I have to be honest when I say that I never understood much about international or global communications. Comm638 was a huge eye opener for me as I learned about communication on a global scale. Current global communication politics is dominated by a set of eight essential issues: access, knowledge, global advertising, privacy, intellectual property rights, trade in culture, concentration, and the commons. The governing of these issues is complicated because the agendas in the world community are strongly divided and conflicting, and individual countries define these issues in very different ways.
I also learned that Americanization and Commercialization permeate a large portion of global communication, as America is a juggernaut of advanced technology, structures, and practices. Americanization is defined as the United State’s cultural power to influence media systems around the world. We see evidence of this in the spread of the technologies, i.e., printing press and typeface, and procedures. We also see evidence of journalism education and communication research practices, and the practice of liberal media principles being spread along with the technology, i.e. freedom of the press, impartiality in reporting, and independence from government, religious, and political parties. Americanization continues today with the help of ever expanding communication technology, as this technology serves to influence the structures, practices, and values of adapting countries. It also directly affects global advertising and being able to spread more technology and products around the world, as well as the trade in culture.
Commercialization is defined as the transition from public broadcasting to private, often advertisement-based, programs that offered audiences more choices on what they wanted to watch or consume. Commercialization was brought about by various changes, such as the development of competing forms of broadcasting, which also directly impacted the concentration of businesses involved in the global market of communications. Although a variety of network programming is offered, a large portion of these networks are owned by parent companies, such as Time-Warner or Disney, which control a large percentage of the television programs offered in the United States and are exported to peripheral countries.
During this class, I worked with a some of my class mates on a group paper regarding CNN’s framing of the 2014 Israeli-Gaza conflict.
Here is a brief snippet of that work:
Transnational Media Corporations’ (TNMC) coverage of international news and international affairs is often reported through a particularistic lens. The reporting of intercultural conflicts and crises through international networks like CNN, are shaped by the selection of pressing topics, facts, and often times promote disputations rather than consensus, which often result in frames that contain an inherent tendency to serve purely latent political, economic, cultural, and organizational interests. Further, the biased presentations of international news from US-led TNMCs are partisan and emphatic to western values. This, however, greatly influences media consumers’ perception of the real conflict or crises at hand. Instead of representing global or, at least, a balanced perspective that serves the global public properly, the message represented in Western based multinational news media outlets, which dominate the international news flow, have a polarizing effect on the domestic and international community and subsequently there is a demand for responsible, balanced and objective reporting such as in the case of Time Warner Inc.’s international news channel CNN.
The global commercial media system is dominated by a small number of immense conglomerates that are mostly based in the United States. The second largest of these conglomerates is Time Warner, Inc. Since the 1990 merger of Warner Communications Inc. and Time Inc., Time Warner Inc. has become one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. As “a global leader in media and entertainment, with businesses in film, TV and digital entertainment” (“About Us”, 2014), Time Warner Inc.’s assets and subsidiaries include: HBO, TBS, TNT, TCM, Warner Bros. Studios, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim and DC Comics (“Time Warner”, 2014). Additionally, Time Warner Inc. previously owned AOL, Time Warner Cable, and Warner Music Group, but has spun them off into independent companies, and as of this year, Time Inc. spun off to an independent company as well (“Time Warner”, 2014). Currently, Time Warner’s mandate is to expand its global reach and flexibility in today’s media environment through their “‘Content Everywhere’ initiative, giving consumers access to various content across multiple platforms and devices and on demand” (“About Us”, 2014). In the process, Time Warner continues to be a leading force in media and a dominator in the global media landscape.
Additionally, with the globalization of Western media and culture, we cannot overlook the fact that global media is used primarily, though not exclusively, for transmitting information to influence behavior of local and foreign communities. While Time Warner’s holdings are numerous in the areas of entertainment products and services, their ownership of high power international network and web news outlets CNN and CNN International, it is safe to wonder if western values, culture and interest bias is at the forefront of their information news reporting products and services and influence on domestic and foreign consumers. Thus, Time Warner Inc. presents an opportunity to examine its unique global media properties’ international news flows influences on domestic and foreign consumers’ emotions, opinions, and attitudes toward a news report.
This paper examines the relationship between media framing and media bias and investigate the claim that CNN and CNN International reports news from a pro-American perspective by conducting a content analysis of CNN’s reporting of the 2014 “Israel-Gaza conflict”.
According to Time Warner Inc.’s corporate website,
CNN, is the original 24-hour news network, delivers the most comprehensive, nonpartisan, and breaking news and analysis to global audiences across all platforms, as well as special programming, documentaries and original series. Signature programs include Anderson Cooper 360, Erin Burnett: Outfront Death Row Stories, Chicagoland and the Emmy® Award winning Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. (“About”, 2014)
International news networks, like CNN, have an incredible power in shaping political discourse. Media bias is present when the information is reported with strongly shaped opinions to sway audiences to one side opposed to the other. It is imperative that news media to be fair and accurate. Like most US-led TNMCs, CNN tend to operate according to the organizational culture set in place by leadership and relay messages that are in line with the beliefs and values of the controlling parties, it is feasible that CNN and CNN International news and web outlets present dominant beliefs and values of the organization to audiences.