English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, having a rich history and cultural heritage. It is known that it was initially a combination of several languages and dialects, constantly changing and improving for many centuries. Today, it is often used in everyday communication and broadcasting a message to a specific audience through three main media types. Various factors led to the widespread use of English in modern global media, including colonization, contact with other languages, and performing a wide range of social functions. This paper explains to what extent the English language has influenced modern global media, how it was done and what factors contributed to this influence.
The Degree of Influence
Based on the student’s experience, opinion, knowledge, and ideas, the English language has had a significant and powerful impact on various types of contemporary media throughout the world. Accordingly, it is necessary to refer to the following material evidence and expert conclusions to verify this judgment’s correctness and objectivity. In particular, it should be emphasized that due to the analysis, synthesis, and generalization of course materials and additional sources of information, the author of this paper managed to obtain reliable and trustworthy data on the topic.
Firstly, relying on several types of media such as radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, English has formed and developed the concept of communication and transmission of news to an audience through the prism of a single language understandable to most of the inhabitants of the planet. According to statistics, more than 380 million people are native speakers of English as a first language (Book 4: English and politics, 2021). The widespread use of English internationally has forced several companies to translate their broadcasts using a well-known language. For example, France 24 is a French-owned media house that mainly broadcasts its programs in French, but due to the growth and spread of English-speaking French, it opened France 24 English.
A wide range of popular and world-famous magazines or newspapers are printed exclusively in English. However, most news programs similarly cannot do without this language (Rao, 2019). Hence, English has a special status and importance in almost every corner of the Earth. Therefore, more than a third of the world’s newspapers are published exclusively in it (Book 1: Histories of English, 2021). In this case, this language directly impacted the structure and composition of messages through the media, helping the means and strategies of communication to acquire such valuable qualities as stability and unity.
Secondly, one should underline that, figuratively speaking, English influenced the nature of media content and essence. In particular, this procedure occurred through defining and determining the “rate” of material and the degree of trust in specific knowledge in terms of the fact that the Internet and other sources of information contain more high-quality content in English than in other languages (Book 1: Histories of English, 2021). Despite the dynamics of rapidly changing global conditions and trends, English is still “in fashion,” encouraging people to study it in depth and comprehend the essence of a particular message in the original (Book 4: English and politics, 2021). Moreover, in this way, the media creates modern cultural identity (O’Sullivan, 2018). Hence, English has brought various types of media to the fore, overshadowing other ways of communication.
Thirdly, persuading the English language in the media is expressed in obtaining great material benefits and popularity at the expense of newspapers or special channels. For example, as a rule, English-language publications have a much more significant influence on public opinion since people are familiar with this language from a young age, both as native and a non-native in almost every country. It is no secret that the type of language and the format of the chosen words can convey clear information or distort reality, change the opinion and behavior of citizens, and call for certain actions and decisions (Book 4: English and politics, 2021). Moreover, the income of English-language newspapers or magazines is higher than that of periodicals in national languages since the attention of large advertisers is directed at the solvent segments of the population, which to this day include the audience of English-language newspapers. It is one of the reasons why media corporations continue to publish newspapers and even increase the volume of production of media products in English.
Fourthly, in a sense, the English language has influenced the degree of the practicality of the messages transmitted through the media. Currently, the media is one of the essential tools for learning English. Reading the news, one can observe how the language works, how it changes, what new things appear, and what disappears. In addition, the vocabulary of a person is replenished in this way. As one knows, a language is a living organism that develops, and it can be challenging to keep track of all the rules from time to time. Reading newspapers, an individual can see all the changes that are taking place in the language on the territory of the country.
The Different Forms
In addition to the above information, it should be emphasized that these impacts were accepted in the media in the form of technical, economic, political, historical, geographical, cultural, social, and many other equally important aspects. Thus, English is used in almost every popular newspaper, radio, television channel, or Internet resource, appealing to the fundamental basis of the language and its elements. In particular, this process took place due to the acquisition of international status by English, the popularization of American culture, and the use by the whole world of the progress made by the United States.
