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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2100F/G
Jonathan Burston

Against Enclosure: Rethinking the Cultural Commons Graham Murdoch - First commons was grazing animals and firewood land was changed to become capitalist agriculture o Governments segmented off land and villagers became laborers - Sir Robert Peel said that the purpose to build a national art gallery in London was to “cement the bonds of union between the richer and poorer orders of the state so that each can take pleasure in the same great things” – produced cultural sites (museums libraries institution) open to all and paid by the public purse pg. 445- cultural commons - Raymond Williams “a common culture is one which is continuously made and redefined by the collective practice of its members, not one in which values framed by the few are taken over and passively lived by the many. I prefer the term culture in common” 445 - Telegraph began as connecting “all people everywhere” to be selective by the governments serving political and economic interests – most ordinary couldn’t afford sending messages because the prices were set too expensive - Radio allowed people to speak and listen across huge distances – government began to harness broadcasting after WW1 because they were scared that mobilization and rebellion would occur – networks were replaced by broadcasters that distributed info from a central point 449 - Mass democracy and mass consumption o Culturally equal laws: cultural recourses include citizenship, info, knowledge, representation and participation o However, citizens have transformed into shoppers and purchasable solutions to problems – products represent identities – advertising persuaded people that they are born again through blessings of consumption o Broadcasting sits in the middle of culture and consumption  US is private broadcasting, whereas British has public ideas with no commercial speech 451  Britain produced to moved toward a cultural commons - Pay per cultures o Subscription channels, commercial cable and satellite o Minorities and their attractiveness to advertisers o Public service programming ceases to be universally accessible o Programmed that fit the essential need for contemporary citizenship - Digital Dividends o Celebration of the internets solution to space, dismantling of communication hierarchies, o Broadcasting is top down and vertical, whereas internet is horizontal because everyone cam produce and consume o Pessimism: development of distant groups organized around interest (debate rival approaches)  Raises the possibility that it will encourage closed cultures instead of common ones  In democracy, reaching a consensus is impossible – meaning that all this dialogue is a waste of time 455  Corporation shave reveled the free use of cultural resources with new intellectual property rights and establishing ticket-of-entry site in the expectation that is will be a new medium for distributing goods  Advertisers have recognized it o Net is not a site that deepens conflict between opposed visions o Cooperative cultural production is displaced by pre packaged pleasures, interaction is directed towards commercial transactions - Building virtual commons o Rapid consolidation within communication systems by corporate players in the communication system, telecommunications, and cultural industries have the best advantage within emerging digital arenas o We must match corporate convergence within a commitment to build a digital commons (rich and varied cultural space) o The digital agora needs to keep that diversity, balancing deliberation against enjoyment, publically sponsored initiatives o Building blocks for cultural space are established (museums, libraries, schools, pub broadcasting orgs) – o Social groups and movements are using the net to launch debates, exchange networks, o Digital commons will require all these facets to be integrated to a new communal network (no commercial exchange) that facilitates encounter and collaboration between professional orgs and social movements, emerging and established cultures, expertise and grounded experience, and as an enlarged forum for debate over the terms on which differences will be recognized and respected and out collective future defined and organized 457  Need two things for this: universal access and provision of a readily available point of entry and navigation o Low income homes are excluded from the digital revolution – need tax support to ensure every family has access to modems o Ex BBC has already built a public website as is the most visited content site in Europe  Its needs to be fulfill digital commons expectations: provide a meeting point for top down initiatives and bottom up interventions, fomenting continual encounters and dialogues between sponsored ‘cultures in common’ and self produced ‘common cultures’ o Broadcasting is top down imitative – we must always remember this Democracy and Filtering Cass R Sunstein - internet is good development for democracy o info to a wide range of people quickly o specialized sites and blogs increases opportunity for people to read and write on a variety of topics o you can express your opinion to public or find any opinion - emerging technologies present the power of consumers to filter what they see o people are engaged in personalization, limiting exposre to other point of view that not of their choosing o make life convenient and better bc we like to read opinions that are congenial - from a democracy standpoint, filtering is a mixed blessing o people should e exposed to material theu wpuld not have been in advance o Topics that are irritating or clashing opinions, are central to democracy itself 1 - The implication is that groups of people, especially is they are like minded, will end up thinking the same thing they thought before – but in more extreme form, and sometimes in a much more extreme form o Us communication market is moving toward this utopian picture ex. Reading the same newspaper o They have limitations and biases that perform an intended function o – People who rely on intermediaries experience a range of material of chance encounters with diverse others, as well as exposure to material they did not specifically choose - A system