Karen Kasold: Media Globalization And InequalityPresentation Transcript
Media Globalization & Inequality Karen Kasold JUS494 Science, Technology & Inequality Media should be our public sphere - bringing people together to speak and learn from each other in Global Dialogue.
Media & Globalization
Information is powerful. A lot of information in media is false because it has other agendas.
International communications management has become more aggressive in its persuasion. Public and private commercial efforts both are increasing rapidly. Media organizations are getting more expensive, and news channels are overused for propaganda. Ingenuity in perception management has kept up with technological advances to provide more channels and outlets for manipulation and deception. All resources are used in the struggle for political, psychological, and economic power. (J. Phillips Davison)
Jurgen Habermas realized that as Capitalism developed, the uneven distribution of wealth and mass media would damage our public sphere.
Mass media is the chief institution of publications. Media institutions (like the BBC, CBC, PBS, IHC) are controlling organization, financing, and the legal frameworks of media ownership, licensing, access, and communication discourse.
Well-funded special-interest groups have unbalanced our democratic system.
Most people in the world have only minimal technological resources - more than half of them have never even made a phone call.
1439 - The Gutenberg Bible, printed on the Gutenberg Press was meant to be a tool of control - disempowering and politically repressing people. Technology as a political tool of control (Marx). But it became just the opposite because people learned how to read from the Gutenberg Bible, and then they realized they could print other things. People became empowered. The press became a tool for swaying public opinion. Newspapers represented particular ideological positions which were discussed in the public sphere.
1890s - Debates over information policy after spectacular media propaganda during the Spanish-American War.
1927 - League of Nations passed a resolution opposing "deliberately distorted news" asking the press not to undermine international peace.
1930s - International Federation of Journalists established a tribunal to deal with information that promoted hate & violence. The position of the US, the same now as it was then that only private-sector ownership can ensure the “free marketplace of ideas.” Commercially-based media being vulnerable to abuses and distortions was considered irrelevant.
The New International Information Order
The NIIO directly challenges the West's "cultural imperialism" stating:
information flows shouldn’t be one-directional.
all nations should have equal access to information and international transmission channels.
the power of existing transnational media monopolies should be reduced.
additional media voices should be heard. (Guma, 2008).
In order to accomplish these goals, the communication models of the developed nations must not be forced to fit the Third World. New forms of communication needs to be selected which is appropriate for developing nations. Simple and inexpensive media like radio, telephone and newspapers may suit the developing nation better than television, satellites and large newspapers.
Objective: maximum participation, maximum sources, diversity of information -
not maximum profits for large communication monopolies or maximum political control for the power elite.
Global Elite vs. Free Press
Global Elite can be listed as: Corporate, Political and Academic.
Goals for Globalism are created by Corporate.
Academic provides studies/white papers that justify Corporate's goals.
Political sells Academic's arguments to the public, if necessary changing laws to assist Corporate in getting what it wants.
Another important player is the Media/Press. Media/Press is necessary to filter Corporate, Academic and Political's communications to the public. Media/Press is dominated by members of Corporate, Political and Academic who sit on the various boards of directors of major Media/Press organizations.
The free press is only as free as these organizations/owners allow them to be. (Patrick Wood, 2005)
Threats to a Global Public Sphere
lack of or partial funding for public broadcasting
censorship or self-censorship system of control
bias, narrow class interests, corporate interests
lack of political debate
What is currently being done in the U.S.?
Legislation was passed by the House and Senate to investigate the inappropriate relationship between media military analysts and the Pentagon in early October 2008. Americans who care about impartial, uncompromising analysis from our news media emailed news networks insisting they explain their participation in the scandal and how they will prevent transparency failures now. The networks haven’t responded.
October 14, 2008, President Bush signed the '2009 Defense Authorization Bill' into law enacting provisions to limit Pentagon propaganda in our news media. Part of the bill bans the government from offering special access to military contractors who agree to promote the Pentagon’s agenda in the media.
The media have remained mostly silent. As the national debate intensifies, it is important to have support in fighting conservative misinformation in the media.
Media does not have to promote Nationalism and Misinformation. But like all products which drive the market, media owners get to decide what services consumers are offered and how much they will pay. The majority of the people in this world are cut off from the Internet because they cannot pay.
Our fragile public sphere, the Internet, where people exchange information, search databases, organize, share images and ideas, and chat is perhaps soon to be owned by business. We have been told the market is the best protection for free exchange of information.
Commercialization of media and monopoly of media ownership can damage our public sphere, because it doesn't provide cultural and information needs, including the diversity of opinions, cultural expressions, and languages necessary for Democracy. Massive and pervasive media violence polarizes societies, promotes conflict, is a tool for fear-mongering, perpetuates fear, mistrust, and makes people vulnerable and dependent.
The People’s Communication Charter (PCC), is a global initiative developed by
Third World Network in Malaysia,
Center for Communication and Human Rights in Amsterdam,
US-based Cultural Environment Movement,
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters.
The PCC names rights and responsibilities people should have in relation to their cultural environment - all people are entitled to participate in communication, and make decisions about communication within and between societies. This charter is an outline of how to transform global communications using existing treaties including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It describes rights to access and literacy, international protection of journalists, and states "all people have the right of reply, and to demand penalties for damage from media misinformation.” It focuses on issues of cultural identity, language diversity, and protection of children from dangerous media vices. It puts attention on privacy rights, equitable use of cyberspace, protecting consumers from ads disguised as news, and accountability through self-regulatory bodies.
Corporate media’s handling of the news has become increasingly unreliable since the late 1970s when up to the minute crisis coverage was created. Mainstream journalists find it difficult, even dangerous, to inform of items that do not fit the “Washington Consensus.”
Corporations and think-tanks have developed sophisticated strategies to promote the stories they want, and stop others from being aired or published. The result is Perception Management - a highly effective form of Social Engineering. Common tactics are:
Embracing the Basic Assumption
Promoting Spin. Protecting Relationships
Confusing Rumor with Fact
Blurring Reality & Outright Fabrications
Rationalizing Mistakes and Omissions
Misplacing the Blame
Finding Convenient Targets
Concealing Hidden Agendas
1980-1990s - Television, computers, and other information technologies offer opportunities for global democratization and empowerment. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, VCRs were used as tools of the revolution in Poland, fax machines helped politics and economics in the Soviet Union, and audio cassettes made possible the hope of freedom in South Africa.
1994 - laptop computers developed international support for the Zapatista movement in Mexico. Activists against wars across borders have used the Internet and a independent network of radio, electronic, and print outlets to building a movement for global justice and democracy. Small, accessible, affordable technologies help people challenge the monopoly of elites to make a more equitable globe.
Questions for the future:
What are media organizations portraying?
Who are the gatekeepers of the free press?
What is the structural dimension of our global public sphere: its scale and boundaries?
Can the Internet stay a democratic network due to the fact that it intensifies stories in the media?
Because of the freedom of the Internet, will there be laws made to limit further access?