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TEL 319 by pengxiuhui


									    TEL 319

World Media Systems
 The two main questions of this
What makes countries and their media
What makes them different along the
media ―have‖ / ―have not‖ scale? I.e. Why
do some nations have a lot of
communication devices and produce a lot
of content and other countries a little or
History of Telecommunications
Factors determining the evolution of
modern communications:
– Technological progress
– Social transformations
– Institutional evolution
History of telecommunications
From Post to Telegraph
– Couriers – lasted for a few thousand years:
    King Sargon, 3800 BC – Postmaster, maps
    Cyrus the Great and his Royal Couriers – The
    Great Road  Sardes to Susa 1800 miles 111
    Romans  The Via system – Roman roads width
    ―directly influences‖ the gauge of modern railways
    – 90,000 kilometers or 54,000 miles (see link)
    The stage-coach system in the US – Pony express
    2000 miles in 10 days
        From travel to signals
Send the message, not the messenger
Signaling systems:
       Greek firegrams
       Persian, Gaelic and Amerindian voicegrams
       Talking drums and talking cannons (Hudson
       Chappe’s semaphore – a cross with moving
  arms that were moved to create coded signals –
  first optical telegraph – France had in 1850 500
  stations covering 2800 miles
– GREEK Telegraphs:

– Water tank and torch
– Drain water for as long
  as you see the torch lit
  at the nearby station
– When torch
  disappears read the
  message on the
  floating rod
– First telegraphs:
  Chappe’s optical
  telegraph – Invented
  during the French
– Position of the arms
  determined the letter
  or a brief message
– 1850: 500 stations
  covering 2800 miles in
History of Telecommunications
 – Built on the idea of optical telegraph
 – Instead of using light, use electromagnetism
 – Noticed that electricity transfers quickly at great
   distance and creates a magnetic force
 – The inventor of telegraph was an amateur American
   painter  Morse 1845 Baltimore Washington;
 – Cyrus Field:1858 1st successful transatlantic cable;
   1866 first long term cable connection
 – Government refused the monopoly  first telegraph
   titan Western Union
                       The telegraph
Samuel Morse: amateur
  painter and inventor

Invented the device and its
   alphabet (1844) – but
   not telegraphy itself

O= ___

First transatlantic cable
    1858 (successful 1866)

Major impact: the ―wire‖
   news agency
History of Telecommunications
 – Letters: some written, some orally delivered, some inscribed in
 – Manuscripts took forever to produce: 2 bibles per year
 – Print revolution: 1 bible in a week or even a day – runs of 2000-
   3000 exemplars
 – 1500 AD: 20 million books in Europe, for a population of 100
   million people
 – Print revolution: not only technological but also social
 – The rational-populist revolution:
       Protestantism and its emphasis on literacy (personal knowledge of
       Humanism and emphasis on general education and pursuit of knowledge
       beyond the limits (although not necessarily against) tradition
       Using science to improve everyday life  needs more knowledge, etc.
History of telecommunications
The modern institutional system
– Royal post for centralizing absolutist
  monarchies 1400-1500 – e.g. France or Spain
– Where the system was decentralized the
  postal system was private  Germany and
  the Venetian Taxis
– Era of war and nationalism (Napoleon):
    All systems have, in the end, been taken under
    governmental control
    For ―reasons of state‖ – frequently war
Theory of libertarian (―liberal‖) and communitarian
      (social responsibility) media systems

 Libertarian media systems are based on a
 theory of society and of the press
 Libertarian theory:
  – Facilitated by the Reformation
        freeing conscience from bureaucratic churches frees
        individuals and consciousness from the manacles of tradition
        and authority
  –   Appears in England, XVII century (Milton, Locke)
  –   Developed in the US (Jefferson) and in England (Mill)
  –   Consecrated by the US constitution
  –   Not a ―pure‖ system of laws anymore
Libertarian theory assumptions
Three assumptions – all optimistic – about
 – Nature of man: rational, end in himself,
  autonomous and creative
 – Nature of society/state: a natural
   contract of free individuals to preserve their
   individual happiness and autonomy; is not a
   reality greater than its members
 – Nature of knowledge: empirical and
   Impact of liberal theory of
knowledge on media theory and
Two part argument
– Capacity to know is given to all by God; knowledge,
  however, is to be acquired individually:
     Knowledge is empirical  given in our experiences;
     there are as many varieties of knowledge (truths) as many
     the truth emerges by ―rubbing‖ these individual truths on
     each other
     Is a self-correcting, progressive, emergent process
– A free and unfettered press (“free market-place of
  ideas”) is needed to allow the opinions to confront
  and correct each other (“self-righting” process)
– See quote from Becker on page 44 and Milton’s
  argument summarized on pages 44 and 45
Mill’s reasons why the advantages of a free
      market-place of ideas outweigh its
Main disadvantage of a pluralistic market-place: we have
to put up with a lot of wrong-headed of even malicious
ideas that have to be accepted as true until proved

Mill says that even wrong ideas and opinions have value:

 – If we silence one opinion, even if this is wrong, we silence
   not one individual but the truth-making process itself
      Even a wrong opinion might contain a grain of truth which we need
      for getting the complete picture

 – Even if the majority holds the right opinion, the dissenting
   opinion performs a useful function: it forces the majority to
   defend its ideas and not accept them as dogma
      Unless challenged, truths lose their vitality and their impact on
      character and conduct
 Effects of Libertarian theory on
       political institutions
The country that has first enshrined the libertarian idea in
its laws were the US
Bill of Rights  First Amendment
– Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
  religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the
  freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
  peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a
  redress of grievances.
– Instead of specifying what (or what cannot) be said, the
  Constitution specifically mentions that everything can be said,
  without prior censorship
– However, even in the US, there are limitations:
      Libelous, offensive and indecent speech are not protected
      Speech that presents a clear and present danger to the individual
      and collective security of the US citizens (WWI, justice Holmes)
      Yet, these are more theoretical than practical – rarely applied,
      especially to print media
Communitarian (social responsibility) media
Main idea – the goal of communication systems is to further the goals
and happiness of the community not that of the individual

Relies on different assumptions – mostly pessimistic—about man,
society and truth

 – Man is not an autonomous agent – society is what makes him what
   he his – individual freedom is useless unless society makes sure that all
   have the same potential to achieve

 – Society/governments are the goal of individual existence, they are
   more than the sum of their parts

 – People are gullible and their innate desire to achieve true knowledge
   is debatable  we cannot trust people to arrive at some greater truth
   through interaction (p. 100)

       Somebody needs to tell people the truth, which is related to societal goals
       Knowledge is always related to its usefulness for furthering the goals of
       We are given the right to know and express our ideas to further the good of the
       society as a whole, if we do not do so, we might forfeit this right (?)
Caveats to the two ―theories‖ of the
      press discussed here
 Chapter 3 in Siebert, Peterson and Schramm says that
 soc. Responsibility theory is uniquely American
 In fact it develops on the European / socialist tradition
 (society and the state are greater realities and more
 important) than the individual
 Social-responsibility theory was quite successful in the
 US, but not across the board. While the print media
 remains libertarian, broadcasting and some
 telecommunications are regulated within a ―social
 responsibility‖ framework  although this conflicts with
 the first amendment
 No pure libertarian system, anywhere
 Europe: social responsibility theory and practices are
 less strong than they used to be, libertarianism has
 made strong inroads (privatization)
     Communitarian (social
  responsibility) media systems
Main characteristic of social responsibility
or communitarian media:
– Media should serve a greater purpose,
  dictated by the state  social development,
  improve race relations, involve citizens in
  democratic debate etc.
– Freedom is not ―from‖ but ―for‖
– Freedom of expression is not just a right but
  also a duty, if duty neglected or misused, right
Social responsibility media in an
           ideal world
Media should perform pre-set goals (not just in principle, but
specifically and self-consciously), such as:
– service the political system  make people vote
– Educate people
– Promote health and other social campaign

Hutchins Commission on the Freedom of the Press (see this link for
more information) set the following goals
1. Make the factual knowledge presented in the news relevant (by some
   external standards)
2. Allow fringe opinions, even if unpopular and unacceptable by the public
   known, even make an extra effort to be known
3. Have a self-conscious race and ethnicity related policy of news
4. Media should present and clarify the goals and values of society
   (should be subordinated to these goals and values)
5. Greater societal / media transparency
  Social responsibility media:
      possible problems

