Exposure to international media such as films, TV and magazines has a significant impact on local cultures. What do you think has been the impact? Do you think its advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
The emergence of international media has really changed the face of the globe. Today we don’t belong to a big planet called Earth. We are part of a small global village. Exposure to international media has had a positive as well as negative impact on local cultures. In the following paragraphs I shall discuss these impacts. Overall, the impact has been largely positive.
On the positive side, today’s communications and technologies allow a more open spread of culture around the world – people in far corners of the globe are able to be aware of and share each other’s culture. It is a view that sees global culture as generally positive – something that encourages diversity and a mixing of culture and has enabled people around the world to overcome national boundaries to embrace common causes. Thus, cultural globalisation in itself promotes diversity and a respect for other cultures.
Some people hold the view that internationalization of media can overpower national culture. However, this depends on how strong a particular national culture is. In some circumstances, of course, national culture is damaged by aggressively marketed foreign media imports. However, the theory that local cultures will be drowned out and completely disappear under a tide of global media does not appear to hold true at least in the case of India. This is partly because of the strong cultural identity of India. The cultural preferences of Indian viewers are so strong that foreign imports are put at a clear competitive disadvantage relative to the regional and national media produced. In fact, the international media companies have to tailor their output so as to fit into the local cultural setting.
Another positive effect that international media has had on India is that our media companies have improved dramatically under the stiff competition of global media and as a result they have found a place in the international market. This has put our culture on a higher pedestal than any other culture of the world.
To put it in a nutshell I pen down saying that the internationalization of media needs not necessarily undermine national culture. If the local culture is strong enough, it can withstand any foreign influence.