Anthony J. Pennings, PhD


The Surveilling Eye of Global Financial News

Posted on | May 20, 2014 | No Comments

Abbreviated notes from a recent talk to the Korean International Studies Association at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea, May 17, 2014.

This summer I’m starting an inquiry into global financial news that will combine a formalistic look at the meaning-making processes that constitute television news while also incorporating the importance of surveillance, a long recognized mass media function. Both deserve additional scrutiny in an age of sophisticated digital media and telecommunications capabilities that have changed the dynamics of global finance and its impact on countries around the world.

I elaborated on 3 points that tie a formal analysis of television financial news with a political economy of global money and the mass media function of surveillance.

  1. Global news is part of a global surveillance apparatus that uses increasingly sophisticated forms of digital techniques to mediate the events, processes and people of the world in a variety of representational forms such as live statistical feeds and price information, info-graphics, live split-screen guest interviews from remote locations, etc.
  2. Countries exist within an “information standard” that replaced the gold/dollar standard created at Bretton Woods with a global system of high tech financial trading reacting in various ways to information and news flows.
  3. This information standard disciplines government policy as the amounts of money in global circulation seriously challenge the capability of any individual country to effectively control key aspects of their economic and financial policy.

Surveillance of the world plays a unique role in the financial industry by providing a wide variety of mediated economic and financial news related to geopolitical risk and opportunity. Furthermore, it is important to place the analysis of financial news within the political context of a larger techno-structural environment of global financial trading that works to discipline countries, companies and people around the world. The implications of this global web have been amplified by the extraordinary volume and velocity of the system that sees tens of trillions of dollars of trades transacted every day.



AnthonybwAnthony J. Pennings, PhD is the Professor of Global Media at Hannam University in South Korea. Previously, he taught at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas and was on the faculty of New York University from 2002-2012. He also taught at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and was a Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii in the 1990s.


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