1. Whose standards should we use for making
   the news relevant?
2. What fringe opinion are to be given an
3. Whose values and goals is media supposed
   to promote?
        Modern Media systems:
           Western Media
Defined in terms of:
– Their political and social regimes:
      Libertarian/populist – American and Anglo-Saxon
        –   Private initiative
        –   Market driven; loosely regulated
        –   Neutral in tone; general purpose; provincial
        –   Strengthened by technological innovation
      Communitarian/elitist – European and Asian (Japanese)
        –   State or mixed state-private ownership
        –   Tightly regulated and politically controlled
        –   Partisan and associated with various groups; located in the capital city
        –   Considerably weakened by technological innovation
To serve and to entertain the ―people‖ (populist) although
in Europe there is a conflict between populism and
Two layers: national and multinational
              American Media
Dominant force in the world. Why?
Influence or force? (see characteristics)
Central values:
– Political: Freedom (1st Amendment ―Congress shall make no
– Business: creativity, risk-taking, versatility on a market-based
– Economies of scale: internally and externally
      A large internal market allows producing for outside markets at low
– Content and social values:
      Neutrality in content – people expect to be informed in order to
      create their own opinions – they do not expect to be preached at or
      Individuality and personal freedom – each reader/member of the
      audience is a hero or should be able to identify with the hero –
      sitcoms and dramas – ―ideal mirrors of reality‖ / Populism
Main characteristics of American
 – Geographically -- no national newspaper; typical newspaper 50,000 readers
        ―Hardware‖ and ―software‖ ownership does not always overlap
        Broadcasting is both centralized and decentralized
 – Institutionally –
        the decline of the national networks and ascent of niche programming  fragmented
        audiences – Superbowl most watched TV show – 60% share; Seinfeld 20-30% share;
        regularly a show attracts about 15% rating (American Idol, ER, etc.)
 – News media pretends to be ―above the fry‖ – no clear political or social affiliation,
   although this is eroding – NPR, NYTIMES, CNN perceived as being to close to
   the left; Fox News and Talk Radio – more in tune with the right
 – Elite (National Review, the New Republic) or low-brow (National Enquirer)
   publications are relatively small

 – American media is not a strictly national affair  CNN, SONY, FOX – combines
   localism with globalism
 – More and more local shows are produced with an eye to foreign markets (―lowest
   common denominator‖)
 – Technologically adept: pioneers Radio, Television, Cable, Satellite and Internet
                 United Kingdom
Similarities with the US:
 – Based on an assumption of freedom, not regulation: No press law
Dissimilarities (along the lines mentioned above – government and
communitarian concerns):
 – Politically-oriented national media dominates
       Quality newspapers: The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The
       Guardian - centralized
       A score of tabloids: Sun (Conservative); Daily Mirror (Labour) – circulation 3
       - 4 million (for a population 1/5 that of US)
 – Broadcasting:
       dominated by the BBC and by the ITN (independent but fiercely regulated)
       Satellite and cable has broken the spell of state monopoly
 – Political control: Journalism board and special governmental laws can
   curtail freedom of speech – remnants of royal (now governmental)
 – World news leader due to its imperial prestige  BBC World Service
   150 million listeners although in the US is now available only on-line
Illustrates the difference between US and Europe the best

One of the most powerful states in Europe: clear laws for suppressing or
infringing on an absolute freedom of the press –
 – See Gubler vs. Mitterand example (
 – Book author convicted for a criminal offense for publishing a book about the
   illness of the former president Mitterand

Media dominated by Paris - centralized

Newspapers clearly politically oriented along not only ideological but also
party lines: France Soir, Le Monde, L’Humanite

Television, until 1987 controlled by the government
 –   Changes: Television privatized under technological pressure
 –   Mass media more commercial and more global (Vivendi)

Struggles technologically – Minitel and low rate of cable and Internet
penetration (30%)
Regionalized and fragmented (imposed by the Allies after WWII)
Several layers of government keep media in check

 – (Paradox) National newspapers are all provincial: FAZ, FR, SDZ (and of course
   partisan); most quality journals, one national tabloid (Bild)

 – Newspapers and TV shows are relatively tame – do not confront authority too
   violently exception Der Spiegel
 – There is at least one type of speech which is totally censored: fascist and
   extremist speech
Technology and regulation
 – Television scene dominated by governmental networks: ARD and ZDF  great
   progress toward cable and private but not as much as expected
 – Not the most advanced technologically in Europe, Internet penetration 40% --
   after UK (60%) and Scandinavian nations (70%)
   The minor Anglo Saxons
Canada, Australia, New Zeeland
Relatively dynamic, combine government with
private initiative (like UK)
Canadian protectionism (no tax exemption for
advertising in American media)
Little brother advantage
– Attractive as movie-making locations
  (Lord of the Rings, Xena, etc)
– Directors, actors and technicians can more easily
  immigrate to the US – name an actor or personality
– Use US as a global platform – Murdoch and his global
  interests: Europe, Asia and America
   An exception in the making:
     Scandinavian countries
Traditionally very statist (social-
democratic—ie ―liberal‖) nations
Regressive tax on advertising in Sweden
Today at the forefront of the Internet
– Finland: Highest Internet penetration rate in
– Some of the highest rates of cable penetration
Most communitarian media system – atypical

Japan, Inc. – Social organization based on harmony ―wa‖ – adjust your
values to those of the group

Wa directs the way the media is controlled
 – See press correspondents clubs (rarely include foreign journalists)
 – News that can bother the emperor are not publicized – Crown prince’s search for
   a wife and her pregnancy were barely publicized in Japan

 – Three large newspapers, with local editions, largest circulation: Asahi Shimbun –
   14,000,000 daily copies
 – Several Television Station (NHK and Fuji)
 – Governmental control  HDTV partial failure
Technologically sophisticated
 – Powerful hardware industry (most tv sets, VCRs or other electronics are
   produced in Japan or China, by Japanese affiliates)
 – But low computer penetration – complex alphabet and less emphasis on
   individualized technologies
European Union media policy
1989 Television without frontiers: counteract
Hollywood domination  50% of programming
should be local
Paradoxical: without frontiers inside but raising a
Chinese wall outside
Private industry quite successful in creating
Europe-wide media channels: Euronews, Sky,
European policy makers followers, not leaders in
Internet revolution
When ahead in the game, misguided – see the
French Internet: Minitel
   The multinational puzzle
Largest media companies rarely national
They own and co-own each other across
Synergy: mix technology, consumer
goods and content
Transborder ―imperialism‖: reflection of an
interdependent world
Most of the transactions are in the
Western World
             The multinationals
1.   Time-Warner/AOL – Remember CNN, TNT, TBS,
     Netscape, Compuserve? They are all here.
2.   VIACOM/CBS – MTV and Dan Rather
3.   Disney/ABC – Mickey and X-treme sports ESPN
4.   Bertelsmann – ―German‖ BMG, Arista (rap and hip-
     hop) and RTL
5.   News Corporation/Fox – ―Australian‖ includes STAR
     TV, largest Asian satellite service
6.   Sony / Columbia Pictures / CBS records (Electronics,
     Music, Film)
7.   Vivendi Universal – ―French‖ Water, energy utility
     company buys Universal Media & Studios, joins
     whiskey smuggler company Seagram to form a 50 bn
     dollar empire
8.   VNU – ―Dutch‖ Nielsen; Hollywood dealmaker and
     distributor owns Billboard, Hollywood Reporter,
  Totalitarian media systems
Generated by communist and nationalist-socialist
political systems
They are an extreme form of communitarian
media – their most extreme, anti-humanistic form
They are NOT the unique product of specific
individuals (Stalin, Sadam, Kim Jong Il) or specific
nations (Russia, China, Korea)
They are the product of ideological fervor and
– Produced by political parties armed with an ideology of
  ―enlightenment‖ – they KNOW the truth, which is one
  and forever
 Totalitarian Media System Assumptions

Nature of Man: strictly controlled and regulated by a socio-economic
(class), race or religious background

Nature of Society and State: are not only the primary element of social life
but their true and only justified goal – hive mentality

Nature of Knowledge: Is acquired by enlightened elites organized in formal
institutions – parties -- who have privileged access to ―ultimate revealed
 – e.g. in communist regime true knowledge is revealed by the Marxist doctrine,
   whose sole repository and interpreter is the Communist Party leadership
 – In nationalist regimes to ―savior‖-like leaders and parties (NSDAP Germany, or
   Baath Party in Iraq) and or the military
 – In fundamentalist regimes to a church and its clergy – Iran, Saudi Arabia

Totalitarian Systems:
 – Communist and post-communist: Cuba, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Laos,
   Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
 – National-socialist: Syria, Iraq, Lybia, Burma,
 – Fundamentalist: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Taliban Afghanistan, Osama’s Caliphate
  Totalitarian Media Systems --
Born out of the great Marxian-proletarian intellectual
revolution of 19th Century

