Postmodernists view media globalisation in ways that are more similar to the pluralist than the Marxist view. They regard the diversity of the globalised media as offering the world’s population more choices in terms of their consumption patterns and lifestyles, opening up a greater global awareness and access to a diversity of cultures, bringing them more opportunities to form their identities unconstrained by the limited horizons of local cultures.
Baudrillard (1988, 2001) argues that we now live in a media-saturated society, in which media images dominate and distort the way we see the world. For example, media images replace reality to such an extent that laser technology and video reportage have eliminated the blood, the suffering and the corpses from war. The TV news presents a sanitised version of war, with wars as media-constructed spectacles to gaze at, which have such an air of unreality about them that it is hard to distinguish between image and reality. Baudrillard calls this distorted view of the world hyper reality, in which appearances are everything, with the media presenting what he calls simulacra. Simulacra are artificial make-believe images or reproductions/copies of real events which bear little or no relationship to the real world and which are viewed simultaneously across the globe.
A criticism of the view put forward comes from the Neophiliacs, like Curran and Seaton (2003), who argue that the new media is beneficial to society for several reasons. The first one is increased consumer choice. There are now hundreds of choices available to people in the form of media outlets and delivery systems. It is argued that competition between media institutions results in more quality output. The second reason is an e-commerce revolution. A great deal of retail commerce is conducted on the internet. Most major commercial companies now have their own websites. The final reason is a revitalising democracy. New media technologies may...