Getting Dumber and Dumber: MTV's Global Footprint


Simon Philo

Simon Philo

Simon Philo is Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Derby, UK. His publications include a chapter on MTV in THE DISAPPEARING GLOBAL VILLAGE (Popular Press, 1998); a chapter on American Youth TV in THE RADIANT HOUR (Accenting America Series, U of Exeter / North-Western U, 1998); a chapter on "The Simpsons" in LEAVING SPRINGFIELD (U of North Kentucky Press, 1998); and an essay on Raymond Carver in TWENTIETH CENTURY WESTERN WRITERS (St James Press, 1991)


One World, One Image, One Channel...

Why resistance isn't useless (or impossible)...

Reasons to be cheerful...


Somewhat perversely, it might be expedient to begin by pointing out that this paper is not about the music video per se. There will be no close textual analysis of individual clips. Eminent pop philosopher Elvis Costello once said that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture. It's a really stupid thing to want to do" (quoted in Goodwin, 1993: 1). Conscious that 'accidents can happen", this paper is concerned with the institutional as opposed to the purely textual; with the processes of production and reception (although it should be noted that it is perhaps inevitable that such a consideration will touch upon the channel - if not the videos themselves - as "text" in its most socially-engaged sense). The focus here, then, is on those organisations which broadcast music videos, on Music Television (MTV) in particular, and on the possible impact of what has become a truly global phenomenon.

There is a common perception that American products dominate the world's markets. Coke and Pepsi slug it out across continents. It would appear that there is no place on earth where one cannot purchase a Big Mac. In his book Superculture, Christopher Bigsby offers this assessment of America's global dominance:

American corporations shape the physical and mental environment, influence the eating habits, define the leisure pursuits, produce TV programmes and movies: devise, in other words, the fact and fantasy of the late twentieth century (Bigsby, 1975: 4).

The perceived threat of globalisation has prompted fears and resentments not dissimilar in temper and tone to those by-now familiar reactions to the threat of Americanisation. Globalisation is sometimes seen as a force that will erode or, worse still, dissolve cultural difference and variety. Yet, the presence and pervasiveness of American-made goods does not necessarily signal the death of the local, regional or national. As Frederic Jameson notes, late modern or postmodern capitalism has led to a more disorganised set of relationships between trading nations. Thus, it is one of the characteristics of the dreaded "P"-concept - postmodernism or, perhaps more accurately, postmodernity - that it leads to uncertainty and paradox, as opposed to certainty and confidence. As a kind of postmodern capitalism, globalisation reflects this. For with it, the act of cultural transfer becomes more problematic, the flow of goods and ideas so much more difficult to "police".

Economically, globalisation refers to a shift in capitalist practice. Today's multi- nationals talk of "global marketing strategies" and securing a "global market share" - corporate- speak which alludes to a kind of capitalism sans frontieres. Economically, there can be no doubting the level of control exerted by predominantly western multi-nationals over the flow of goods and information. At an empirical level, the issue of ownership is not really open to debate. Despite challenges from Japanese giants like Sony or Matsushita, it is companies of the West - and of the United States in particular - which continue to play a leading role and hold a controlling interest in trans-national capitalism. Looked at this way, we could continue to argue for the existence of a form of Western economic imperialism today.

In cultural terms too, the world-wide dissemination of Western-made products - together with the ideological values these are often said to carry - is seen by many to pose a very real threat to the identity and autonomy of certain of local, regional and national cultures. It is perhaps the logic of globalisation that it pushes towards standardisation and homogenisation of markets, goods and tastes, seeking a "one size fits all" approach to cultural production and consumption. In this one can hear echoes of Marshall Berman's oft-quoted statement concerning the effects of modernity:

Modern environments and experiences cut across all boundaries of geography, ethnicity, of class and nationality, of religion and ideology: in this sense, modernity can be said to unite all mankind (Berman, 1983: 15)1 .

At the forefront of globalisation are giant multi-national media empires like Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Such corporations possess not only the means of production, but also the means of distribution. Quite obviously, multi-nationals are key players in the globalisation process. Moreover, it is argued that they have the power to restructure space and with it our subjective experience of that space. We might, for example, interpret computer giant IBM's "boast" as proud recognition of this ability to render borders irrelevant:

For our purposes ... the boundaries that separate one nation from another are no more real than the Equator ... They do not define business requirements or consumer trends (quoted in Morley and Robins, 1995: 10).

