Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Conclusion

Footnotes

Catholicism, Curran points out, "translated" some very "sophisticated, hierocratic" ideas "into graphic and readily comprehensible forms" for mass audiences which were essential for feudal rule in Europe during the middle ages because the great majority of the population could not read.
James Curran, "Communications, Power and Social Order," Michael Gurevitch, Tony Bennett, James Curran and Janet Woollacott, eds., Culture, Society and the Media. London and New York: Methuen, 1983, 202-235. Curran borrows this passage from E. H. Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957).
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (New York: Pantheon Books, 1988) 299.
The irresponsibility of recent examples of "radio rhetoric," involving such popular radio talk show hosts as Oliver North, Gordon Liddy and Rush Limbaugh, among many others, illustrate the irresponsible tendencies of otherwise "responsible" media outlets in the United States to encourage audiences to regard women's rights advocates as "Femi Nazis" or to oppose the Federal Government by stockpiling arms. (From an interview by Brian Gumbel with Oliver North on NBC's Today show, April 25, 1995.)
From the European Council's "Bangeman Report" of June 24-25, 1994.
From the filmed documentary: "Noam Chomsky and the Media."
Concerning Chomsky's mention of the "personal integrity of journalists," the following wire story from the Open Media Research Institute Daily Digest (OMRI Daily Digest I, No.44, 2 March 1995, Na Strzi 63, 14062 Prague 4, Czech Republic, e-mail: omripub@omri.cz) seems especially appropriate within this context:

Popular [Russian] television journalist and director of Ostankino TV Vladislav Listev, 38, was assassinated ...on 1 March [1995]. Listev became a symbol of democratic reforms as a host of the popular news show "Vzglyad" (View). In January 1995, he was honored by the Union of Journalists for his more recent work on the interview shows "Tema" (Theme) and "Chas Pik" (Rush Hour).
Alexander Yakovlev, chairman of the board of Ostankino... drew...attention to Ostankino's decision...to ban advertising, effective 1 April [1995]. Listev is said to have supported the ban, which was announced as a temporary measure until regulations are adopted on ethical standards in advertising. The proposed ban has enormous financial implications for businesses... Although the reasons for the killing remain unclear, early speculation points toward financial motives. Ostankino is now 51% state-owned, with a small group of corporations and commercial banks controlling the rest.

James Curran, "Communications, Power and Social Order," 202-235.
"Gutenberg had a great idea, but he is given credit for revolutionizing our culture because he exploited his idea at a moment when the circumstances were conducive to the rapid spread of print technology." Key Note Address by U.S. Vice President Al Gore at the G-7 Ministerial conference on the global information society in Brussels, Feb. 26, 1995.
James Curran, "Communications, Power and Social Order," 202-235.
Gore speech on the NII. For more information see http://www.csto.arpa.mil/NII_Report_94.html.
James Curran, "Communications, Power and Social Order," 202-235.
According to contributor Robert Ashcroft, writing in The Risks Digest, Volume 16, Issue 87, on Tuesday, March 7, 1995 (Usenet forum on "risks to the public in computers," Peter G. Neumann, moderator):

The Singapore govt [sic] is perhaps not the most liberal in the world, and in particular is highly critical of "western influence". On the one hand it seeks to keep Singapore technologically up to date by wiring the country to the Internet, on the other hand it seeks to maintain control over what its population sees, two obviously incompatible goals. In particular it's concerned about "incorrect" things written in soc.culture.singapore. The information minister, George Yeo, suggests that the youth league of the ruling People's Action Party should set up some sort of truth squad to counteract incorrect posts.
The Internet _is [sic] a threat to any regime that tries to restrict in anyway what their people see. My own feeling is that any attempt to control it, short of disconnecting it altogether, will be doomed.

The Institute for Global Communications and the affiliated IGC Networks -- PeaceNet, EcoNet, ConflictNet, and LaborNet --

...serve individuals and organizations working toward peace, environmental protection, human rights, social and economic justice, sustainable and equitable development, health, and nonviolent conflict resolution. IGC currently links almost 10,000 members and links an additional 10,000 activists and organizations via our membership in the Association for Progressive Communications, with local access in over 133 countries.

