Godzilla to Gold: Hong Kong’s rise to Power

Hong Kong is one of the largest media capitals in the world. First gaining broadcast television in 1967, Hong Kong broadcasts TV channels to over fifteen countries, including Australia, New Zealand, UK, US and many countries across Asia.

After WWII, Hong Kong had a large increase of immigrants arriving from different parts of Asia. With its population tripling from an original 1 million, creative communities emerged in HK with artists particularly from China. Most filmmakers continued to feature themes, actors and genres that were popular in their place of origin. The new generation however, had more experience with western popular culture than traditional Chinese culture. Realising this new audience needed material that they could relate to producers began offering more contemporary topics that responded to Hong Kong’s economic, political and cultural changes. Relatable

Hong Kong’s first license broadcast TV; TVB operated a vertically integrated media empire throughout East and Southeast Asia. According to this weeks reading, ‘Media Capital’, “In 1973, 80% of homes in Hong Kong had access to two local Chinese stations, therefore TV was becoming the primary site of public deliberation regarding emergence of a distinctive Hong Kong identity” (Curtin, 1999).

Forms of popular TV:

News was the first public examination of relevant and ‘happening issues’.

  • It created a widespread public sphere for society to discuss tradition, ethics and rule of law

Primetime crime shows also became popular and were the first seen dramas on Hong Kong television.

The influx of Western television shown in Asia inspired a large amount of Hong Kong’s broadcast material. TVB created talent style shows such as the voice Hong Kong and Jade Starbiz, imitating similar shows in the US.

Domestic dramas are the most popular of all.  The Great Man can be seen as Hong Kong’s Home and Away. It explores the story of a long lost son reuniting with his family.

  • Viewed by more than 90% of Households
  • According to Jiewei Ma’s “Culture Politics, and Television in Hong Kong” it provided a pretext for discussing re-identity, migration and popular values.

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Hong Kong’s rapid embrace of television is he result of its mediation between the East and the West. By integrating aspects of both cultures, it has successfully produced content relevant and accessible worldwide. This development as a media capital has led Hong Kong to be a globally recognised figure of Chinese culture and a leader in the spread and development of media content.

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