Yet we have to ask whether the presence of such corporations necessarily signals the death of indigenous cultural identities, as is suggested in so many worst-case scenarios. Whilst the issue of who holds the economic reigns is often clear enough, what is less clear is exactly what effect this might have.

One World, One Image, One Channel...

Rock'n'Roll enters Iranian homes at a rate of 50 TVs every working hour. Estimated satellite dishes being installed daily in Iran: 400. Homes reached by MTV Europe: 65 million ("Digitations", 1994: 10).

In 1981 MTV began a journey into the minds of American youth (Station brochure, 1995).

One of MTV's most famous slogans from the mid-1980s - "ONE WORLD: ONE IMAGE: ONE CHANNEL" - would seem to lend support to its critics' direst warnings about the station's Orwellian intentions to lobotomise the world's youth. However, this paper sets out to challenge the still widely-held premise that MTV's now global reach makes for a kind of Invasion of the Body Snatchers-scenario; to challenge views which see MTV as both carrier of and symbol for global youth brain-rot. In so doing, it will sketch some possible strategies for 'reading' MTV against the critical grain.

Following its American launch in 1981, MTV quickly built up a sizeable audience. In 1987 a sister company was set up in Europe. By 1994, MTV Europe (MTVE) had overtaken its American sibling in terms of households reached, to become officially the biggest TV channel on earth. In its various guises - as MTVE, MTV Australia, MTV Japan, MTV South America - MTV spans five continents, is beamed into over one hundred countries, and has potential access to more than a quarter of a billion homes worldwide. It is owned by Viacom - one of the planet's largest media conglomerates. The very model of a modern multi-national, Viacom own - or at the very least hold majority shares in - Paramount Pictures, the British video rental outlet Blockbuster Videos, the TV channel Nickleodeon, and Simon & Shuster (the world's leading publishing house). They also command the distribution rights to programmes like The Cosby Show and Roseanne. Clearly, if one is looking for an archetypal "anti-Christ" of Americanisation, one could do worse than to look to Viacom. Yet, in an interesting and perhaps unexpected twist, Viacom's "buy-out" of MTV in the mid-80s signalled a widening of musical scope and saw no change in what is general recognised as the channel's vaguely oppositional liberal-left political agenda. Of course, the channel's strategy has always been to reflect the attitudes and concerns of its core 16-34 year old viewers. Sound financial sense must have played its part in dictating any policy change.

In its world-wide context, MTV has triggered debates in which the fear of possible cultural imperialism mixes with concerns over the debasement of culture and the merits and de-merits of mass or popular culture. For there is an on-going narrative of suspicion, hysteria, prejudice, envy, paranoia and genuine concern - told and re-told by critics of all political colours - that would see MTV as the latest in a long line of pop cultural imports threatening to destroy the very fabric of "small-but-perfectly-formed" cultures worldwide. MTV is an unashamedly capitalist enterprise. In fact, what could be more beautifully and so completely capitalistic than a whole channel that programmes commercials between the commercials? The bottom line is that music videos are advertisements for an artist's - and by extension a record company's - CDs, tapes, and records. It is also a fact that MTV is a highly successful, truly global corporation in all its glorious plumage. Here is an example that simultaneously attests to MTV's global conquest and to the dire consequences of such victories:

The battering ram of progress is proving unstoppable ["progress" in this context is of course invariably perceived as a violent and destructive force] ... In 1989, a paved road brought the once-isolated hamlet to within 90 minutes of the regional airport at Loja [Ecuador]. Along the new artery flow electricity, processed food and back-packers. Fruitjuice, homegrown rice and herbal remedies have been swapped for cans of Coca-Cola, packets of Uncle Ben's [rice] and Tylenol. The silence is shattered by buses and motorcycles that pelt along the Avenue of Eternal Youth. Many young Vilcabambans would now rather watch MTV and eat hamburgers in Quito than live to be a hundred in a mountain idyll (Honore, 1994: 20).

