The media imperialism thesis has long argued that the expansion of Western media production into developing countries has resulted in the domination of their national media environments and the consequent destruction of their indigenous media production. This article examines the empirical tenability of this claim with regard to Asia. Delineating the region's media developments, it identifies forces such as national gate-keeping policies, the dynamics of audience preference and local competition, all of which inhibit and restrict the proliferation of Western cultural production. On the basis of this empirical evidence, the article argues that the claims made by proponents of the media imperialism thesis seem overstated in the Asian context. In conclusion, the article suggests that although media imperialism is perceived as a very real danger by governments, there are in fact several other problematic trends such as the rampant growth of commercialization and the decline of public broadcasting, the dominance of entertainment programming and a lack of genuine diversity in program genres and formats that collectively represent a more significant threat to media systems in Asia.
- Asian media
- Audience preference
- Cultural fears
- Local media competition
- National media gate-keeping policies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science