Monday, December 12, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
As Said noted, there has been a historical recognition of the West as a colonial and postcolonial power, including in academic thought. This has created an unbalanced view of Eastern thought by both West and East alike. Up until very recently, strategic thinking involved putting the Western ideals at the forefront of economics, politics, communication, science and other fields. Only with Said's insight has their been existential pondering of how this thought process affects both Western and Eastern societies.
Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking notions Said delved into was the concept of 'the other'. This is something we have touched upon in class before, as we have discussed the dynamics of how international communication applies to global governance, marketing and other relevant topics. In these cases, it can oftentimes be advantageous to conceptualize one culture/group/nation etc dominant or superior to another for purposes of enriching nationalism. Said brings up the fascinating prospect that 'the other' is an absolutely necessary concept - that one culture/group/nation etc cannot be dominant if it doesn't have a lesser, oppressed other.
This seems to make logical sense, but how does this play into international relations, especially public diplomacy? Public diplomacy, in its most glossy definition, is about forging relationships with other countries and working towards strategic partnerships. How are Western countries supposed to engage in public diplomacy with Eastern partners when they are actively immersed in scholarship that has historically framed them as inferior?
This dated approach is changing as we speak. As of late, there have been some strategic moves made by the United States regarding Asian countries and their rising power. One of the earlier markers of this movement was President Obama's decision to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference in Hawaii in November to meet with leaders in the Pacific Islands. Then, Obama ramped up efforts to secure American presence in the South China Sea by deploying Marines to Australia. This was seen as a major warning signal to China. Finally, these events have been complimented in recent weeks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's historic visit to Myanmar(Burma) in a diplomatic effort to reach out not only to the national government but to reformists as well.
These individual steps are amounting to what could be seen as a new strategy in Asia that hasn't been attempted before. For the first time, the US is recognizing Asian powers as a threat to their own space on the global stage and, after years of ignoring diplomatic efforts as a whole, are now reaching out to remain on top.
When comparing this to Said's notions on 'the other' and Orientalism vs Western thought, we could see these events in two different lights. This could be seen as the US finally nodding to Eastern countries as a competitor and casting thoughts of them as 'the other' away. However, I tend to lean on the other, more interest-based thought that the US is reaching out diplomatically in Asia in order to keep the suppression of Eastern influence going. In the macro context of Western vs Eastern thought, these "nice on the face of it" acts by the US may be well received in Western countries (and Eastern countries as well, given the previous discussion of Western concepts of Eastern permeating Eastern countries' considerations of themselves), but it is actually a strategic way of ensuring Western dominates Eastern.
Because China has yet to react to the moves the US is making, it will be interesting to see if they retaliate by flexing their own muscles against Western influences or if they quietly operate their own diplomatic strategies throughout the region.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Korea has been developed its economy for last half-centuries and Korea reached to the 12th by purchansing Power Parity (PPP) and 15th by nominal GDP in the world. Now, Korea is seeking its way to be an active actor in the global politics. Korea hosted G20 summit in 2011 and be a member of DAC in OECD in 2010. Fortunately, the Korean culture also has been welcomed to the world. Especially to those countries in Asian region.
In the middle of the Korea's public diplomacy, the Korean Foundation (http://www.kf.or.kr/eng/main/index.asp) actively held events that introduce its culture. Korea Foundation also provide a section named "Public Diplomacy." Mainly, it supports Korean research and studies overseas. For instance, KF funds to bilateral forum helding in overseas. One thing interesting here is that KF value the NGOs which actively involved in the diplomacy field. This is significant change because the Korean government has been so powerful and Korea has been top-down based operated country. To acknowledge NGOs in Korea is related to Joseph Nye's words that in transinational period, there is a borad range of alternatives such as NGOs, media, corportation, and so on. It is relatively short that Korea has been stepped into public diplomacy field comparing to China and Japan. China's Confucious Institute and Japan's Cultural diplomacy with its Manga and Animation are evaluated as good examples of public diplomacy.
