Theoretical concepts that explain transnational mass or social communication are rather unsophisticated. After twenty years of research on media ‘globalization’, academic thinking in this field is still vague and definitely requires more effort. One reason as to why theory is so unconvincing is that most researchers are experts for the ‘translocal’ but not for the ‘local’. Our language skills and methodologies are particularly limited when we try to understand if and how transnational media do or do not affect non-Western societies. To get out of this methodology trap we need a better integration of media studies and the so-called area studies. Currently, media and communication studies, despite all efforts, are ‘international’ only in a very limited sense. There is a dire need for better integration of Asian, African, Latin American, North African and Middle Eastern media studies into theoretical debates.
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