Even allowing for the journalist's projection of romanticism on to the scene, it is possible to see how MTV is conflated as being both a symbol for and playing its literal part in the disappearance of a native culture. However, by way of prefacing this paper's later discussion of how resistance might not be as 'useless" as the sheer weight of evidence perhaps suggests, it is worth pointing out that cultures are rarely static beasts, but rather dynamic and hybrid. In assessing the impact and effect of popular cultural forms like MTV, it is important to acknowledge the extent to which, rather than having them imposed upon us, we may instead appropriate or assimilate parts, whilst choosing to reject or ignore the rest. This, of course, has the consumer or viewer acting (or perhaps more accurately interacting) as opposed to simply passively receiving.

One way in which some critics have attempted to interpret MTV is to see it as an archetypal postmodern text. They cite - what they see as - its fragmented but undifferentiated "flow" and its apparent abandonment of any social or political engagement as concrete proof of this. As previously noted, this paper does not seek to examine music videos as "text" or "style". Its concerns are with the social and political implications of MTV the institution. Thus, it steers clear of postmodern theorising.2 Of far greater significance is MTV's possible impact on people's lives - an issue of which often seems unimportant and irrelevant to many involved in analysing culture. If we must dabble in p-words, then perhaps we might draw a tentative distinction between postmodernism - a bundle of theories - and postmodernity - a one-word description of the material conditions of contemporary living. Thus, one could argue that MTV is archetypal; that it is the apotheosis of postmodernity - a global, multi-national, post-Fordist success story; but by the same token uncertain and provisional in its effects.

Contrary to the claims of many of its critics, MTV does not abandon social or political engagement for a pessimistic or nihilistic outlook on the world. For postmodernism's enthusiastic camp-followers, MTV is resolutely ahistorical, asocial, apolitical, and amoral. As David Tetzlaff typically puts it, "there aren't any problems on MTV" (quoted in Goodwin, 1993: 149). Yet, this is patently not the case. In a more conciliatory vein, Andrew Goodwin argues that:

there are 2 MTVs. One MTV discourse ... is the nihilistic, essentially pointless playfulness [so beloved of our postmodern friends] ... The other is responsible, socially consciousness, satire and parody-based, vaguely liberal ... and almost invisible in academic accounts (Goodwin, 1993: 150, my italics).

The second level of MTV-discourse is perhaps most visibly manifested in the channel's various pro-social campaigns, which over the years have seen it back issued-oriented drives against racism and environmental pollution, and promote AIDS awareness and political responsibility. By way of an example of the latter, this report appeared in the British Times newspaper in 1994:

Jacques Delors ... is to appear on MTV ... as part of a campaign to lure first-time voters into the pooling booths for June's European elections. MTV Europe's project mirrors the "Rock the Vote" campaign by its sister company in America during the 1992 presidential elections, which played a key part in mobilising much of the youth vote in favour of Bill Clinton ("Delors to go on MTV", 1994: 2).

Whilst not wishing to make any grand claims for the station's lofty Reithian ideals, it does appear to have a 'line" - a line which, even if only at best "vaguely liberal", is more or less ignored by the postmodernists, one suspects because it undermines their theorising.3 In many ways, this is perhaps to be expected from a youth-oriented channel which has consistently been editorially outspoken on issues such as censorship, and which - through programmes like Beavis & Butt-Head - has irreverently lampooned other conservative excesses and hysteria.4 Yet, all the evidence which points to the apparent oppositional stance adopted by MTV on certain issues should be counter-balanced by the knowledge that the channel is a hugely profitable component part of a multi-national media organisation. Therefore, the obvious question to ask is exactly how radical or oppositional can it be? Is it possible to reconcile the promotion of dissent - albeit of a liberal-reformist type - with the parent company's primary objective which is to perpetuate capitalism and, by extension, the status quo? One answer to this can perhaps be found in Gramsci's theory of the hegemonic. However for now, it is worth noting that, whilst throwing up a number of problems, these two apparently contradictory functions are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Why resistance isn't useless (or impossible)...

MTV can justifiably claim to be a truly global phenomenon. This must in part be attributed to the transnational appeal of its product - pop music. Tom Freston, one-time MTV director, recognised this, when he noted that

Music videos are internationally acceptable ... [and that] ... [f]or the bulk of our music programming the words are practically irrelevant.

Whilst aggressive marketing and extensive hook-ups for access to the channel may help ensure acceptance in far-flung places, there can be no doubt that it is the world's "love affair" with Western pop music that has made MTV's success virtually inevitable. In turn, of course, MTV works to make pop music culture's grip on the world's youth even stronger. But does MTV's near global reach necessarily signal the end for local, regional or national differences?

