‘The notion that globalisation has delivered the end of media imperialism is highly flawed. Fact of the matter is, globalisation has aggravated the condition of media imperialism because western domination of third world’s television industry has increased while third world’s dependence on the West has compounded too, says a press release.
Dr Sulehria, the keynote speaker at the seminar, has authored a book, titled, ‘Media Imperialism in India and Pakistan’ published last year by Routledge. Presently, he teaches at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. The seminar was presided by seasoned journalist Nasir Zaidi.
Dr Sulehria pointed out that the notion of media imperialism was usually restricted to the concept of Western domination. In his view, media imperialism should be conceptualised as a combination of capitalist exploitation of the periphery by the West and periphery’s dependence on the imperial centres.
Citing the case of India, he pointed out that three out of top four media houses are not Indian. ‘Today, media imperialism speaks the local language, it is dressed locally and is subtle,’ he said. In the case of Pakistan, he said, the cost of country’s television system’s dependency was over two billion dollars. ‘A country that does not afford clean drinking water and basic health facilities to it’s citizens was sending billions of dollars abroad is a situation that needs serious re-consideration,’ he argued.
Addressing the seminar, Nasir Zaidi suggested that media today was enjoying a degree of freedom owing to a long and heroic struggle by the journalist fraternity. The seminar was also addressed by Col (r) Sabur Sulehria and Dr Rashid Aftab, Director Riphah Institute of Public Policy.