Date of Award

1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Media Studies

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Rod Giblett

Abstract

Over the past two decades there has been an increasing amount of attention within academia, regarding the issue of globalisalion, within all disciplines. Cultural studies in particular have speculated upon the effects of globalistion that will potentially affect all of the diverse cultures and societies throughout the world For the most part the concenus amongst cultural critiques is that globalisation will adversely affect localised communities and cultures. The principle argument has been that local cultural and societal tenets, that constitute unique identities and senses of community, will be subsumed by a homogenised global culture largely produced by American cultural and information conglomerates. Arguably while this argument has merit it is problematical in that, paradoxically what is being presented as a threat is also, albeit inadvertently, as being in a sense a fait accompli, which subsequently privileges a global culture. Part of the problem lies within the focus of criticism. Most critiques hove had their primary focus on the potential for globalisation to threaten the local. The potential for the local to resist such threats is largely ignored In order to gain a fuller understanding of the affects of globalisation, further focus needs to be directed at the issue of the local. In essence the global cannot be fully understood unless it is juxtaposed with the local, and vice versa. This dissertation will explore the relationship between the mass media and local community groups. Particular focus will be upon Perth community group, Cities For People and their campaign against the construction of the Northbridge Tunnel, in Perth, Western Australia. Given the increased attention to the globalisation of media ownership and the dissemination of information, along with the introduction of new communications technologies, it is perhaps timely to call into question the relevance of localised media and their relationship to the community's they serve. Despite having undertaken a detailed study of the coverage of the Northbridge Tunnel, by all facets of the main stream media, this study will not be focused on a content analysis, rather it will be based upon theoretical concepts involving the following issues: News as a genre; the evolving of the so called 'global village'; relevancy of particular mediums to the coverage of local issues and, the notion of the 'public sphere'. It will be contended that while the mainstream media will continue to play a significant role within local communities, current ideological stances within mainstream media need to be reassessed. On the surface, the mainstream media appear to be facilitating change in regard to their relationship with the community, however to what extent actual change is affected is problematical. Despite the majority of contemporary critical practice which suggests that the mainstream media's coverage of localised issues is problematical, it will be demonstrated that there is evidence of an ideological shift in the way the media perceive the importance of community groups and the issues that they represent.

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