Presentation - Nabil Echchaibi

Global Media Flow
and Contra-Flow
“Societies without change aren’t authentic; they’re just
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E&M Market (USD 1.3 trillion)
US$ 450 billion
US$ 523 billion
US$ 32 billion
US$ 23 billion
US$ 229 billion
Media Flows
Global Media: Dominant Flows
Transnational Media: Contra-Flows
Shilpa Shetty
Geo-Cultural: Contra-Flows
Impact of Media Flows
• Dominant flows (US mainly) continue to
shape the global media order.
• Contra-Flows are important but remain
small in comparison.
• Impact of this order is complex as
reception of these cultural products is
never uniform
Impact of Media Flows
• Some argue this is leading to a cultural
dependency of the South on the North
• This dependency amounts to cultural
• Audiences in this research on the political
economy of the global media were ignored or
assumed to be victims
• Another assumption: core-periphery focus
• Assumption: audiences cannot innovate or
improvise on the core.
• Re-appropriation/indeginization of
Western cultural products: CNBC Asia;
India; Viacom’s Showtime Arabic; MTV
Latin America; CNN En Espanol; Time
Asia; Fortune China, National
Geographic, etc.
• Is this localizing Americana promoting a
Westernized elite market and liberal
South-South Media Flows
• Aided by media technology and people
mobility (35m Chinese and 20m Indians
in diaspora);
• Emerging geo-cultural/linguistic spaces:
circulation and adaptation of media
products inside and across regions
(telenovelas in Russia, India and the
Middle East)
• Bollywood as an example of contra-flow
worth billions of dollars.
Hybridity as Hegemony?
• Imbalance between dominant and
subaltern media flows is still real
• Bollywood accounted for 0.2% of the
$200b global film industry in 2004.
• Out of the top 5 entertainment
companies, 4 are US-based: Time
Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, and
News Corp.
• Print: WSJ, Business Week, Fortune,
Reader’s Digest, Cosmo, and Na. Geo.
Time and newsweek.
Hybridity as Hegemony?
• Contra against whom exactly?
• Telesur (Al-Bolivar), Al-Jazeera, French
Int’l News Channel, etc.
• Contra doesn’t necessarily mean antihegemonic- Soft Power is still power
and glocalization processes, while
important, reinforce a dominant media
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