Archive for the ‘Contoh Ulasan Buku’ Category

Contoh Ulasan Buku 3

September 1, 2009

Ini satu lagi ulasan buku yang saya buat dalam tahun 1995.

Trends in World Communication: 
On Disempowerment and Self-Empowerment. 
Hamelink, Cees J. 1994.Penang, Malaysia: 
Southbound and Third World Network.viii+168 pp.

This review appeared in The Journal of International Communication

Book Reviews in Vol. 2 No. 1 (1995)

This book is about how developments in world communication are
making people less and less informed about events and processes
around them. It shows how globalization, through consolidation
and commercialisation, is disempowering individuals and societies.
It is perhaps one of the best books on developments in world
communication. It puts the fast-moving world of communication in proper 
perspective. While tracing the history of globalization, it also identifies 
four major trends in world communication. The book offers suggestions for 
self- empowerment and proposes a people's communication charter.
   At the outset, Hamelink takes a critical look at the 1960s' concept
of global village, which is being widely used to describe the developments
in the world, especially pertaining to communication. While he accepts
that advances in communication and transport technology have made nore
contacts among people and nations a reality, he says it is wrong to project
the world as a village. He sets out to dispel the notion associated with
the metaphor.
  First, he says, it is wrong to suggest that the world shown on television
has a global scope, because such an assertion ignores the very limited and 
fragmented nature of international reporting. Second, it is misleading to 
assume that watching TV news leads to genuine knowledge and understanding about
world events. Third, in the real village situation most people know
what is going on and know each other, but the opposite is true in the real
world: there is more going on than ever before, yet most people know very
little about it; and the majority of the world's citizens have little
knowledge or understanding of each other. Fourth, the term "global
village" assumes that the world is shrinking and becoming a smaller
place. In a real sense, however, the world is expanding. There is more 
world than ever before in history: more people, more nations and more
  The global village concept provides a very good launching pad for
Hamelink to strike at the stark reality about the development of global
communication and the impact  to the world at large. As he sees it,
disparity is a clear feature of today's global communication.
For instance, information flows across the globe are imbalanced, because
most of the world's information moves among the countries in the North,
less between the North and the South, and very little flows among the
countries of the South. Wasn't this a subject much discussed in UNESCO
during the tenure of Director-General Amadou Mahtar M'Bow who, with the
backing of Third World countries, was trying to balance things up?
But now everything seems unstoppable.
   What is happening is quite disturbing. As Hamelink says, today's
institutions and processes of world communication have a disempowering
effect. To put the current world picture into perspective, Hamelink
traces the history of world communication. He traces the recent situation 
to the flow of transnationalization, from the North to the South, in search
of cheap labour and new markets. The real growth and signifance of world
communication began to take shape after World War II. The major
factors that steered the direction of the world communication were East/
West and North/South politics, the world economy and its key actors:
the transnational corporations and the technological innovations.
History shows that the proliferation of industrial investment
required the coordination of widely dispersed units of transnational
corporations. The result of this overall economic development was the
proliferation of a transnational communication industry across the
world. Hamelink names the U.S. communication corporations with the 
largest defence contracts for military equipment, the communication
corporation with the largest defence contracts for research and
development, and the top corporation in the international
communication industry with strong direct military connections.
   That brings him to the trends in world communication. The major ones
he identifies are digitization, consolidation, deregulation and
globalization, which are inter-related. Digitization provides the 
technological basis for globalization as it facilitaes the global
trading of services, worldwide financial networks and the spreading
of high technology research and development across the globe.
Consolidation forms the basis for globalization, and the movement toward 
global markets forces the companies to merge in order to remain 
competitive in a world market. The trend in consolidation, Hamelink
says, has resulted in many huge companies in the communication industry
forming mega-mergers. One disturbing development is the oligopolization
of the communication industry, which tends to undermine the civil and 
political fundamental rights of freedom of expression. The trends toward
digitization and consolidation go together with a shift from regulated,
controlled public-service type information and telecommunication services
to a competitive environment for the trading of these services by private
market operators. At the same time, the trend toward deregulation
strongly reinforces both digitization and consolidation.
   Hamelink argues that the current trends in world communication
converge toward the disempowerment of people. They contribute to the
establishment of a new world order that is inegalitarian, exclusive and
elite-oriented. He suggests empowerment as a response to disempowerment.
Empowerment means giving power to the people through the strategies of
regulation, education, focus on alternative communication forms, and 
technical approaches. He also suggests people's media, media owned and 
controlled by the powerless with the intention to empower themselves,
people's networks, and the revolt of civil society.
   The idea behind empowerment is to give a voice to the voiceless. It
sounds very positive, but it is optimistic to expect much from the 
suggestion. That's probably where the people's communication
charter comes into play. The author hopes to develop this into a people's
movement. Whatever it is, the book makes a great reading.
 Mohd. Safar Hasim, associate professor
 Department of Communication
 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Contoh Ulasan Buku 2

