The Emergence of Hong Kong as a Media Capital and the ‘Clash of Civilisations’

Over the past several weeks, I have been reading other blogs submitted by my classmates, and even blogs from the 2013 BCM111 course. Most of the ones I have read are just addressing the theories presented in the lecture; e.g. Clash of civilisations, cultural essentialism and the definition of media capitals.

Instead of me typing to you the definition of media capitals and clash of civilisations (which you should know if you’re a media student or my tutor), here is a variety of YouTube videos to explain it.
The following video is of Edward Said, as he explains the clash of civilisations, it is the most in depth video and I recommend referencing this one:

Hong Kong media capital definition – “Cairo, and Hong Kong. One might refer to these cities as media capitals, since they represent centres of media activity that have specific logics of their own; ones that do not necessarily correspond to the geography” – Micheal Curtin in ‘Media Capital: Towards the study of spatial flows’ ( )From this definition we can see that media capitals are centres for different medias, of different cultures, to conglomerate and be distributed.

The lecture this week partly focused on the ‘Clash of Cultures’, and the flaws of this theory. The main flaws were ‘cultural essentialism, ( and Orientalism ( However, I will be focusing on the media capital of Hong Kong, and how it disproves these theories.

Michael Curtin in ‘Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film Industry’[1] 140107020455-run-run-shaw-story-top140107020455-run-run-shaw-story-top
Using Hong Kong and Run Run Shaw as a media capital case study, I’ll run you through the brief reasons why Hong Kong is a media capital. So, a film producer from China named Run Run Shaw, relocated to Hong Kong with the Desire to build a pan-Chinese Mandarin cinema. Although his passion soon changed to television, this would show to be a significant advancement for the Hong Kongs leading broadcaster TBV. With Shaw, came his considerable resources, and as Curtin explores, TBV prosperity was not solely because of this, but largely due to Shaw’s aggressive marketing strategies and his ability to recruit and train creative behaviour. (

This growth in television saw a rise in the genres of drama and Cantopop.

From this growth in television, prompted growth in other Medias in Hong Kong. Curtin continues to explore this, stating that the “Three industries [music, television and movie] appeared to complement one another.”

So if they all work in cohesion, it should strengthen the media capital as a whole right? Yes.

This cohesion of media attributed to the flourishing nature of Hong Kong as a media capital, the embracement of television, and new modes of production, appropriated form film created a better viewing experiences, making the matter produced more appealing internationally. Another positive from having close working media was the sizeable pool of talent which again attributed to Hong Kong’s international appeal.


Financescapes (explore more in my previous post: also is relevant to this discussion. Hong Kong had all this success because it became an important financial centre for the Chinese. Curtin discussed this as a relevant point to the success of Hong Kong, stating “[this financial centre] provided ready access to capital and other commercial resources [which benefitted the prosperity of HK media].

The increased finance was partly due to the rise in Cinema chains. This generated profit and added to the raising of production budgets and quality of movies in Hong Kong. Furthermore making them more attractive to “Chinese audiences in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Further profiting Hong Kong.

From this information we can assume that Hong Kong is both western and eastern in culture. Resulting in hybridity among cultures, furthermore leading to the success and growth of Hong Kong as a media capital.

Please leave your comments and feedback below. If you have any questions i would be happy to answer them. Thank you.

Links to Images used:,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNFwFCMkYDKIcvJryvPi09zfFN53Cw&ust=1413429933258393

Further Readings:

Curtin, Michael (2009) ‘Matrix Media’. Television Studies After TV: Understanding Television in the Post-Broadcast Era. Eds Graeme Turner and Jinna Tay. London: Routledge. pp. 9–19.

Thussu, Daya Kishan (2007) Media on the Move: Global Flow and Contra-Flow. London and New York: Routledge.

Moran, Albert (2009) New Flows in Global TV. Bristol and Chicago: Intellect



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