Posted by: stephanieessin | October 29, 2014

Meanwhile in North Korea…

On October 28th, 2014 Vice reported that Korean leader Kim Jun-un recently executed 10 officials for watching South Korean soap operas. I followed the link to the South Korea’s state news agency, Yonhap. Their article said that according to the South Korean spy agency “North Korea forbids its 24 million people from watching foreign broadcasts and any other foreign video content out of fear that the influx of outside influences could pose a threat to its leader.”

Chapter 7, Thinking Transnationally, takes a shot at focusing on the transnational side to the spread of media content. Upfront, it is implied that they are using “transnational” and not “global” because they recognize that there is an uneven flow of media globally. The purpose of this post is the bring attention to areas of the world where people are “not yet able to actively participate in these exchanges” (pg. 260). The word “able” used in this context is a little concerning to me because it discounts a much larger population that is cut off to media my means far more serious than accessibility. Being “able” to access the media is one thing. What I feel the Chapter didn’t touch on are the countries that are not allowed to consume media transnationally.

Under “The World is Not Flat” section in the Chapter, the authors state that “access to transnational communication can foster curiosity about other cultures and may motivate further investigation” (pg. 289). In the context of transnational media, what are N. Koreans loosing out on when it comes to consuming media? If they are denied curiosity outside of their borders, and are cut off from outside information, how does that manifest itself in damaging ways?

"Naejoui Yeowang" (Queen of Housewives) is a South Korean Romantic Comedy

Naejoui Yeowang (Queen of Housewives). Popular South Korean Romantic Comedy on MBC.

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