Main goal: replace all that is bad and imperfect on this
world (economic inequality, social conflicts, injustice)
with a perfect world

Perfection to be achieved not through reform but through
radical revolution  violence

Why? Marx said that world progresses through
contradictions, and reform only moves only the object of
contradictions, not contradiction itself
– Proletarian revolution the only one that removes contradictions
  by removing social class. This is done by eliminating private
  property and free markets
Classic Communist media systems
The political system is reduced to ONE party which is identified with
the state –
 – The state is usually identified with the Supreme Leader

Each state institution is intertwined with a parallel system of party
 – the state is a front for the party and for the upper clique ruling the

The party considers itself entitled to absolute control because it is
the institution that has absolute control over understanding where
society and the world are going

Media becomes a bureaucratic department of the party: Propaganda
and Agitation
 Functions of Mass Communication in Totalitarian

 Serve other state institutions: Army,
 Health, Education, Propaganda
 Are seen as an instrument of unity
 They ―explain‖ and interpret political

Freedom in these systems: ―freedom to
  participate within the system; to acquiesce
  with the system‖
      News content in
  Communist/totalitarian Media
There are no episodic events that can be
reported as they come
There is only one event, building socialism,
strengthening the nation, revealing God’s will
Each article is meant to reveal and reinforce this
event – they are proof that the story is right, not
that there is a story to tell
It is all interpretation and all opinion (no
objectivity). The only ―straight‖ news refer to the
Leader’s Acts – see North Korea Handout
All media is owned and controlled by the
It is part of the governmental structure
It is fiercely centralized and narrowly
– Trade Union Newspapers
– Military Newspapers
– Medical Newspapers
Totalitarian Media -- Examples
North Korea – N Korean Press Agency
– Daily news – see handout:
     The leader visits agricultural project
     Secret Police officers offer thousands of potted Kimjongillias
     to the government. The flower was named after the President
     – Kim Jong Il (see details here)

– Media has to have an ―Educational‖ content 
  sometimes supported by American money see link
– News are usually congratulatory or self-
  congratulatory. When reporting incidents, they are
  usually created by the capitalists (see here)
                   Chinese Media
A media system ―in transition‖

Dominated by state media owned by the Communist Party, the Military, or
by the local and central government

Somewhat more liberal in the area of entertainment but news is tightly

More liberal media policy
 – Free Talk radio
 – Lively magazines
 – Party and governmental newspapers increasingly rely on advertising

Critical issue
 – Ownership: capitalist market without capitalists,
 – State organizations own and cross-own media
 – Makes regulation and control easier
            Chinese media
The seven NOs
You are free to publish whatever you want as
long as you do not:
1.Negate the guiding role of Marxism, Maoism or Deng
  Xio Pingsm
2.Oppose the Communist Party
3.Reveal ―state secrets‖
4.Oppose the national (―minority‖) policy of the govt.
5.Advocate superstition, pseudo-science, violence and
6.Spread rumors
7.Violate national publishing and advertising discipline
             Non Western Media
Dominated by authoritarian media systems
Authoritarian system:
 – Although there are laws on the book that guarantee freedom of expression,
   similar to communitarian and libertarian systems, they are ignored, circumvented
   and suppressed by raw force
 – The countries are ruled as dictatorships (royal or republican)
 – They can easily convert to democracy and libertarianism or communitarianism if
   the political leaders are eliminated (Italy, Spain)

Difference, communitarian—authoritarian—totalitarian:
 – Communitarian systems: media is regulated by clear laws which although more
   restrictive than in libertarian systems also ensure certain liberties
        Communitarian media always function within the confines of the law

 – Totalitarian media systems suppress and repress freedom using laws:
         Communist freedom of expression is always to be exercised within the system, which
        requires to support and promote the socialist/religious values of the system – See the 7
        Chinese ―NOs‖

 – Authoritarian systems
        Brutal and direct censorship and political manipulation of news content
        Political influence above and beyond the law – uses raw force to impose its will
        Some areas of freedom are allowed: e.g. entertainment
        Although slightly communitarian, they have no set assumptions about man and society,
        it is all in the needs and ideas of the leaders/elites
  Causes of authoritarianism
Why are many non-Western media systems

Social, ethnic and political cleavages –
     authoritarianism a way of keeping the nation together:
– Media is a symbol of control and power
– A symbol of national pride and identity
– Access to media unequal within and between nations

Purportedly facilitates development
       Nigeria: Case study in
Most populous African nation, one of the richest
(oil) and ethnically diverse (Muslim-Hausa, Ibo
and Yoruba-Christian, native religious split)
Hierarchical vs. egalitarian political traditions
(North vs. South)
A strong secular legal and political tradition
(British law) but very fragmented and corrupt
political system (Transparency International
ranks Nigeria second before last in a list of 90
Strong business class especially among the
       Nigeria – case study
Ethnic tensions  frequent coups
Alternates between democracy and dictatorship
– Frequent journalists imprisonment (local lore ―you are
  not a journalist until you spend some time in prison‖)
– Poor infrastructure hinders media work
National news agency mandated by law to:
– Be patriotic, truthful, honest and fair
– Don’t be an opponent of government, but a friendly
– Frequent discussions about licensing journalists
More recently there has been a period of relative democratization but the
authoritarianism of the leaders was replaced with that of the various ethnic
and religious traditions

Northerners, Muslims, want common law to be replaced by Sharia (Islamic
law), which uses corporal punishments and amputations

The great Nigerian Miss World Debacle of Nov, 2002 see link and video
 – Miss World to be held in Lagos, capital of Nigeria
 – The fundamentalist northern Muslims wanted the event to be cancelled
   (―decadent,‖ ―corrupts the youth‖)
 – A secular newspaper (ThisDay) published a funny/sacrilegious editorial written by
   an English educated young woman saying that the Muslims should not be
   offended by the event; if Mohamed, who had several wives, were to attend the
   event he would for sure choose at least one of the contestants to join his harem
 – Muslim riots—sacrilege—hundreds of deaths, Miss World was cancelled and
   moved to London
 – The journalist had to leave the country and the newspaper to apologize

Conclusion: authoritarianism does not need to come from above, sometimes
it can come from below, from the grassroots. Mass media can be a
particularly powerful source of contention
Non-Western media and the issue
       of development
Non-Western world inheritor of:
 –   Colonial rule and underdevelopment of modern civil life
 –   Historical low level of education and technology (including farming and health)
 –   Traditional values: power, religion, personal worth  hierarchical and personal

Media can/should be used to solve these problems

Currently two understandings of ―developmental media‖
 –   In the communitarian and libertarian tradition
          Media as great multiplier, use its potentialities (as prescribed by traditional theories) – Lerner,
                    social watchdog
                    broadens horizons, rises aspirations
                    f eed interpersonal channels
                    enf orce social and political norms
          Media should be used as agent of diffusion of innovation (like agricultural extensions in US);
          supplements existing culture

 –   Second understanding of developmental media – closer to totalitarian theory:
          Using a socialist-Marxist paradigm
          Challenges the idea that democracy or Western -style industrialization are good for a nation
          Western-style media and ―freedom of speech:‖ commercialism fosters colonialism
          Need for ―Development news‖: news-process owned and directed by the nation
 Can media and technology help
Second wave of media development was a disaster – it fostered authoritarianism and it did little
for improving people’s lives

Media can help in health, education or training campaigns, but not when vaccines are missing,
teachers are underpaid and training is ideological indoctrination
 –   First take care of the basics

Can technology solve the problem of development?
 –   Setting up state owned television and radio only helps the leaders to indoctrinate the people  TV and radio
     set ownership does not translate into development
 –   However, setting telephone systems fosters development – Leapfrogging: cellular telephony a great success
     throughout the world, but limited by need to interoperate with land-based companies and cost
           Success stories: Lebanon, Romania, Nigeria, China (see link)
 –   The formula that worked was that of free markets not universal taxation
           ITU proposals: Maitland program and tax on telecom 
       Tax on international telecom for World Universal Service (1day walk rule) – 12 bn / year
           Private industry ignored, but it did exactly that: satellite telephones at lower price (however, its most avid users are Osam a
           and isolated terrorists)

Free markets usually solve rather than impair development (see the development of television in
Latin America)

Can democracy and freedom of expression save countries from poverty?
 –   Democracy does not create prosperity but can break the cycle of tyranny, corruption and under-development
 India – a case study in
Second largest democracy in the World
 – A working federal system and a lively print media
  Influenced by the British system
 – 1,000 dailies and 20,000 weeklies (3 newspapers per 100 persons vs. 26 and 57 in US and Japan)

