Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Control Over Media in Cuba: assignment 2

November 6th, 2010 · 7 Comments
Assignments · Media & Sovereignty Report - Assignment # 2

I think every society, whether communist, democratic, has a fear of rivalry from its citizens. Even though it is much less likely to occur in the US due to our “democratic” state, some of us do feel there is a sense of corruption going on around us. From globalization, a lot of new innovations are coming about, such as new media/technology. Due to globalization, media can now be reported across seas, and then delivered at the same time to us here in America. In a way it is positive because we are able to see what is going on anywhere across the world, but for some places, the spread of media has actually led to having more control from the government.
For instance, Cuba. There are many educational shows, all with a patriotic tendency. There are many Cuban soap operas, but you can tell they are very controlled by the government, as they all send subliminal messages for the youth of Cuba. You can tell that a lot of information is censored or even modified. It is illegal for Cubans to have computers or internet access in their homes unless for work authorized by the government. One Cuban even stated “We are living in a bubble. Most people know it, but can’t do anything about it.”
In Cuba, because of the history of tensions with the U.S., any form of dissent, including opposition publications are immediately accused of being U.S. conspiracies against the Cuban government. The US tries to set up radio stations in Florida Keys to stream to Cubans, but it is illegal and very hard to do.
Anti-government propaganda and the insulting of officials leads to up to three years in prison. Private ownership of electronic media is prohibited by the constitution, and foreign news agencies must hire local journalists only through government offices.
I can not imagine living in a world where my media is completley controlled by the government and I am being treated like a robot. Nothing is streamed/limited for our view. We can read online conspiracies about our own country. Many people say our government is corrupt, which I agree to an extent, but I think if it was truly corrupt then it would try to censor and hide every website that defies them.
In conclusion, media has transformed due to globalization, and some places benefit from it and, and other places try to limit the media that their citizens will see.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1    graziella // Nov 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Interesting work Amy. I must agree with you that I can’t imagine living in a world where media is completely controlled. We have it made so well here in the United States that I have been completely blinded to believe that such things actually exist in this world. Its sad how we take advantage of such things. I did a little research and found A recent study by Freedom House and they analyzed 15 governments around the world that control, monitor and censor the use of Internet and media technologies by their people, and assigned them a score from 0 (most free) to 100 (least free). Cuba, with a score of 90 was the least free, with China and Tunisia following with scores of 78 and Iran with 74. The report said:

    “Despite the slight loosening of restrictions on the sale of computer and mobile-phone equipment in 2008, Cuba remains one of the world’s most repressive environments for the internet and information and communication technologies (ICTs). There is almost no access to internet applications other than e-mail, and surveillance is extensive.”

  • 2    amy72089 // Nov 6, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    It is very sad to see that.. i know this stuff goes on, but at the same time its so hard to put it into perspective since we are so lucky to be living where we do.

  • 3    lvydmantaite // Nov 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    The situation is Cuba is definitely interesting but it is just what happens in a communist nations. The government has the right to prohibit what they don’t want people to see just like in China certain media is banned from the eyes of the public. Of course, each of these countries decide how much they want to prohibit. Like Cuba to the extent that people are not able to have their own compute and China to a smaller extent where only certain websites are not allowed to be viewed by the people.

    In conclusion, like you said people have limited freedom of access to the media. However, I will disagree that that only happens in countries like China and Cuba, even “Democratic” countries control the flow of what media hits U.S. Of course, we definitely get more information when compared to Cuba and China who have to fallow the governments orders but here in U.S. the government also has ability to control the things we see. For example when one of the bombings in Afghanistan happened where U.S. was at fault, it did not make the new in U.S. because U.S. was at fault and of course they did not want to portay a bad image of themselves to their own people while in Europe, the bobming was all over the news. Also, movie industry, how come we only have American movies when India is known to be the largest movies production industry? Whoever, how many movies do we see from India??? These movies from India are not shown in the U.S. because it would kill the whole production of Hollywood. So in reality, all governments have some control of the media just because we are allowed to see more doesn’t mean we see it all.

  • 4    amy72089 // Nov 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    i totally agree with you, our government wants to be seen in a positive light and anything that will show otherwise is prohibited from us

  • 5    jonathan kurzman // Nov 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    one of the main hallmarks of communist countries is fear. they fear what they see as an inevitable revolution so in order to curb their fears they limit the extent to which their populations can educate themselves so as to limit free thought which in their minds will bring down their governments.

  • 6    antm // Nov 7, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    If our government stopped every conspiracy theory out there about them, it would just show that they are guilty. No one likes getting rumors spread about them, but there is just so many, that I bet only a few of them might be true. We will never know for sure, and it is sad that we have to live oblivious to what the government is really doing behind our backs.

    I think because of the media and advances in technology, any person that knows how to use a computer and has an imagination could make any conspiracy look believable. As we have seen in the past, many countries are jealous of the U.S. and dislike us. I think it would be optimal for them to make lies about us and put it on the internet for us to read. One thing is, none of them ever come up with actual concrete evidence that makes our government 100% guilty. Until then lets just hope our government is doing the right thing.

  • 7    Prof. Hala // Nov 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Nice post, Amy, and great thread (thanks for those useful Freedom House stats, Graziella! In fact, now that I think of it, that would make a good subject for a class presentation.).

    The cases of communist regimes people have pointed to demonstrate how — even in the context of globalization — some states still exercise great control over the media landscape. As Jonathan points out, in such cases governments often pressure media to create “fear” when it’s politically feasible. The media landscape in the US is very different from Cuba’s. But there are critics who emphasize limitations on media freedom and transparency, pointing to improper government influence and the excessive “corporate” (TNC) influence.

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