Blog Post #5 – Bianca Urquiza

This past spring in global news, we covered many topics about the media and entertainment around the world. My group focused on one particular area, Western Europe. Many of the countries that we covered in Western Europe were France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands. All these countries have different ways of regulating their media and different ways of releasing that same media to the public. Global news gave us the opportunity to learn about these different cultures and grasp basic knowledge on how these Western European countries function.

Western Europe has taken a toll in the past few months with terrorist attacks happening in multiple countries. These related incidents have been taking over their media. Those are major stories that we hear about from Western Europe.

Both the United States and Western Europe are core countries, that many other places in the world ‘mimic’ the media. Cultural advances in both countries are very attractive to the rest of the world. Many things that I found impressive from Western Europe is how different countries regulate their media, based on their political powers. Some countries have less regulation than others. For example, Portugal is probably one of the least regulated countries in Western Europe. Their government is slowly evolving, and allowing for their media stations to speak freely on topics that would usually be categorized as sensitive.

Media for Western Europe will continue to grow and technology will evolve, allowing them to have greater opportunities to have the freedom of speech in every country. Hopefully one day, the whole world will have the same opportunities.


Blog Post #5 – Ryan Peardon

This semester we have covered the media, entertainment and cultures of a number of different countries in the Western region of Europe. The countries we have talked about include: the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. We talked about dress, stereotypes, gestures, touch, taste and smell. We talked about political systems, media, entertainment, advertising and popular cultural products. We’ve used this class as an opportunity to explore the world in both a fun and informative way.

Western Europe is a large sector for news and media around the world and has been in the news a little more than normal as of late. Due to the various terror attacks in Belgium and France, the media coverage of the region has been heightened. One of the most outstanding media products that comes out of Western Europe is BBC out of London in the United Kingdom. The BBC has been a staple for news in the region since its inception October of 1922. It is the world’s oldest national broadcasting organization and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees.

My favorite media product that we covered during our time in class was definitely the videos and information on Bollywood and Nollywood. I had heard of Bollywood before but was unaware how massive of an industry it was over there. That was very interesting to me. As for Nollywood, I had never even heard of such a thing or knew that people in Nigeria and other regions of Africa made films like that. All of the things that we talked about surrounding that was my favorite. I also enjoyed the video we watching on apartheid in Africa. I am guilty of making a lump assumption of Africa and never really understood how diverse of a region it is.

The media future of Western Europe is on the rise technologically-based, just as it is in the United States. We are headed for the extinction of most print media and magazines as everything will steadily transition into the digital world. Social media will definitely be making even larger strides into the future with news and media as well. We already get a majority of our information from online sources and through social media feeds like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I think that is what the future has in store for the region.

Blog Post #5 – Jordan Trice

For Western Europe, the entire region of the world itself has several various relations with general topics that we have covered in class. Western Europe can be related to topics such as world influences, social media intake and participation, and the freedom of being able to produce various kinds of media. Western Europe is covered a great deal in American news broadcasts, I feel primarily due to similar issues and events that the United States share with Western European countries, proximity to the United States, and business purposes.

If I could go into further detail regarding an area of study about Western Europe, I believe it would simply be how many American influences it has, and vice-versa for the United States. I believe that would be an interesting “compare and contrast” presentation. One outstanding media product that stuck out during our presentations was definitely the Lego Group from Denmark. Not only did it become an international child (and my personal) favorite toy, but the increasing popularity of Legos created room for TV shows and movies to be produced featuring an entire Lego theme. My favorite media product again, would have to be Legos. They played a huge role during my childhood, and it’s insane to see how big the company has become to create actual movies and TV shows.

I believe the future for the media in Western Europe will be determined only by how far technology becomes advanced, and how the rest of the world produces and distributes media. I can honestly see social media being one of the top dogs in global media in the coming years. More and more countries in Western Europe are being exposed to and utilizing social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and it’s only a matter of time until these outlets will be the primary source of news and world events for many people and many generations to come.

Another thing that I can see for not only Western Europe, but for the world in general is an eventual all-digital format of media. By “all-digital”, I am referring to the discontinuation of print, meaning newspapers, magazines, and if technology continues to grow, maybe even books. However that’s a long stretch, and I can’t see it happening any time soon, but it’s still definitely a possibility in my eyes.

