So…What are Media Capitals?

In this post I am going to try and pass on my (quite limited) knowledge of media capitals. I have been reluctant to write about this topic, because it is one that, admittedly, I have found difficult to grasp. Michael Curtin (2003) defines media capitals as“…sites of mediation, locations where complex forces and flows interact. They are neither bounded not self-contained entities. Rather, we should understand them in the manner that geographers like Doreen Massey (1992) and Kevin Robins (1991) understand cities, as meeting places where local specificity arises out of migration, interaction and exchange…Media capitals are places where things come together and, consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible”.

With this as the given definition, I am sure you can sympathise as to why I have found the concept difficult to comprehend. Nevertheless, I have attempted to comprehend it anyway.

Although America, specifically Hollywood, dominates the global entertainment markets, the concept of media capitals is based on the transnational flow of television. These media flows are becoming multi-directional. Nations broadcasters are developing global satellite services and media contracts in with other nations, such as TVB’s, Hong Kong’s dominant local broadcaster, collaboration with MEASAT, a Malaysia media corporation (Curtin 2003). Hong Kong has established itself as a powerful media capital, that was made possible by the influence of migration and the merging of cultures. For example, Hong Kong television is produced and consumed in countries such as Taipei, Beijing, Amsterdam, Vancouver, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur (Curtin 2003).

Media is no longer contained to one physical location or one cultural identity, rather contemporary television “is transcending frontiers and disrupting conventional structures of domination… the one-way flow of US programming to the periphery of the worlds systems are being reassessed in light of increasing multi-directional flows of media industry “ (Curtin 2003).

If this humble blog post has not quite left you feeling completely enlightened on the concept of media capitals, then I recommend you have a read of the following article by Michael Curtin, which has helped me address this topic:

Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media Capitals: Towards the study of spatial flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2.

Reference List

Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media Capitals: Towards the study of spatial flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2.

Khorana, S 2014, BCM111 Television and the Emergence of  ‘New’ Media Cpaitals: 2014 lecture notes 3rd September 2014, University of Wollongong, Semester 2, 2014.


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