It’s no surprise that America is a major media capital as they encounter a mass inflow of media and information that is then dispersed globally. In particular, Hollywood is a centre for the finance, production and distribution of television programs. However, there has been an emergence of new media capitals, cities such as Bombay, Cairo and Hong Kong (Curtin, 2003), causing a shift in the landscape due to tourism and global flow of technology, finance and information (Appadurai, 2010). These media capitals generate and circulate new mass culture forms and thus information becomes hybridized (Curtin, 2003).
In saying that, risks of the clash of civilisations arises. Media capitals facilitate increasing interactions between people of different cultures, and these interactions “intensify civilization consciousness and awareness of differences between commonalities within civilisations” (Huntington, 1993, p.25) These differences between cultures have occurred all throughout history, due to language, culture, tradition and religion. The notion of ‘neo-orientalism’ may be fuelling the fire in these clashes. Neo-orientalism relates to the perceptions, stereotypes and differences of the Eastern culture, in particular the Islamic world, as compared to that of Western society. “The mainstream media, though differentiated by medium, outlet, genre and subject interests, all too often produce shocking examples of xenophobic reporting and racist portrayal” (Khorana, 2010 p. 40) Thus, these perceptions and stereotypes are widely exposed, causing conflict between cultures.
However, we’re now noticing the rising economic and cultural capital of nations such as India and China “rendering the mainstream media commentary in the West” (Khorana, 2012). This diminishes the one-way communication flow from the West, and highlights the rise of India and China as new global ‘media capitals’ from which information is both originating and circulating around the world. Thus, perhaps with the new emergence of media capitals, we as a Western audience are exposed to new medias, films, music such as Cantopop and information in order to gain a larger scope of global trends and issues.
Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media capital’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 202-228
Huntington, S 1993, Clash of Civilisations, Simon and Schuster, New York
Khorana, S 2012, ‘Orientalising the emerging media Capitals: The Age On indian TV’s ‘hysteria’’, Media International Australia no.154, pp.39-49