Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Assignment 2 – You can also write about corporate control over media

November 3rd, 2010 · No Comments
Assignments · Media & Sovereignty Report - Assignment # 2

Please see below (in italics) additional options for Assignment # 2.  Again, this assignment is essentially about efforts by competing actors to influence and control media within designated territories.  To simplify, these groups are a) citizens b) states and c) corporations/TNCs.  You may write about any kind of media or information technology (TV, the internet, news, entertainment, even “infotainment,” etc.) (The revised assignment instructions also posted on Assignments page)

Every new medium, every new type of information technology causes responses by those who feel threatened.  Print, when it emerged 500 years ago, caused power holders to fear a loss of control and radio, when it began spreading information across territorial borders, was seen as threat to national sovereignty, just like the internet today.  The relationship between media and borders is always in transition.  New “technologies of freedom” may overcome old media monopolies, facilitating dissent and resistance to state repression and corporate domination.  At the same time, states may use new information technologies to increase their control over citizens and to promote “national interest,” however governments define it, while transnational corporations (TNCs) attempt to protect current media monopolies (“cartel[s] of imagery and identity,” in Price’s terms, p. 308).

Read Ch. 36, “Media and Sovereignty: The Global Information Revolution and its Challenge to State Power” by Monroe Price.  Then pick a case from the news that deals with the relationship between media and sovereignty (i.e., authority over a territory).  It may demonstrate how a) non-state actors challenge state sovereignty with “technologies of freedom” b) how states use technology to maintain or expand their sovereignty and control over citizens, or c) how powerful corporate (non-state) actors challenge both citizens and states and attempt to maintain or strengthen their media monopolies/cartels. Apply insights from Ch. 36 to your case.  Write up a brief (2-3 paragraph) report on the case and post it to your blog by November 9th.

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