What is creative Vs. What is copyright

The concept of globalization evokes not only the diasporic movement of culture and people, but also the convergence of them. These days, what was once taken for granted as being local has the ability now to be recognized as global icon- heavily through the media. Diaspora can be defined as either the physical flow or cultural flow of people among nations, where different ways and views of life are exposed to what is considered traditional behavior. This is where local identities are made global ones.

Various facets such as music, fashion, religion, art and film are influenced by the convergence of local and global identities. But at what point is it okay to rip off other cultures to better your own?  In the defense of copyright culture, people take what is not originally there and turn into something that can be worldly known and acknowledged. The line between local and global has slowly faded in the shadows left by globalization. Should there be a certain law that copyrights certain cultural products from being parodied or remade? An example of something being remade into another cultural discourse is the award winning Japanese anime film, Ponyo, which can be interpreted as the Japanese version of Hans Christensen’s The Little Mermaid.

This is an example of converging what was once considered local and transforming into a global media facet, also could be argued that it is creative, yet susceptible to copyright issues. With some features of the fairy tale changed, (instead of a mermaid, it is a goldfish that desires to be human) director Hayao Miyazaki has paid particular attention to the importance of environmentalism, a very much global issue. Locally, Japan is renowned for their growing environmental problems and Miyazaki has taken this discourse and placed it globally- for all cultures to acknowledge and appreciated. This links to the theory given by Steven (2003) who believes ‘the dominant media have the power to set political agendas and shape the cultural landscape’. It can be also said that Miyazaki has taken a utopian idea, being the fairy tale of The Little Mermaid and transformed it a dystopian view.

Therefore, to the convergence of what is considered local and global, is simply a key player in the works of globalization, but leaves us wondering what is creative and what is copyrighted when it comes to diasporic cultures?




Steven, P 2003, ‘Political economy: the howling, brawling, global market place’, The no-nonsense guide to the global media, New Internationalist, Oxford, pp. 37–59


Al Jazeera- biased or martyrs for Middle Eastern media?

When asked the question is Al Jazeera a counter to Western media imperialism or a mirror version of Fox New style propaganda, there are many issues that are immediately raised such as what is valued as global and local, what comes down to as a choice versus culture and what type of role the media plays in controlling out day to day lives and thoughts.

In order to decipher what side of the fence you stand on when it comes to these opposing issues with Al Jazeera being viewed as a biased and opinionated broadcasting company or simply a voice for the oppressed?

El Nawawy and Iskander (2003) believe that when it comes to depicted Al Jazeera as bias ‘many Westerners have accused Al Jazeera of being biased toward the Palestinian cause’ and that Al Jazeera has a practice of describing Palestinian suicide bombers who strike in Israel as “martyrs”. With this in mind, audiences are going to view Al Jazeera as a localized broadcasting company rather than global and reflecting some kind of propaganda, advertising these events in order to gain support and recognition. But isn’t that the same way of viewing other broadcasting companies such as Fox News? Both influenced by gatekeepers and media watchdogs, Al Jazeera and Fox News ultimately reflect one another’s intentions and way of broadcasting news. Both want to be honest and balanced, but at what price?

This is where things become complicated. Both companies are striving to portray themselves as accurate representations of their nations and both are aiming at being ethically balanced and culturally aware. El Naway and Iskander (2003) state that ‘many Arab viewers who watch CNN believe that American television is biased against Arabs’ and that. A circle of arguments begin.. But if you dive in further, Fox News possess flaws in their broadcasting

With the Afghanistan and Iraq war, America’s broadcasting could be seen as objective and highly critical of countries around them, censoring what is really going on whereas Al Jazeera are depicting a true reflection of events. It all comes down to the issue of globalization. With Al Jazeera showing the devastating effects of war, Fox News are desperate to cover it up based upon commercialism and ratings. Therefore it could be argued that America, in a way, are not contributing to the process of globalization.

And the cycle of arguments circulates again…

El-Nawawy, M. 2003, ‘The battle for the Arab mind’, Al-Jazeera, the story of the network that is rattling governments and redefining modern journalism 2003, Westview Press, Boulder CO, pp. 45-69, 217-218

Big Brother- cultural experiment or social entertainment?

When asked the question- do you contribute to what is known as the public sphere? I immediately answer yes. Everyday we are exposed to what is considered to be a global village, mainly through the presence of the Internet and television. Through media flows such as posting blogs, pictures and creating opinionated Facebook statuses, we are contributing to globalization and the public sphere. Within this public sphere, citizens are able to voice opinions, share thoughts, experiences and ultimately- their culture.

A prime and modern day example of this is Big Brother- the reality series that reflects a social experiment where cultures, values and beliefs are exchanged between strangers. As much as people conform and lose a sense of individuality, everyone is different, resulting in clashes or friendships.

The nation watches on, there is a global village taking place, where citizens from different backgrounds are forced to spend day in, day out, with each other. In other words, Big Brother poses literal example of a public sphere- with the public being the housemates and the sphere being the boundaries of the house. Conversations and behaviors will result in either agreements or values and morals will clash. Big Brother creates this for television and pure entertainment. The intention behind this reality series, questions the prominence of dominant groups and whether it is exerting a hegemonic view towards the world- through the power of the media.

According to Steven (2003) ‘hegemony is achieved when the power of the dominant groups in society appears natural’. In the Big Brother house, the equivalent could be the dominant personalities over the shy and timid- a natural and common assumption. Steven (2003) also states that hegemony ‘works within everyday culture and seems to provide a frame for understanding experience’.

On the notion of online forums and blogs, at what point do we ask ourselves, are we subconsciously being watched and monitored by gatekeepers and watchdogs, therefore do we become self conscious and more aware of we say?

Reference: Steven, P 2003, ‘Political economy: the howling, brawling, global market place’, The no-nonsense guide to the global media, New Internationalist, Oxford, pp. 37–59.

The Olympics- just another global media event?

With the recent arrival of the Olympic games upon our television screens and its infiltration within our newspapers, many ignore the global significance that comes with them. An important question to ask ourselves is, is the Olympics an example of a global event? In other words, are these games built towards displaying the best athletes from around the world, bringing them together and lowering the boarders that divide them? Or is it simply a soapbox for global companies to showcase their products and first world countries rather than all?

In order to wrap your head around this thought, the concept of what is a global event needs to be explored. To myself, global events such as the Olympics, movie premiers and product launches reflect globalization with their traits- the crossing of international boarders and the convergence of nationalities and cultures. Many would argue against the idea of the Olympics being a global event. The coverage of the London 2012 Games as caused a public uproar, which Channel 9 focused mainly on events such as swimming and the many mistakes endured by our Aussie athletes. This got me thinking, is this issue ongoing in all competing countries? Therefore, the game should not be considered to be global- as televised events focus on local rather than global countries. There is also the issue of the unspoken pressure that is added upon well-known athletes and first world countries to perform well.

The power of the media is also highly influential in the process of global events, as Stevens (2003) states ‘ the media companies play important economic and symbolic roles in most modern states’. In terms of global events and in particular, the Olympics media companies such as McDonalds and Coca Cola depend heavily on branding and sponsorship throughout the duration. This raises the question of, is the Olympics all for good sportsmanship and the showing of elite athletes compete or a business opportunity for first world countries?

Resource: Steven P, 2003, The no nonsense guide to the global media, New Internationalist, Oxford, pp 37-59.