This study examines the view of the world as presented by national television broadcasters in 10 Asian countries through content analysis of their daily primetime news bulletins. In trying to understand how this view of the world is created and presented to viewers, it examines the factors that affect television news such as the global news culture, universal news values, Asian values in journalism, the international news flow and the globalization of television news. As a follow-up to a similar study on the Eurovision news exchange by Cohen, Levy, Roeh and Gurevitch in 1995, it updates on the role of regional news exchanges by studying the operations of the Asiavision news exchange. The major findings are briefly summarized below:
Television news in Asia has been globalized, thanks to satellite television transmission. Technically, everyone can have a shared mediated experience of what’s happening in the world but in reality, the view of the world is quite fragmented. The news focus is ethnocentric, and the “unified” view of the world only happens sporadically when big international news shakes the world.
The international news flow is not as imbalanced as reported in the 1960s. Although international news still tends to focus on the rich and powerful nations, there is overall more news about Asia than about Western countries. But this does not translate into more positive coverage of Asia.
Evidence supporting the notion of a global news culture was found. Asian and European journalists alike tend to emphasize domestic news and focus on hard news such as law and order, international relations and politics, and internal politics. They share certain professional journalism norms that put them on guard against propagandist stories and rarely “localize” foreign news. The stories displayed the traditional news values, especially timeliness and proximity.
The global news culture and universal news values give news a somewhat consistent look throughout the world. But this does not result in a unified view of the world as different broadcasters have different news emphases and apply the same news values differently. Different news values sometimes reinforce or cancel each other out. This study found that Asiavision had limited influence in Asia. This could be attributed to the difficulties in meeting the diverse needs of broadcasters, existing bilateral exchanges between broadcasters, a lack of timeliness and visual quality for Asiavision materials, varying standards of journalism of its members and strong competition from international news agencies.
|Keywords:||Broadcasting, Television News, Asia, Globalization|
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Associate Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore
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