Back in 1993, another of the channel's executives appeared to believe this to be the case. With no apparent irony, Bill Roedy was quoted as saying that

MTV probably played a very significant part in ending the Cold War. It is a window on the West which came to represent the free flow of expression. When we went into what was then the Eastern bloc we found that people already knew about us from pirating ... It culminated for me personally - he continues - in hooking up MTV in East Berlin in November 1989. Coincidentally, and within an hour, the politburo resigned, and within 48 hours the Wall came down (quoted in Rimmer, 1993: 14).

However absurd we may think such claims for the effect of his TV station are, Roedy's rather self-satisfied words at least raise the issue of how people respond to the media and lead us into a discussion of those ways in which MTV's perceived threat to local, regional, and national cultural identities might be resisted. For, whilst Bill Roedy has emphasised the liberating Western effect of MTV on Eastern bloc countries, recently he has been more keen to stress the sheer variety of the station's musical output and programming - a diversity which he claims reflects the cultural differences of its young audiences. To counter claims that see MTV as both symbol and carrier of an all-pervasive global pop culture dominated by Anglo-American products and tastes, Roedy has pointed out that roughly 30% of MTV Europe's broadcast music videos are non-Anglo American; that 17% are German in origin (and presumably language); and that there is less American-made programming on MTV Europe than there is to be found on many terrestrial European channels.5 Yet MTV's commitment to variety and difference is not unconnected to matters of profit. It is no coincidence that claims which emphasise the channel's willingness to cater for a less monolithic, homogeneous audience come at a time when it finds itself on the defensive. Writing in The Guardian in August 1994, Dominique Jackson pointed out that the pan- Europeanism promoted by MTV Europe as a key part of its original broadcasting mission has been superseded by "a new policy of tailoring output more closely to national markets" (my italics). This shift in policy - Jackson has suggested - is the inevitable result of commercial considerations, themselves born of sea-changes in political mood:

In just one decade, the pan-European utopia has been revealed as a conspiracy invented by the massed ranks of global marketing and advertising executives, abetted by the bureaucrats of Brussels ... They first started to promote their vision of a border-free, well-heeled pool of 320 million consumers in the early 80s. It might have been done in the spirit of commercial cynicism, but there was enough genuine optimism and international goodwill for it to catch on ... Since then, however Europhilia has been tempered by a combination of genuine recession and bitter experience (Jackson, 1994: 20).

Responding in some might say true hegemonic fashion, MTV Europe in the 90s has shown itself to be decidedly more conscious of difference, fearful of losing its audience share and with it advertising revenues to a number of new music video stations that have sprung up across the continent. Whilst France's M6, Germany's Viva, and Turkey's Kral (King) TV clearly owe a stylistic debt to MTV, what makes them different is that each broadcasts in their native tongue and each programmes a high percentage of home-grown pop/rock material.6 Viva - for example - offers its viewers over 40% German-language music, whilst Kral TV pumps out 100% good-rockin' Turkish pop to an appreciative young audience.

The success of these channels perhaps suggests that the global hegemony of the corporate multi-national can be challenged; that the perceived one-way flow of goods and ideas - popularly perceived as coming chiefly from the USA - can be stemmed, if not actually reversed. Whilst these music video stations might look to be pale imitations of MTV, they do not necessarily sound like MTV. MTV Europe's clear policy shift suggests that the channel is rattled by the success of stations like Viva.

Outside of Europe MTV has suffered similar setbacks and challenges to its designs on the global audience. In India, Rupert Murdoch's Star TV satellite 'package' - on which MTV broadcasts - has been an unmitigated flop. Indian audiences have been singularly unimpressed by the staple TV 'diet' of the average Western viewer, rejecting the delights of TV soaps and MTV in favour of native-language programming which has enjoyed something of a renaissance since Murdoch and his great rival Ted Turner, founder of CNN, arrived on the sub-continental scene. To add insult to injury, the big broadcasting success story in India has been a Hindi language channel called Zee TV, which is beamed earthwards from the same satellite as Murdoch's Star TV and had by 1995 captured an impressive 11% audience share to Star's paltry 2%. As one might expect, the presence of new stations can also lead to long-established regional or national players re-vamping their own programming. In the case of India, the state-owned channel Doordarshan has virtually re-invented itself - picking up more viewers in the process and providing more headaches for those Western media moguls hoping to tap into India's huge revenue potential (Shawcross, 1995).

