Effects of Transnational Media on the Culture of the People in selected Asian Countries 1. Introduction The media and communications sectors in Asian countries were in the process of drastic transformation at the end of the twentieth century. The arrival of borderless media especially of transnational television at the beginning of the last decade of 20th century, made a surprise movement among Asian governments, broad casters, advertisers and customers…
The advancement in technology led to the free flow of communication to all over the world despite the resistance from the non-Western countries. Rapid advancement in communication technology guaranteed the transnational media the uncontrolled exposure of audience all over the world to the western messages. Western movies, news, music, game shows and other entertainment items have become easily assessable to all. This uncontrolled penetration of westerm media to other cultures and traditions has become dominant feature of the advancement of transnational media. Satellite, cable and computer have empowered the audience to choose and receive the media messages without any control. Local governments have no freedom to censure and control the content of the transnational media programmes and the local audience have gained the total freedom of choice, based on their values and tastes, what to see and not to see. This often leads to the cultural ‘sensitization’ or ‘hybridization’ internationally. The international audiences are constantly exposed to the social and cultural situations which are completely contradictory to their original cultural and traditional beliefs. For example, in many (most of) Asian countries, behaviors like dating (or any premarital sex), gambling and alcohol drinking are antisocial and unacceptable. But as a result of cultural desensitization, the constant exposure to these activities through entertainment shows, the people in Asia become desensitized to be free from the social inhibition and finally become more accepted and indulged in the above said Western behaviours (Galander, 2008). 2. Background of the Study and Review of the Existing Literature Initially, globalization affected industry, trade, finance and even agriculture of the nations, but the culture and traditions are also influenced by the globalization process by extending the activities of electronic and borderless media. It has led to the ‘statelessness’ and oligopolistic market of few transnational media firms (Hamelink, 1993). With the advent of communication technologies, media firms penetrated into the foreign markets by utilizing the opportunities of the opening up of communication sectors in the developing nations and tried to create production and distribution efficiency and built their own transnational media empires (Gershon, 1993). Globalization of entertainment industries with the advent of transnational media has led to the homogenization and westernization of traditions and cultures. This post modern hybridization of culture has occurred within the larger context of economic, political and cultural process within the regions, nations, ethnic communities and this growth was influenced by not only the policy decisions of the governments but also by the strategic management decisions of media owners, cable operators, satellite providers and agencies. The popularization of transnational media and process of globalization of electronic media raise various socio-cultural and ethical issues in the newly emerging Asian countries (Thomas, 2005). Transnational cable channels apply domestication strategie ...
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