With a Capital M.

Hollywood, New York, London and…Hong Kong? While Hong Kong might seem out of place in this equation they definitely fit into the “Global Media Capital” spectrum as defined by Curtin (2003). Global Media Capitals are places which create a central location for production of media content. In particular Curtin (2003) also recognises Bombay and Cairo as other sites of this production.

Thinking in terms of Media Capital is important for numerous reasons but mostly importantly is the idea of media flow. More specifically this means how does media and cultural content flow into and out of the Media Capitals and how do they in turn affect this output. Generally transnational flow has happened in a “west to the rest” kind of way, I.e Western content is produced and then spread to the rest of the world. Lately however, we have seen a shift to very localised production of content that shares stories relevant to the audience that is viewing it.

This is shown in Hong Kong’s recent proliferation as a Media Capital. The new growth reflects Hong Kong recent domination as a cultural capital in the south east, with the blending of the old traditional Chinese culture and the emergence of new culture formed by 1st generation Hong Kong citizens, who feel little connection to the mainland. By depicting this clash in culture the content becomes accessible to a larger market.

This idea of Media Capitals becomes turbulent however when we try to look across different Media Capitals and their depiction of certain cultural content, in particular news. Khorana (2012) describes this tension when looking at the attack on Indian students in both the Indian media and the Australian media. Australian media blamed the sensationalism of the Indian media on adding to the controversy, while the Indian media denounced the coverage by the Australian media.

The tension described here signifies how Media Capital’s cultural view can affect how they depict certain events. It also works into the idea that the cultural flow of content can be lost or misdirected across media capitals as one side or the other can not comprehend the others action.


Curtin, M 2003 “Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flow”, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 202 – 228.

Khorana, S 2012 “Orientalising the Emerging Media Capitals: The Age on Indian TV’s ‘Hysteria”, Media International Australia,


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