Thursday, January 19, 2017

GlobalMedia: Martin Luther King, Jr. and International Communication (W2-P1) Sp17

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964
(Public domain/government photo)
Recently we celebrated Martin Luther King Day.

Are there any connections between what Dr. King did and the study of international (or global) communication?

What did Dr. King protest against?  What was he fighting for?
Short answer: equal rights, peace and the end to poverty.

When you think of communication between nations, do you think of some nations (e.g., "developing nations" or poorer nations) which do not have equal representation on the world stage?  Do you think of some nations that have a stronger media system and more media influence around the world?  Familiar with the phrase "cultural imperialism"?

Some of these nations attempt to fight back against the unequal flow of media/culture (via books, movies, music) coming into their countries.  Very often it is U.S. books, movies and music that are "conquering" other nations.  Example: Top Films in Brazil right now.

Do nations have rights?  What role does global communication play in this?

So, some countries fight back for equality and a right preserve their own culture.  Also, some scholars in the field of global communication fight back.  Sometimes in their writings they address this issue.


In the news coverage and in classroom discussions, newscasters and teachers often stress the "I have a dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 with little attention given to King's later work.  This observations is not meant to diminish the very important 1963 speech, but to highlight how King grew and expanded his vision.

Please check out the "Mumia Abu-Jamal short video/audio clip and then see the clips of King after 1963.

"Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere" (King).

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