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Cable television is also prevalent in Hong Kong, which has adopted a free-market approach to cable programming (Oba and Chan-Olmsted 2005). Any attempts to limit this "intrusion" of information that could be interpreted as culturally imperialist or as an "invasion" of the West would be met with a huge public outcry from the people of Hong Kong, who are by now accustomed to having this type of media access.
It should also be noted that STAR TV also reaches India. Pashupati et. al. suggest that the reluctance of government-run media to welcome companies like STAR TV may stem not from their "westernizing" influence, but from the decreased advertising revenues that come with competition. This pragmatic approach to examining the relationship between public- and privately-owned media may well explain many of the governments' reservations about welcoming other media outlets (see Pashupati et. al. 2003, pp.266). It is possible that the preservation of national unity and providing information to the citizens is not as high of a priority as producing revenue for the state.
These new technologies are, for all intents and purposes, unstoppable in the East Pacific-barring a shift to totalitarianism, there is no way that either Hong Kong or India can prevent the continued access of their citizens to the internet and to satellite television broadcasts. The infrastructure is already in place, for both internet access as well as television broadcasts via cable and/or satellite, in many areas. This is especially true in the urban cities and their immediate outliers. The direction that may be taken by each government depends on what its motives in providing the majority of media were at the point of independence. If, as Pashupati et. al. suggested, they were primarily profit-based, the government stations of India and Hong Kong may either pursue broadcasting with the intent of becoming competitive with private corporations, or they may choose to withdraw from the sphere of media and allow the market to determine which stations survive.
However, if the intentions of a state-sponsored media are geared more toward Pashupati et. al.'s "social engineering," i.e., the need to engender national unity and identity and the protection of the nation's culture against foreign influences, the potential of reduced revenue pales in comparison to the influx of western influences. If the governments of postcolonial India and Hong Kong wish to have a strong voice in perpetuating a traditional culture and prevent "westernization" of the culture, a solution is not such a clear-cut choice. In light of the penetration of international, instant media such as the internet and satellite television stations, the only plausible way to limit the citizenry's access to alternate points-of-view is a shift to at least partial authoritarianism, in the arena of the press.
Since this change would not only be strongly opposed by the citizenry, but is most likely not in the best interests of Hong Kong or India as it would create a huge public outcry and possibly inspire civil rebellion, it is highly unlikely that either nation will revert to a more repressive method of encouraging state media while limiting independent media outlets. The proliferation of regional and local media outlets (McIntyre 1998, p. 16) will help ease the governments' reluctance to welcome full access to the international media; the reality that not all of the new media is broadcast from Western nations may ease concerns about the content and influence of the content.
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McIntyre, B. 1998. Mass Media in the Asian Pacific. Clevedon, Philadelphia Multilingual Matters.
Oba, G. And Chan-Olmstead, S. 2005. "The Development of Cable Television in East Asian Countries," Gazette, the International Journal for Communications Studies, 67:3, pp. 211-237.
Pashupati, K., Lin Sun, H., and Mcdowell, S., 2003. "Guardians of State Development Communicators, or State Capitalists?" Gazette, the International Journal for Communications Studies, 65:3, pp. 251-271.
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