Far from being mesmerised by the spell of the West, Indian TV audiences seem unenamoured by its products, programmes and promises. And, in a rather symbolic additional act of resistance, it has been acknowledged that many who do have access to Star TV do not even pay for it, hooking up their TVs to a single dish and decoder and thus avoiding subscription charges:

Remember - says Rajat Sharma ... of Zee TV - this is a country where, out of 800 million citizens, the government can only persuade seven million to pay income tax. If the mighty government of India can't collect, what chance does Murdoch have? (quoted in Rusbridger, 1994: 6).

In a 1996 article in The Independent, Matthew Horsman took much evident delight in noting acts of apparent Indian resistance, pointing out that in the sub-continent

truly global media empires have learnt, usually the hard way, that they cannot merely pump their American programmes into other countries and expect to replicate domestic success (Horsman, 1996: 15).

As American poet Dick Shea succinctly put it in a 1967 poem called "Vietnam simply": "You can't change a culture / By building a gas station".

Reasons to be cheerful...

We should quite rightly doubt whether the "imperialist media" has a direct and manipulative influence on those cultures to which they gain access. In his book Cultural Imperialism, John Tomlinson has rather sensibly challenged the notion of a neat correlation between the economic and the cultural:

No one really disputes the dominant presence of western multi-national, and particularly American, media in the world: what is doubted is the cultural implications of this presence (Tomlinson, 1991: 57).

Tomlinson, then, challenges the assumption made by many observers of the global capitalist set-up, which suggests that what occurs is simply an imposition of wants, tastes and desires that within the brain-washed global consumer. Such a conclusion disregards what the individual or group might bring to the act of consumption. Very little evidence has been gathered that can prove categorically that multi-nationals weaken local, regional or national cultural identities. In fact, most studies tend to steer well clear of the "audience", preferring instead to bombard the reader with economic data that is intended to prove conclusively just how all-powerful these super-companies are. However, as Dominic Strinati has pointed out, we should question the "extent to which the manipulation of cultural tastes can be 'read off' from the structure of ownership" (Strinati, 1992: 56).

A detailed focus on MTV demonstrates how and why such "doubts" arise - not only in terms of the conflicts generated within the channel itself (i.e. between its avowed capitalist aims and the perceived political liberalism which calls such aims into question), but also in relation to the challenges set against it from without.

There is no guarantee that, in watching MTV, its young audience will automatically "buy into" its set of dominant values (whatever they might be!). As Ien Ang correctly observed in her investigation into the effects on viewers' lives of the soap opera Dallas, the pleasures gained from watching such programmes need not replace real life and

need not imply that we are bound to take up [its] positions and solutions in our relations to our loved ones and friends, our work, our political beliefs, and so on (Ang, 1989: 135).

As she points out in the more recent Living Room Wars, it is somewhat premature to conclude that "media reality has completely erased social reality" (Ang, 1996: 152).

Recent theoretical developments should lead us to question the idea of an uncomplicated relationship between producer and text, and even more importantly between text and consumer. In considering the effect of the media, it is vital to recognise the part played by the audience in the production of meanings. Traditionally, the demonising of mass media demands that its potential audience be treated as passive receptacles, simply waiting to be filled with whatever messages are poured into them. To acknowledge the existence of an active viewer or consumer has tended to "spoil it" for critics, for whom - rather like the unmasked villain in countless episodes of the American cartoon series Scooby Doo - things would be "just fine, if it wasn't for you meddling kids". So often, then, it seems that the "missing link" in many critical evaluations is context - those situational variables which impact upon the process of "reading" and responding to pop cultural products.

One of the apparent ironies of globalisation is that it appears to engender a form of localism. Because individuals or groups may well have problems relating to their new, globally-oriented cultural environment, it has been noted that they often re-turn to the local as a means of finding their cultural bearings. It may be, therefore, a question of scale which leads certain individuals or groups to attempt to construct cultural identities from local practices and/or products. To a large - and perhaps not unexpected extent - localism challenges the imperative of globalisation. It might be said to compensate for the standardisation and that perceived loss of identity which is said to accompany globalisation. Clearly, a resurgence of regionalism or localism can represent a very real threat to multi-national interests. At an obvious and literal level, it may well require a major re-think in approaches to selling products and programmes. MTV Europe's reaction to the "local" successes of native-speaking music video channels like Turkey's Kral TV shows this. Furthermore, as the Asian adventures of Murdoch and Turner suggest, multi-nationals must be attentive to local needs and differences to stand any chance of capturing a slice of potentially lucrative new markets. They must work to strike some kind of balance between integration and diversity.