Western Europe Blog #4 – Denmark, Greece and Ireland



The LEGO Group was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen and was established in the village of Billund, Denmark. The company has passed from father to son and is now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder.

The name ‘LEGO’ is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt,” which means “play well”. It’s both the company’s name and their ideal. Later, it was realized that in Latin, the word means “I put together”.

denmarklegoIt has come a long way over the past almost 80 years – from a small carpenter’s workshop to a modern, global enterprise that is now one of the world’s largest manufacturer of toys.

The LEGO brick is their most important product. It has twice been named “Toy of the Century.” Their products have undergone extensive development over the years – but the foundation remains with the traditional LEGO brick.

The brick in its present form was launched in 1958. The interlocking principle with its tubes makes it unique, and offers unlimited building possibilities. It’s just a matter of getting the imagination going – and letting a wealth of creative ideas emerge through play. legoduck.jpgIn 1935, he business manufactures its first LEGO wooden duck and markets “Kirk´s Sandgame” its first construction toy.

LEGO began selling their product outside of Denmark in 1959 in Norway, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. In 1961, sales began in the United States and Canada through a license agreement with Samsonite Corp. In 1963, Samsonite began producing LEGO bricks under license in North America. In 1972, LEGO USA was established in Brookfield, Connecticut and in 1973, relocated to its current location in Enfield, Connecticut.

Lego products are now sold in 140 countries today.





Greece has produced several products that are used worldwide, and a few of them we use on a daily basis. 

honeyFor over 3,000 years, Greek honey has been considered the “Nectar of the Gods”. Honey is an original Greek product, and is not only used in various foods, but facial and shampoo products as well.

oliveoilOlive oil is another native product of Greece. Being the “basis of Greek cuisine,” olive oil is one of the most popular Greek products in the world, having several exports around the world.

yogurtYogurt is another contender of being the most well-known product of Greece, carrying many different vitamins, minerals, and proteins that people all over the world consume on a daily basis, and is specifically recommended as the best post-work out meal.

GLOs (Greek Letter Organizations) prominent in U.S., Mexico, the Philippines, Canada, the U.K., France, and a select few other countries.

All but two U.S. Presidents since 1825 have been fraternity members.

All 11 of the Apollo astronauts were members of Greek organizations.

Less than 3% of Americans are members of fraternities and sororities.





Belleek pottery is a type of porcelain that began trading in Belleek County Fermanagh, in what was to become Northern Ireland. belleek1.jpgIn 1863, John Caldwell Bloomfield created a very unique form of pottery that was made with a substance called Parian. Parian is a type of bisque porcelain imitating marble.

Belleek pottery has operated for more than 150 years as Ireland’s leading manufacturer in giftware. belleek2The pottery has achieved an international reputation for high quality of its porcelain, and the intricacy of its designs. Belleek’s gift range include lamps, picture and mirror frames, platters, vases, bowls, candlesticks, clocks and other items, mostly in flowery, Victorian-era style.

Belleek’s target consumer market traditionally has been an older, more conservative age group. But recently, the Belleek style has moved to a more contemporary design to extend its customer base to a younger market.



Western Europe Blog #3 – Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands



Flanders: North/Dutch-Speaking
Wallonia: South/French-Speaking

Print Media

Since 1950, dozens of newspaper titles disappeared in the process of concentration. The number of independent media firms shrank from 34 to only five. In Flanders, the market is controlled by three groups: Corelio Media, De Persgroep and Concentra. The French-language press is dominated by two groups: Rossel and IPM.



Three groups dominate the magazine market in Belgium. The largest is VNU/Sanoma.  A dominant player in both Flanders and the French-speaking part of Belgium, it is owned by the Finnish group Sanoma. Until 2001, it was a daughter corporation of VNU, called Mediaxis. It has long had a monopoly on women’s magazines and also controls the majority of the television magazines.

Roularta, a Flemish publisher with aspirations across Belgium, is the second biggest player in the magazine market. Roularta has a monopoly on informative weeklies.

The third group that publishes magazines is De Persgroep. Besides a large market share in the newspaper market, the group also publishes television weeklies and lifestyle magazines.



The first radio stations in Belgium were formed during the 1920s and were private initiatives. This situation changed, however, with a 1930 law that founded the Public Service Broadcasting institution. It was financed by a licence fee from the start. Advertising was not allowed.

