Although Singapore is an Asian country, I believe that we are influenced very strongly by the American culture, and this is mostly due to the globalization of mass media. Globalization of media refers to the competitive process by which media companies attempt to acquire a larger share of the profits available in the international markets. Singapore’s television based company Mediacorp is definitely no exception. Mediacorp establishes a two-prong strategy by helping its viewers develop strong domestic roots as well as establishing an international development strategy by airing US television shows on our local channels such as America’s Next Top Model, Lost and The Walking Dead, just to name a few. In order for us to enjoy even more international programs, we subscribe to SCV which allows us to enjoy television programs for almost every major global media company, be it a US based company or not.
Even though Singapore, being part of Asia is known to be the fastest changing region over the past three decades, we are still not considered as a major market for global television program export industry as there would be language barriers, government restrictions, differences in cultural backgrounds and might not sit well with local viewers and limitations of television transmission and reception from certain countries. We have our home-grown directors and locally produced movies such as I Not Stupid and Money No Enough and local television programs such as The Little Nyonya, which was such a big hit among our citizens, but the exports of these media products to other regions are very limited. If I am not wrong, these media products were only distributed to Malaysia at best. With Asia being the largest regional producers of motion pictures worldwide, especially Bollywood films from India, Japan and Hong Kong but few of these films are distributed outside of Asia, not even having a chance of infiltrating into USA theaters.
We might feel as if we have several television programs to enjoy with SCV, but the truth is that there are so many more television shows available online. Why is this so? I feel that it is because of the government controlling the information flow into our domestic market for various different reasons. Shows like Jersey Shore or Teen Moms might be frowned upon by a large group of Singaporeans as it is deemed to be trashy and teaching the younger generation in here that getting pregnant at the age of 16 will catapult you to fame.
As much as several of us enjoy watching television, I believe that there is no cause for alarm over the quantity of American media products available for our viewership as long as the viewers are able to discern for themselves which is applicable to their culture and which is not. More over, it is due to the globalization of mass media that has allowed us to learn from other cultures and experience and learn about different things without having to leave the comfort of our homes.