chapter  3
17 Pages

The Language of Advantage: Satellite Television in Western Europe

The integration of the world economy into a single market and the consequential redefinition of communities shaped by a shared culture and information pool is firmly established as what Norman Mailer called a ‘factoid’. New distribution technologies threaten, or promise, to restratify international information markets. Communication satellites abolish the relationship between cost and distance in communication and have made usable (for both point-to-point communicationtelecoms-and point-to-multi-point communication-broadcasting) radio frequencies that have hitherto been useless. They therefore offer a potential to extend choice and intensify competition in existing communication markets and to create new ‘communication spheres’ binding together markets and communities that have hitherto been distinct. Information itself has become a product produced and traded in increasing quantities internationally. Governments attempt to foster the development of their state as an ‘information society’ and improve their balance of trade by exporting information. Not all societies can have a positive trade balance in information and some are particularly advantaged as international information producers and traders.