of perfect individual control can reduce importance of public sphere and of common spaces in general – interest might change if they see something they hadn’t intended - Group polarization: involves like minded people going to extremes o After deliberation with one another, people move onto a more extreme point of view o Ex. After discussion, whites gained a more negative response to African Americans o Ex. Pro feminist women becoming more pro feminist o Customization makes this possible – websites, blogs, communications packages o Differing groups will be driven further apart o Can fuel great movements (civil rights to abolish slavery) o If great communications produce greater extremism, society may be better off – but when group discussion tends to lead people to more strongly help opinions because of social influences from limited argument pools, there is litigate reason for concern about sensible self government. - Internet holds as much promise as risk o We can use them to learn more, but they weaken the power of the general interest and increase our ability to wall ourselves off from topics and opinions we would prefer to avoid – serious dangers to democracy - If we believe that a system of free expression calls for unrestricted choice by individual consumers, we will not even understand the dangers as such - Whether such dangers materialize ultimately depends on the aspirations for freedom and democracy – in a free society, citizens aspire to a systems that provides a range of experience – with people topics, and ideas the would not have selected in advance Globalization and Global Media Corporations Terry Flew - Internet further animates globalizations through magnifying events, situations - Significance of globalization is seen in the ubiquitous presence of merchandise for football teams, endorsements, incomes that are generates by sports icons like Tiger Woods o And in the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center – second plane crashed 30 minutes after the first, maximizing the media exposure - Globalization: the expanding scale, growing magnitude, speeding up ad deepening impact of transcontinental flows and patterns of social interaction. It refers to a shift or transformation in the scale of human organization that links distant communities and expands the reach of power relations across the worlds regions and continents (67) o Process rather than an outcome o No one world government, a homogenous global culture that the tendencies towards global markets remain significantly qualified o Captures a series of interrelated trends that have emerged in the world since the late 1940’s  Internationalization of production, trade, and finance, rise of corporations, rise of ecommerce  International movements of people,  International communications flows through telecommunications, info and media technologies that facilitate transnational circulation  Global circulation of ideas, keywords, democracy, feminism  Intellectual property rights  Local resistance to globalization for domestic political and cultural objectives  Development of international organizations (ex. NAFTA & European Broadcasting UNION)  Importance of global non-profit organizations  International law  Globalization of war and conflict  Use of public relations to shape opinion at international, national, and local levels - Increasing about of economic globalization – current phase of capitalism is seen as global because: o Cross border transaction is deeper and interconnected o Resources, capabilities, goods and services are specially motivated o Multinational corps have become more central to wealth, creation, and distribution o There is a much greater volume of transactions resulting is global capital and financial markets o ICT’s and electronic communications have transformed the nature of cross border transactions - Factors promoting global capitalism o Attracting: national economies, growing markets, geographical dispersal of entrepreneurial activity o Enabling: development of networked ICT’s, lower barriers to cross border transactions, globalization of capital and financial markets, reduced cost/improved quality of transport o Threatening: intensified global competition, volatility of exchange rates and financial markets, geographically dispersal of risks, accelerating rates of technology - Media has a central place in globalization o Among globalizing corporations  (Must qualify as one through UNCTAD’s trans nationality index where they are rated based on assets, sales, and employees o Role played in developing the global communications infrastructure that facilitates global information flows and cross border commercial activity  Also through their central role in selling products and services through advertising and promotion o The principle means through which we make sense of events and distant places – the info and images that they carry are central to the development of shared systems of meaning and understanding across nations, regions, culture 72  Most concerning feature – propaganda for ones own corps interests  New missionaries of global capitalism: as media commercializes and centralizes, their self protective power increases from the command over info flows, political influence, and the availability to set the media political agenda - Critical Political Economy and Global Media o Us global capitalism has been termed the entertainment, communications, and info industries – have achieved economic predominance in political economic sphere but also in global culture – Western ideas become dominant ones as a result and the ideas and ideologies of the US exerted hegemony over the rest of the world 73 o Media ownership worldwide is subject to growing concentration, leading to a reduced competition and increasingly homogenous media content worldwide, is commonly cited.  Dominated by three or four transnational corps that have developed a very significant cultural and economics presence on nearly every continent o Three critiques of global media:  Tendency towards concerntarion of media ownership and control now operates globally  This will shift the balance of political and economic power from national to multinational corps  Globalization of media pro
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