The diplomacy has been extended from reaching to the leaders to reaching to the nation's public. As Joseph Nye said, role of credibility, self-criticism, and the role of civil society generating soft power as well as smart power in public diplomacy area.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Before dinner, interestingly, I watched Al Jajeera in the living area. With a little bit of shame as a student studying global communication, it was my first time to watch the Al Jajeera. When I heard about Middle East region is mostly about the regional conflicts, terrorism, sexual inequality which are related to negative news. So when I saw the Al Jajeera news first in their home, I was amazed how news quality is high with well orgnized new stories. I was, again, ashamed myself for ignorance of Middle East.
During having dinner, we talk about Middle East region and at that time, I was read articles related to the Arab Spring so, I asked many questions to him. How is Syria, is it dangerous place to leave and so on. He answers that it is not a wealth country but people there are so friendly and nice. Even though Syria is dangerous now due to civil uprising and autocrat government's violent reaction, it is where people live. Every one wants live happily. It is shame to see that Western media mainly deal a negative story about middle east. He added that is why he likes to watch the Al Jajeera.
A girl from Norway who is brave enough to plan staying a conflict zone in Middle East after finishing her master degree in AU. She has been Middle East area so many time and her plan is to be a conflict resolution negotiator as a Middle East region expert. She found out Middle East was attractive. People there are friendly and nice to her. (Even though she is from Norway, her mother is an adopted Korean to Norway so she much looks like Asian.)
Listening to their perspectives and experiences in Middle East, I realized how much my world view has focused on Western nations. Actually, I was trying to avoid the cultural bais and be a neutral to every culture but I realized that night that I am not. I would like to blame the Korean media which use the Western media sources mostly but I could not. Because it is also my responsiblity to have interested in a various perspectives in the world and seek information from a various sources which available in internet.
It was interesting US thanksgiving dinner time that allows me to review the world with more open mind.
Monday, November 21, 2011
However, there is more (to use a bit of a play on words) bad news...the over-arching theme in existing international reporting is most often framed in a negative light.
Hafez is our champion of this - our bearer of bad news, if you will. He asserts what is called the "conflict perspective" in international reporting. Essentially, Hafez utilizes the Foreign News study and MacBride Report to bring statistical validity to the notion that news coverage of international topics is overwhelmingly negative and insulates a consistent image of a "chaotic, distant foreign world".
These sentiments are echoed in the other readings as well. The Powers and El-Nawawy article highlighting the efforts of Al-Jazeera English as a uniting media force in the Middle East and elsewhere seems to also take their findings with a grain of salt. They note that although those who watch Al-Jazeera eventually gain a more well-rounded perspective and will eventually make more open-minded decisions, seeing these results happen are very far off.
A look at any news network will further support Hafez's findings. The top international stories from the BBC, CNN and GlobalPost are all about Western sanctions on Iran, the resignation of the Cabinet in Egypt and Chinese ships infiltrating the South China Sea.
These are prime examples because they demonstrate many of the notions discussed in our readings. First, they represent international topics that are all tied back to political or economic interests of superpowers, which gives these topics precedent over other, perhaps softer news topics around the world. Second, this supports the former notions of Steven Livingston, who surmised that post-Cold War world would emerge as a "clash of civilizations," particularly between the Western and Islamic regions. All of these stories demonstrate geo-regional powers flexing their muscles on a global scale, two of the three involving the Islamic region.
I think it is unfortunate that international reporting must be this way. I feel like there is a lot of writing out there that focuses upon culturally stimulating and very educational aspects of different countries, even those that the U.S. may be in opposition with. If journalism is really supposed to be the fourth estate and serve as an intermediary between states to communicate objectively and accurately in the best fashion possible, then there is sadly work to be done.
I would agree with the notion that there needs to be some cultural tweaking from region to region as reporting needs to adhere to the norms of certain societies, but I feel like there is a way to express opposing views without using hot-button language, sensational stories and letting only the most extreme talking heads on air. What is needed is intellectual, level-headed discourse media that examines international topics of all kinds, not just conflict, and that takes into full account the special interests of all parties involved: states, people and the media organizations themselves.