There is a strain of current theorising on mass media effects which argues that it does not necessarily follow that the spread of a primarily US-owned media all over the world will produce cultural homogeneity. Instead such a process might lead to the opposite - to fragmentation, contestation and challenge. John Tomlinson has suggested that the age of imperialism has been superseded by the age of globalisation, which is "less coherent or culturally directed" than the former (Tomlinson, 1991: 175). The recent history of MTV can be "told" to begin to illustrate this.


1-Somewhat ironically, it might be possible to argue that the second "half" of this by-now familiar definition of modernity provides support for those arguments taken up later in this paper which look to the persistence of the local in the face of the global challenge. For Berman writes that modernity is a paradoxical unity, a unity of disunity: it pours us all into a maelstrom of perpetual disintegration and renewal, of struggle and contradiction, of ambiguity and anguish (Berman, 1983: 15).

In the light of such circumstances, it is not perhaps unexpected that individuals and groups should seek out the reassurances of the local.

2-Many critics have gleefully pounced upon MTV as postmodernism personified. E. Ann Kaplan (1987) attempted to "read" the channel as symptomatic of postmodernism - arguing that it was full of narrative discontinuity, pastiche and intertextuality. Whilst there may be cultural commentators who enjoy explorations of this kind, the bottom-line of such analysis is that it often occurs in a vacuum - a highly self-conscious, hermetically-sealed world without context, and with very little regard for what non-academic audiences might make of what is set before them. My critique of this approach is not the product of some bloody-minded anti-intellectualism, since I would wish to argue that such criticism appears to lead nowhere. Life is not a "text", and to treat it as such risks rendering it (and us) into that state so beloved of the postmodernists, free-floating ... (which is probably their point!).

3-Whilst acknowledging Beavis and Butt-Head's frequent attacks on "largely white conservative males [and] oppressive authority figures" on whom the duo "enact youth and class revenge", Douglas Kellner quite rightly points out that "liberal yuppies" do not escape what often appears to be nihilistic, indiscriminate mayhem (Kellner, 1995: 146-147).

4-In stark contrast to many electronic media during the Gulf War, MTV adopted a pointedly critical line on the fighting that took both implicit and explicit form. Unlike most radio stations, MTV consciously play-listed anti-war songs often broadcasting them immediately after new items on the war. At this time the UK's most popular rock/pop music station, BBC Radio 1 FM was requesting that the groups Bomb The Bass and Massive Attack quietly "lose" part of their names for fear of offending the delicate sensibilities of their listeners, and drew up a list of 67 songs deemed "unsuitable" for broadcast with the nation at war. Included on this list were such incendiary polemical tracts as Tom Robinson's "War Babies", Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly", Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire", and Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" Furthermore, as Andrew Goodwin points out, MTV gave over considerably more of its air-time to anti-war viewpoints. Such oppositional voices were seldom heard on the major Western networks.

5-In 1995 then MTV CEO Tom Freston told a conference in Hong Kong that "global TV [was] largely a fiction", and that "the McLuhan-esque notion of everyone in the world watching the same flickering image in real time will never be a reality". Acknowledging that MTV might have looked to fashion a global youth audience in the past, Freston argued that experience had taught the station that "big business is in local programming". Thus, whilst what he termed the "hardware" - the technology and finance - might be classed as global, the "software" - the programming itself - would have to be sufficiently local in order to capture a respectable audience. Freston's understandably benign view was that by the mid-90s MTV had successfully struck a balance between the local and the global, and that the global as he understood it meant "increased understanding" as opposed to "homogenisation". Today station idents proudly proclaim that "MTV speaks to many different youth audiences" (Morris, 1995).

6-Writing in the British newspaper The Guardian, Jonathon Rugman notes that, although Kral TV broadcasts only Turkish music, the "stylistic debt to MTV is so great that all [its] presenters are required to watch their European counterparts for at least one hour a day" (Rugman, 1994: 8).