From Traditional to New Media: A Paradigm of Cultural Imperialism in Nigeria

Abubakar Mamman-Muhammad, Silk Ugwu Ogbu


Debate on cultural imperialism emerged from communication literature, which involves topical issues around media economics and political economy. How we view these seminal constructs shapes our perceptions and understanding of government and its relationship with the private sector through policies and practices. This paper queries the authenticity of cultural imperialism and explores the awareness of a new paradigm, which integrates the new media as a direct‐behavior medium of effect with these seminal constructs. The changing role of the media, particularly the mass media in the importation and exportation of culture will remain a queried subject in global communication theories and research for a long time to come. However, it is important to note that the explanations of early communication theories describing the power of the media are now being challenged. Theories such as the ‘magic bullet’ or the ‘hypodermic needle’ have speculated about the influence of the mass media upon its audience and how helpless an audience may seem under these influences. However, the veracity and the extent of these influences have remained a subject of debate in communication research since it was first postulated. Irrespective of these differences, global communication and research remain convinced that the media remains a powerful tool in the global exchange of cultures and common heritages though the same literature pursues in critical terms the scope and extent of such influences as the world moves from traditional to new media. Although, some media scholars have continuously queried the conception of cultural imperialism, extant literature has also proven that these scholars have not been able to provide any conceptual alternative. While others have derived their arguments from interdisciplinary literature across the social sciences and humanities which seek to develop theoretical alternatives, the seminal construct of cultural imperialism remains a valid construct in communication research. This paper further discusses how the media has evolved and how technology and the new media have made it possible to integrate economies, communication and cultures through globalization. 


Cultural imperialism; Techno-culture; Traditional Media; globalization; New Media; Media Convergence

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