Move over Hollywood

When I first heard the term ‘media capital’, this image immediately popped into my head;


When I think about where my media comes from, I usually think of it in terms of emanating from distinct nations. For example, The Big Bang Theory, in my mind, is an American TV show, that then is sold to Australian television networks.

I had an imperialist media understanding, which Curtin (2003) describes as, seeing the dominance of Hollywood as an epiphenomenon of the successful American empire. Which is a view, I believe many people would take. And I mainly see media capitols as your standard, Hollywood and Bollywood. Although it was news to me that Hong Kong played such important role on the world stage

However, it seems that this way of thinking is becoming somewhat out-dated, and what we really need to be thinking about are MEDIA CAPITALS.

That is, instead of seeing media in terms of coming from a particular country, with a distinct cultural stamp, we should really accept the reality of media capitals, which are essentially a hub for media development and distribution.

What is also interesting about media capitals is that they also seem to become places where different cultures interact, and what results is a hybridised mish-mash of media.

A media capital refers to a city which represents centers of media activity that have specific logics of their own. They are the sites of mediation, locations where complex forces and flows interact and they are neither bound nor self-contained entities. (Curtin, 2009).

This has emerged with the rise of creative diversity. So now, cities like Hong-Kong, Mumbai and Melbourne, where production is high, now challenge Hollywood and set the standards for media within their culture.

A poignant example of the diverse media capitals around the world was illustrated by Sukhmani Khorana (2012) in “Orientalising the Emerging Media Capitals: The Age on Indian TV’s Hysteria”. She describes how attacks on Indian students studying in Melbourne were responded to by the Indian media. However, what is primarily focused upon is theAustralian media’s response to the unprecedented coverage the attacks received in India. Indian media, it became clear, was not something to be taken lightly.

This Sunrise excerpt, rather than focusing on issues behind the attacks, instead highlights Australia’s ‘damaged reputation’ and repercussions for Australia’s continued International Student program, which, according to Khorana, was a common response. It is interesting to see how the different media capitals responded/portrayed to the event(s).

So it would seem that media capitals do, in fact exist irrespective of whether or not we are aware of them or give them much credence. Hong Kong is a major capital, while cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Madras may be heading there, according to Michael Curtin (2003) in “Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows“.Hollywood undeniably has competition.

The growth of media capitals is yet another result of globalisation, and, despite a lot of confusion, in the long term, I think we can expect to see more positive outcomes from an increase in media from all over the world, not just select places.


Curtin, M 2003 ‘Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows’,International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 202-228.

Khorana, S 2012, ‘Orientalising the new media capitals: The Age of Indian TV’s Hysteria’, Media International Australia, vol. 145, pp. 39-49.


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