More changes were made in the decade that followed, resulting by 1998 in three different types of radio stations: local radio, city radio and regional radio. In the period that followed, the popular new network Radio Contact began. The year 2001 was big for private radio. Q-Music, owned by the VMMa (a national commercial broadcaster), and 4FM, owned by Think Media, were granted national broadcasting licences. Until that time, the public broadcaster had held sway over 85 percent of the market. In the years that followed, Q-Music acquired the 4FM license and the PSB saw its market share shrink to 61.2% in 2007.


Flanders (North) also has 11 regional TV stations, although some are struggling to survive. The oldest commercial television station in Flanders, the pay-tv provider Filmnet, has changed ownership several times. Since 2005 it has been part of the telecom provider Telenet, which changed the name to Prime.


The first private television broadcaster in Wallonia (South/French-Speaking) was RTL/TVI. It was granted its licence, which was originally to be valid for nine years, in 1987. Its owners are RTL (CLT) with 66 percent ownership, and Audiopresse, a co-operation of the Wallonian written press, with 34 percent. Since 1995, RTL/TVI has broadcasted Club RTL, which is aimed at French-speaking youth. In 2003, RTL started broadcasting PlugTV, which focuses on music and youth programmes.


Just like Flanders, Wallonia (South/French-Speaking) has 11 regional TV stations that are allowed to broadcast advertising. Part of their financing comes from state subsidies, however. The French media group Canal Plus started a pay-TV channel in 1989, Canal Plus Belgique. The Walloon PSB bought 26 percent of its original shares, which it managed to sell in 2000 to the French mother group for 20.6m euro. Later, the pay-TV provider became independent and changed its name to BeTV.



Providers in Belgium:

– Belgacom
– Billi
– Dommel
– EDPnet
– Mobistar
– Scarlet
– Snow
– Svanto
– United Telecom






Portugal is a democratic republic, with a Prime Minister as the head of state. Over the years, the country has had a slow, steady movement away from government controlled media and toward privatization throughout Portugal’s business sector. The Catholic Church as some sort of dominion when it comes to anything press related. They maintain a strong presence in local and regional press.

Portuguese citizens lived under repressive fascist regimes for more than five decades. With this new government, censorship was abolished. The current constitution guarantees free speech and absolute freedom of the press. Just like many other countries in Western Europe, the Portuguese get the majority of their news from Radio or Television. The illiteracy rate in Portugal is 15 percent.

Other groups that dominate the press in Portugal are:

    • Cofina
      • Great influence on the press sector
      • Owns many well-known magazines and newspapers
    • Impresa
      • Property of the former prime-minister Francisco Balsemao.
      • In the press, it owns: Expresso, Visao, Jornal de Letras, Exame, Telenovelas and half a dozen of specialized magazines.
      • In television, it holds commercial channels and International channels
    • Media Capital
      • Very strong in the audiovisual sector
        • Television and radio stations
    • Sonaecom
      • Owned by Belmiro de Azevedo, one of Portugal’s most notorious entrepreneurs, owns the daily newspaper Publico and holds assets in telecommunications and Internet
    • Zon Multimedia
      • A major player in the subscription television, cinema and audiovisual content production and distribution.



The Netherlands:


-Nederlandse Publieke Omroep: Dutch public broadcasting system.

-Radio, TV, Magazines, and Newspapers are characterized by a tradition of politico-denominational  segregation on one hand, and by an increasing degree of commercialism on the other.

-The Netherlands Public Broadcasting system arose from a former practice known as “pillarization”.

-With financial assistance from the government, social and religious groups developed their own institutions, including broadcasting institutions.

-Two major Newspapers in the Netherlands: De Telegraaf(the largest paper) and PCM Uitgevers(owns several different newspapers).

-There is only one news-only radio channel in the Netherlands, and it is BNR(Business News Radio).

-Other channels are mostly music-radio channels targeted at younger audiences.

-There are two commercial broadcasters that are competing with each other in television: the German/Luxembourg RTL Group, and the USA-owned SBS Group.

-Dutch media law to “keep the state at a distance”, meaning that the public broadcasting groups are not directly operated by the government to regulate broadcasting.



Western Europe Blog #2 – United Kingdom, Spain and Germany

United Kingdom:


The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy, which means government is voted into power by the people, to act in the interests of the people. Every adult has the right to vote, which is known as “universal suffrage”.

Alongside this system, the UK is also a constitutional monarchy. This is a situation where there is an established monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II), who remains politically impartial and with limited powers.

