Media Capitals

Bombay. Cairo. Hong Kong. What do these three cities have in common? They are all examples of media capitals or, as Curtin (2003) states “emerging states of transnational cultural production”. As well as the previously mentioned media capitals, there is another which is far more recognisable: Hollywood.

So what exactly is a media capital? Well, a media capital is a locality or place where ideas become collected and therefore allow mass cultures to be distributed and demonstrated. The U.S., being a country of power, produces hundreds and thousands of film and television shows which are constantly displayed to a global audience, hence making it the biggest media capital. In fact, many television shows, developed in the U.S. are often reinterpreted in different media capitals. An example of this can be seen through the Colombian show “Metátastis” which is a remake of the U.S. television phenomenon “Breaking Bad”. The Colombian remake, however does have its differences to the original, mainly that it mixes the popularity of telenova with the thrilling storytelling nature of U.S. cable television.

Hong Kong’s’ television network TVB has contributed significantly in the rise of Hong Kong as a media capital. TVB is in fact, the leading television network in Asia. However, its success also came with various criticisms. For example TVB founder Sir Run Run Shaw was criticised early in TVB’s history by many for his steeply-integrated control of the channel. TVB, however, struggled to compete with American networks, partially because of its inferior finances and tight constraints on media content.

Hong Kong’s TVB and the Colombian remake of American cult TV show “Breaking Bad” are both examples of the sigficance of media capitals and the content produced.

References:

Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media capital towards the study of spatial flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 202-228.

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