The structure of global media space: A social network analysis of international media flows
Jun, Seung Joon
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This dissertation aims to: (1) describe the structure of global media markets, (2) examine whether there were significant changes in the structures of media markets during the past nine years, and (3) determine what kinds of international contexts explain the spatial pattern of international media flows. The international markets of printed media (newspapers, journals, and books) from 1996 to 2004 were analyzed from the social network perspective. Network analyses found that the networks of global media markets were characterized by a steep pyramid-shaped hierarchy, centering on a few European and North American countries. All three media markets showed a strong concentration on less than ten countries at the center. Despite many anomalies found, power imbalance in media markets has not changed much for the past nine years. The domination of Europe in the newspaper market and the domination of North America in the periodical and book markets have continued through all periods under examination. In general, the research findings were more or less consistent with the arguments of neo-Marxists rather than those of post-structural globalization theories. As neo-Marxist theorists argued, continuing imbalance in global media markets was largely explained by strong and stable connections among Western developed countries and sustained by international political and economic contexts. Because such an asymmetric power structure in global media markets is unlikely to change in the near future, this study suggested that Third World countries and the global society in general need to find new communication developmental approaches, which should be radically different from what Western countries suggest.