How movies and news impact the world

Yesterday I discussed IMAX Corp.’s plan to expand their China operations. I also briefly touched on how the movie industry will be changing in the years to come to cater to a larger Chinese audience. Movies have the potential to transform the world. They often form opinions for people and give them a large percentage of their beliefs and thoughts about a particular country or culture. Movies are not the only medium that has such a power, as the news media is just as powerful. Whether or not movies and the news are painting accurate pictures about a country or culture is beside the point. The fact is that they can and do impact the world a great deal.

The United States is unquestionably the best and most experienced at doing this, particularly with movies. Hollywood movies for many decades now have shaped a lot of people’s views about the U.S. For a long time those countries that were exposed to all the big Hollywood films and stars ended up having fairly positive views about the country and American culture. On the flip side, those countries (most of them oppressed countries) that had less exposure to Hollywood and more exposure to their own news media which often times was misleading had more hatred towards the U.S. than they should have.

These are lessons that China will need to learn as they continue to rise. They will need to appeal to other countries because other countries will need to be good customers if they want to truly be successful. Although China has a massive population, the real money comes from exporting a country’s culture. This is something the U.S. has done exceptionally well and China will need to succeed in this task as well.