This article provides information about the impact of globalisation on mass media:
During 1980s new technologies transformed the world of media. Newspapers were written, edited and printed at distance, allowing for the simultaneous editions of the same newspaper to be published from different parts of the world. Radio became increasingly specialised with thematic and sub-thematic stations. VCRs exploded all over the world and became in many developing countries a major alternative to the official TV broadcasting. Also it provided great deal of flexibility to the use of visual media.
There has been a decisive change in the nature of mass media with the multiplication of television channels. This process has been facilitated by a worldwide trend toward deregulation and privatisation of the mass media, which was till then largely under the control of the State. Development of cable TV technologies, fostered in the 1990s by fibre optics and digitisation, and of direct satellite broadcasting dramatically expanded the spectrum of transmission and put pressure on the authorities to deregulate communications in general and television in particular.
The development of cross border TV stations accelerated powerfully at the end of 1980s due to the globalisation trends that were manifested all over the world. The boom in satellites, the proliferation of installed bases of dish antennae over vast regions of the world, progress in the miniaturisation of TV control rooms, cameras and small scale transmission stations that drastically reduced the distance and time in transferring communication widely lead to the success of the cross border TV transmissions.
Cross border TV networks reach millions of homes around the world via cable network or collective or individual reception of satellite signals. CNN is a channel which best embodies the instant, global worldwide status of television. The channel today can reach every region around the world via a network of satellites covering the whole planet.
The growth of global mass media firms has been fueled by a parallel move toward deregulation and privatisation of mass media organisations. This is most clearly evident in the broadcasting sector, which in many countries of the world had been maintained as nonprofit, public service, state supported entities. As the forces of capitalism and entrepreneurship have emerged as the dominant model of economic organisation, the state has receded as a regulator of the market place.
This development has allowed the global media giants to enter into partnerships with dozens of national mass media firms around the world to produce, provide and/or disseminate news and entertainment to domestic markets. Advances in satellite broadcasting have secured the presence of the giant mass media firms in the cultural and information market place of every region of the world.
Perhaps the most significant development of the last two decades in international communication is the increasing concentration of mass media ownership within and across national borders. Concentration of mass media ownership has had two significant implications for the ways news (and other cultural products) is assembled and disseminated world-wide: First, concentration of ownership and privatisation of mass media has been accompanied by commercialisation of news and other cultural products, a trend that is characterised by aesthetic, technical, and professional standardisation at the global level. And second, alliances between the international “media moguls” such as Rupert Murdoch and forces of political conservatism has led to increasingly “soft” media content. These phenomena are part of the process of globalisation.
Currently there are five major corporate players in international mass communication. These giants are News Corp., Disney/Cap Cities, Time Warner, Viacom, and TCI. In addition, two other “mini-giants,” General Electric and Westinghouse have global ambitions. Of these seven firms, all but Viacom and TCI have major news components. News Corp. is the owner of or significant partner in newspapers, television stations, and satellite broadcasting systems (including STAR TV and Sky TV) around the world. Disney/Cap Cities owns ABC. Time Warner’s recent acquisition of Turner Broadcasting, which created and owns CNN, gives it a major international presence in newsgathering and dissemination. General Electric owns NBC and Westinghouse own CBS. All of these mega- corporations but one are based in the United States; News Corp. is based in Australia.
With the proliferation of a variety of channels and programmes in television networks experts opines that there is an evolution from mass society to segmented society because the new communication technologies focus more on diversified, specialised information and hence audience become increasingly segmented by ideologies, tastes and lifestyles. Thus it is evident that Mass media plays very vital role to transform the whole would in to a global family.