September 1, 2009

Ini adalah satu lagi contoh ulasan buku yang saya buat dalam tahun 1999.

Advertising in Asia: Communication, Culture and Consumption. Frith, Katherine Tland, ed. Ames: Iowa State University.  1996. xii+313pp.

This review appeared in the Journal of Communication Book Reviews in Vol 6 No. 1 (1999).


The dynamic economic growth in Asian countries — “Asian miracle” — over the last decades, especially in East Asia, has resulted in  a dramatic  increase in advertising. Frith notes that the region spent billions on  mass media advertising, a;; aimed at enticing the burgeoning middle class  to consume everything from perfumes to Pentiums (p.3). Multinational business activity has caused a transformation of consumer behaviors in the region--and a shift from a traditional to a mass market.  Advertising is
at the center of this change.

   In this book, Frith and 12 other scholars set out to examine
advertising practice in Asia, including issues related to political
systems, national development policies and the social, cultural and
philosophical underpinnings that affect advertising regulations in China,
Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

   Frith notes that even though many publications are available on the
economic miracle of Asia, hardly any comprehensive work exists on
advertising practice in the region except Anderson's 1984 book Madison
Avenue in Asia (p. 3). However, one may cite several other examples:
De La Torre (1988), Hashim (1994), Nawigamune (1988), and Singh (1976).

   Anderson viewed the situation in Asia through the lens of Johan
Galtung's structural theory of imperialism to describe the impact of
transnational advertising on the periphery nations of Asia. Anderson had
concluded that under economic colonialism, "center" nations--particularly
the United States, Britain and Japan--to a large extent controlled the
economies of the developing or "peripheral" nations (Frith, p. 4).

   Frith argues the rise of the Four Dragons--Hong Kong, Singapore,
South Korea, and Taiwan, which experienced the greatest sustained economic
development in the world--may raise some challenging questions about the
final outcome of the modernization process in Asia (p. 4).  Frith observes
that the most interesting aspects of economic growth in East Asia has been
the connection between culture and economic growth--the "Cultural China"
factor--not only in terms of the geographic region but also in terms of
what Tu Wei-ming (1991) calls the Chinese Diaspora scattered as an ethnic
minority throughout Asia.  In addition to sharing cultural values, this
group is also responsible for much of the economic growth in the region.

   A "myth" exists that multinational corporations are always successful
in cracking the resistance of Asian culture and politics, despite the
countless successes of multinational brands in Asia. However, Anderson
(1984) and Janus (1986) had noted that in the 1980s advertising promoted
the consumption of nonessential products and concentrated economic power
in the hands of a few large transnational corporations, which had an
advantage in foreign markets.

   Advertising has been held responsible for the spread of consumer
culture. Advertising too has been charged with creating an increasing gap
and disharmony of interest between the "haves" and the "have nots."
Advertising is also blamed for the destruction of indigenous culture and
the promotion of foreign culture--pop music, jeans, etc.  Frith notes that
of all the criticisms of advertising this one is the most worrisome
because although it is hard to argue against positive benefits of economic
growth, it is equally hard to argue for the destruction of indigenous
culture (p. 7).