The IGC Networks are directly connected with the Internet and its vast range of services...See http://www.apc.igc.org. For the Global Network for Environmental Technology see http://gnet.together.org.
This is not to say that there have not been attempts to make broadcasting more responsible to people's needs. This becomes obvious, of course, when the history of public service broadcasting in Europe is taken into consideration. In the United States, a part of the world dominated by commercial broadcasting has its share of "grass roots" activists who have fought long and hard for changes in the American commercial media landscape. From the regulation of broadcasting in its infancy, in which carriers such as AT&T were forbidden to offer information and produce programming, to the fight for "educational" broadcasting in the 1930s; and more recently the establishment of the Public Broadcasting System, and the on-going fight to keep it in tact.
According to a recent (February 16, 1995) AP report, entitled "Rebels Get High Tech Aid," The Internet "has also brought together human rights monitors" in the Mexican province of Chiapas to aid organizations "lobby the government" against Mexican military intervention.

"It has facilitated our work a lot," said Mariclaire Acosta, President of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights. Users of Internet, the computer network linking universities, businesses and activists, can browse through dozens of files for material on Mexico. Phil McManus, an activist with the ecumenical peace group Fellowship of Reconciliation, relies on computerized access to Chiapas news to alert some 1,500 people ready to send faxes.

According to Carlos Heredia, "The Mexican government can deal with critics who write newspaper columns, but once you get on Internet and American TV they can't control it."
Incidentally, in the same AP article, the Internet address of the organization facilitating the monitoring of activities in Chiapas was given as: pueblo@planeta.apc.org. The suffix in the address shows that the organization is associated with the Institute for Global Communications and the Association for Progressive Communications.
See also: Newsweek International, "When Words Are the Best Weapon," February 27, 1995, 18.
Rosalind Resnick, editor and publisher of Interactive Publishing Alert, has observed that, "the incredible thing about the Net is that now the reader is the publisher, and amateurs ... are just as likely to succeed in Internet publishing as The New York Times. Or does the newspaper industry arrogantly believe that it can control content of every kind?" (Cited by Federal Information News Syndicate, Vigdor Schreibman, Editor and Publisher, Vol III, Issue No. 8, April, 24, 1995, email: fins@access.digex.net).


Eric K. Meyer, of Newslink Associates, writes:

The informational superhighway is an overhyped myth designed mostly to reduce data-transmission costs for businesses at the expense of individuals. ... The sociological implications of a switched broadband network are not the empowerment of the masses but rather the strengthening of an elite -- huge regional video servers, corporations able to control everything in Third World plants from First World headquarters, a direct targeting of all mid-level decision-making and entrepreneurial ventures -- in short, the mainstays of the middle class.

(Reported by Vigdor Schreibman, Telecommunications Reform Bill on US Senate Floor: More High Tech and "The End of Work" on the Line (FINS special report, June 8, 1995).
The following, written by Mustapha Masmoudi, President of the Association Tunisienne de la Communication [ATUCOM], addresses this very question. (From: "Africa Faces the Information Highway," MacBride Round Table Call for Participation, in list.iamcrnet on PeaceNet):

As the USA, Europe and Japan pursue their plans to create the most advanced communications systems yet developed, researchers, journalists and others ask if the superhighway will be accessible only by wealthier countries and groups, by-passing developing nations and poorer communities.
The Tunisian Association of Communication (ATUCOM) is organizing the Seventh Annual MacBride Round Table... Its central theme is the implications for Africa of the global information superhighway. Topics covered will include: The Superhighway infrastructure..., Social Objectives..., African Priorities..., Ethical and legal aspects...

Mitchell Kapor, "Where Is the Digital Highway Really Heading? The Case for a Jeffersonian Information Policy," Wired Magazine, No. 4, 1993,(Online edition).
Mitch Kapor, according to The Economist (January 14, 1995, 81-82), is "the millionaire founder of Lotus" and, more recently, the founder of The Electronic Frontier. The EFF, headed by Kapor and "Republican county (sic!) chairman John Perry Barlow," opposes legislation "giving government control over the Internet." Both men, reportedly, have since stepped down as leaders of the EFF.
To get EFF's extensive and well developed point of view, as well as those of both Kapor and Barlow, see http://www.eff.org--which, incidentally, presents a surprisingly different picture of EFF and seems to be much better informed than the overtly biased report in The Economist.