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Emerging world civil society structure and Conceptualizing the ‘Global’

For many, ‘global’ means big. That goes too for the global village perspective, which emphasizes the scaling dimension and equates the global with ‘bigness,’ part of a nested hierarchy of levels of analysis based on size: beyond local, regional, and national. Against this expectation that media report and reach the entire globe, little evidence exists for a world communication system with an undistorted view of the world. The global village implies global consciousness, which implies a homogeneity of world views, or at least a diverse ‘dialog of cultures.’ Again, the global media system, particularly international broadcasting, does not live up to that hope: homogenization loses out to domestication.

The global village idea even colors the interpretation of related research concepts. The ‘networked society’, for example, rather than seen as yielding different lines of cross-border articulation can be interpreted to require a giant cluster of the inter-linked world, state, and cultural entities. ‘Glocalization,’ a popular concept in this literature, can be seen not as the inevitable interplay between local and cultural forces from a distance, but as the uniform imposition of a global (village) standard across a range of local circumstances. These interpretations, however, obscure the real complexity of globalization.

Satellite news channels, as mentioned earlier, have figured prominently in the ‘media globalization’ debate. This has led to these platforms often being regarded as a ‘space apart’ in a new ‘global’ realm. The focus on ‘global’ news content—what it contains, who it reaches, and the elites who must engage with it—simply reminds us that globalized journalism is increasingly not a respecter of national boundaries and must be conceptualized accordingly.

When considering globalization and journalism, it is tempting to come up with new categories of media, practice, professionals, and content and elevate them to ‘global’ status.

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