   As we move into the 21st century's new media--Information
Superhighway, Internet, etc.--a new model is emerging. The old media--such
as radio, television and newspapers--promoted a one-way, top-down
transmission system that theoretically gave rise to a passive audience and
a powerful media. Frith notes that much of the criticism of advertising
voiced in the past was rooted in the notion of a passive audience and a
powerful medium. The new media--connected through telephone, satellite and
computers--provide for interaction between sender and receiver. As the new
media technologies move us to a more democratic and interactive mode of
communication, the role of advertising will also change. Frith envisages
that some of the power previously attributed to advertising may give way
to new channels of discourse that are less dependent on external factors
and more on what one thinks (p. 9).

   Each country report in the book provides an in-depth discussion of
the relevant country. Japan has a special place not only because it is the
only developed country in Asia (as a member of G-7), but also because it
is the second largest advertising market after the United States.  Osamu
Inoue points out that Japan has learned a great deal about modern theories
and techniques from the United States (p. 37). However, Japan's
advertising industry is developing its own technologies and culture
following the trends toward globalization, deregulation and opening up of
its markets.

   Malaysia's multi-racial and multi-cultural setting provides another
good example of how advertising develops its unique features. Teck Hua Ngu
says the advertising industry in Malaysia faces complex challenges, making
the practice of advertising more difficult than in some other Asian
countries (p. 255). Ngu adds that like other developing countries in the
region, Malaysia realizes that advertising can be a powerful force in
shaping national values; and that advertising needs to be harnessed to
help construct a just society, not just a consumer society (p. 256).

   The book preceded the economic and financial meltdown in East and
Southeast Asia. Inoue, however, has forewarned the problem Japan would
face when the "bubble economy collapse[d]" (p. 37). IMF has given Korea a
US$60 billion loan, US$23 billion to Indonesia, and US$17 billion
to Thailand, the country where the financial debacle initially surfaced.
This meltdown will definitely have an impact on advertising. The changing
scenario of new media will also change the practice of advertising and
probably the laws and policies pertaining to it.


Anderson, M. E. (1984). Madison Avenue in Asia: Politics and
  transnational advertising. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson
  University Press.

De La Torre, V. R. (1989). Advertising in the Philippines: its historical,
  cultural, and social dimensions. Manila: Tower Book House.

Hashim, A. (1994). Advertising in Malaysia.Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk

Janus (1986). Transnational advertising: Some considerations of its impact
  on peripheral socieities. In Communication in Latin American society:
  Trends in critical research 1960-1985. (E. Atwood & E. McAnany, eds.).
  Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Nawigamune, A. (1988). Advertising in Thailand. Kothomo [i.e., Krung
  Thep Maha Nakhon]: Borisat Samnakphim Saengdaet.

Singh, D. R. (Ed.). (1976). Advertising in India: selected research
  studies. Ludhiana : Dept. of Business Management, Punjab Agricultural

Tu Wei-ming. (1991). Cultural China: The periphery as the center.
  Daedalus, 120 (2): 8.

Mohd Safar Hasim, associate professor
Department of Communication
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Contoh Ulasan Buku

September 1, 2009

Berikut adalah contoh sebuah ulasan buku yang saya buat dalam tahun 1995.

 Broadcasting in the Malay World: Radio, Television and Video in Brunei,

Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. McDaniel, Drew O. 1994.

Norwood, N.J. Ablex Publishing Corp.  xii+339pp.

This book review  appeared in the Journal of International Communication Book Reviews in Vol 2 No. 2 (1995)


Before World War II, development in broadcasting in the then Malaya

 appeared to be crawling like a snail. Indeed, it took about half a century

 from the starting of the first radio broadcast to the introduction of

 black-and-white television, which made its debut in Malaysia in 1963. The

 Confrontation — the undeclared war Indonesia foisted on Malaysia

 following the formation of Malaysia — did not deter the introduction of

 television, which appeared to be taking its own natural course of

 development. In 1978, Malaysia introduced colour television. Two decades

 after the introduction of black-and-white television, the first private

 commercial TV station made its debut in 1984, a sterling move signalling

 Malaysia’s new policy shift to privatisation. The new station is known as

 TV3, meaning it is the third TV channel after the two government channels,

 TV1 and TV2. And slightly more than a decade later, on 1 July 1995, a

 second private commercial station came into being. From here on, things

 are moving at a very dizzying speed.


 If four is not enough, plans are afoot to add five more channels from

 September through November 1995, all as subscription or pay television.