Developmental role of the media: a monumental failure – see example

 –   Podapadu village in Andra Pradesh
 –   46 radio sets for 1000 residents  2/3rds of respondents listened to the shows
 –   5 copies of 2 regional newspapers sent to the village  two regular readers
 –   However: Most effective means of influencing people remains interpersonal communication

Electronic Media tightly controlled by the government (Doordarshan) and stymied by the under-
development of the electronics industry (self-reliance)
 –   Paradoxically, India has one of the most lively cinema industries in the world (Bollywood) – not regulated
 –   Bypassing services: VCR magazines and satellite services (boosted by wars) – but a total disaster when in
     came to cell phones see link

National media involved in an on-going debate with Pakistan and the Muslim world
Communal fights, same danger of ―authoritarianism from below‖ as in Nigeria
 –   1992: a mythological TV series about one of the Gods of the Hindu Pantheon, RAMA, has sparked a major
     revolt in Ayodhya – 1,100 deaths
           Latin-American media
  Between authoritarianism, development and
Countries with old culture and urbanization

Early integrated in the world system

Market oriented, technologically astute and economically viable

Strong governmental control: undermined by political instability, conflict with
the West and social inequality
 – Reflected in media systems: private but muzzled or subservient to the powers
   that be
 – Core values: populism, entertainment (telenovelas), low political involvement
 – Frequently threatened not only by the government but also by various guerillas,
   especially left-communist terrorists (see Columbia link)

Some of them have made spectacular progress both in terms of freedom
and media diversity
One of the largest countries in the world  pop 150 million
Huge urban centers: Rio and Sao Paolo
More TV sets than the rest of LatAm combined
Fifth TV network in the world (GLOBO)
A great power with a provincial language

TV: entertainment oriented, subservient to the government but more and more
 –   Directly involved in ―assisting‖ the military gov to step down in 1984
 –   Supported President de Melo, who proved to be a corrupt politician but also instrumental in
     toppling him

 –   Free and vivacious – maintain a climate of debate and discussion
 –   Money making machines
 –   Reflect the socio-cultural cleavage of the nations: tabloids dominate

Brazil has elected its first populist president – far left; fate of democracy unknown
One of the most solid and secular/radical regimes in Latin America – Mexican

Statist and nationalist: opposed to the US

Media, market oriented, was quite early capable in establishing itself as a source of
content for the rest of the Hispanic world

Old newspaper tradition, some independence but marred by frequent bribes, threats,
assassinations and arrests  self-censorship

Vast network of connections between party-state oligarchs and media barons

 –   PRI removed from power
 –   Television privatized and freed from political constraints
 –   Two competitive networks TELEVISA – now extended in the – US challenged by AZTECA
Media in the Third World today
The great democratic revolution – but freedom of the press always
Freedom Forum Scores (how many political and civil rights there are and if they
are respected):
         1973 50% of non-industrialized world (GDP < 15,000) was totalitarian or
         very authoritarian
         1989 20% totalitarian or authoritarian
         1998 10% totalitarian or authoritarian
Freedom of the press:
        1979 35% of the countries press not free
        1989 50% of the countries press not free
        1999 35% of the countries press not free

                 Libertarian              Communitarian                 Authoritarian                 Totalitarian

                 Man: autonomous          Man: shaped by society        No assumptions, are        Man: Product of social
Assumptions   State: contract between    State: greater than sum of   corrupted libertarian and     groups (classes), no
                     individuals         parts Knowledge: people       authoritarian systems;              autonomy
               Knowledge: acquired        are gullible, need to be    Controlled by power and        State: First and last
              through conf lict/debate      told what to believe            intimidation          reality, goal of social lif e
                                                                                                  Knowledge: Revealed to
                                                                                                  the leaders who impart it
                                                                                                        to the masses

Ownership            Private              Public/Private./Gov         Government/Private               Government

Regulation       Media system         Media system                        Laws can be               Media is part of
                 separated and       subordinated to                  ―liberal‖ but media          the government,
                critical of gov by  community by law                        system                individual freedom
              definition – cannot but autonomous.                       subordinated to              suppressed
              be regulated as to      Gov regulates                      specific elites:               BY LAW
               content (but is as    both content and                     censorship,
               to its institutions) media institutions                   arrests, killing
  Mission     Entertain, inform,           Provide public              Maintain ―unity of          ―Development:‖
              profit, explore new         service, maintain           the nation,‖ power          social engineering
                 experiences,               local ―cultural               privileges,              and propaganda
                  ―reflect life‖         identity,‖ entertain,          development,                (indoctrination)
                                                inform                 entertain, inform
 Countries          US, UK                 UK, France,                Nigeria, Mexico,              Cuba, North
                                         Germany, Japan,              Brazil, India, Iraq         Korea, Iraq, Syria
           World inequalities
          Newspaper       Radio sets /   TV sets / 100   Phone lines /
          circulation /   100 persons    persons         100 persons
          100 persons
 US             26             224            74               50

Japan           57             94             61               42

France          19             108            40               48

Brazil           5             44             27               7

Mexico          13             35             16               6

 India           3              9              4               1

Nigeria          2             15              7               0
Theories explaining international
  communication inequalities
Electronic colonialism theory ECC
– CLAIM: After the downfall of classical
  colonialism (military and political) a media and
  cultural imperialism remains
    Mass media and telecommunications depend on
    Western tools and practices
    Less developed countries dependent on the West
    for expertise and hardware
    ECC = inequal news and programming flows
    Underdevelopment creates further
 World-systems or dependency
     system theory (WST)
Develops electronic colonialism theory
– Starts from an undeniable reality:
      There is a center-periphery structure of the world: rich/Western in the
      center, poor/Non-Western at the periphery
      The world-system:
        – formed 200 years ago
        – first capitalist colonial systems: metropolitan countries in the center,
          colonies at the periphery
      The center extracts materials from the periphery, produces goods
      and sends it to the periphery consumers (Indian cotton export)
      As the center grows richer, the periphery grows poorer (Indian
      WST theory applies both to economics and media

Problems with WST
– World system position is not destiny: US, Japan
– For media, there is no ―raw material‖ that is extracted from the
  periphery – this is information
                        NWICO debate
1970s New World Information and Communication Order:

  There is an inequitable distribution of hardware and news which tends to deepen
  Effect: resources comes and coverage is directed from the center (Western world)
        Third World image is dominated by the biases of the center
        Invasion of cultural products – suppresses national identity
  MASS MEDIA DECLARATION 1978 – International comm. should be re-

2 Positions:
  Socialist, non-western nations:
      Strengthen control both over hardware and software
            News gathering and diffusion process should be made more ―national‖ and directed by
             governments – alternative news agencies
            3rd World information should be filtered and regulated by governments to redress inequities
      Heavy intervention of governments in the news process  creeping authoritarianism,
       even totalitarianism
      USSR had a special interest in this since the torrent of foreign news was threatening
       internal stability

  Western nations:
      world information should flow freely and addressed to individuals
      private agencies and state agencies should be left to compete for people’s attention in all
        countries (libertarian theory ―free marketplace of ideas‖)
      NWICO compromise
– 1978 Media declaration  Plan for action:
  McBride Commission (Belgrade, 1980):
    Equitable diffusion of news, technology transfer,
    elimination of monopolies public or private
    Guarantee freedom of expression but with caveats:
    journalists have to be responsible, governments
    can limit freedom of expression if they deem it as
    ―not reflective of the local situations,‖ governments
    are guaranteed a role in fostering a specific
    information policy, based on national goals
    State control of news and media for developmental
– Outcome
   Rejected by the US (withdraws from UNESCO):
    – not because it wanted 3rd world media development, but
      because this was demanded in the name of the state and
      required curtailment of freedom of expression.

