This Global Comparative Lens course explores questions of media ownership, content, flow, cultural values, political power and technological impact in relation to one of today’s most used but least understood terms: globalization. To do so, students survey industrialized, newly industrialized and developing countries and examine the interrelationship between “global culture” and local culture as related to global media systems. Particular emphasis will be placed on the media systems of the countries visited during the voyage. To deepen their understanding of these changing media landscapes and how they are related to broader historical processes, the course is grounded in key media theories such as cultural imperialism, development communication, flow and contra-flow, genre and format trading, cultural hybridity and others. Students will also examine new dynamics in media production and consumption as related to mobile technologies, the Internet and “legacy” media such as radio. Port of call field excursions provide opportunities to visit media institutions and/or citizen media organizations, with some opportunity to meet and learn from current practitioners in the field.
Field WorkCountry: Myanmar (Burma)
Day: 2 - Friday, 19 February
The Yangon Field Lab is designed for Global Media students to familiarize themselves with the role of newspapers in Myanmar. The Myanmar Times will host us. Activities include an introduction to the newspaper’s history and current status, a tour of the facilities, and an interactive panel with some of the paper’s reporters, editors and photojournalists. Through this field experience students will gain an understanding of the forces shaping the role of the press in contemporary Myanmar, the future of a print medium adapting to a world that is rapidly going digital, and the roles and responsibilities of specific positions (e.g., journalists, editors, sales, etc.) in a prominent developing nation news operation. After departing from The Myanmar Times students will visit a local restaurant for a late lunch of local cuisine before returning to the ship.
1. Gain an understanding of the ideas and concerns that inform the role of the press in Myanmar
2. Provide an opportunity for Semester @ Sea students to interact with and learn directly from Myanmar media professionals about their roles as informational gatekeepers
3. Gain an understanding of the relationship between media and democracy in a developing nation