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The Manipulation of Free Thought by Global Actors

Hausarbeit 2003 15 Seiten

BWL - Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Global Domination of Western Values
2.1. Main Drivers of Globalisation: Technology and Economy
2.2. The Rise of New Global Forces
2.3. The Imbalance of Global Power

3. The Flow of News around the World
3.1. The Media Agents: News Gathering and Editing
3.1.1. The Design and Formation of News
3.1.2. Cultural Relativistic News Gathering: Correspondents
3.1.3. News Credibility Supporting Instruments
3.2. The Media Industry: News Dissemination
3.3. The Media Society: Informational and Educational News
3.4. The Media and the Individual
3.4.1. Cultural Relativism in the Media
3.4.2. Ethnocentrism in a Global World beyond Personal Experience
3.4.3. The Mechanisms of Cognitive Processing

4. The Interrelation of Politics and Mass Media
4.1. The Equilibrium Model & Its Meaning for Conflict Situations
4.2. The Mutual Influence of Politics and the Media

5. Conclusion


1. Introduction

One of the most stated issues in news headlines in recent months was the offence of the United States of America against Iraq. People all over the world followed the history of mistrust and suspiciousness against the Arabic nation by member states of the United Nations' Security Council on television. No accusation has been proven by the United States down to the present day. But how comes that the larger part of the world stepped onto the side of the United States and supported war without a clear reason?

This term paper is concerned with the effects of globalization on democratic values, the interrelation of politics and mass media, and the consequences on media's function as independent arbitrator and on any individual's freedom of thought.

The aim of my term paper is to analyze the mechanisms in force which lead to ready-made judgements for the majority of the population in Western societies. To proof my thesis I will carry out herein that the opinion of the world population is being manipulated backdoor by the foreign policy makers of the United States for the compliance with their values.

Hence I provide the reader with an overview of the drivers of globalization and the subsequent development of international forces out of reach of democratic decision at the grass-roots level. The supremacy of Western oriented values within these global powers is highlighted. Then the news flow throughtout the world is discussed in detail and the roles of the media for society and its influence on the individual are presented. Human behaviour is evaluated in sociological terms. To conclude my term paper the relation between politics and media in conflict reporting is considered under a twofold model of secrecy versus domestic support.

2. The Global Domination of Western Values

In the past twenty-five years increasingly miniaturized equipment at more favourable prices for recording, editing and distribution equipment evolved from technological progress. The cheaper and faster access to high-technology is one cause for the revolution of all kinds of media: newspapers, magazines, television and radio. This together with governmentally initiated deregulation of the formerly state-owned broadcasting stations supported the growth of the media into a global mass phenomenon. (O'Heffernan 1991:2-4)

The following subchapters highlight the interrelation of technological and economic advance with the rise of new global forces and the loss of power of nation-states. This will uncover that globalization also feeds Western domination in international organizations.

2.1. Main Drivers of Globalisation: Technology and Economy

The technological development was accompanied by commercialization, liberalization, privatization and consequently internationalization of the national media markets triggered by nations' governments (Rideout and Mosco 1997:92-98).

Economists believe that the free-market regulates itself through demand and supply, and therefore develops for the sake of consumers. And this is what the unregulated national media markets did with great emphasize and success. Unfortunately the side-effects of competition on international markets and the dependence on profitable customers led the media institutions to adapt to four successive and interdependent situations.

In the course of commercialization the media's attention turned from formerly governmentally enforced broader public interest demands towards the demands of the majority of customers. Hence the interests of minorities were increasingly disregarded. By following profitable majority's notions media's revenues increased; liberalization of the media market followed. This led to the expanding of services while reducing prices for customers and created innovative competition for products and services. A secondary effect to this was the media's needs of growing in means of company size and across national boundaries. So privatization came onto the governments' agendas for deregulation of the public broadcasters: state-owned radio and television stations were sold to private investors as a further step towards free-markets. Of course, international businesses were also interested into domestic media markets and bought shares of media cooperations. Rideout and Mosco argue that this kind of internationalization was enforced by globally acting governmental organizations for the sake of a complete free market economy. (Rideout and Mosco 1997:92-98)

2.2. The Rise of New Global Forces

The development of new global forces as well as the loss of sovereignty of nation-states is interdependent. A government which is not involved in international agreements misses the opportunity to keep playing in the global league.

Rideout and Mosco (1997:87-88) compare those developments in the United States with class power theory. According to instrumental research the aggregation of different media sectors and the centralization of globally working media companies in the United States are the result of the above mentioned market developments. These acquisitions and mergers led to a domination of large media enterprises. The background of these processes becomes lucid when looking at structural research. The state within free market societies is defined as the purveyor of power for the prevailing elite. It patronizes business-colored interests and keeps the contemporary class system going. The United States government appreciated and promoted these processes of internationalization for the advantage of exporting the cultural values of the United States throughout the world. (Rideout and Mosco 1997:87-88)

This cultural export is a consequence of the decrease in the domination and control upon national markets and policy as well as the economic power that the United States held on national markets. If the United States had not participated in the major global non-state organizations they would not have gained such a great influence and control over those market dimensions. (Rideout and Mosco 1997:97)

The involvement of the United States into global organizations might have one positive effect: the world's and the United States' agenda have intertwined so that these days the United States have to manage a list of multilateral, environmental, health-related, and conflictual topics (O'Heffernan 1991:5) in international cooperation besides domestic issues.

2.3. The Imbalance of Global Power

The globalization process raised critical voices against the aggregation of unbalanced allocation of economic power between developed and developing countries (Hester 1991:49).

The vast imbalance of global power allocation was and enduringly is manifested in the quotas of international organizations, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and others. Within the International Monetary Fund the United States currently account for seventeen percent of the votes. France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom are represented with consolidated twenty-two percent. About ninety percent of the member states have quotas far less then one percent. The cumulative quota for these "Top Five of Global Nations" is almost fourty percent among 184 nations due to their economic power. The electoral picture in the World Bank's body of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development looks quite similar. Thus those nations obtain great influence on the policies discussed in the bodies of the global players. (IMF 2003; cf. World Bank 2003)

Rideout and Mosco (1997:97-99; cf. Castells 1997:307-308) point to the challenge of globalization on democratic values. The global organizations set the agenda for the future of developed and developing nations although they have never been entitled to do so or elected by the citizens of the nations affected.

This can be underlined with the figures documented in the International Data Base (US Bureau of the Census 1998) available on the internet. The ratio of the total midyear world population projected to 2003 for the Third world countries versus the Western countries is expected to be 5.1 billion to 1.2 billion people. Putting the Western quotas from the international organizations in relation to the global population draws a clear picture: about thirty-two percent of the world population decide over the fortune of all people on earth.



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
582 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg
Manipulation Free Thought Global Actors Grundkonzepte Kommunikationsprozessen




Titel: The Manipulation of Free Thought by Global Actors