Global Media


In this project, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following competency:

· Analyze the role of global media in contemporary society



An earthquake in the Yunnan region of China has caused a mineshaft to collapse with an international exploratory group of miners. This rural province is most easily accessible through Myanmar, which is where you and other international journalists are covering internal civil conflict. The group decides to travel immediately to China, and wants you to research the issue at hand, and also provide guidelines for streamlining the communications coming from the group of journalists; international tensions have the potential of heightening over this disaster. The journalists need a concise set of guidelines in the form of a memo that you will print out for their viewing on the ride to rural China.

International journalist holding camera wearing pith helmet.



A group of Chinese workers dressed in industrial work clothes, surrounding someone on a stretcher who is critically injured.

Because this is a time-sensitive, international issue, there isn’t much information available. However, you have compiled research and been asked to help the journalist group streamline its communications out of the rural Yunnan Province.

· After reviewing your research document (there is no need to do independent research), identify the specific political, cultural, and economic factors and/or trends in that information set.

· Determine how political factors may affect these media messages. Note the international relations of the countries involved, as well as the potential global reaction.

· Determine how cultural factors may affect media coverage of this event.

· Determine potential economic factors that may affect media coverage of this event.

· Include specific help for journalists around cultural competency.

· Review the definition of encoding: How does the way a journalist crafts a media message at this sensitive time reflect bias or create unintended messages?

· Review the definition of decoding: How does an understanding of the way messages are received in different parts of the world at different times provide potential guidance for journalists who are first on the scene at this natural disaster?

· In general, what are specific ways of being culturally competent in this particular situation?

· Identify and explain legal and/or ethical considerations based on the information you found.

· Does China have any press-related regulations or precedent to consider?

· What are the potential ethical issues related to hydrofracking and earthquakes?


What to Submit

Every project has a deliverable or deliverables, which are the files that must be submitted before your project can be assessed. For this project, you must submit the following:

Business Memo Provide a memo for your journalist peers that gives them guidelines about how to report on this particular disaster, given the international relations in the region and around the globe.


Supporting Materials

The following resource(s) may help support your work on the project:

Citation Help Need help citing your sources? Use the CfA Citation Guide and Citation Maker.

Document Research Document This document provides you with the latest information uncovered during your research about the situation in Yunnan Province.

Document How to Write a Memo This document gives guidelines in regards to length and content of a memo.


Historic Overview: China has been hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in the Sichuan province, which borders the Yunnan province. Fracking, a method of extracting oil or gas from difficult places, has been linked in studies to causing earthquakes; supporters of fracking, however, also point out that some studies show no correlation. The research generally shows that although fracking methods create microseismic activity, if these seismic activities reach natural fault lines, it could be responsible for earthquakes. Immediate Situation: It’s unclear how many miners are in the mine, or if any are still alive, as radio communications were cut after the initial SOS signal. You will be the first journalists on the ground, but the Chinese media will be there within 12 hours, so you’ll need to work quickly and in a consolidated fashion to gather the facts before potential spin or blocking of information takes place. General Political, Cultural, and Economic Implications: The Secretary-General of the United Nations is likely to use information in your reports to craft their statement. A recent United Nations report warned against continued fracking for multiple reasons, including a potential increase in seismic activity. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) of Japan has denounced China’s continued fracking, and is expected to release a public statement within the next six hours that holds China accountable for the potential outcomes. The international group is from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which includes delegates from: Russia and Kenya, which are generally cooperative and friendly with China; the United Kingdom and United States, which are often critical of China; Tajikistan and Myanmar, who are bordering countries to China; and Chile, which has had a recent mining accident that was on the news, but who has positive international relations with China. China is investing billions in “green energy,” and looks forward to a future without fracking; however, its strong industrial plants as well as the large scale of its industry make a transition to green energy many decades away. Relevant Country Information MyanmarCultural: China is not choosing to sanction Myanmar despite humanitarian crisis, which other countries are sanctioning for. Civil crisis is ethnic and religious in nature; China ignores this aspect and instead focuses on political and economic gain. China has been known to fund ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) who fight in the civil unrest. Economic: Chinese investment is high. Not sanctioning Myanmar Myanmar borders China and has significant trade at a main border crossing. China has an oil pipeline that crosses parts of Myanmar. Political: Pushed port proposals which may significantly burden Myanmar with debt to China Is not sanctioning Myanmar when much of the Western world is China’s support of EAOs and its unwillingness to unequivocally back the Myanmar government has the government—and other EAOs—on edge. Kenya Cultural: Chinese culture has taken hold in Kenya slowly over centuries; there’s a new resurgence of Mandarin, Chinese cultural aesthetics (such as dance, music, and martial arts) and cultural exchanges. Numerous Kenyan grade schools teach Mandarin, which will hasten investments in Kenya due to an inexpensive yet fluent workforce. Economic: China is Kenya’s largest importer. Boast long-standing positive economic relations Imports from China rely heavily on oil (which is obtained by fracking). Political: Kenya does not have much international power, and thus it allies itself with China as its closest industrial superpower. United Kingdom Cultural: The UK is concerned about China’s treatment of workers, who are significantly at risk in the fracking process and who don’t have the same protections as in the UK. Economic: The United Kingdom remains hesitant toward China as an economic leader. Political: The UK embraced and even sped up onshore and offshore oil shale fracking, though protesters and some scientists criticize these policies. Depending on which party is in power, the UK changes its support of this production method. France’s newsrooms heavily chastised the U.K. for not speaking out against fracking, as France just outlawed the process in its entirety.Chile Cultural: The influx of Chinese workers and families has also stressed Chilean cultural homogeneity. Chile recently had its own mining tragedy, which had international press coverage, so the topic is extremely sensitive. Economic: China extracts minerals in Chile, which is on a fault line, and concerns about the use of fracking in Chile are currently heightened. Political: International relations with China have been historically open and positive, as Chile invited Chinese workers and money into its economy. Chile depends on Chinese workers and money; however, many are concerned that China has been purchasing too much Chilean land (for food production) at the detriment of Chilean food independence. References Chinese language gains traction in Kenya amid robust economic and cultural ties. (2018, April 20). Retrieved from Inkey, M. (2018, August 15). China’s stake in the Myanmar peace process. The Diplomat. Retrieved from Kenya imports China. Trading Economics. Retrieved from Oil companies begin ‘fracking’ in China’s most dangerous earthquake zone. (2013, August 1). Russia Times. Retrieved from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas. (2017). Environmental and community impacts of shale development in Texas. Retrieved from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (2018). Commodities at a glance: Special issue on shale gas. Retrieved from


Memo Which Resources Can Help?
Analyzes the effects of political factors and/or trends on media communications ☐ Mastered ☐ Not Yet · Unit Resources: Societal Factors
Analyzes the effects of cultural factors and/or trends on media communications ☐ Mastered ☐ Not Yet · Unit Resources: Societal Factors
Analyzes how emerging market factors and/or trends affect global media ☐ Mastered ☐ Not Yet · Unit Resources: Emerging Markets and Technologies
Assesses how intercultural competency relates to media messaging ☐ Mastered ☐ Not Yet · Unit Resources: Cultural Competency
Determines legal and/or ethical issues related to the media ☐ Mastered ☐ Not Yet · Unit Resources: Ethical Issues
General Which Resources Can Help?
Clearly conveys meaning with correct grammar, sentence structure, and spelling; shows understanding of audience and purpose ☐ Mastered ☐ Not Yet · Academic Support
Lists sources where needed using citation methods with no major errors ☐ Mastered ☐ Not Yet · Citation Help