“As the local goes global and the global tries to become local…” (Curtain, 2003, p 203)
Today, it is easier more than ever to tune into a television program produced on the other side of the world becoming a prime example of globalisation in action. A dynamic network of international programming at our fingertips. Along with this, arises new centres of media production and export mediating the flow of international TV into our local environments.
Media Capitals: particular cities at the centre “for the finance,production, and distribution of television programs; cities like Bombay, Cairo and Hong Kong.” (Curtain, 2003, p 203)
The stereotype of western dominance of Hollywood has been disrupted by these emerging media capitals, one of which, Hong Kong, we will look more closely at.
Since the introduction of TV in Hong Kong during the 1960s and by the 1970s 80% of the Hong Kong population owned a television. The Hong Kong television industry was and is prospering. It’s international broadcast influence dubed it the “cosmopolitan centre of East Asia” (Curtain, 2003, p 218).
Hong Kong as a media capital exemplifies the globalised media climate and how this facilitates hybridity of cultures. Take, for example, the Hong Kong and Chinese genre of Catopop. Is it East or West? Or are the lines of culture too blurred to decide?
The following is a Hong Kong TVP special on Cantopop, with similarities and differences to mainstream western music video broadcasting this genre can be recognised as internationalised and cross-cultural.
This genre of popular culture broadcast on television can be considered an Asian equivalent of MTV and the like. However, it’s formation cannot be solely be attributed to western commercial influences. As put forward by Michael Curtain (2003), Hong Kong as a media capital, “is very Chinese and remarkably Western, and yet it’s not really either, nor can we simply say that it’s both.” Therefore, the rise of new media capitals is breaking down culturally specific definitions, allowing for a hybrid and internationalised media climate.
This takes us back to the quote i began with, perhaps with the rise of these media capitals such as Hong Kong, the distinction between what is defined as LOCAL or GLOBAL media content is disappearing. Globalisation taking action again!
For further information on Hong Kong as a major media capital visit, ‘Global Media Journal – The Rise of Chinese “Media Capitals”.’
Curtain, M (2003) ‘Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows’ International Journal of Cultural Studies Vol 6: pp 203-218