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Media Capitals: Move Over USA.

What are our media capitals? Well, in our reading this week, Michael Curtain defines media capitals as ‘locations where complex forces and flows interact, they are neither bounded nor self-government entities’ (Curtin, 2003). Now with this definition in mind there was one country in particular which sprang to mind as being a leading country in relation to global media capitals – the United States of America. For myself, many of the television shows I enjoy are American, many of the global media entities that I know, watch or read are American and realistically this all makes sense with the worlds’  largest media cooperations being based within and around the USA. Though through more research and my growing understanding of the concept of globalisation, I now know that there are other international media capitals emerging, such as Hong Kong and India, both becoming key players in the distribution of media content worldwide.

Furthermore Curtin explains that these media capitals are ‘places where things come together and, consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible’ (Curtin, 2003). Hong Kong for example has emerged as a new media capital, with its development being heavily reliant on the migrations of cultural institutions and talents brought about by the chance, extended stays of immigrants during the 1960’s. Hollywood also maintained influence in Hong Kong media, with its movies and music sparking desires for media forms more closer to home and relevant in Hong Kong societies. Curtin further explains that ‘this rapid embrace of television was connected to the fact that it mediated complex relations between East and West, between tradition and modernity, and between immigration and indigenous population’ (Curtin, 2003). This ultimately lead to the creation of broadcast television in Hong Kong television, in which advertising began to rise as well.

Now whilst other media capitals do continue to arise, I do believe America will continue to hold majority of the power, as it has done since as early as the 1920’s. American broadcast aimed for localism, ‘where it was intended that political decisions should grow out of interpersonal deliberation among the assembled population of any given town or borough’ (Curtin, 2003). Chicago also quickly emerged  as a major contributor as a media capital with the abundance of talent, music, dramas and political affair programs.

However, in today’s society with the impact of globalisation and advancements in technologies, as well as the  growth of transitional media broadcasters, it is truly no surprise that these international cities have the opportunity to arise or grow to ultimately become media capitals.



Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol.6, no.2, pp202-228

Sukhmani Khorana, 2014, ‘Media Capitals’, lecture notes, BCM111, UOW, viewed 7th September

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