Week 12: Exploring Media’s Role in Global Development

To start off, I think the extent of the influence of East Asian dramas in so many different realms is seriously profound. I certainly did not expect to be reading an article on dramas in a graduate school class! I guess the relevance is there somewhere. My takeaway from Khiun’s article on the link between communicating health and dramas was that even though the medium of television dramas may not be ideal, it works. This goes back to the tremendous influence of dramas in East Asian societies, whether it be on a narrative/leisurely level or on an informative level, which is what Khiun believes. I thought it was equally intriguing that from his samples, Khiun noticed the Japanese and Hong Kong versions of popular media products were more intent on delivering HRMs than those of other East Asian countries. As Alona mentioned in her blogpost for this week, Disney movies were extremely influential in the Western hemisphere, especially in molding thoughts and values. It would be interesting to compare what types of messages are executed in both regions and to see how individuals receive these messages as well.

In Waisboard’s article, he makes the assertion that back in the day, the problem of underdeveloped nations was perceived to be the access to information and thus communication could serve to be a panacea. However, I think this argument is actually multi-pronged. I don’t necessarily think that China, for example, had less access to information, at least for the most part. For them, it was always a matter of trying to filter out certain information. In more rural parts of China access to information is definitely a problem, but I find that the primary reason for China’s underdeveloped economy is the failure to recognize the existence of its dilapidated areas and actually work on them.

The China in Africa piece was really thought-provoking to me because I had no prior knowledge about this issue. Both countries can utilize media for nation building but there are definitely hurdles to overcome. With that in mind, the two countries are also significantly different, so there is no one correct method to do so. A conclusion that is offered in the article is that China and Africa should cooperate to convince global audiences to trust their own news sources rather than Western news sources which may be perpetuating disillusioned images, and while that seems viable, I’m not sure the extent of how both countries can establish a relationship where there is mutual trust and goals. With everything, politics makes things difficult and creates even more barriers.

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

  1. Jocelyn,
    A comment on the China in Africa article and the use of the word “trust”. I think the idea that the author wants to express is that China and Africa want to get their side of the story out. But as you pointed out, credibility is a hurdle all countries have to face with new media technologies.

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