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The Communications Paradox Globalization may be just another word for Western Cultural Dominanceincludes related article on disadvantages of the Internet Go tell it on the mountain As the popular spiritual advised it used to be that if you had a message to get across you only had to go to the nearest mountain and shout it to the masses The same is true today--only now an antenna likely perches atop the mountain and the speaker probably needs a microphone a video camera and a corporate sponsor The consequences of the change from personal to electronic communication are far greater than the simple act of amplifying the speakers message In March with an illuminated map of the world as his background Billy Graham the American evangelist preached to more than one billion people in 185 countries--about one-fifth of the planets population Did Rev Grahams electronic pulpit represent the future of globalization Earlier that month Hollywoods Academy Awards ceremony for years a symbol of the American cultural and entertainment crusade was beamed around the world to another perhaps overlapping worldwide audience of a billion people Was this broadcast hosted by Americas midnight storyteller David Letterman the future of globalization Indeed the Iranian revolution--and later the downfall of the Soviet Union by similar means--not only ushered in some of the most profound and wide-ranging developments of twentiethcentury international politics but also the dawn of a new era in global communications There is the reality of globalization continuing centralization of mass communications with a few players often international corporations controlling the chokepoints leaving the overwhelming majority of the worlds people increasingly marginalized on the periphery A completely new global information infrastructure has emerged with the United States Europe and a few industrialized countries at its helm Nations that were rich when the process of globalization began have been able to leverage their advantages into new realms This is especially disturbing because dominance in global products implies
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