Media Globalization in New Zeland

In this essay I will critically evaluate the influence of globalisation on community development in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand. I will be discussing how globalisation of media, things such as movies, music and internet influences culture in New Zealand. Globalisation can be seen as a mass production or growth of something that is spread worldwide. Community development is the community coming together as one, being empowered to build or change their community based on equality for all.

Although this type of globalisation may promote an individualistic identity and a lifestyle of consumption I will be discussing the benefits and barriors of globalisation through media in community development.

Globalization involves the movement of people, goods, ideas and information across national boundaries. It has been defined as ‘the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa’ (Giddens ,1990).

Basically Community development is the process of helping a community strengthen itself and develop towards its full potential; it empowers people and feeds them with knowledge and skills needed to build strong resilient communities.

According to Edwards (1995), globalisation is the “compression of the world and intensification of the consciousness of the world so that people, services and goods are available to each other across the globe through a variety of means… and ways” (p. 244). Giddens (2011). One of these ways is through media.

With the trade of cultural products such as books, television shows, magazines, and the major one, internet, which means that people have information readily to go and have access to all different types of cultural media.

” The more access we have to different media in my opinion adds to your identity, your culture and maybe to an extreme takes over your culture. The only change we face today is the rising amount of discussion and interactions as a result of global media which blurs the lines between different cultures more and more.

This brings with it various interpretations about the fate of traditions and cultures. ” (Korhan, 2009). An example of this is my brother who moved here from Fiji when he was 8 years old, he followed his Indian traditions, ate and loved all their cultural food and listened to his cultural music. Now at the age of 15, he listens to mainstream music on the radio, such as American hip hop or rap, he dresses ‘gangster’ like all the other boys his age do and he refuses to do any of his normal traditions and prefers New Zealand/American food now.

This is an example of how being exposed to a more variety of global media allows changes to an identity, forgetting sometimes the community of which they grew up in and taking on a more westernised/globalised/Americanised culture. Thanks to the globalisation of media we can now get information around the world faster and internationally. We can now keep in contact with friends and relatives around the other side of the world, face to face, through video talk on such things as Skype, which is used worldwide.

We can see local and global news updating right in front of us on the internet. We can get new released music straight away, instead of waiting for the CD’s to arrive in New Zealand. Doctors can now send scans, test results and patient information over to the other side of the world in just seconds, for a second opinion on an illness. People can have up to date details on the stock market right to their cell phone across the other side of the world. These are some of the benefits of global media.

Friedman’s book underlines his belief that media has the power to cross cultural gaps, bring people closer together and generally make our lives more convenient as it never has before (Friedman, 2005). American cultural media has been widely globalised; it can promote lifestyles, consumption and identity. This can affect local communities and represents culture and acts as a form of identity. An influence of American cultural media may be how mainstream hip hop music promotes, money, drugs, alcohol and sex.

Hip hop has come out of Rap, which was first originated from oppressed black American people, as their way of expressing themselves, taking about poverty, human rights etc. Young people who listen to this music, in now days can be easily influenced, as they look up to these rappers, because they are rich and have cool videos to their songs or want to be seen as ‘tough’, so they want to buy their clothes, talk how they talk, wear what they wear just another way of globalisation.

This may affect the community in ways which, how people are acting (e. g. gang life), what current concerns they have within the community (e. g. tagging, or safety issues). Friedman acknowledges that media globalization currently does, and will continue to have a profound impact on the way people conduct their lives. While media globalization is in itself more helpful than harmful, American media corporations are setting a dangerous trend in their media “products”.

If we assume that the example that America is setting as the forerunner of media globalization will be imitated on a global scale, the consequences are beyond frightening: they will threaten democracy by silencing the voice of the people. (Mary, Hickman). Globalisation of music is huge through media; it is as simple as typing in the name of a song to listen to on the internet. The ability to now buy and download music to your computer, ipod or MP3 player at a cheaper price than a CD, or rather than listening to whatever song is on the radio, or tape recording it.

Because of this mass media boom in music however, it has caused local Music shops to close down due to lack of people buying in stores, therefore communities loosing local jobs. Buying over the internet has also stopped people interacting together at music shops and allows us to become more disconnected from world around us, as we block out people we walk past with our headphones on listening to music, which has usually been made from a different country, such as American hip hop that has been commercialised and globalised. The postmodern world is one in which the concentration of ownership of the global media and concomitant increase in the flow of media across international boarders’ have complex implications for national identities. Although this is not really new to postmodernism, it certainly is intensifies, and that flow certainly puts national cultures on the defensive, since in some cases these media are being used strategically to subvert indigenous culture.

The reason is simple: identity is power (Olson, 2002). Although there are large benefits for global media there is also the down fall of possibly slowly loosing indigenous cultures over time and creating a universal culture through global media. This may in turn neglect or change community development, which is meant to be meeting people’s needs at a local level, through interaction, so community may lose some identity.

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