Karaoke Culture and the Evolution of Personality Politics
Chapter 1: Introduction: Disruptive Technologies – Change, Conflict and Breakdown
1. Introduction: disruptive technologies – change, conﬂict and breakdown In Beijing, on 22 October 2001, Gerald Levin, the chief executive of AOL Time Warner, toasted China’s media regulator and director of the Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party, Xu Guangchun. The toast recognized the fact that the American giant had become the ﬁrst western media company licensed to broadcast directly to the Chinese people (The Economist 27 October 2001, p. 66). Elsewhere, in South Asia, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan was beginning his afternoon brieﬁng to the gathered international media corps in Islamabad, detailing the regime’s latest take on the American bombing of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, as the old century faded, families in Banda Aceh, Sumatra, watched coverage of the English FA Cup ﬁnal on Malaysian television, beamed via satellite to their homes in the Indonesian province. The increasing ease with which the global news and entertainment products crossed national borders, the embrace of the media by one of the most archaic regimes in the region and AOL’s move into the China market, represented only the latest in a long line of events underlining the growing importance and impact of the mass communication media in Asia. By the end of the twentieth century, governments across Southeast Asia, their legitimacy undermined by the Asian Financial Crisis, were being challenged by emerging opposition voices given full range by this new, aggressive and robust media. In the Philippines, The Center for Investigative Journalism, established in 1989 by Sheila Coronel,...