   No checks and balances within totalitarian states
   to prevent them from abusing their power to
   regulate the media

   Question: can there be state-directed development
   AND press freedom?
The international flow of television
 – When
     1983 – after a previous UNESCO study
 – What
     Maps the flow of television programming in the world: how
     much of each countries’ television programming is imported
     and how much domestically produced
 – Who
     Various research centers around the world directed by Tapio
     Varis – UNESCO (United Nations Education Culture Science
     and Culture Organization) sponsorship
The international flow of television
 – Sample two-week period in each country
 – Record how many hours of programming
   were dedicated to:
     8 types of programming (info, education, cultural,
     religious, children, entertainment, ads,
     Foreign vs. domestic
     And if the above were shown in prime time or not
The international flow of television
 – 1983: 1/3 of world television programming is imported – same as
 – Regional:
      N America: US imports 2% (Mexico and UK); Canada imports about
      Latin America: import 50%, all entertainment, 75% from US, 12%
      from other Lat Am, rest from Europe
      Western Europe: 30% of programs imported; of which 44% are from
      US; UK, Germany and France the rest
      Eastern Europe: about 20-25% imported of which 50% from non-
      Communist countries and 21 from USSR
      Asia: 36% imported – highest New Zeeland; lowest India
      Middle East – 30% imported of which 30% produced in the US
      Africa – 40% imported – caveat: most of the population does not
      have access to television
              Varis study
Other findings
– Regional exchanges on the increase:
    Western Europe – over 40% from the region
    Middle East – over 30% from the region
– North-South and East-West gaps
    South and East are recipients
      Antola and Rogers study

Television flows in: Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Venezuela,
American programming very important
TV imports in key Lat. Am. nations have decreased (1972-81):
–   Brazil: 60%  39%
–   Venezuela: 50  33%
–   Chile: 56  44%
–   Peru and Argentina go in the opposite direction
–   Mexico stationary (50%)
Mexico major exporter in other countries
Rise of Japanese cartoons
Adaptation and transformation of American programming
              Antola and Rogers
   Flaw of previous studies:
   –   Did not weight the hours by the size of their audience
   –   Dramatic changes:
          Mexico (Televisa): American programming represents 50% in
          terms of hours but only 30% in terms of total audience size
          Brazil (Globo): 20% US vs. 80% local in terms of audience
   Ranking of television prime-time shows in all nations
   1. Domestic production
   2. Latin American production
   3. American production

Only 4 of top 50 rated shows in study countries are
       Antola and Rogers
Latin American countries became
exporters of programming to the US
(Hispanic population)
Mexico as the ―neck‖ of the hourglass
Larger markets (Mexico) make the
decision what smaller countries will see
(they cover the cost of dubbing)
The debacle of Dallas: not bought by
Mexico and did poorly in Brazil
       Antola and Rogers
Why did Mexico and Brazil succeed:
– Domestic and original productions: telenovela
– Large markets
– Market savvy executives
– Permissive regulatory environment
Why did Argentina fail?
– Television was nationalized
– Technical incompatibility
– Marketing contacts were lost
       Antola and Rogers
Imports from the US are still important
Domestic fare attracts larger audiences
Mexico = gatekeeper (largest market)
Brazil and Mexico are main exporters
Mexico the only exporter of programming
to the US
De Melo: Development of Audio-
    visual industry in Brazil
Traditional (19th century) Brazilian culture was a colonial
– Dominated by Europe
– Served a local elite with European connections
– Cultural content: books, art, theatre imported

Modern Brazil: mix of local (populist) artistic forms and
modern formats (music, TV, etc) prepared to meet the
needs of the local population

Affirmation of national identity and local content in Brazil
               The Globo Story
A small production company, relatively late starter (1960s)

Takes advantage from: modern technology and modern marketing
and management

Has early set its eyes on a foreign market (Italy and other Latin
American countries): never think of your audience as strictly local

Taking advantage of lower labor costs, Brazilian telenovelas cost
1/3 of what Americans would charge

Profit from telenovelas alone: 20 mil beginning of 1990s

As a sign of maturity, Brazil sells not only content but also format:
Manuela (telenovela) and Xou of Xuxa (kids)
The media ―imperialism‖ argument
   and the Western Countries
Western European nations try to impose
barriers and obstacles to American
They believe that if free markets are left
alone, America will flood Europe with a
deluge of cheap programming
This will corrode the standards of the local
broadcasters and will debase the public
   The ―Iron Law‖ of Hollywood
When forced to choose between cheap
American programming and costly domestic
programming European stations will prefer
American programming

American programming is cheap because
Hollywood and New York producers pay only a
minimal cost to re-produce extra-copies (all
other costs + profit already covered by domestic
          ―Iron Law‖ critique
1. The argument confounds total costs with
costs of reproduction:
– Argument reduced to: ―It is cheaper to take a taxi than
  to buy a car‖ – in the long run this is flawed
2. American programming was successful not
because is cheap (both ways, quality and price)
but because it was the only one available, at
decent quality and fit for universal distribution at
a time when America was the only source of
commercial broadcasting
– broadcasters just like other customers look for ―value
  for money,‖ not for the cheapest possible price
               Iron Law critique
3. Cheap imports produce income!
        – 1 State television channel
        – 10 million dollars for 10,000 hours of broadcasting/year.
      If all content is domestically produced, Italy can only spend 1000
      dollars for each broadcasting hour.
      If Italy decides to buy 5,000 hours of American programming at 100
      dollars an hour, how much is left for domestic production/hour?
      9,500,000 dollars left to spend on 5,000 hours of domestic
      programming either spend almost twice for each hour of
      programming (1900 dollars) or produce 4,500 extra hours of
      domestic programming for a second domestic channel
– Imports do not destroy but can potentially boost higher quality
  domestic production or extend domestic programming. It
  depends where you show the content.
            ―Iron Law‖ critique
4. The iron law assumes that only US can sell its wares
abroad, that only it can sell stuff at ―marginal cost.‖ Why
can’t England or Brazil do the same?

5. (version of 4) The iron law assumes that the US is the
only nation that has a large enough internal market to
cover the initial investment of the production, which
allows after market sales at ―marginal cost‖
– In fact, the US market is quite fragmented, its large production of
  movies (or TV shows) chases a fixed number of viewers; Friends
  is usually watched by 10-15% of the American audience; CNN
  has about 500,000 viewers a week

6. Production decisions are determined by potential not
actual market: if this weren’t true the Swiss were not
making the Swatches and New Zealanders would not
grow kiwis
         ―Iron Law‖ critique
7. US products are cheap in Europe not only
because of ―marginal cost‖ effects but also
because there was no one to bid prices up 
monopsonistic (one customer) markets – that is
how the EBU affords to pay 1/10 th of the price
paid by American companies for broadcasting
the Olympics

8. Although American programming is mediocre
(catering to the medium public) it has evolved
and is more sophisticated than it used to be (see
Discovery, National Geographic, HBO etc.)
         ―Iron Law‖ critique
9. The assumption that American programming
is simply dumped abroad, without regard for
local traditions or universal appeal is wrong, this
is finely calculated by the studio executives
10. The iron law assumes that a market oriented
system will benefit only the Americans, in fact as
the systems becomes organized around
production for sale more actors will emerge
(such as Televisa) that will be better prepared to
serve various niche markets
 What explains US success?
The only producer in a world of consumers
Aiming at the average viewer and his/her expectations
American programming is designed to appeal to diverse
(universal audiences) because the American audience is
diverse itself
American culture was a ―pre-sold‖ product, the American
mystique of the West has long preceded the success of
the Western (Karl May)
American content industry is highly sophisticated and
managed as a mass-consumption industry
American economy is a service economy, of which
content is only a segment (this is what US is good at)
      Iron Law conclusions
The US was strong because was the only sale
oriented nation in a world of under-achievers
(state dominated monopolies)
In the long run it is cheaper and smarter to buy a
car than to rent one, provided that the system is
market based
Commercial production in the US has in fact
subsidized European high quality production and
access to world events (see Olympics)
Yet there is a need for balancing public and

We learned that broadcasting and telecommunications
live through an interplay between interdependence
(internationalization) and localization
Production or distribution have become more
international but content consumption is still locale-
Great disparity between nations but isolating nations
from the world is not the solution
More interconnection, not less, should be the solution
Freer media environments have increased diversity of
        Telecommunication and
Major issue of the first part of the course:
– Differences between media systems
– How does dependence of some countries on other countries is
  mediated by the type of media system they have
– Authoritarian and communitarian media systems are more likely
  to be dependent on libertarian media systems
      Libertarian systems produce more and control more of the media
      resources of the world

Second part of the course looks at the same issues
focusing on Telecommmunications
We can look at dependence by considering other types
of connections:
– Telephone
– Internet
Balance and dependence in the
 world of telecommunications:
International telephony is a central tool for
bringing people together
What are the changes in the world
telecommunications arena observed over
the last 20-30 years?
What countries dominate the arena of
international telephony and why?
 How much more interdependent
and globalized is the world today?
Telecommunications between nations have
Prices have decreased
Technology has improved

How much?
Who has benefited from this process the most?
How should the benefits of this economic and
technological revolution be spread around?
       Improvements in
telecommunications – brief history
A little bit of perspective:
 – No matter how great are the discrepancies today, the world has become smaller

