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Media and Globalisation MEVIT 3220 & MEVIT4220. Globalisation and National Responses: Policy and Regulation Dumisani Moyo. Main Texts for today’s lecture. Van Binsbergen and van Dijk Tomasellis & Heuva, Horwitz: Resistance, negotiation Sonwalker: Murdochisation

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Media and Globalisation MEVIT 3220 & MEVIT4220

Globalisation and National Responses: Policy and Regulation

Dumisani Moyo


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Main Texts for today’s lecture

  • Van Binsbergen and van Dijk

  • Tomasellis & Heuva, Horwitz: Resistance, negotiation

  • Sonwalker: Murdochisation

  • Miller: Global Hollywood and division of labour


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National Responses: Policy & Regulation

  • Intro:

  • Weak states, failed states, the nation-state project?

  • Africa in the global debate

    • Relevance to global economy - Castelles

    • Source of raw materials, little processing

    • Victimhood

    • Colonisation, plunder and dispossession

    • National TV, foreign images

    • Global media situation: M-Net, CFI, BBC, VOA, etc


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Cultural imperialism debate

  • Cultural imperialism and resistance: the 60s (particularly in Latim America)

    • Expansion of American TNCs to S. America in 60s and 70s gave rise to this debate; along with American mass culture, mass products

    • Cultural imperialism debate & NWICO debates

    • Walter Rodney: How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

    • Belgian Amand Mattelart, Hebert Schiller (USA), and Canadian Dallas Smythe

    • Influenced by Gramsci, the Frankfurt School


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Critique & decline of cultural imperialism

  • Central to cultural imperialism thesis was the aspect of victimhood … Cultural domination N/S, atomised society at mercy of cultural industry

  • But by the late 70s, questions were being raised about the claimed international influence of mass culture, about passive receivers of mass mediated messages

  • Katz and Liebes (1984) Once Upon a Time in Dallas: different readings, sociao-cultural frames in decoding - diversity rather than homogeneous


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Critique and Decline: Cultural imperialism…

  • Challenge also came from ‘active audience’ theories - audience resistance

  • John Fiske (1986) - polysemic reading of texts

  • Stuart Hall (1973) - preferred meaning (Encoding and Decoding …)

  • Oppositional meanings, e.g. portrayal of women


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Critique and Decline: Cultural imperialism…

  • So, is cultual imperialism dead??

    • Not quite

    • Term expanded to mean not just American domination, but also TNCs from Europe, Asis, etc. though USA still dominant

    • Oliver Boyd Barrett’s work on news flows between North and South still influential

    • Cultural imperialism and literary theory

    • Still many forms of resistance to cultural imperialism - active and passive

    • Ngugi wa Thiong’o - there has always been resistance


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Neoliberalism and the Developing World

  • Dying down of resistance discourse (cultural imperialism and NWICO) and ascendance of neo-liberalism in the 80s

  • IMF/WB, trade regimes such as GATTs, WTO and the drive for privatisation, deregulation opening up of markets

  • Role of consultants, global civil society in spreading the new ideas

  • Reforms in telecomms


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The wider context …

The Four waves of marketisation

  • 1. Policy changes in the USA from the 1980s onwards

  • 2. Changes in other industrialised countries (Western Europe, Canada, Australia, etc). See, e.g, Humphreys, 1996; Collins and Murroni, 1996; Levy 1999 etc.

  • 3. Changes in transitional and mixed societies (see, e.g. Curran and Park, 2000; Price et al. 2002)

  • 4. Convergence, and new laws that seek to reflect these changes (Hesmondhalgh, 2002)


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African responses …

  • Van Binsbergen and van Dijk: African Agency in Appropriation of Global Culture

    • Responses of African societies to various forms of globalisation: reinterpretation of Christian faith and domestication of certain practices

    • Creative appropriation of global culture - the new ICTs and the traditional mass media

    • Reflexivity

    • Gewald and the hijacking of CNN - linked to Sonwalker’s article on Murdochization


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African responses: some cases …

  • But how did African countries respond in terms of media policies?

  • South Africa: Negotiated liberalisation (Horwitz, 2001; Heuva and Tomasellis, 2004)

  • Zambia: Reluctant liberalisation

  • Zimbabwe: Musical chairs?


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Media Policy and Regulation

Supranational Ragulatory Frameworks

  • SADC Protocol on Transport and Communications

  • TRASA Telecoms Regulators Association of Southern Africa

  • COMESA – towards harmonisation of ICT policy

  • African Charter on Broadcasting (MISA, USAID, OSISA)

  • Declaration on Human and People’s Rights


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South African response

  • Robert Horwitz’ central argument is that,

  • “Though globalisation creates pressures, opportunities, and constraints, communications reforms are shaped largely by domestic actors through domestic political institutions” (Horwitz, 2001).

  • Domestic political environment shapes media policy


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South African Response

  • Brief historical background: SA

    - First colonised by the Dutch, then the British

    - Under Apartheid grip for since the late 1940s

    - The media served white interests, and used as a tool of repression

  • Broadcasting in particular was used as a tool for divide and rule (Bantustan radio)

  • Public service broadcasting and John Reith


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South African response

  • Converging interests on the eve of independence in 1993:

    • The NP feared the prospect of having broadcasting in the hands of a black majority government in the post-independence era

    • Nelson Mandela’s ANC on the other hand feared the idea of going into elections with the SABC in the control of the NP

    • The NP therefore wanted to move with haste to privatise the SABC, which would guarantee continued white ownership


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South African Responses …

  • Broadcasting and nation-building: 11 official languages

  • Three tier broadcasting system comprising of public service, commercial and community broadcasters - all mandated with a public service role


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South Africa and the region …

  • Some recent developments:

    • SA has moved way ahead of even most European countries in terms of setting up a converged regulator (ICASA) (Collins, 2004).

    • Influence of South African model in the Southern African region


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Zambia

  • Reluctant despite donor pressure

    • Licensing Christian community broadcasters

    • Selective implementation of new laws (the ZNBC Act and the IBA Act of 2002

    • Monopoly has been broken, but state broadcaster remains dominant

    • No independent regulator appointed despite new law


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Zimbabwe

  • Change without change: playing musical chairs

    • Extreme resistance: 75% local content

    • Ban on foreign ownership in broadcasting

    • Ban on foreign reporters operating within

    • More repressive laws

    • No independent regulation

    • State monopoly broadcasting persists


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Some implications …

  • The state still matters

    • Policy still shaped at the national level despite weakness of the African state

    • Global pressure for communications reform have produced varied instead of homogeneous responses

    • The poor can creatively appropriate, negotiate and even domesticate global culture

    • African film, URTNA, SABA, Nollywood

    • Cultural imperialism?

    • Unbalanced flows sill persist …


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