Cultures, Capitals and a Confused Australian Media

Hong Kong night lighting
Hong Kong night lighting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I think about where my media comes from, I usually think of it in terms of emanating from distinct nations. For example, The Good Wife, in my mind, is an American TV show, that then is sold to Australian television networks.

However, it seems that this way of thinking is becoming somewhat out-dated, and what we really need to be thinking about are MEDIA CAPITALS.

That is, instead of seeing media in terms of coming from a particular country, with a distinct cultural stamp, we should really accept the reality of media capitals, which are essentially a hub for media development and distribution.

Cover of "The Clash of Civilizations and ...
Cover via Amazon

What is also interesting about media capitals is that they also seem to become places where different cultures interact, and what results is a hybridised mish-mash of media.

My previous opinion, which I’m sure many people share, was informed by judging media flows by the borders they cross, rather than by looking at the reality of complex, multi-directional flow.

Samuel Huntington published a text in 1993 titled ‘The Clash of Civilisations’, in which he theorised that cultural differences would be the cause of future problems. This sparked much debate, because it was based on cultural essentialism.

Sukhmani Khorana (2012) in “Orientalising the Emerging Media Capitals: The Age on Indian TV’s Hysteria”, describes how attacks on Indian students studying in Melbourne were responded to by the Indian media. However, what is primarily focused upon is the Australian media’s response to the unprecedented coverage the attacks received in India. Indian media, it became clear, was not something to be taken lightly.

This Sunrise excerpt, rather than focussing on issues behind the attacks, instead highlights Australia’s ‘damaged reputation’ and repercussions for Australia’s continued International Student program, which, according to Khorana, was a common response.

 So it would seem that media capitals do, in fact, exist, irrespective of whether or not we are aware of them or give them much credence. Hong Kong is a major capital, while cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Madras may be heading there, according to Michael Curtin (2003) in “Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows“. Hollywood undeniably has competition.

The growth of media capitals is yet another result of globalisation, and, despite a lot of confusion, in the long term, I think we can expect to see more positive outcomes from an increase in media from all over the world, not just select places.





Curtin, M 2003 ‘Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 202-228.

Khorana, S 2012, ‘Orientalising the new media capitals: The Age of Indian TV’s Hysteria’, Media International Australia, vol. 145, pp. 39-49.


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