Thursday, January 17, 2013

GlobalMedia: What are International Communication and Global Communication? (U1-P2) Sp13

Q: What are these things we call international communication and global communication?
A: They are activities (things that happen in the world) and they are fields of academic study.

International Communication: “simply defined, is communication that occurs across international borders, that is, over the borders of nation-states”(Fortner).

International Communication: “a field of inquiry and research that consists of the transfer of values, attitudes, opinions, and information through individuals, groups, governments, and technologies, as well as the study of the structure of institutions responsible for promoting or inhibiting such messages among and between nations and cultures”(Mowlana).

Global Communication: “the intersection of disciplines that studies the transborder communication of values, attitudes, opinions, information, and data by individuals, groups, people, institutions, governments, and information technologies, as well as the resulting controversial issues arising from the structure of institutions responsible for promoting or inhibiting such messages among and between nations and cultures”(Frederick). [Note: Frederick is a former student of Mowlana. I had the honor of being a student of both Mowlana and Frederick in American University's School of International Service.]

What difference do you see between "international communication" and "global communication"?  Are they the same thing?  What is Frederick adding to the discussion?

One thing that Frederick stresses is that "global communication" is "an intersection of disciplines" or put another way it is an interdiscipline.

Interdiscipline: "a field of scholars who identify with various disciplines but share a common interest in a theme that crosses traditional [academic] boundaries“ (Littlejohn).

Disciplines which study GC: international relations, political science, communication, sociology, anthropology, electronic communication, etc.

Another difference that Frederick stresses is: 

  • International Communication: 
    • communication between nation-states
  • Global Communication: 
    • includes nation-states, but also acknowledges the growing importance of the role of the “non-state actors”

Examples of “non-state actors”
  • Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Transnational Corporations (TNCs)
    • Examples
      • Microsoft
      • Coca-Cola
      • CNN

Mowlana acknowledges Frederick’s distinction and now uses “Global Communication” in later books.

Use the definition given above and determine if the following are examples of global communication.
  • Transfer of funds from a bank in U.S. to a Swiss bank?
  • CNN broadcasts around the world?
  • An electronic journal produced in the U.S. read by a person in Argentina?
  • Voice of America broadcasts in other countries?
  • Television programming produced in New Zealand shown in Australia?
  • Pres. Obama talking with German leader?

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