The belly of the beast!

So next week I venture into the belly of the beast.   I will be in the Time Warner Center in NYC next Monday to view a taping of Anderson Cooper’s new talk show.   I applied for the tickets on a whim and what do you know I got them!  Yes it will be cool to see a famous journalist/celebrity up close, but as someone really interested in media and communications, it will also be interesting to see how a TV show is produced.  I hear the studios are always smaller than they look on TV and I’ve been warned to bring  a sweater in case it gets chilly (something about moderating the temperature to ensure the cameras properly function…who knew?)

Anyway, that’s just a brief aside that neatly dovetails with our discussion about the global media system and media ownership this week!  Coincidentally, I will be going the offices of one of world’s largest media conglomerations.  Again, as some interested in media and communications, I have long been interested in the prospect of working at a place like TimeWarner.  I work at small non-profit now, so the idea of working for a large corporation with offices all over the world is appealing to me.  Funnily enough, the very things that I consider to potential benefits of working at TimeWarner are seen as nefarious symbols of too much ownership concentrated among too few.  Robert McChesney really sounded the alarm about media ownership in his piece and I do see his point.  In order to have a rich and dynamic public sphere, many voices have to be included and one should be vigilant that a corporations like TimeWarner doesn’t use its power to crowd others out.

As a various consumer of media, I think it’s a privilege to live in the U.S. and feel like I have access to whatever kind of information I want, even if I have to spend a little more time to find it.  Perhaps I would feel differently if I lived in another part of the world.   The Thussu reading discusses how non-Western countries are concerned about media flows somehow interfering with their social/political affairs.  If we want to get metaphorical, I suppose the U.S. and it’s media consumers are on high ground where they have the vantage point to survey other media flows?

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One Comment to “The belly of the beast!”

  1. Yes, it is a privilege to live in the US. I agree with you about this. But, I am not sure about having access to whatever information I want? Sure, we can type in any information in Google.com and expect to get results we need. But what about advertisements? Or maybe some television shows that “blur” nudity? What I mean by that is when I went to France, I was so shocked to see a naked woman on a billabong where the world can see. Her breasts were not covered. The advertisement was about a lotion and having smooth skin if you apply it to your skin aka BareNaked lotion. So, I guess they literally showed a bare naked woman. But, the US would NEVER allow this. Would you call this “access to whatever information” you wanted? I do not mean I would want to see naked people posted around, but I think people should have the right to advertise nude people for a certain purpose without hesitancy. The developing countries usually do not show women portraying nude or even in a tank top and a short skirt usually because of their religious beliefs. But, my question raises with Europe and US. I feel that Europe has more access than we do. I know some countries do not censor anything. How would you be able to explain this- our censorship here? Would you agree or?

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