 But viewing for the first three months would be free. Mega TV, a

 consortium led by TV3, would provide these new channels. And to cap all

 that, by April 1996, Malaysia is expected to have an additional 20

 channels when the country launches its own domestic satellite MEASAT. With

 or without MEASAT, the people of Malaysia will have access to more

 channels after that when parabola dishes will become available in

 abundance, legally or otherwise.


 McDaniel’s book _Broadcasting in the Malay World_ provides a very useful

 and important backdrop to the above development. Without knowing the early

 development of broadcasting since the 1920s, one will not be able to

 really appreciate the current progressive development in Malaysia and the

 surrounding countries, especially in Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.

 McDaniel had already recorded the possible birth of the fourth channel in

 his book (pp 146-147). The nameless entity then, now known as the

 MetroVision, is majority owned by the Melewar Corp. (a company connected

 to the Negeri Sembilan Royalty), the company that submitted the proposal

 for the channel as early as 1984. The new channel is also known as TV

 Channel 8. But its catchword is MetroVision, with two crescents joining

 together to form a reclining figure 8.


 The appearance of _Broadcasting in the Malay World_ is most welcome, as

 there is really a dearth of books on communication and the media about the

 countries in the region. Information on historical development of

 broadcasting in the region is not readily available, even though Malaysian

 scholars are making efforts to carry out research. (For instance, Asiah

 Sarji’s doctoral dissertation _The Influence of Political and

 Socio-Cultural Environment on the Development of Radio Broadcasting in

 Malaya from 1920-1959_.) McDaniel’s book not only touches about

 development in radio, television and video in Malaysia, but also in

 Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei. While the title gives the name of

 countries covered in the book in alphabetical order, Malaysia actually

 receives the lion’s share. The book has 12 chapters. The first deals

 briefly with the Malay-Indonesia Archipelago, its history, ethnic

 component and the economies of the countries. This vital information helps

 readers, especially those not familiar with the region, to follow the

 later chapters with greater awareness.


 The actual discussion on broadcasting development begins with Chapter 2,

 which deals with radio in the Malay Archipelago between 1920-1941; and

 this narrows down to a history of broadcasting in Malaysia and Singapore

 between 1942-1969 (Chapter 3). Chapters 4 through 6 deal with broadcasting

 in Malaysia, Chapter 7 with broadcasting in Singapore, Chapter 8 with

 broadcasting in Brunei, and Chapters 9 and 10 with broadcasting in

 Indonesia. Chapter 11 deals with home video.


 This book is not merely a historical narration of broadcasting

 development. Rather, it tries to see how broadcasting reflects cultural

 pluralism, and the role assumed by media in cultural integration polities.

 Indeed, as the author points out very early in his book (Chapter 1), the

 countries in the region have to cope with a multi-racial population. Radio

 and television in these countries have a special function to transmit

 economic and special policies for national development. The author also

 explores the formulation and implementation of national media policies,

 and shows how mass communication is made to conform with national

 political principles. McDaniel uses Sydney Head’s viewpoint as a central

 point of his book that “each country will have uniquely adapted

 broadcasting to suit its own need.”


 While McDaniel has accomplished a lot in this volume, he has still omitted

 a good deal of needed information. McDaniel has an open field if he has

 the time to come again to this region. The most important development is,

 of course, the use of parabola dishes to receive TV signals from

 satellites in Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand while these countries are

 coping with the problem of cultural invasion through television

 programmes. The use of parabola dishes is illegal in Malaysia, but several

 thousands are installed in Sarawak, a state on the eastern wing of the

 country. These dishes are available just across the borders of Indonesia

 and Brunei. One can construe Malaysia’s efforts to flood the market with

 television channels as a strategy to curb the need for people to have

 direct access to satellite TV channels.


 It is interesting to note that McDaniel’s interest in the region

 started in the early 1950s when he was a young shortwave radio listener.

 The information and documents he collected then, plus working

 stints in Kuala Lumpur and a research grant, enabled him to put together

 this very informative book. It should be recommended reading in

 communication schools, especially in the countries discussed.


Mohd. Safar Hasim, associate professor

Department of Communication

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


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