According to the US-based Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), “Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information”. ‘False Balance’ is considered to be a superficial balance that tells both sides of the story. It also can be a form of informational bias as journalists present a particular issue as being more balanced between opposing viewpoints than the evidence actually supports. Although balanced reporting provides audiences with information on all sides of an issue, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all sides of the story deserve equal weight. With that said, balanced coverage doesn’t always mean that the information being presented to audiences is accurate.
Journalists have profound ethical responsibilities when covering stories and issues both expansive and critical, much like climate change. These journalists are not only reporting these concerns during a time where their own line of work is changing, but also during a time of profound global economic and financial uncertainty (Ward 2009). This type of uncertainty is compounded by the ongoing threats of divisive wars and terrorist activities, which in hand confounds journalist’s approach to these expansive and critical issues (Ward 2009).
What has been considered as a major challenge to the free flow of information, the commercialisation of media has resulted in news becoming a commercial product. As the concentration of media ownership is increasing, the level of freedom and independence of news and differing views is reducing. In some nations, powerful corporations are becoming major influences on mainstream media. This in particular has caused a reduction in diversity and depth in content that is being presented to mass audiences.
As our understanding of the world is constantly growing and expanding, so is the nature of film industries in terms of production and distribution. The shift in global film cultures has resulted in the emergence of transnational film industries, which break down the traditional geographical barriers. Both transnational and global film industries are hybrids of numerous cultures, nations and creative minds, therefore producing a melting pot of interpretations and representations.
As there are an increasing number of films attracting international markets, the films being produced can no longer be identified with a specific nation. Films are now being shot in a number of different countries, and are therefore mixing both global and local elements in order to appeal to audience tastes and trends (Schaefer & Kara 2010). On top of this, film industries are also becoming more reliant on multinational cast and crew, and other resources available to them.
A clear example of a transnational film is the Academy Award winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Set and filmed in India, the film follows the story of a teenage boy who appears on the Indian adaptation of a Western game show ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’. Throughout the film, aspects of Western culture were referenced as a way of targeting Western audiences. Along with the Indian adaptation of the game show, the film’s tourist scene was set at the Taj Mahal, which is considered to be one of the most recognisable landmarks in India for Westerners. The cast and crew of the film also add transnationality as they were a mixture of both Indian and Western.
According to David Schaefer & Kavita Kara (2010), “Asian film industries, particularly those of India and China, will wrestle control of global film flows from Western dominance”. In order to achieve this, it is believed that Asian production centers will utilise mediums, such as the internet, satellite networks, cable television and DVD distribution, to exploit cinematic contraflows as a way of meeting the demands for glocalised content.