Now that's fair and balanced, isn't it?
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
The crux of transnational activism, according to Juris, is that using networks decentralizes the process, yet communicates the message over a farther distance to a greater number of people, resulting in mass worldwide protests like the one against the World Trade Organization in 1999 in Seattle and subsequent anti-corporate protests, many of which take place at the same time as major economic forums or summits to gain more attention.
Juris cites many protests in the early Millennium, but perhaps the most current and (to be honest) blatant example of a worldwide anti-corporate global justice movement would be more fitting. I wonder what that could be? Oh, that's right. That whole Occupy thing.
Occupy is everywhere nowadays, with protests in nearly all US cities and many more across the globe including Rome, Brisbane, Paris and Cape Town. It seems to follow Juris' notion of a decentralized movement, gaining steam through networks of like-minded citizens around the world working together in a horizontal and autonomous fashion where there is no clear authority figure, just a "power of the people" so to speak. For some fascinating news on how this is happening in real time, check out an article about how Occupy is starting the Free Network Foundation to provide decentralize peer-to-peer Internet for the movement.
It all sounds idyllic, right? Concerned activists around the world join forces of their own volition and create a united front against global corporate control. Well, I'm afraid the success of the Occupy movement, or of any decentralized movement, will depend upon its ability to change from a decentralized state to a more organized, identifiable state.
I'll invoke the early sociological work of Herbert Blumer, who first identified the four stages of social movements: Emergence, Coalescence, Bureaucratization and Decline. If we look at the Occupy movement, we can see that it is somewhere between Emergence and Coalescence. In Emergence, there is no defined leadership of a movement and there are no clear goals, simply a rising sense of unrest. In Coalescence the movement begins occurring on a mass scale as more realize they are unhappy. However, in this stage there are some critical transformations, such as the election or appointment of leadership throughout the movement as well as a refining of what exact goals the movement is attempting to attain and exactly what targets they should be protesting against.
These are steps the Occupy movement hasn't reached, and according to Blumer many movements do not fully complete Coalescence before they fizzle out. I can make an inference and say that if the Occupy movement does not alter its decentralized global justice popularity and turn it into something more tangible it may suffer the consequences.
I understand what Juris is saying. It is very revolutionary that ICTs allow transnational networks to form and enabled globally united groups of people. However, I think when the information and communication processes speed up, the time we expect action and progress does as well. Is it really possible in the month or so the Occupy movement has really picked up steam that they could change their tactics enough to get all of its rabble-rousers to agree on points of change as well as leaders before the media fire dies? Will the decentralized nature of the Occupy movement even be able to change, as its supporters note its network approach to be one of its best traits?
I look forward to watching further coverage to see if Occupy goes by the wayside or puts on a different hat in order to stay afloat.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Emotion vs. Facts
The Korean broadcasting news showed the video that evoke people's emotion. For instance, a Japanese that cries in the village into ruins due to the tsunami. Most of the news contents were also emotionally expressive rather than showing the facts. When an anouncer conveyed the news, the anouncer says "Tsunami completely devasted Japan" rather than "Tsunami devasted Japan." or describing the Tsunami as to "a total deadlock." Comparing to this, Japanese media showed the scene focusing the whole rather than individuals' loss. They keep transmitting the people maintaining public order even when the crisis happened. The media rarely use the extreme expression for describing the incidents. Japanese news televised how damage they got and what is the governments' response on the crisis trying to air the facts on the incident.
This differece would mainly due to the cultural differences as well as the degree of broadcasting autonomousy. While south Koreans focus more on emotions comparing to Japanese who tend to reveal their emotions. Interestingly, most Korean media has adopted to the Japanese media system for last decades. Korean newspapers even use the Japanese words like urakia and nawabari for their broadcasting terminology. However, in terms of dealing with the contents as well as broadcasting it is different as we can see the example above.