 – Space before 1840s (telegraphy) was immense
         Most people, including members of aristocracy, spent their lives within 30 miles of their
         Only the rich and government people traveled
         It took several weeks – up to a month to travel across Europe
         Two months – two weeks to cross the Atlantic
         Two years to get an answer from a letter sent to Australia
         It took Lewis and Clark at the beginning of 19 th Century 3 years to travel from Saint
         Louis to Washington State and back
         Daniel Boone – 6 months to get from W Virginia to Boonesborough
         Trip up the Hudson (before steam): 50 hours for 140 miles
              Improvements in
          telecommunications - 2
Travel: Boston – New York
–   1800 3-4 days
–   1830 1-2 days
–   1860 10 hours
–   1920 6 hours
Mail service in the US – New York to S. F.
– 24 days to 12 hours (FedEX)
Even air travel has improved - New York – Paris
–   Lindbergh – couple of days
–   Early air travel 10 – 12 hours
–   Standard air travel – 6 – 7 hours
–   Concorde – 3 – 4 hours
           Improvement in
       telecommunications - 3
The long distance explosion
– Length to place a call:
     1920 – 14 minutes
     1931 – 2.1 minutes
– Cost to place a call (NY – SF)
     1920 - $15/3 min
     1930 - $8
     1941 - $4.8
     Today 10c/min
     Tomorrow – flat rate plan ( – $29.99/month)
   What is the present state of
Despite tremendous increase in traffic and
affordability, there is an equally
tremendous disparity in capability and
potential to communicate
       Bottom 10 countries in terms of
       telephonic infrastructure (1999)
                                         number of
                                         phone           number of
                           minutes int   lines per       mobile
                           calls per     1000            phones for
                           subscriber    people          1000 people
Chad                              292           1.3                    0
Rwanda                            376           1.7               1.52
Central African Republic          439           2.7                    1
Ethiopia                            64          3.1               0.11
Madagascar                        192           3.2                NA
Bangladesh                        104           3.4               1.17
Burkina Faso                      206                4                 0
Mozambique                        222                4            0.63
Myanmar                             70          5.5               0.25
Mauritania                        489           6.4                    0
          Top ten countries in terms of
            telephonic infrastructure
                                    number of     number of
                      minutes int   phone lines   mobile
                      calls per     per 1000      phones for
                      subscriber    people        1000 people
United Kingdom                180           567             457

France                        129           582             366

Germany                       152           590           285.88

Netherlands                   224           607             436

Canada                        266           655             226

United States                 155           664           311.59

Sweden                        257           665             583

Denmark                       180           685           495.29

Switzerland                   481           699             411

Norway                        178           709             613
Direction of traffic inequalities
1999 direction of traffic report:
– Summarizes how much time people from any specific
  country in the world have spent talking on the phone
  with people in other countries
– 23 developed countries generate 75% of the outgoing
  traffic but only 57% of incoming traffic  deficit
– US has the largest deficit: no country sends more
  phone calls to the US, than the amount the US sends
  to it
– This works in favor of the sending countries due to
  the settlement mechanism
Why are these disparities still so great?
Why isn’t telephony more prevalent in the
– Considering that is relatively cheap
  considering the benefits?

Mix of commercial and political reasons
Most important: International settlement
International telecommunications
      settlement mechanism
Telephonic conversations very hard to price
Marginal costs are really small: all that is
consumed in a call is electricity, everything else
is fixed costs or labor
Prices are conventional and cover:
– Cost of fixed assets (building the networks and the
  connections between the two countries)
– The value of the network itself (the fact that it makes
  people available to the other partner) – ―right of
Each country signs a convention with each of its
telephonic partners
How International telephony pricing
 The convention partners commonly agree to a
 ―reasonable‖ price for a minute of conversation –
 ―settlement rate‖
 At the end of the year the country that spent more
 minutes pays for the balance (the other calls ―cancel
 They pay up for the ―unequal use‖ of the network by its
 subscribers – payment using the ―settlement rate‖
 If one country has a monopoly system and the other one
 a competitive one, the monopoly system will get far
 larger benefits from the clearing because it will always
 keep prices higher, limiting outgoing calls and
 encouraging incoming calls
How international telephony pricing
 – India and the US
      Countries decide that it costs 71c per minute to establish a
      connection between them (wholesale price)
      American callers spent 100,000,000 minutes on calls to India in
      Indian callers spent 10,000,000 minutes on calls to US in 2001
      American companies have to pay the Indian monopoly telecom
      In addition, because the Indian telecom is a monopoly, it has
      charged each Indian customer a retail price of 1.80c per minute
        – it makes an additional 18,000,000 dollars = $81,900,000
      In the US, where the market is more competitive, American
      companies charged only 90c per minute, so they made $90,000,000
      – 63,900,000 = 26,100,000
International telephonic traffic between 3 rd world and 1st
world countries is a gigantic cash cow for the latter,
especially if they maintain monopolies
1993-1998, developing countries have received $40bn
dollars: enough to add 45 million phone lines in the third
First world countries want to abandon the system and
set it on a more realistic basis:
– Settlement rate should reflect cost
– People in the third world should have more equal access to calls
  to first world countries
If 3rd world countries do not do this, their outgoing traffic
might go to zero, due people moving the calls to the
Internet or always preferring to be called from abroad
Internet diffusion / digital divide:
     causes and geography
The world of information technology is
very unequal: some have a lot, some a
How large is the divide?
What are the factors that predict (are
associated) with Internet diffusion?
– Old media endowment
– Economic development
– Human capital or democracy
  How great are the differences
          (1999) data
See tables I distributed in class (they are also
linked here)
– In 1999, Top 30 wired nations contained, compared to
  bottom 30 wired nations:
     57 times more Internet users  85% of all Internet population
     162 time more hosts per capita

– A top 30 wired nation, compared to a bottom 30 wired
      Is 10 times richer
      Is typically libertarian/communitarian (vs. authoritarian)
     Has 5 times more television per capita
     Is more educated (98% literate compared to 60% literate)
Internet diffusion / digital divide

 Internet penetration: users (NUA) and hosts per
 capita – highly correlated (R=.8, sig. = .001)
 Most wired nations are economically advanced
 (figs. 3.1, 3.2)
 Several clusters: Nordic/Scandinavian, Anglo-
 Saxon, Asian/Tigers, Smaller European, Other
 Asian, Middle Eastern, South American, African
Internet diffusion / digital divide
What factors explain the disparity between the
Is it:
 – How rich is the media environment in a nation?
 – How rich is the nation?
 – How much a nation spends on research and
 – How well educated/skilled is the population in a
 – How democratic is it?
Internet diffusion / digital divide
Research method used:
 – Correlation

How much the values on a variable
(measure) increase as the values
(measures) on another variable increase,
 Internet diffusion / digital divide
Correlation diagrams (3.4 – 3.6)
– As old media endowment increases, new media
  endowment increases, too – old media = newspapers,
  radio, tv, telephones and mobiles telephony
– As Gross Domestic Product Increases, Percentage of
  population on-line increases, too
– As money spent for research increases, percentage
  of population on-line increases, too
– Countries with better educated populations or more
  democratic are more likely to be connected
     However, keep an eye on the outliers, under or over
     connected relative to their level of old media, economic or
Internet diffusion / digital divide
 – Economically developed nations are also
   more likely to spend on research, to have
   highly educated populations and to be
 – Which of these factors really influences
 – TABLE 3.4: It’s Economic development and
   R&D spending, plus being a Scandinavian or
   North American country
         Internet diffusion
– Economic development conditions all the
  other factors, including connectivity,
  education, skills, etc.
– However, this conclusion begs the questions:
    How do you become developed, in the first place?
      Next class assignment
There will be no ―official‖ lecture on Thursday. Instead,
we will have a class discussion. The topic is:
– How can the current world digital divide be reduced?
– The discussion should be rooted in this week’s readings. The
  discussion will focus on the following topics:
      Is the digital gap bridgeable?
      Can specific technologies be used to ―leapfrog‖ a nation’s current
      If you were an international consultant working for the World Bank,
      what would you advise the less developed nations to do? Come up
      with specific proposals for
        – Economy
        – Society
        – Political life

      Summarize your thoughts into a bullet-point list or one-page mini-
      essay and be prepared to talk about it!
Your final paper is due April 16

