Monday, September 14, 2009

IC, Media, and Globalization

Castells chapter dicusses the public sphere and how vital it is to sociopolitical organizations. Castells presents the four interrelated political crises—crisis of efficiency, legitimacy, identity and equity. Each crisis affects countries individual governments. The global civil society is where local ideas are maintained and defended by local civil society actors, which are various grassroots organizations NGOs, and other self-interest groups). Each component of the society has an interest in emphasizing its personal views, building support for those ideas, and limiting or utilizing globalization. NGOs are a great example of organizations that utilize globalization via global media and campaigns in order to reach necessary people and pressure governments to act positively in the favored direction. The presidential election in Iraq this past summer was an example of the movement of public opinion. However, those individuals used the global media (i.e. YouTube, Twitter) in order to shed light on the injustice that some Iraqis were feeling. There are other movements that aim to control the globalization process. I particularly enjoyed Castells’ section about the new public sphere because he offers a great explanation of the current media system.

Karim’s chapter reviews the “national” in “international communication.” According to Karim, the idea of a nation is imaginary. The individuals apart of a nation form their own realities of what a nation is because they form the beliefs, actions, and practices that create the nation. Karim discusses and explains different diasporas and their nomadic practices and links it to modern day disputes and the modern day global structure. Diasporic media are growing exponentially. A real-life example that I experienced was during the digital television transition. I was an intern for the Federal Communications Commission. While in Austin, Texas, the Spanish network was not able to successfully transition. Thousands of its viewers were without that channel. We received numerous complaints and phone calls regarding this issue. Many Hispanic peoples felt they were out of touch with their communities. That one instance exhibited the importance and impact of diasporic media.

Waisboard’s article begins with two answers to the origin of nations. One answer states that a top-down political process created homogeneity and one culture. The second answer states that nationalism preceded political centralization. Waisboard makes a critical point in the beginning of the article, and sets the tone for the ongoing debate of media and globalization. He states that “media need to be understood as a set of institutions involved in the creation, maintenance, and transformation of cultural membership" (p. 377). Waisboard explains the ideas of globophones and globophiles and “national media.” I personally favor the view of the globophiles because technological changes around the globe, particularly with media, do contribute to a more diverse culture. Whereas years ago, some people would have never seen or known anything outside of their own village, city, or state. It is very intriguing how radio still remains a local medium. How did all other early forms of media (i.e. television, newspapers) become victimized, for lack of better, to globalization? Waisboard concludes by suggesting that the idea of the nation will remain as long as individuals establish unity and difference from others. Inclusion and exclusion are essential.

Honestly, I am learning a lot regarding international communication, yet some of the reading is hard to follow because this is not my background. However, if I had to summarize all of this week’s readings, I would simply say that globalization is an ongoing process that will not disappear. It will continue to occur especially as technology progresses.

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