During its rich history, England has captured many lands and created a considerable number of colonies, and one should not forget about the emigrants who settled in North America. Such activity in Britain has led to the fact that people in the occupied countries began to learn English, which is now their native language. In addition, such a power as the United States of America appeared in the world political and economic arena. This moment, indeed, could not but affect the spread of the language in the media and other spheres of modern life.
Moreover, the Internet has become an avenue where modern media players have invested a lot in the effort to reach their consumers. Politicians, business magnates, and opinion shapers have a broad reach of followers online and on other media types. When such influential people are from non-speaking English regions, their comment on any issue is usually translated to English either by coded translation bots or through ‘add-ons’ on their online pages. Whenever they make comments on television, English translators are used to interpreting the message.
Hence, English has gradually become the driving force of progress worldwide and practically the one way to exchange information. For example, various browsers, programs, applications, and games were created in English. Consequently, if people want to keep up with the times and receive fresh, relevant, and meaningful information through media, they have no choice but to learn the language. In this case, many people tend to understand texts on topics of interest to them in popular newspapers or magazines, which means they begin to study words, increasing their knowledge of English.
Thus, in the current century, there are many forms that media has metamorphosed into. In many of these media types, the most common factor is the language they use to communicate with their consumers. There are many TV channels, blogs, news websites, and subscription services that the media can now take on a considerably greater range of formats. As a result, all kinds of media have a specific area of specialization and demographics that allow them to focus on a smaller audience with certain qualities. With the advent of smartphones and online channels such as YouTube, almost anybody can create media, including celebrities, bloggers, and members of the general public who distribute handmade content on social media networks. Such sources can reach more people faster than traditional media outlets, and they can do so for less money and with less work. However, in order to attract a large part of the audience, it is necessary to pay special attention to posting content in English. However, the following are the significant niche language that has helped shape and change.
The English language has evolved into a formidable tool for directing people’s actions. English has delivered a critical culture of morals and political themes on freedom of expression and lifestyle to the entertainment audience. Entertainment has become the most potent vehicle for transmitting communication worldwide in recent years. For example, due to the pronunciations and intonation of different actors, the industry has employed the use of descriptions, transcriptions, and translations produced in films. Such subtitles are usually done in English to reach a wide range of people.
English is a crucial skill for an athlete, sports commentators, sports officials, and sports media. Given how frequently athletes are forced to travel for sporting events and tournaments, knowing a language that allows them to connect with foreign media outlets is advantageous. Many multinational news organizations do not have individual reporters fluent in all of the world’s dialects but conduct interviews and report in English as a communication standard. Meanwhile, sports pundits from English-speaking countries have a sizable following compared to those who commentate in their local dialect (Swann & Seargeant, 2021). For example, among other nationals, Spanish footballers took English classes because they realized how much English might help them not only adjust to their new surroundings but also advance their careers and connect with their new teammates and lifestyle. The sports announcements in the Olympics or other world events are mainly made in English.
Educational blogs are frequently maintained websites or web pages with scientific or other educational materials written in an informal or conversational style that an individual or small group mostly runs. In many of these academic blogs, users communicate in English to reach a broader range of consumers. The survival of such blogs depends on the traffic of people who visits these websites and web pages. Therefore, bloggers have accepted the use of English as a tool to influence the readership of their works. Few educational blogs are written in the local dialect, attracting rare people to visit these blogs.
The Key Points and Factors
Today, a wide range of critical points and factors have led to the dominant role of the English language in the world’s media. Especially for example, English is the world’s primary language, is used internationally by most native speakers (Rao, 2019). Consequently, the popularity and importance of the language in the world community have become a prerequisite for realizing the leading positions of English among other languages. In particular, such “supremacy” intensified when the service was opened to private and commercial organizations in the 1980s (Book 1: Histories of English, 2021). The globalization that took place during this period and other critical social processes have become one of the main factors contributing to the formation of the English language as an outstanding one (Book 1: Histories of English, 2021). Undoubtedly, the dominance of the English language is not guaranteed indefinitely, although it has an “advantage” over other languages due to the broader social context (Book 1: Histories of English, 2021). Nonetheless, a complex set of historical, political, economic, and social factors combined denote the English language’s unique international status, which has become generally accepted by global media.