Last two weeks of classes will be dedicated to final

Each student has about 15 minutes to present their

Have a small powerpoint presentation

Explain what your topic is, main issues discussed in the
paper, conclusions
         What are International
Are diplomatic arrangements
Organized under the rule of international law
States, not individuals, are the subjects of this law
Regulates the way nations / states interact with one
These are organizations and laws in which people enter
voluntarily and can withdraw from at any point without
(real) penalty from the organization, although there could
be consequences coming from the other member states
(embargoes, war)
Weaker than internal national organizations because the
laws are weaker – they are based on treaties and
   Communication International
ITU: details
– One of the oldest international organizations (1865)
– Four functions:
     Regulate access to radio frequencies for space and
     terrestrial communications – Maintains ―table of frequencies‖
     Mediates international telephonic charge settlements
     Facilitates interconnection between nations (standards)
     Conducts and implements development studies and
  International organizations
The need for ITU
– Late 19th century – interconnection between
  nations and telegraphic fees settlements
– Early 20th century – radio frequencies
  allocation for maritime radio-telephony, later
  international broadcasting
– Mid-late 20th century – satellite slot allocation
– Major issue, spectrum and geostationary orbit
  International organizations
ITU and its role in administering the international
radio spectrum
– Radio spectrum – possible range of vibrations of radio
– 1 vibration/sec = 1 Hertz
     Use for communication 9KHz – 400 GHz – in the World
     Used for broadcasting 3KHz to 30 GHz – in the US
– For each frequency band one can only have one
  user: otherwise interference
– Each user has to be licensed (its right to broadcast on
  that frequency should be guaranteed)
  Western nations advantaged?
  International Organizations
ITU and its role in regulating satellite
– Geostationary orbit scarcity
– Satellites that fly over the equator at the same
  speed with the Earth’s rotation are stationary
  (stay in the same spot on the sky)
– Spots over equator are limited
– Most Equatorial nations are poor, no
  satellites, but they claim a right for a slice of
  the geostationary orbit for future use
  International organizations
ITU and satellite broadcasting
– Answer to the geostationary orbit scarcity
      – An international consortium of 114 nations who own ―Shares‖ in
        a system of 14 satellites
      – Nations exchange telephone and video information
      – Initiated by the US as a technology sharing initiative
      – 2001: Transformed into a private corporation
              Most nations have privatized their telecom systems
              Competition from private satellite operators
      – Similar system for maritime communications: a sophisticated
        satellite telephony system
    International Organizations
The NWICO debate and ITU
      Maitland report: points at the great telephone
  disparities in the world
      Proposed a more equitable redistribution of
      Proposed tax on international communication
      Ignores the fact that Third World countries
  have already instituted their ―private‖ taxes, in
  the form of the International settlement rate
      Ignores the role of private industry in
  reducing disparities
     International Organizations
International broadcasting organizations
 –   Eurovision, Intervision, Gulfvision
 –   Made sense when national broadcasters were national monopolies
 –   Exchanged programs in a barter system
 –   Superseeded by the new satellite channels: al jazeera, CNN, Sky, BBC
 – Deeply involved (and compromised itself) in the NWICO debate
 – Dedicated to development programs
 – World Trade Organization
 – Reduction of export tariffs (reduction of protectionism)
 – Many countries fear open trade, for the reasons mentioned in the ―iron
   law argument‖
 – One of the favorite targets of the anti-globalization activists
       Internet regulation
The Internet is not ONE network but a
To call a webpage from a server in
Australia or to send E-mail to Russia you
need to use a specific address
Since the networks are autonomous they
need a neutral system, connected to them
all, which stores the address system and
standardizes the connections
Non-profit organization incorporated in California
 – Maintains a master list of domain names and conventions for using
   domain names
 – Maintains communication standards (TCP/IP) that allow computers to
   talk with one another
 – Settles disputes over domains and standards
WHY CALIFORNIA: Because the Internet was invented in the US
and most of its nodes are in the US
Set up by the US government to prevent being accused of
―imperialism‖ (Initially ICANN was a person, Postel, then a technical
commission IANA)
Voluntary divestiture of powers—but not as an intl. treaty
organization—it is an individual membership international
ICANN functions:
Maintains the DNS (Domain Name Server) root file and
links it to the 12 root servers
– ROOT FILE: File that specifies what the top level domains are
– g(eneric)TLD: .edu, .gov, .com, .org, .net, .int, .mil, .arpa, .info,
  .biz, .museum, .name, .coop
– Cc(country code)TLD: .au (australia), .pl (poland)
– ROOT SERVERS: Giant Internet ―Phone‖ books
      They know where each root server for a specific TLD is
      when you send an email to (Australia): fromUS
      root server.au root server
      See visual router server:
ICANN functions:
– Coordinates the Registrars—independent companies
  that register your name when you buy a domain and
  keeps it on file e.g.:
– Settles disputes over domain names—deals
  especially with cybersquatters
– Proposes and maintains Internet standards and
    TCP/IP the set of computer instructions that allow computers
    to talk with one another over the Internet
    Html = the Internet language – cooperates with WWW
ICANN – organization:
– Non-governmental organization
– Board of directors
      19 members
      9 nominated by ISPs, Internet registrars, and engineers
      9 nominated by ordinary Internet users who joined ICANN as
      ―members at large‖
      The President of the board
– Main issue: representativity
      Bureaucracies + self-appointocracies (Germany has more members
      at large than the US, although Germany has far less Internet users!)
      First elections very skewed: 160,000 members at large for millions
      of Internet users
      More elected reps from continents with low Internet representation
      Preferred in order to avoid governments from taking over (but
      governments are democratically elected!!)
ICANN challenges
– Although is a non-gov. body it has law-making
     Determines the allowed domain names
       – After adding .info and .biz it talks about adding new ones, such
         as .coop and some ask for .suck!
     Settles disputes
– This makes it a political institution, although its
  mandate is mainly technical
– Alternative and competing name systems,
     AOL keywords
     In effect each network can invent its own system, if it decided
     to forgo the advantage of using an international domain
     name system
  Conflict and communication
Better communication facilitates both international understanding
and conflict
 – Understanding
       We get the chance to know the enemy as a human being – coverage of
       civilian casualities
       Give people who wouldn’t see each other eye to eye a chance to
       communicate without being in each other’s presence

 – Conflict
       direct military use of telecommunication
       Instantaneous communication sometimes takes the time needed for
       reflection, spurs conflicts

         – Examples:
               Avoided situations like the 1812 war: New Orleans, the battle that should’ve
               have happened
               Made comm vulnerable and hastened other wars: Zimmerman telegram 
               British give the US intercepted German telegraph about Mexican invasion
 Conflict and communication
International communication systems
shaped by war
– World Empires tended to carry world wars 
  need for world systems of communication
    Roman, Inca empires leader in road construction
    American and British Navy first users of
    British Empire leader in world telegraphy and
    Satellites first used as spy devices
Conflict and communication
– Communication was used not only to convey
  information but also to mobilize the masses
– Modern wars were ―total wars:‖
    Use the whole population as a war machine: national
    conscript armies
    To make people to sustain the war  propaganda and mass
    circulation newspapers
    Spanish-American war: a war between Hearst and Pulitzer
    World War I escalated into a crisis due to speed of telegraph
    communication amplified by mass circulation newspapers
                                       “The age of the crowd:”

                                       Mass media used to whip
                                       people into a frenzy

                                       Both wars were prepared by
                                       mediated preludes and its
                                       actors were educated by
                                       them: Hitler was the product
                                       of this era

World War I: war of national pride

Masses stimulated by media to defend
their national heritage and rights
  Conflict and communication

Diplomats hate open and mediated communication of international
Media stereotypes and characterizes
Diplomats need to reach compromises and save face
If situations are defined by the media they cannot control de terms of
the discussion
 – Example:
       Once Bush told the world that he will disarm Saddam he could not back off,
       not matter how strong the opposition
       In the current Mid East conflict, Sharon and Arafat cannot back off because
       they are locked in pre-set positions:
         – Defend the right of Israel to exist (Sharon)
         – Defend the right of a Palestinian state to exist (Arafat)
 Conflict and communication
New communication devices and techniques are a
double edge sword not only for large states but also for
those who oppose them
– Terrorists and non-state actors seem to benefit from
  globalization of communication
      Al Qaeda uses extensively satellite phones and ―donkey-back‖
– Using modern communication makes you more vulnerable
      Pearl’s killers were tracked through their emails
      Satellite telephones are small transmitters – can be tracked
      Dudayev, the first leader of the Chechen rebellion was killed in a
      bomb attack after his satellite phone was tracked
      However, Osama used this feature to escape the 2001 encirclement
      of Tora Bora, sent his bodyguard away with the phone (see
      handouts CBS and AP 1, 2)
 Conflict and communication
Does modern technology help war coverage? Does it
make it not only faster moving, but also better?

What do you think about embedded journalists?

