CNN - CCTV – BBC - Al Jazeera: Globalization from All Angles

We are perhaps more globalized than the general public, but we still have much to learn and experience.

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I was stuck by the recent acquisition of Al Gore’s Current TV cable network company by Qatar-based Al Jazeera Network.  What seems most unusual is that Current TV has a regular focus on the environment and up until now has not accepted advertising by the oil industry.  Al Jazeera is backed by oil money from the Emir of Qatar.

CCTV is the Chinese national news company that dominates television in China.  When I visit China, I am always struck by the many channels CCTV broadcasts including two or three in English.  A few years ago, CCTV established a remarkably fast presence in the US, hiring veteran reporters to report on US cable news networks.  In fact, I was interviewed by a fresh, young reporter in 2010 regarding U.S. job losses to China.  CCTV has entered the U.S. market and is here to stay.

The BBC is ubiquitous around the world.  Just about any hotel in any country offers BBC stations;  sometimes the only channel in English.  The BBC has extremely high standards for reliability and objectivity.

CNN International is becoming nearly as ubiquitous as the BBC and can be found on most hotel room TVs.  The problem with both BBC and CNN International is that they play the same four hours of programming over and over and if you are on an extended international trip, you want to scream after you have seen the same stories so many times.  I guess there just isn’t that much news in the world.

But what will be most interesting to watch is how much influence the Arab culture, events and opinions will influence Current TV, and how much the Chinese government will influence the U.S. CCTV channel.

Ultimately, how will ownership of global broadcast networks influence the way we think and feel about different regions?

We are globalizing far faster than we realize.  As supply chain professionals, we move goods everywhere and understand bits of culture and how countries work. We are perhaps more globalized than the general public, but we still have much to learn and experience. 

TV networks such as Al Jazeera and CCTV will give us biased views. We will have to work much harder to sort out fact from opinion and slant.

Supply chain professionals are once again out front, forging new pathways to global markets.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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