Global Media Monitoring and Analysis Laboratory
News Worlds: Constructing Global Orders on Satellite Television
While various processes can (and have) been studied in order to explain globalization, this project is based on the premise that TV news – arguably the most global and influential of media – is important because it both reflects and constitutes competing visions of the rapidly transforming global order. In particular, with the emergence of non-Western transnational media corporations such as Al Jazeera and China Central Television it is critically important to rectify the dearth of empirical research on global satellite TV news and to systematically test competing theories of globalization.
Employing both quantitative content analysis and discourse analysis, this study compares four global satellite news channels: CNN, BBC World, China Central Television and Al Jazeera. A sample of composite weeks of news taken from the four channels will be studied as well as coverage of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.
Through careful comparative analysis of the data competing theories regarding the impact of globalization on media will be addressed. Theories about the extent of homogenization versus national/regional differentiation in content and formats, and the extent of US/Western domination versus counterbalancing influence from the Global South will be tested. The study will also be able to probe mass-mediated constructions of popular and elite understandings of the global order, especially the tension in the media’s national and regional bases on the one hand, and their possible role in the formation of a transnational capitalist class on the other.
A number of research questions guide this project including; How does journalism inform the world about the evolving global order, while simultaneously contributing to the construction, reproduction and contestation of this order? What are the similarities and differences in the range of topics, sources, ideological frames and geographical foci of news on satellite channels from different parts of the world? How do such news services negotiate the conflicting pressures of globalism, regionalism, nationalism and cultural framing?
It is hoped that the journal articles, presentations and book manuscript that will come out of this project will help to better inform policy-making in national and global media governance and effective civil society interventions in news agendas. This study also holds the potential to contribute to methodological innovations in digitalized televisual content analysis.
Global Media Monitoring and Analysis Laboratory (GMMA Lab)
The GMMA Lab is a state of the art research facility for critical media analysis and assessment. It was funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund grants, as well as contributions from Simon Fraser University (SFU). Consisting of satellite and cable reception units, video servers and backup facilities, as well as 5 networked research stations, the GMMA Lab enables the systematic capturing, digitization, archiving, and analysis of multiple broadcast signals.