Thursday, September 18, 2008

How would this play outside the US?

I've been talking about the consequences of media globalization a lot lately. One of the implications is the easy by which media content can be appropriated and thus "travel" to media outlets around the world. This shocking video about the "protests" against the RNC in St. Paul, MN provides some food for thought. How might this "speak" for the U.S. to the rest of the world, especially when U.S. public diplomacy rhetoric tries to articulate the values of U.S. democratic institutions and culture.

Of course, posing this question raises another - who is actually hunting for stuff like this, and do levels of internet access constrain the impact of videos like this?


Yana said...

I didn't watch that full video but I'm not sure if it mentioned that among all those people arrested, one of them happened to be Amy Goodman, the respected journalist who hosts Democracy Now, a really great independent news program. So yeah, it's not just angry kids who break the law being arrested, but even journalists who are merely doing their job. Quite a statement about what's going on in the U.S news media, isn't it?

Here's a link to Democracy Now's coverage of the RNC, where there's a video of the arrest of Goodman and 2 other journalists, as well as an interview with a sheriff from the area, and a transcript of the whole thing if you don't feel like listening or watching it:

Jeremiah said...

I think the video will just reinforce negative stereotypes that people around the world have about the US. It fits nicely into the image of an America which preaches loudly to the other world about its moral convictions yet cant even live up to them itself. This video fits nicely into the narrative created after Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Rendition, etc that America is a cowboy state.

I'm not sure if people actually hunt for these videos. Instead, I think these videos start to gain prominence through word of mouth or people searching random words in YouTube and happening to come upon it. Once people find it, it would probably get posed on a social news site such as Digg or Reddit until more and more people find it.

I think internet access does constrain the impact of videos such as these. Without access to the web, the chances of seeing this video greatly diminish. Although occasionally I'll see a video of a cop acting badly taken from youtube, it primarily happens when the incident get to court. I rarely see such incidents on tv news local or national, otherwise.

Kristina said...

I don’t think that people “hunt’ for these kinds of videos but there are many Americans living abroad and as Jeremiah said these videos gain prominence through word of mouth. Actually, my friend sent me this video about a week ago. She is spending the semester abroad in France and apparently this video spread like wildfire through the student body at the Sorbonne. She had to explain to a lot of people that most Americans are not ok with this sort of violence and that this is actually not a typical occurrence at all rallies.
Here we can see how media definitely can help people develop erroneous beliefs about people and countries.