Week 12: Explore Media’s Role in Global Development


These are the issues I found interesting for further discussions in this week’s readings:

1. I found the report on China’s activity in the African sector particularly interesting, since I was not aware of this collaboration before. The Chinese model of intervention in completely different from the Western one and seems to benefit both sides greatly. As presented, this model fosters state-owned media outlets as opposed to the traditional Western model of empowering the civil society. Western-type media is being criticised a lot these days for being too free, too subjective and loosing focus. Chinese media on the other hand is criticised for being completely state controlled and closed. I wonder whether the African model that seems to tai best of both worlds and to create its own system will prove to be the best model and whether in a more far future we could expect African media outlets to train the Western ones.

2. The ‘information-Dramatisation” article was all surprising for me. As consumers of Western, mainly American TV content we are used to the idea of TV having mainly bad influences and promoting violence, intolerance and several unhealthy habits. Using this content to promote habits for more life quality is indeed an amazing idea. But it seems that Western media producers and consumers have gone too far say from this idea. Can this be changed? Can the healthy, the peaceful, etc. become popular? It’s hard to imagine Breaking Bad” or “Modern Family” promoting HRMs or other messages for social change. But can the government/ supra-national organisations/ civil society force this agenda on the media outlets? Do they have the right to? (Freedom collides here with promoting common wealth).

3. The concept of Entertainment Education in Waisboard’s article (p. 12-13) is directly connected to what has been applied in the East Asian countries regarding the HRMs. It made me analyse the original ideas in the Disney cartoons and older kids TV shows in general. If we look at the classic Disney movies such as Cinderella or Mary Poppins (which of course based on existing stories), we can find a lot of educational values there. However examining recent Disney productions, the educational aspect is clearly less evident. What were the causes for that? Can it be changed? What would make educational entertainment profitable and attractive enough to be on the market again? I would say that it’s connected to the general need to reform educational systems in the West.


Alona Volinsky.


One thought on “Week 12: Explore Media’s Role in Global Development

  1. Alona,
    Good point on the direction of development of African media model. It may evolve as reflections of Western and Eastern models and African culture as well. Just as the reading argues, music plays a prominent role in African media.

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