The Korean media coverage brought Koreans to donate tremendous amount of money and suppliers of emergence aid to Japan. Koreans emotionally felt pity on what happened in Japan and spontaneously started to fundraise for Japan. However, Koreans get angered when Japan brought the delicated and complex territorial conflict issue between Japan and Korea and Japan insisted that is belonged to Japan. Koreans were even get angrier because it was right after Koreans donated and fundraised for Japan and Koreans expected that Japan would be appreciated to Korean and be friendly to the terrotorial issue in the response to the Korean "hospitalities." Japan, however, regards those matters are completly different.
Engagement to Governments
How much the broadcasting companies are engaged to the government is the other aspects that result the different news between Korean and Japanese broadcasting. According to Kim Yongho who researched on the differences on Japanese and South Korean media coverage of foreign and security affairs, the autonomousy of the Japanese media is much stronger than Korean media. Kim reveals that the ratio of parliamentary members who were journalists is much greater in South Korea and this illustrates the tight relationship between government and media in Korea comparing the Japanese.
Sangeet Kumar gave a fantastic example of this in his article about Google Earth. To briefly summarize his work, he asserts that Google's international use of its Maps and Earth features have had heavy hands in international conflicts, serving as a tool of warfare in both India and Israel-Palestine. The 2008 bombings in Mumbai were strategically placed with the help of these Google tools, according to an article in The Telegraph. And we thought it was worrisome that Google may be peeping on us in the shower (although that has its fair share of concern too). This is on another level entirely.
While reading this piece I cannot help but think back to the Public Diplomacy Forum at George Washington University that our class attended. In particular, I recall hearing former Foreign Service Officers in Bahrain and Iraq speaking of media technologies and their use in these still hostile areas. These workers operated Facebook pages that became vital sources of information for locals, who could then interact with one another. However, they could not control the arguments and slurs that would eventually develop between parties and were displayed publicly for all to see. Even if the embassies did decide to exercise their power to remove certain rabble-rousers, what is to stop more from flooding in?
I think these two instances are connected in that Google and Facebook are what could be considered new, supra-national entities that sometimes can function like another form of nation-state, as Kumar notes. These technologies can pull significant and self-sustaining profits, organize a digitally connected citizenry and employ the ability to spur political debate and action...it certainly seems like a recipe for its own nation. This becomes troublesome because these "nation-states" are governed under the principles of business, not democracy or any other system we've discussed in a sixth-grade civics course. Regulation of these bodies is becoming less and less rigid, especially when governments themselves are relying upon these technologies to do international outreach and development. I can recall the conference mentioning the use of everything from iPads to mobile devices to spread diplomacy around the world.
As these technologies become the bread and butter of connecting our world, are we even going to think of regulating it?
I hate to ruminate on this positively, but I think there is something to be said when a nation-state does reaffirm its authority over some of these supra-national technologies, if anything to keep them from monopolizing. China has opted out of using Google. Yes, China is poor example because of its restrictive media policies and government authoritarianism, but regardless, it is a state exercising power over a supra-national entity, which I think is important to note. This struggle is more evident in the Kumar article. He mentions a host of countries that protested the invasion of Google's satellites and cameras into their cities. Not too long ago, Germany opted out of Google Maps for pure privacy reasons, with many other countries thinking the same way.
I think it will be interesting to see where this power struggle will head. As these technologies become more important and even alluded to as nation-states in their own right, I'd like to see how sovereign states respond. It is very much a conflict of interest because these corporations are so widely used and are quite useful, but with these high rewards come high costs. You can't censor a street map for a terrorist and un-censor it for a traveling couple. In this all-or-nothing battle, there truly is not clear winner as of yet.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
It's hard to manage all those Corey Allan Smiths running around out there in cyberspace. Creating and maintaining profiles on social or professional networks is a time consuming process, especially when you have to think about your audience, which can vary from profile to profile.