After the nineteenth century and the World War, English became an international language; interestingly, its dominance was caused by the speakers. Thus, people who decided to speak and write English had the power in its spread, and the strength of these individuals who used and still operate a language has a lot to do with its success. It became an internationally acclaimed language, and in time the traditional media and the new type of modern media adopted its use to communicate locally and globally.
Furthermore, English has become the primary language for international treaties and diplomacy events. In addition to its international use, it is widely taught as a foreign language. In addition, despite the United Kingdom’s choice to leave the EU in 2016, it appears that English will continue to be utilized as a lingua franca in the EU due to its worldwide stature and the investments of several EU member nations in English through their educational systems.
Further, the future of English as an international language is inevitable as varieties of local languages have risen from the English roots. The English language media’s influence can also be attributed to its emerging types. The future of English depends on the variants in the world today, in addition to the English language’s function as a worldwide lingua franca. Consequently, the diversity and complexity of these variations continue to grow, and some gain more status and recognition in the process. Various emergent varieties have become accepted in their own right. They are actively codified and standardized, moving away from norm-setting varieties. Importantly, they are vital in social media outlets and modern news sources.
However, while these variants increase English popularity, they threaten its correct use. For example, concerns about Singlish in Singapore prompted the government to develop the Speak Good English Movement (SGEM), which attempts to encourage Singaporeans to speak proper English that can be understood worldwide. As the name implies, the main concern is that Singlish will decrease Singaporeans’ usage of conventional Singaporean English, lowering Singapore’s worldwide competitiveness as an English-speaking nation.
Many of the writing technological advancements are done majorly in the English language. For instance, the development of artificial intelligence in writing and computational has been primarily done in English. Consequently, the media, which is a consumer of writing, is attracted to the use of more experienced English writers. The computer interface responds to an algorithmic understanding of how humans type in order to help us write more efficiently and rapidly. Autocomplete and autocorrect are features that intervene and predict subtly but substantially optimize the writing process. If the corrections end up damaging rather than enriching what you’re trying to say, you can still opt to ignore them or go back and undo them. However, we are at a period in history when communications technology of this type is changing rapidly, and basic assumptions about what we mean by “writing” could change substantially in the future decades.
The English language has more standards that govern its use. Over some time, there has been the development of different standards of writing. Majorly, they are divided into two types: formal and non-formal essays. These two types of writing have different sub-types that depend on the user or the media platform. For instance, the Internet may use a non-formal way of writing their articles, but known writing standards will still guide them. In academia and the media industries, write-ups may look different, but all adhere to set guidelines that govern English language writing. The media have devised ways of doing something with ease and fast. There are formats used in creating articles and magazines, and they are easily blueprinted in English as a language with standards.
Indeed, there are a vast number of factors and prerequisites that have made English the number one language in the world. Nonetheless, the above examples are enough to understand and comprehend the fundamental essence of the international language’s direction in the global media. The presented ideas and concepts give a general, integral vision of the path of English to dominance.
Thus, summarizing the above, it is necessary to state that the English language has had a strong influence on the formation and development of mass media around the world, thereby changing the essence and content of the transmitted information, as well as methods and strategies for using these means in terms of specific goals and objectives. Moreover, as practice shows, this impact was based on various forms from the political, economic, financial, and other aspects. Each of them had one or another effect on the strong connection of the English language with the media. Moreover, the process of globalization, the massive spread of the English language in almost all territories of the globe, and others have become critical factors in the dominance of the English language in the media. The interest in English in the media stems from several practical and ethical considerations. The English language and the mass media make the data widely available for study and educational purposes. In general, the media reflects and shapes both the use of language and the attitude towards it.
O’Sullivan, J. (2018). Advanced Dublin English as audience and referee design in Irish radio advertising. English World-Wide: A Journal of Varieties of English, 39(1), 60-84.
Rao, P. S. (2019). The role of English as a global language. Research Journal of English, 4(1), 65-79.
Book 1: Histories of English. (2021). The Open University.
Book 4: English and politics. (2021). The Open University.