Against domination, let’s build media communities

Written by Nursidah “Nida” Abdullah of Hasanuddin University, this article tries to view toward the extension of mass media in the future, by critical perspective from one of Mass Communication Theory; Cultural Imperialism Theory. Thanks, Nida!


Explanation of Theory:

Cultural Imperialism Theory states that Western nations dominate the media around the world which in return has a powerful effect on Third World Cultures by imposing n them Western views and therefore destroying their native cultures.

Theorists: Herb Schiller
Date: 1973
Primary Article:  Schiller, H. J. (1973). Communication and Cultural Domination. White Plains, NY: International Arts and Science

The long-term efforts of human to build their civilization and world history has created curves against humanity faces. Human, with an Anthropocentrism world of view has grown up superiorly than the other things in this world.

Not only like that, apparently they also have made hierarchy in social life interactions. Karl Marx says there are social classes in the society. His Assumption is based on capital resources of authority (HCR- NCR). They are bourgeois class and proletarian class. And , if you believe, there is no ahistorical side, ..of course..too easy to summarize that everything has their own history. Even, social constructions and one of them is imperialism. Absolutely.

Let me say ..this isn’t a silent story. But, on the other hand..some times we say like this.. ”yes, I see, the World Is built by imperialism, but I don’t have ability, nor is it right, to fight that because we don’t have a power…”

In my mind..that is absolutely wrong way. Not because of we are powerless, but hopeless. But, not all of us like that…Of Course.

Media theorist, James W. Carey said that “a ritual view of communication is directed not toward the extension of messages in space but toward the maintenance of society in time;not the act of imparting information but the representation of shared beliefs”

Media size up means take a look at history again. Therefore, using Cultural Imperialism Theory as perspective is still relevant today. And finally, talking about mass communication means talking about the power of media as medium in information distribution its self.

Media domination by Western nations has produced a media reality image, West is the Best. Mass Communication Theory above stritcs is destroying native cultures is the effects by this situation, if we are just silent… and let’s this condition become snowball either, without criticism retrospect.

Based on this thing, it is reasonable if our native cultures are going to abrade by outsider cultures penetration. From now on.. we can see that the Indonesian Program Television is far away from native cultures exploration, but on the other hand TV Station program today explore too much in metropolitan life style which are outlandish things for Indonesian people, specially for villagers and islanders.

An offer to solve this problem is making media community. Media Community is an alternative and independent media for people. This is kind of media which is built by a group of people who have common goal and social contract. And, it’s consist of radio, TV channel, magazine, newspaper,etc.

Gradually, I hope media communities become counter attack and counter culture against west media domination and alternative mass media for people in every place in Indonesia. So..our truly native culture can recognizable, not just for Indonesia generation, but people in worldwide.


3 responses to “Against domination, let’s build media communities

  1. A book written by Mc. Chesney called The problem of the media has a parallel insight with your article, Nida.

    There are movements all over the world, including Mexico and the United States, where activists/ independent journalists realized that alternative media has the power to mobilize people, and is needed now more than ever.

    I am living in San Francisco right now, which is the center of indy media. Believe me, there are more and more people in the United States who are fed up with their mainstream media (such as CNN, FOX News) The public is tired of the media’ self censorship, their pro-war/ pro-Bush reports. Many Americans, including those Republicans are questioning Bush decision to stay in Iraq.

    So activists/journalists accross the country formed liberal radio stations and newspapers. Radio Pacifica for example…very “left” and active.

    I hope more and more journalists in Indonesia will walk against the “mainstream”, and actually do their job as reporters. As my guru John Ross often says: journalism is not a career, it is our obligation to the society.

    Indeed mainstream media in Indonesia promotes capitalism, globalization, western imperialism. And the ignorant ( or perhaps innocent) public allow it self to be brain washed.
    It is the job of alternative media to offer diversity of voices. It is the job of reporters to wake people up.

    I believe we could do this. Indonesia is blessed with many critical and smart individuals. It’s always good to have hope. So I guess am not an anarchist after all 🙂

    Thanks for your input Nida,


  2. thaks for you opinion..Siska. I hope we can discuss about this deeper than now. May I know your blog or email address..Thanks

  3. Hey Nida,

    My e-mail is I am just starting to build my blog. I have no problem writing it, however I am not that good in technology 🙂 so I am now learning how to make that blog better. You could check it out.


    Talk soon,


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