This is where our course discussion on network theory comes heavily into play. Why do we create multiple profiles of ourselves online as opposed to just one? As Manuel Castells iterated, increasingly our social livelihoods are dependent upon the connections we forge with others through networks, or an interconnected system of nodes having some form of relationship. Many of us belong to layer upon layer of networks like family, friends, work colleagues, those within our career field, age range, hobbies and interests or other defining social characteristics.
So, we need profiles to fit each one of these trajectories, right?
LinkedIn is purely about self-branding and is used as a virtual resume where any potential employer can view your career or educational background. Hence the reason career networking is so popular for this website. The whole point of LinkedIn is to connect with your colleagues so you can see who else is in your network that may be of use to you. We admire those with hundreds of LinkedIn connections because they appear to have more influence, depending upon their field. I know that I have a few people I am connected to on LinkedIn that have led me to other organizations and work contacts that I never knew would have had any relation to each other.
Facebook has less of a push to connect with others, but chooses to focus on interacting with others using their interface. Facebook is more socially acceptable, as it enables the user to integrate with photos, video, text, games and other interactive features. The networking that comes out of this is more of a way to maintain already forged relationships in a new, online environment.
Twitter seems to be the least networked, as many project their tweets into the twitter-sphere where they may just float in existence forever, but it is still a way of networking. The use of Twitter as an aggregate of information allows the user to network by searching topics that are trending or by hashtags, thereby connecting them to others within their network surrounding a particular notion. Response and feedback from others is also welcomed warmly on Twitter with the use of the @ symbol.
Google Plus is attempting to make a stab at being the champion of all of these socially-based networks. With a Google Plus account, one can manage their various network memberships and tailor their appearance to the various users that interact with their profile. In this singular profile, a user can present a potential employer with a comprehensive, professional looking type of account that does not detail their summer vacation in Europe whereas a close friend may be privy to such information and more.
What is the point of balancing all of these networks? They are all online projections of self, and, no matter if you use a social network for putting up pictures of your cat or are displaying all of your career work, you are self-branding to any others in your network that have access to you. As Castells pointed out, being at a certain level of involvement within a network enables power and influence within that network - either if you began the network or if you are a gatekeeper and are a moderator of the norms within that network, you are given authority.
To that end, perhaps that is why we seek to have many Facebook friends, link to tons of connections on LinkedIn and follow ten million others on Twitter - because quantity can sometimes translate into authoritative power and reverence from others. I would like to explore how these topics are transnational in that networks know no national boundaries, especially when they form in an online environment, but would welcome any practical examples as well.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011
But doesn't this all boil down to people?
Deuze adds a surprisingly human aspect to what seems to be a convoluted system of marketing, economic and business-driven tactics. Deuze claims that people worldwide are utilizing the same media platforms as larger entities to engage in what is called "participatory culture". This may not be such a novel concept, given the history of communication technologies and media allowing people to bridge connections, but Deuze goes one step further to say that people are much more dynamic than these communication tools may have intended for.
There are entire cultures that sprout out of the hardwirings of the Internet or the satellite signals of digital television - groups of people dispersed all over the globe that share a commonality forged from the media platforms they use. Some of the examples we used in class were the Comic-Con conference, global viewers participating in forums like LostTalk about the television show Lost and vampire-enthusiast cultures inspired by the Twilight book series. Readers, do not dismiss these phenomena as mere affirmation that geeky people exist all over the globe. There is something to this.
Take YouTube for example. The video broadcasting website is the epitome of participatory culture because users all over the world can upload their own content, view others' content and share that content using a number of other media platforms. This is an example of a platform that supports its users being "pro-sumers" or both producers of content and consumers simultaneously. Once in a while, certain videos can become so widely shared that they are said to "go viral" and are watched all around the world within a short period of time.
This is why when my friend and current roommate created the "Taco Bell Rap" video, he gained thousands of views in just two days (hits number over 2 million now) and even has videos created in response to his own original content from all over the world. This is truly participatory culture at work, where someone in the United States can have others access his content, resonate with it and respond in the same media platform, all of this occurring just by simply producing and consuming content - no advertising necessary! My roommate was even contacted by a certain fast food corporation (that shall remain nameless) to fly to California for a string of television commercials.
