About the theme of this special issue: “Transnational Media and Communication in Asia”
In the past few decades, the Asian media landscape has become borderless or transnational in terms of both consumption and production. Many Asian countries have witnessed emerging media and/or communication-related phenomena that are not limited by their national boundaries. Pan-Asianization of national media content, a hybrid of Asian media production and increasing transnational communications, have altered our lifestyles, attitudes, and perceptions as Asians. Unlike Europe and the EU, no supranational political entity with control over media and communications exists in Asia, and the outcome of transnational communications for Asia is not necessarily foreseeable. Therefore, we have collected manuscripts that focus on analyzing these new phenomena from an Asian perspective—not from a national one—to find clues about developments in the 21st century.
With these ambitions and perspectives, this special issue starts with IWABUCHI Koichi’s paper, which provides a blueprint for investigating the Asian media culture. As IWABUCHI points out, television dramas in Asia have been central to the Asian media culture. Juliana ABDUL WAHAB argues that the emergence of cosmopolitan lifestyles in Malaysia can be attributed to the consumption of Asian dramas. These Asian dramas include, of course, Korean dramas that triggered the cultural typhoon in Asia called Hallyu. WON Yong-jin explains this phenomenon not only as cultural but also as political. TANAKA Toko sheds a slightly different light on the Asian media culture. She conducted extensive field work about “cosplay” resulting from the fascination with Japanese manga and anime, which unite Asian youth. Transnational Media and Communication in Asia are not associated exclusively with the popular culture and/or subculture. ZHAO Ruiqi and REN Tianwei suggest that transnational news flow in Asia is also reflected in China, where news content is generally controlled by the government. Thus, they find that an “online nationalism” is gradually influencing Chinese diplomacy. SUZUKI Hirotaka and WATAI Masayasu focus on global journalism and transnational news consumption in Asia to discover characteristics of the Asian global audience. In the RESEARCH NOTE section, LUO Qing and JIANG Huayu endeavor to summarize European media policy from Chinese viewpoints and present policy suggestions.
Throughout the editorial process, editorial members recognized “Asian diversity” in both the contents and the styles of articles. On behalf of the editorial board, I express my hope that readers will enjoy the diversity of content and perspective presented by our contributors as well as the diversity in style and argument construction. Finally, I would like to thank all aspiring contributors for the journal’s inaugural issue; unfortunately, we were not able to accept all submitted works. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the prompt and professional advice from LinkTrans Simul, Inc. in support of this publication.