News in a
Globalized Society
Stig Hjarvard
University of Copenhagen
Globalization: Two definitions
“Accordingly, the concept of globalization implies, first and
foremost, a stretching of social, political and economic
activities across frontiers such that events, decisions and
activities in one region of the world can come to have
significance for individuals and communities in distant
regions of the globe. In this sense, it embodies
transregional interconnectedness, the widening reach of
networks of social activity and power, and the possibility of
action at a distance”.
David Held et al.: “Global Transformations. Politics, Economics and
“We can thereby define globalization as: A social process in
which the constraints of geography on social and cultural
arrangements recede and i which people come increasingly
aware that they are receding”.
Malcolm Water: “Globalization”.
Three roles of media
in globalization
Channels - create the conditions for
globalization: makes coordination
across time and space possible
 Messengers of a globalized world:
cultural reflexivity
 Infrastructure - forms social and
cultural interaction in new ways:
disembedding - reembedding
Changes in international
news broadcasting - I
From international to (quasi-) global actors
Vertical integration: fuzzy lines between news
agency-broadcasting-service providers
Horisontal integration: several different (news)
media as part of a unified strategy
Commercialization: from public service to
commercial actors (fx. BBC and Euronews)
Diversification of output: from general news to
business, entertainment and special interest
information services
Changes in international news
broadcasting -II
Regionalization as the general
strategy: quasi- domestication:
 Content
 Languages
 Alliances with local actors
 Regional perspectives
Wholesale news business
Reuters, Eurovision, Associated Press etc.
Merging of print and electronic news
From shortage to abundancy of visuals
Specialization of output:
• Business-news vs. political news
• Regionalization of news
• Special interest (entertainment, medical,
sports, breakfast, nature etc.) audience
• Complete news programming for small stations
• Live facilities: Online news in domestic clothes
Strategic alliances between national and
global broadcasters, and wholesale news
The Internet challenge to the
international news broadcasters
The problem of global reach becomes a
question of language and content - not a
technical problem
Responsiveness: dialogue with users
becomes a real possibility. The advantage of
national broadcasters is weakened
An opportunity for broadcast news to
become both fast, historical and analytical
Integration of services: embedding different
actors and media in the same medium
Integration of media
Audiences want to
Multilanguage edition and
BBC: Integration of imperial radio service
and Internet news provider
Local-global alliances
CNN & Berlingske Tidende
A regional outlook
Euronews: common European issues and perspectives
Use of BBC World & CNN
Average share in August in 2001, Denmark
Use of BBC World & CNN
Share 11. September 2001, Denmark
Transnationalization of national
Trans-border presence: satellite & Internet
From shortwave radio to digital visual
media – broader range of national
Linguistic communities and extended
national communities
Nationalization of content: foreign news
are not competitive apart from special
Globalization of national news?
Hans Henrik Holm et al.: ”Verden på
tilbud” investigates globalization of news
at three levels:
Media structure and media policies:
increased competition, audience
orientation in news etc.
Editorial structure – some changes in
relation to foreign news desk and other
news desks
News values; journalistic selection and
framing – least affected by globalization
The declining independence of the
foreign news desk
Foreign dimension of issues spread
to other topic areas
 Cooperation between business news
and foreign news, environmental
news and foreign news
 Foreign news is placed in many parts
of the newspaper
 EU reporting has become both
domestic and foreign
Reporting on EU
Tore Slaatta: ”Europeanisation and the Norwegian
News Media”
National politics frames reporting on EU
A double domestication: content and sources
Mark Ørsten: ”Transnational politisk journalistik”:
National conflicts dominates reporting on EU, e.g.
clash between national policy on environmental
issues and EU regulations
Framing of EU as bureaucratic, remote etc.
No systematic coverage of EU matters and
institutions; no systematic coverage of European
Different public spheres
at a European level
Erik Oddvar Eriksen: ”An Emergent
Public Sphere”
Overarching general publics however not integrated but
predominantly national
 Transnational segmented publics
 Strong – institutionalized - publics
Globalization of the public sphere
and the role of news media
Stig Hjarvard: ”News in a Globalized Society”
Transnational integration of news
• Syncronization between broadcasters
 Live
 Newsrooms take decisions in sync with other
• Increased speed of decision making and production
cycles; up-dates, on-line availability
• Both newsrooms and audiences have access to different
socio-geographic levels: local, national, transnational increased transparency
• Communicative space not congruent with social or public
political space
Characteristics of the
global news system
Not a unified system, but a multilayered,
differentiated and only partly interconnected
Global or transnational news services have
extensive reach, a certain reputation (brand
name) and occasional political influence
National media continue to play the most
important role in public political discourse
Both business and technical developments tend
to integrate actors and services across borders
Promotes both outward and inward looking
Two questions - exercises
Go to BBC news on the internet
( and look at the
discussion forum ”Have your say”
• How is this discussion forum organized and to
what extent can it be said to constitute a kind
of transnational or global public sphere for
public deliberation?
Go to Al Jazeera’s English website
( and look at their
section on global news. To what extent is
their global news different from other
international news providers (for instance
BBC or CNN)– if at all?
News in a
Globalized Society
Stig Hjarvard
University of Copenhagen

Globalization and International News