The emergence of new media capitals

Modern television is beginning to transcend western ideological entertainment and moving away from conventional styles and genres. New patterns of media flow no longer rely on the exchange of programming between sovereign states, but rather from particular states that have become financial, production or distribution hot spots for TV (for example Cairo and Hong Kong). In doing so audiences are encouraged to pay attention to cultural differences, and also cultural similarities.

One of the most prominent emerging media capitals is Hong Kong.  Broadcast TV first came to Hong Kong in 1967 (lecture), which coincided with the emergence of the now imminent consumer culture. The city’s emergence as a media capital was reliant on a multitude of factors, including migration of cultural institutions, creative talent becoming more unique and a shift to preference of TV over film. This combined with a rise in the advertising culture led to the emergence of Cantopop, J-Pop and K-Pop.

Cantopop actually means Cantonese Pop and was originally a hybrid of Western Pop, and other influences, with Cantonese Opera. While the original songs often featured traditional Chinese instruments, these have, mostly, been phased out and nowadays Cantopop is more like a wholesome version of Western Pop sung in the Cantonese language. 

Hong Kong and Chinese Pop Culture was not only a hit in Asia, but was globally popular. Why? Because Hong Kong is embedded with Chinese culture, but is also saturated in Western influences. It is a hybrid of both, and neither.

This has led to the increasing political, economic and media power China and other parts of Asia are accruing. Currently in Australia SBS airs a channel called ‘PopAsia‘, advertising ‘Non-stop Asia Pop’. It is essentially the Asian pop version of what was once ‘video hits’, airing every Sunday morning. It is here you can see the likes of popular Asia pop bands such as ‘Ladies Code’.


Image source.

And of course, ‘Gangnam Style’ by Korean artist Psy was a massive hit in the West.


Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media Capitals: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 39-49

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