– Embedding -- response to the way Gulf War I was covered –
  pooled reports
– New technologies – videophones, make coverage instantaneous
  – does this make the coverage better or worse?
     Immediacy vs.
     Fog of war
 Conflict and communication
Direct involvement of communication in
– Psyop
    Used by large countries -- Examples from
     – Bin Laden Wanted
     – Is this the future you want for your country?
             THE END
What follows below is material not covered
in class. It will not be used for the final
 Conflict and communication
Media (TV) as a tool of government
– In totalitarian regimes television is a powerful
  tool of control
– But it can backfire, he who controls TV
  controls the country
      – Romania Ceausescu
      – Iran
      – Manila
Driven by democratic markets
Go to Wall Mart, buy a hammer, look at
the label. Where was it made?
Let’s look at our clothing labels? Where
are our clothes made?
Is there a good Sushi restaurant in
Lexington? Why?
Where is X-files made?
If you do not live in the US, what is your
favorite TV show?
Media and democratic markets
When markets dominate we do not have
less but more diffusion of power and
Markets are systems of production and
distribution, where everybody needs in
everybody in order to succeed
Multi-national corporations succeed only in
so far as they take advantage of these
markets and decentralize themselves
  Can there be a uniform global
       culture and media?
Interdependence subsists only in so far as the
actors are different; as long as I need something
that you have in exchange for something that I
have and you want
Media products – consumers are very
demanding; people want to see themselves on
TV (the democratic impulse, again)
Big media will succeed only when reflecting
universals – populist common denominators
There will always be a need for media products
that reflect what is unique to a specific place
The need for global governance
 Commerce and markets are ahead of our
 political institutions
 We need them just like we need local institutions
 But they need to arbitrate and facilitate, not to
 impose their will on the people
 Most importantly: they should reflect a basic
 covenant that encapsulates our rights, liberties
 and responsibilities – and this is missing in the
 global arena
Has the new deregulated media
environment helped or deterred
The argument against liberalizing television is sometimes reworked

Although liberalized/non-public commercial, transnationalized
television increases local offers, this only increases in volume the
low-quality programming already available, not true media diversity

The amount of output provided to us has dramatically increased:
 – American media production
       3  11 million words/capita (1960-80)
 – American media consumption has increased, but does not keep pace:
       20,000 to 40,000 words/capita/day

Production/consumption ratio has decreased from 1.4% to .6%
Has programming become more or
  less diverse with the advent of
 The argument is not that we are poorer in
 channels, but the increase in channels does not
 reflect an increase in content diversity

 Comparing the New York with the London TV
 scene the difference is shocking, as late as 1990

 – 1969-1990: From 13 to 70 channels in NY and from 3
   to 15 in London
  The international media menu
 available in NYC 69 compared to
        90 (table 3.2 Noam)
  Two Spanish movies

  Spanish, Greek, Korean, Chinese, Hebrew news
  Chinese and Spanish movies
  Special current affairs program covering the
  Senate gavel-to-gavel
  Documentaries about Florence, Vietnam war
     International media menu in
No foreign news or programming

Sky news
American Programming

We can probably add today Al-Jezeera
The increase in quality/high brow
programming diversity in the US
Expansion of programming is so staggering that even if
we get multiple channels of garbage, the space made for
quality programming is greater than anything ever
dreamed: the tide rises all boats
Omaha example:
– Although entertainment has increased by about 7 times between
  1970 – 85, it represents less, percentage-wise of total output
– Informational programming remains the same (percentage of
  total) but in fact has increased dramatically in terms of total
  number of hours
New York example. Programming as % of tot:
– Increase: News, Financial, Music, Religious
– Decrease: Drama, Game/quiz, Variety, Movies
– Herfindahl index shows a net increase in diversity
Tracey and Redal study: capping
           the story
Starts from the Varis study: there are more
lateral connections in the world than expected,
decline of dependency and affirmation of
national identity
Bias in local televisions toward: ―the parochial,
the distinct, the proximate‖ what does he mean
by this?  Oshin vs. Dallas – greed vs. harmony
Brazil shows that, as Noam says, cheap does
not necessarily mean popular and domestic
Thailand, Ireland and South-East Asia confirm
the same thing  they all go in the direction of
more local production
          Tracey: News flows
NHK study reveals that THERE IS NO SINGLE
STORY that dominates the global news interest,
each nation emphasizes other issues and news
What directs the news flows is proximity:
–   Geographic
–   Cultural
–   Ideological
–   Alliances and competitive relations
We live in a world of next-door neighbors that do
not necessarily know what goes on in each
other’s living rooms
The need for cultural adaptation
―Transnational‖ programming is not really
transnational, it is locally adapted ―re-versioned‖
– To be global, be local
– keep characters and storyline but adorn it in local
– sell the format not the content (Video Age Intl.’)
     Hungarian Wheel of Fortune)
     The Brazilian-Argentinean telenovela coproduction
     Vanessa, Vera am Mittage and Catherine (European talk
     shows produced by the company that produced Hercules)
     CNBC Future File
Tracey: why is television so local?
People watch TV to learn who they are,
like looking in a mirror

Television is dominated by domestic
populism, not by electronic colonialism
Example: Canada’s ―colonization‖
          by the US
– Divided not by the North - South fault, but by the
  French – English one;
– While the French population consumes
  preponderantly domestically French fare, the Anglo-
  Saxons consume American programming
– Reflection of Anglos integration in the North American
  cultural outlook.
– If American television dominates this is not a sign that
  someone imposes foreign values on Canadians but
  that the Canadians are local by being North
     Major contributing factors to
     telecommunicative progress
 – A new technology – thin threads of glass used to send messages
   modulated by light
 – A single fiber-optic thread has the capacity of a coaxial cable (like the
   one used for cable tv)
 – A fiber-optic cable the size of your finger can send tens or even
   hundreds of thousands times more information than a regular wire cable
 – Enormous economies of scale, once put in orbit, a satellite serves the
   same function of wire network does, it usually carries tens of thousands
   of channels simultaneously – footprint 40% of the earth
 – Daring initiatives: Iridium – tens of low flying satellites acting as a
   cellular telephony system at the scale of the entire globe (bankrupt)
Cost decline:
 – Satellites: $23000/hour for a color TV broadcast (1975)  5,000/1,000
Increase in interdependence = a
 smaller, more democratic world
Overall, technological advance is
undeniable and potentially democratizing
in its effects
Not because Bill Gates affords things that
not many people can afford, but because
most of the things he can afford, we can
afford, too
Let’s look at telecommunications
  Patterns of telecommunicative
  progress – inequality in space
Rich pole: an always-on, flat rate world –
everyone connected to everyone (Star Trek
―communicators‖) – distance makes no
difference (Figure 3.5 page 70)

Poor pole: a world of wide disparities – center
cities in the Third World are just like New York,
vast rural areas can still be in 18th or even 10th

Most of the traffic flows from the First to the third
Telecommunications and position
       in world system
Barnett, A longitudinal analysis of the international
telecommunications network 1978-1996

Main questions
– Does World System Theory apply to the world of
– What countries are central or peripheral in the world
  telecommunications network?
– Does the world become more globalized?
– Is the global telecom system more centralized today than 20
  years ago?
– What predicts centrality?
Telecommunications and position
      in the world system
– Telecomunication flows between nations
– Matrix data: what countries ―talk‖ on the phone with other
– How do you measure centrality, integration, density? (page

     CENTRALITY: How many links does it take to get from node A to
     node B
     DENSITY: Number of links by total possible number of links
     INTEGRATION: Proportion of node links that are linked to one
Telecommunications and position
      in the world system
– There are distinct cultural areas in the world,
  organized in a center periphery system (Figure 1)
– OVER TIME: The world telecommunications network
  has become more integrated and denser. Has it also
  become more centralized? (Table 1 and 2)
    There are more links between nations and more direct
    There is a problem with interpreting centralization: here it
    means not how hierarchical is the system but how compact it
– Richer countries are more central: they have more
  telephonic connections
Telecommunications and position
      in the world system
– Connectivity is present not only between central and
  peripheral countries, but also between nations
  situated in the same geographic area or in the same
  cultural group (Figure 1)
– Eastern European countries have become more
  central, compared to Latin American countries –
  some of the most isolated countries are former Soviet
  Union colonies (Figure 1)
– Countries that talk with one another the most, are
  more likely to be geographic neighbors and to share
  the same language (previous research)
The world is relatively stable in terms of
―centrality,‖ but has become much
―smaller‖: there are denser and more
integrated ties between nations
There is a center-periphery structure in the
world but does the ―central become more
central, and the peripheral, more
peripheral‖ still holds true?

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