"So, what is the “Western media?” For one, they pride themselves on being a “free press.” We all know “free” criminals commit crimes, so most of us are immuned to their self-professed higher moral ground. But, the Western public largely buys into that. The Western media also share a peculiar trait of crusading for these ideologies: “freedom,” “democracy,” and “human rights.”"
I thought I'd put in my tuppence worth on this as well.
As a geopolitical entity, "the West" has existed and been written about since at least the start of the medieval age times, when the Great Schism divided Orthodox Eastern Europe from Catholic western Europe. However, what does it mean in modern terms?
Firstly and most obviously, it means Western Europe, Australasia, and North America. Western Europe because it is the original home of Western Christianity, and North America and Australasia because they were colonised by countries in Western Europe. However, what of Latin America, the very name of which requires it to be an off-shoot of Western Europe? At least according to the statements of two modern-day Latin American leaders, they do not consider their countries to be part of the same grouping.
Things get even more murky when one looks at the countries which are also regularly lumped in with "the West" in commentary on the internet. Perhaps the ESWN blog is not the best source on what exactly "the West" is, but a recent post in which "境外媒体" (roughly "external media") appears to have been translated as "Western media" despite, as Richard Burger pointed out, many of reports being from organisations based in Asia, is about par for the course.
Even the dreaded "Western" media seems a bit hazy on what "the West" actually is. When it comes to "Westernisation", you often see things being cited as evidence of "Westernisation" which should rightly be referred to as "modernisation" (i.e., mobile phones, the internet, mass-produced clothing) since they carry little or no intrinsic cultural meaning and are merely indicative of technological progress.
Finally, many of the things people use to identify "the West" are no longer true or exclusively true of many countries which are traditionally identified with it. Whilst "Christian" values are often said to be a hallmark of "the West", in many countries non-believers form the largest grouping. "Democracy" is often said to be intrinsically western, yet many countries with cultures highly dissimilar to that found in Europe and America (Taiwan, Japan, India) are democratic.
My solution to this is the easiest one: The West no longer exists. Whilst we can be relatively certain what phrases like "the Western Powers" refer to (i.e., France, Germany, the US, and the UK), "the West" itself is too vague a concept to be useful.