Soc 2004 : Wider Contexts of Broadcasting. WIPO/GATT.



Opening remarks: Neo-Liberalism/liberalisation as ideology




Media Pluralism as ideal and relation to Public Sphere.


Note that Europe, including UK has had a far more collectivist notion of these things i.e at the heart of U/Euro broadcasting is the idea of Public Service


Than USA – which is far more free-market - and images that as an adjunct mechanism through which choice and individuality is registered


To not let the market determine the supply of media products is to impose state-led cultural ideologies about what citizens should think…


Except that to try to impose unfettered market mechanisms through which programmes and cultural gods are distributed is also a state led ideology of the free-market no matter what harm it does to others and indeed to the circulation of ideas – i.e. the harm to media pluralism.


From a US led perspective especially during the Bush years, where countries resisted importation of US material therewith the US accused those countries of unjustified protectionism


And tried to use international (global) trade mechanism to abolish other countries protectionist measures.


This level of Global policing of trade is a form of GOVERNANCE as opposed to GOVERNMENT:


Governance is the dispersed system of making binding agreements at national and international levels about the organisation and implementation of political and economic issues and things.


So which orgs are the key players in International trade?

World Trade Organisation (WTO) within which:


General Agreement on Trades in Services(GATS) operates.

1998 – US pushes for adoption of the pro-liberalisation approaches of the OECD: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. WTO secretariat produces a paper on trade in Audio-visual services in line with this. Thus starting international negotiations for an agreement for all countries to open their borders to th trade of any other countries media products.


The argument is that national restrictions on imports of media services will frustrate open trade in images and ideas a version of the implied link between free-market and global cultural democracy. It will also limit corporate profitability.


The only other country than the USA to agree to this document was….the Central African Republic. USA not happy. Continues to wheedle and bully other countries into agreeing.


World International Property Organisation (WIPO): Property rights not least DRM global policies



Big players such as the US and to quite a degree the UK in terms of media production (esp. film in the US case) have an interest in promoting Intnl agreements that will help powerful medial players develop their markets.




UK/USA dominate media markets


80% of prog sales are US/UK


65% of formatted programme sales (soaps/reality TV etc.) are UK/US (quick page on TV format trading 2006-2008)


Anywhere between 40% and 90% of films in any country are US made.


But here is UK Film Council report on International sales of british films


See this set of TV market data across the world and funding report

Here’s the latest statistical (2008 I’m afraid) report on UK TV International trading.