Media in the Global World.
CCMS714/ CCMS 814
The Media in the Global World provides an intriguing insight into the current status of communication. Positive and negative attributes of globalisation are presented in class and provide students with the opportunity to construct their own interpretations of the phenomenon. Students are encouraged to position themselves in the global landscape of communications and discuss how this affects them as both individuals and as part of a larger community. Issues such as the digital divide, media diversity and the role of globalisation in the media are explored.
Media in the Global World explores the fascinating movement of information and communication across the globe. ‘Globalisation’ here refers to technical, economic, cultural and political changes being experienced across the world. This course examines all four aspects, providing a holistic overview of the most important developments in the communication landscape of the twenty-first century. This is an excellent course for those graduate candidates who enjoyed the Political Economy Course at the undergraduate level.
The media and information and communication technologies (ICTs) are deeply implicated in the process of globalisation, both as agents of changes, and as the result of those changes. Massive and rapidly developing research in these areas alters the balance of power on a macro-scale, and the way we live our lives and interact with our fellow human beings on the micro-scale. Advances in communication technology have led to the erosion of local boundaries and made for interconnection on a world scale, resulting in what Manuel Castells has referred to as the ‘networked society’. The Internet, which allows for transnational and borderless distribution infrastructure for media, is part of this, but there are other enormously important elements as well – the interchange of satellite transmissions and the backbone of fibre optic networks form the ‘hardware’ of this revolution; while the equally complex exchanges (and blockages) of world news, information and entertainment programming are the ‘software’.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a two-part global meeting held in the Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005), provided the most comprehensive and up-to-date mapping of the world’s communication achievements, potentials and short comings. In the post-WSIS period, research is focused not only on bridging the ‘digital divide’ between rich and poor nations, but on assessing the impact of all forms of media and ICTs on states, inter-state protocols and the everyday lives of real people.
The course will follow the debates of the international SAGE Journal: Global Media and Communication. The course leader is part of the International Advisory Board of this journal.
As a contribution to an on-going research initiative, students will be encouraged to consider writing up a ‘mediagraphy’. In this project, candidates will document an aspect of the changing communications environment experienced by their families over three generations, thus exploring the ways in which the relationship between media and globalisation work in practice and experience.
There are six themes in the course.
- What is globalisation?
- The role of media in globalisation
- The ‘digital divide’ and national ‘infostates’
- Diversity: language, culture and local knowledge
- From the ‘Information Society’ to the ‘Knowledge Society’
- The World Summit on the Information Society – from Access to Participation
- Research opportunities – writing a mediagraphy
The course will be assessed through two projects: one covering the literature and secondary sources (40%), and one as a mini-project covering a pertinent aspect of media and globalisation (60%). Both assessment projects will be forwarded to an external examiner for moderation.
The methodology of the course will utilize student presentations alternating with formal presentations by the course leader. A Chatroom facility will be established on the Innerweb for class use. Participants will be encouraged to share resources, experiences and insights. The Course Reader is supplemented with a CD of opensource material.
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