Redefing the Mass in Mass Media

Do you know what month this is? It’s Asian Pacific Islander Month. A month in the USA for celebrating the culture and history of Asian Americans. As a communications professional, APAC month is a great time for me to reflect on the literary, media and communications related contributions of the Asian community in the United States and abroad.

Media is one of the most powerful tools we have to convey culture and history. It is also a way that we are socialized—and continue to socialize the world. I am always mindful of the ways in which media introduces us to cultures and histories. As a child, I had the privilege of finding the Public Broadcasting Station, and that is where I was introduced to the variety that was—and is, the world.

As a media professional in the United States, I cannot help but notice the absence of a viable Asian representations in media. And while I think there is much that can be done in this area, I find that a sizable library of international media exists to fill the void.  I also find that the absence presents a windfall gain to anyone willing to fill that void.  Media professionals must start to think creatively about holes in media.  These holes, represent opportunities for ethnic media professionals. From Hong Kong to Korea, Asian nations are producing media for which their populations at home and abroad can identify. The advent of social media and self-broadcasting also opens up new avenues to explore non-western media.  Asian media professionals in the US have a huge US Asian market that they can tap into quickly.  In one of the most highly technological nations on the planet, Asian-American media professionals have a huge market opportunity.

In fact the media quality of the productions, plot, cinematography, production and publication of many independent media producers is impeccable. Even with international media productions, with just a few subtitles or a translation, an American like myself can be swept away by the story-line of a Korean Soap Opera; riveted by a Hong Kong action series; enthralled by a Japanese novel or delighted by a Filipino game show. Now, no matter where you are in the world, you can find media that speaks to you! For content producers this is important, because you have a ready-made market hungry for what is not being served on the media menu. Many will find a willing audience, eager to see representations of their culture, values and history. In my next blog, I will review a Korean movie I watched just recently that I feel truly deserves an award!

Media professionals need to understand that the markets that are available to them are huge! There are 4.6 billion Asians in the world who want to consume media products that reflect their life and culture.  New technology makes it possible to satiate this huge consumer base.  There are also about 2.1 billion or more Africans throughout the world who wish to consume targeted media.  So, we need to redefine the term mass media.  Because thanks to technology, the masses are no longer a niche market.  With with nearly 5 billion Asians on the plant, that means windfall gains for Asian and Asian-American media professionals that tap into this market.   These populations are sure to explode over the next decade and the need for media that tells specifically Asian stories will surge. As a media professional, the future looks bright.  I’m celebrating APAC Month all May long, so I will be providing food for thought and reviews on media and branding!  If you’d like to submit a blog on APAC media, art, marketing, branding, etc., contact me.  Also feel free to recommend a good APAC book, musical artist, author or movie!


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