People often confuse the roles of government and parliament in this political system. The government runs the country and is responsible for developing and implementing policy and for drafting laws. This is also known as the “Executive.” Parliament, on the other hand, is the highest legislative authority in the UK. It is responsible for checking the work of government and examining, debating and approving new laws. It is also known as the “Legislature.”

The British Parliament is often called Westminster because it is housed in a distinguished building in central London, called the Palace of Westminster, which stands out because of the clock tower at the south end (this is the Elizabeth Tower and it houses Big Ben) and the tower with a flag at the other end (this is the Victoria Tower).

The British Parliament – like that of most larger countries – is bicameral, which means there are two houses or chambers. One tends to find unicameral legislatures in smaller nations such as Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Israel and New Zealand, although China and Iran are two larger nations with a single legislative chamber (but neither of these countries is a democracy).

First is the House of Commons. This is the lower chamber but the one with the most authority. The other is The House of Lords. This is the upper chamber but the one with less authority. Its main roles are to revise legislation and keep a check on Government by scrutinising its activities.


The UK falls under the Western press system concept. It is a freedom culture falling under the Liberal model, which is also similar to the systems in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Source: D2L Slides

The U.K. is a core country, meaning that it provides technology, capital, knowledge and finished goods and services. The U.K. is also a developed nation, meaning that it is a more economically developed country and a sovereign state that has a highly developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations.

Sources: D2l Slides



Spain: Developmental Theory

– Spain’s political system is a parliamentary monarch

– El Pais was founded in 1976. It played a critical role in guiding the formation of opinion in the early days of Spanish democracy
– El Alcazar represented ultra-right wing opposition to democratic policies

– The Radio was regulated by the General Bureau for Radio Broadcasting and Television. But was allowed to broadcast very opinionated shows.
– Spaniards received a relatively small portion of their news and information from print media. They spent more time watching television than the people of any other country in Western Europe except for Britain.
– TV is regulated by state monopoly RadioTelivision Española (RTVE)



Political System- Federal Republic, Constitutional Republic, Representative Democracy, Parliamentary Democracy

President: Joachim Gauck

Chancellor: Angela Merkel

Vice-Chancellor: Sigmar Gabriel

Core country, developed as well.

Media System- Germany has a “dual system” with public and commercial broadcasting. In public broadcasting, the Lander(states) have a significant role. Major media control centers are located in German “old” west. Media usage of East and West Germany still differ from division.

Christmas customs known as Weihnachten. Also vice-versa, the German influence of the American Hamburger.

Germany is the second most respected nation among 50 countries in 2013. Also had the most positive influence in the world in 2011, 2013, and 2014.

Western Europe Blog #1 – Italy vs. France

Doing vs. Being:

  • Masculine: Wanting to be the best
  • Feminine: Liking what you do


  • Doing Society
  • 70 on Geert Hofstede Scale for Masculinity
  • Considered a “masculine” society
  • Highly success-oriented and driven
  • Children are taught at an early age that competition is good and being a winner is important in life
  • Italians like to show their success in the form of:
    • Beautiful car
    • Big house
    • Yacht
    • Travels to exotic countries
  • Competition among colleagues for making a career can be very strong


  • Being Society
  • 43 on Geert Hofstede Scale for Masculinity
  • Considered a “feminine” society
  • Possibly stems from:
    • Welfare system
    • 35-hour work week
    • Five weeks of holiday leave per year
    • Focus on overall quality of life
  • Upper Class scores “feminine”
  • Working Class scores “masculine”
  • This combination is not found in any other country
  • These scores are reflected by:
    • Top managers being, on average, paid less than one would expect
    • Married couples of high society could go out in public with a lover without negative consequences
  • French society does not understand the controversy over the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal
  • Also, crimes of passion are sentenced much more leniently in comparison to other murder trials



Individual vs. Group:


  • Individualist Society
  • 76 on Geert Hofstede Scale for Individualism
  • “Me” centered, especially in big and rich northern cities where one can feel alone even in the middle of a big and busy crowd
  • Direct family and friends are a large piece of Italian culture
  • “Friend” has a different meaning in business terms however
    • Someone that you know and can be useful for introducing you to the important or powerful people
  • Personal objectives and ideas are important to Italians and the route to happiness is through personal fulfillment
  • Family network is important in social aspects
    • Cannot miss rituals such as weddings or Sunday lunches
    • Cannot use work as an excuse to miss


