What is Media Imperialism?

Media imperialism is a theory stating that smaller countries are losing their identity due to the force-feeding of media from larger nations. It can be equated to small community shops closing down due to large superstores moving in, taking over and having a monopoly. As the larger media corporations begin to take over, smaller media companies are either being forced out or swallowed up.

The media coverage of the larger nations has been criticized as having blanket coverage of the world’s events. The mediacontent may be affected by the ability to control the content and amount of media coverage on a particular issue. Many think that media imperialism has led to biased information and inaccuracy within news stories.

Media imperialism is not just seen internationally. When large amounts of media output are produced by just a few, or even one company, then this too is media imperialism. Countries such as Canada and Italy are often accused of mediaimperialism. A large amount of the media output in these two countries is controlled by just one company.

The problem with just one company or owner controlling the media is that media output can be biased. The owner can decide on what information is shown, as well as what to censor. This can sometimes come down to an influence from the country’s government. Media imperialism has often been linked with a lack of freedom of information. A large number of 24-hour news channels have been found to be acting without regard to journalistic integrity. Some countries’ governments will even be dictated to by large manufacturing companies. This is because a great amount of the country’s wealth is brought in from these manufacturing companies. If there is any bad press about these companies, the company will simply move somewhere else.

Another large reason for the existence of media imperialism is due to advertising. Advertisers use media companies to promote their goods but will also lay down stipulations on the content of the media produced. The Canadian Broadcasting Company channel makes at least 25% of its income from advertising. The content of the broadcasting is down to its profits. Many programs shown in Canada are seen to not reflect the Canadian identity.

In Britain, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operates its own form of media imperialism. The BBC has an annual television license that needs to be bought before you can own a television, regardless of whether you watch the BBC or not. It is similar to going shopping and one shop saying you cannot go shopping unless you pay us a certain amount of money, even if you do not shop with us.

The BBC’s television license fee has caused much controversy over the years. If you do not pay the license, you can be fined up to 5,000 GB pounds (GBP). That is around 10,000 US dollars (USD). There are a number of channels available to watch on British television but only the BBC has the right to charge for theirs. It is not strictly thought of as media imperialism, as the content of the BBC is mainly British, even though it may not represent the multiculturalism present in Britain.

Source :http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-media-imperialism.htm

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~ by bilalbadry on April 15, 2009.

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