The West…and the rest

The increasing domination of ‘Western’ news coverage is almost comparable to looking at media capitals or a one sided view of where hip hop originated. With such a panned out view of looking at particular news issues, and focusing on only the issues that are immediately relevant to the Western state it’s easy to notice loop holes in the global news broadcasting world. It seems with particular interest to such things as the birth of the Royal baby, or the death of Steve jobs, a particular flocking tends to occur, however when we hear about the food crisis in Africa, or the refugee crisis in Asia it’s in minimal coverage do we begin to notice and apply such words as ‘global bias’ or a lack of ‘global focus’. Western media coverage is very much a dominating news value within the media, however how much, or how many people are we leaving behind in the wake of this ‘westernisation’ of the media? and can we consider this ‘parachute media’ to be homogenised?


According to Peter Lee- Wright “a tendency to homogeneity has emerged” (p. 11)and leads to a disconnect between… what is considered ‘important news’. With regards to the War in Iraq, “American audiences are traditionally uninterested in and poorly informed on foreign affairs, unless they involve US troops” (Lee-Wright, P, p.6) this being said, it seems unless the Western state, (Australia, America, New Zealand, England, etc are specifically and directly involved in a crisis, the news won’t provide much, if any coverage of the event.


Hollywood vs. Asia, where does Australia fit in?

With the impending hybridity of media forms and capitals, a prediction by David Schaefer and Kavita Karan suggests “India and China will wrestle control of global film flows from Western dominance” (p. 309) within transnational cinema despite “the blurring of boundaries between…national and global culture” (Schaefer, Karan, 2006, p. 309). With India, Japan and China ranking within the top 5 countries accounting for film production, its no wonder there is a subtle ‘swap and trade’ deal between Hollywood and the Asian film industry. Although it’s obvious Asian cinema trade is quite influential within media capitals, it seems all major films continue to form around Hollywood, each sporting a various media similarities. According to Bose, “Indian films stood the best chance of challenging Hollywood’s hegemony in the movie making world” (Schaefer, Karan, 2006, p. 310).

Regardless of various “Bollywoodisms” (Schaefer, Karan, 2006, p. 312) emerging within Western media, such as those included in the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge, where the culture of Bollywood dancing has crossed over into the Australian/American film industry. Although this “give/take relationship” between various “cinematic contra-flows” (Schaefer, Karan, 2006, p. 314) and media capitals highlights just how accepting we are multiculturalism, I wonder how economically this is affecting the Australian film industry.


With stereotypes such as those highlighted in Neel Kolhatkar’s youtube clip Australian Media in 2mins, it’s no wonder Australian media production has allowed other countries to surpass it. It seems size and economic status don’t matter when it comes down to the top ten film producers around the world, with the Philippians ranking in higher than Australia.

Regardless of Prime Minister Gorton’s inspiring statement “it’s time to see our own landscapes, hear our own voices and dream our own dreams”, it seem media production in Australia still has a long way to go in order to gain it’s 1906 status as “first feature length film” once again. Perhaps hybridising the filming industry in Australia as means of not only economic increase, but also is improving/establishing our status as a media capital and promoting Australia as a cultural hub. Rather than simply importing films and embracing Americanisms/Bollywoodisms/Asianisms, perhaps future media capital and exportation status may become a possibility.