory which “suggests that the mass media could influence a very large group of people directly and uniformly by ‘shooting’ or ‘injecting’ them with appropriate messages designed to trigger the desired response”.
On the other hand, there are many ways in which globalization has in fact aided and changed the media worldwide and particularly in Britain in a positive way. For instance, it has been said that some influential figures have indirectly contributed to the topic of globalization through the media and this has changed the world in terms of politics, female domination and in many more ways. In particular Wael Ghonim who influenced “Human rights groups, social justice movements and others…using the Facebook page as well as Twitter and other media to inform Egyptians”, Martin Luther who “used the printing press to transform his world” and Oprah Winfrey who is “watched by millions around the globe in 140 countries. Of particular interest, she has become one of the most popular and admired figures–a role model and hero–among women throughout the world”. This brings me to my next point, the use of social media has had a huge effect on the adoption of cultures worldwide and therefore globalization. For example, in terms of the broadcast platform in the case of British individual American television shows are more accessible and vice-versa. Despite the majority of these being illegal forms of streaming it is a way to connect individuals worldwide in terms of cultures and globalization. According to the ‘Globalisation, the media and UK communities report’ it implied that “globally, there has been an expansion of media outlets that are available to UK audiences. On top of the established services from the BBC, CNN, and Sky, 24-hour TV news is now available via the Internet and satellite from Al Jazeera English, Russia Today, France 24, Al Arabiya, and Press TV. In addition to this UK and international newspapers now offer online versions that are usually free to access”. Lastly it could be said that globalisation has helped change the media in Britain in a positive way in terms of the broadcast platform due to the number of collaborations and influence the UK now has on other countries for instance through television shows such as Big brother, The Voice, X factor, Britain’s got talent and How clean is your house? Which all have different versions worldwide. This is a benefit as recognition of the media in Britain could increase rapidly.
In conclusion from doing thorough research into the topic, it can be suggested that the media, in fact, had a huge effect and a heavy influence on globalization, more than what has been suggested. Which is why in fact globalization had considerably changed the media worldwide but particularly in Britain. Although, there are a wide range of positive and negatives around the idea of how globalisation has changed the media especially in Britain this can be proven to have been more of a positive effect rather than a negative especially seen as the media still have a heavy presence in the everyday world so in effect globalisation did not have a detrimental effect on the media in Britain. In terms of the three-media platform, ’s the only platform which was affected negatively was print, the others instead of being benefitted by globalization.
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