  • Individualist Society
  • Score of 71 on Geert Hofstede Scale for Individualism
  • Parents make their children emotionally independent with regard to groups in which they belong
  • One is only supposed to take care of oneself and one’s family
  • Scores fairly high on Geert Hofstede Scale for Power Distance (68), which demonstrates how the average person expects and accepts that power is distributed unequally
  • This combination of high Power Distance and Individualism score is rare (only found in Belgium and parts of Spain and Northern Italy)
  • Examples of this combination:
    • Show formal respect to superior’s and their orders, but might do the opposite behind their back, thinking they know better than their boss, even though they are unable to express so
    • French parents have more sway over their children than other European countries
    • Stronger respect for the elderly




  • Both countries focus much more on formal dress than we do here in the U.S.


  • Italians are very fashion-conscious
  • Also respectful of traditions and customs, which is translated in the way they dress
  • Italians adapt the way they dress to the moment of the day, the occasion and the site or place they are visiting
  • Examples:
    • No shorts for men in the evening
    • No tank tops or shoulder-less clothing when entering church or cathedral
    • No shorts or mini skirts when visiting The Vatican
  • Expected to dress accordingly in finer restaurants and luxury hotels
  • Failure to do so might be interpreted as offensive and disrespectful to the establishment and other clients
  • May also be interpreted as you expect poor service, and might receive it as a consequence
    • Very rare, most Italians are too polite to show any reaction or different treatment
  • Some clothing combinations look funny to Italians
  • Examples:
    • White socks under trousers
    • Socks with sandals
    • Close-toed shoes without socks



  • Teens wear sport shoes, sweatshirts, and low-rise jeans, and either a trendy T-shirt or nice shirt
  • Hard rock and metal band T-shirts are not “cool” in France
  • Grown ups dress more to what we consider “business casual”
    • Ann Taylor
    • Ralph Lauren
    • Calvin Klein
    • Gap
  • Shorts and Nike’s are fine for extremely casual situations
  • Evening wear includes:
    • Dress shirt
    • Clean jeans or khakis
    • Dress leather shoes
  • Stay away from shorts for dinner!
  • Men – Prefer long-sleeve shirts and roll up the sleeves rather than wear short-sleeve shirts
  • Women – Good cuts and pretty fabric over beads and night gowns (Think Armani, not Versace)
  • The simpler, the better – Just needs to look nice and fit well
  • Mix and match, accessorize and go easy on the make-up
  • American women spend much more time on their hair than French women



Misuses of Words/Sayings and Language:


  • A Capella= “In Chapel style/Without instrumental accompaniment” Two words, not one
  • Capisce= “Understand” English slang for “You know what I mean?”
  • Peperoni= Green, Red, and Yellow vegetables


  • Apropos= “With regard to the purpose.” Often inappropriately split into two words.
  • Chaise longue= “Long chair.” Often inappropriately pronounced “Chase lounge.”
  • Double Entendre= Entendre-“to hear”, therefore Double Entendre literally translates to “Double to hear”




  • Italians can’t live without pasta
  • Italians talk with their hands
  • Italians are all about family
  • Italians are really big football(soccer) fans
  • Italians are habitually late


  • French people stink/Don’t use soap
  • French women don’t shave
  • The French are lazy
  • The French are rude
  • The French hate Americans




  • Italian gestures are a huge part of their communication. As they say, “a gesture can be more valuable than a thousand words”


12 Common French Gestures

  • French gestures seem to be a tad less relaxed than Italian gestures. They also have some very similar to ours.


Touch, Taste and Smell:



  • Smells of food, transportation, coffee, leather, perfume


  • Fresh pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Pesto
  • Tomatoes
  • Meat and Sausages
  • Pizza
  • Bread
  • Rice



  • The common misconception that French people always smell bad, is not true.
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Champagne


  • Seafood
  • Snails
  • To cook meats: butter, bacon fat and lard, duck or goose fat, and olive oil
  • Crepes
  • Apples, pears, figs, apricots
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Pastries: Gelato




  • Italians have a tendency to brush against or touch the person next to them.
  • They do not feel much intrusion in intimate and personal space.


  • French people are generally courteous and are set on certain conventions.
  • It is normal to kiss the same sex on the cheek for greetings
  • French people are somewhat more guarded than the Italian




  • Monochromic


  • Monochromic