Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Globalization and Identity: National Content Quota


I fell asleep near the Danish-German border on our bus ride to Hamburg from Aarhus despite the radio (which is usually on in long-distance buses within Europe). When I awoke, my husband told me we were already in Germany. Since the scenery hadn’t changed much, my first reaction was, “Huh, when did German pop music get so inane?” but, of course, the German radio station was playing American pop music.

It reminded me of a time when we first went to Italy, and I persuaded my husband not to bring our iPods with us, because “We should enjoy the native music on their radio”. On our bus ride from the airport in Milan, we were greeted to a heavy rotation of Britney Spears’ hit, “Toxic”. My husband could not resist snickering at me, “Enjoy the native radio waves.”

I wasn’t sure how to react when I first learned about Canada’s “CanCon” law, a requirement where broadcasters must air a certain percentage of Canadian-produced content. I wasn’t sure how to react because I am not usually a fan of protectionist trade policies. I felt it was hypocritical to be protectionist about content (and there’s also the freedom of the press, freedom of speech issues). But because the “world is flat” (in Friedman’s words), where I can get McDonald’s in most cities around the world, it may be more important that content that reflects that identity of that nation, be somehow protected, if only so we know where we are on our bus ride.

Photo: A windmill in Solvang, California…where Danish culture can be enjoyed in the US (though no one spoke Danish there)


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This entry was posted on August 3, 2015 by in Culture, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Travel and tagged , , , , , .
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