That leads me to wonder how marketing will change in the next few years, considering communicating with each other via these media platforms can sometimes be just as easy or in some cases more effective than ads. How will big-time advertising, public relations and media companies tailor their content to droves of pro-sumers who are all chattering amongst themselves anyway on YouTube, Twitter and the like? I would certainly like to see.
Monday, October 24, 2011
In this regards, the cultural hybridity is significant. While some country adopt cultural differences, other countries cannot. In Ugly Betty case is interesting. In Korea, Ugly Betty was imported as an original form. It was not huge success as other American TV show such as CSI, Gossip Girl but quite well know among group of people who love to watch American TV show. When I readl Miller's article about Ugly Betty, I was surprized that the original version was from England not America. Also, I think it is a good example for localizing the contents.
For refering the localization of the media contents, Salad Ball approach is required. By adding the local culture, not assimilating attempts, the local people can accept more of global contents. This cultural hybridity also think with post-colonial approach. South Africa where experienced the colonial imperism from European countreis supporessed by super-power. After independence, South Americans think other super power is suppressing them. The represental approach for this would be 'dependent theory'. No culture is imperial to other culture and every culture has been related to each other (even though there are certain degree of differences).
Cultural Hybridity should convey this value which also related to the global citizenship. In this regards, cultural hybridity an be a useful tool for achieving a global society with diverse cultural values.
As a Korean, it is interesting and (quite happy) to see that the Korean culture is getting popular world wide. When my colleagues were came back from the conference held in Ajerbaizan, they told me that the Ajerbaizan people want to take picture with my colleagues keep saying how beautiful my colleagues are! The Korean telenovela is really popular in Ajerbaizan and they think every Koreans are pretty no matter how they really look like. My colleagues were amazed to the effect of Hallyu.
The Korean wave has been started from the Korean government's investment. Taiwan today illusted that the Korean government allocated national budget of US$805.2 to cultural and creative industry. http://www.taiwantoday.tw/ct.asp?xItem=177647&ctNode=1767 The Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) also invest the African television market in order to spread Korean soap operah. The Korean wave enables braodcasting content market has been increased 9.3 % in 2009.
The diplomat analyzed that the success in Korean cultural exports due to the ownership is not belong to Korea but to the public which is distinct from the Hollywood products. http://the-diplomat.com/new-emissary/2010/10/22/the-seeds-of-hallyu/The content is for family friendly. Family can enjoy the Korean dravelas since the contents is mainly describing the family oriented stories without violent and sexual contents.
Miller suggested there are three ways how the telenovelas are exported. Most Korean drama exported in canned telenovelas format. When I was in Philliphine, I stayed in rural area with my Philiphine host family. We were watching Korean telenovelas through TV and it was interesting and sometimes embarrased me to see dubbed Korean telenovelas. Sometiems, Korean telenovelas are produced in order to export. They were put some sins filmed in target country making telenovelas to be familiar to the target culture.
In movie industry, it is quite interesting that there are many trials to co-products the movies across the Chinese/Japanese movies and Hallywood productions. Normally, it is much collarborated in co-products between Chinese, Japanese productions comparing to US productions. I believe this is mainly due to the cultural similarities. However, it is not yet successful.With the globalization, the telenovelas are also spreading all over the world overcoming the cultural differences. The Korean wave improved itself that the Korean culture can be shared with other culture all over the world. The Korean wave is significant that this is the culture from East to the world not from the West which means that there is certain diversities arose in culture in entertainment industry.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
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These were all the rage when I was in elementary school. My friends would sit in class and worry that their Tamagotchi were going hungry. Some would even go to the bathroom just to feed their digital pets. I didn’t understand the appeal, but I begged my parents for one so I could fit in. It seems impossible to explain how these toys caught on. But the cultural odor theory might do the trick. The device was small and egg-shaped and the pets didn’t resemble any real animals. They were simple to use and understand. The digital pets also inspired a movie, an animated television series, and video games.