Thursday, December 3, 2015

MassMedia: What are International Communication and Global Communication? (W15-P1) Fa15

There are activities (things that happen in the world) and there are fields of academic study.

International and global communication can be seen as both an activity and a field of 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 at 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”

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

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