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International Press Corps Background Information - IDIA

International Press Corps Background Information - IDIA

Rutgers Model United

Rutgers Model United Nations 7 developing nations. However, we will analyze them in a separate category when discussing media in the developed world. The developed world on the other hand involves superpower countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan. The criteria for a country to be considered a developed country include high gross domestic product (GDP), high human development index ratings (HDI), and industrialization. 15 Unlike developing countries, developed countries have access to rich information resources and the technology needed to advance their own economies and in turn, the ability to have a strong media sector. Some criticisms of Western media are that they ignore the Third World, see the Third World through a Western cultural bias, and for monopolizing the world flow of information. 16 Communication in the developing world is a struggle to deal with two levels of people, the literate and the illiterate, the rich or privileged and the poor. Literacy is an important factor in communication and distinguishes those countries that have high levels of literacy tend to be those in the developed world. Literacy tends to be higher in Asiatic and Caribbean countries than in Africa and Arabic countries. However, literacy can be misleading and cannot always be associated with developing countries and their small voice in the media world. In developing countries, there is generally the presence of many languages and dialects. For this reason, many developing countries tend to have smaller circulation newspapers in contrast to the big circulations by a newspaper in a single language. This problem is similar on radio and television because if programs are broadcasted in different languages, it will be hard to accommodate and air the programs with the limited air time. With television, it may be easier with the emergence of subtitles; however it is still a concern. Another vital difference between media in the developing world and developed world is the shared contribution of modern science and technology. Whereas the industrializing world is only credited with producing five percent of the effort in 15 http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49.htm 16 blue book, pg 13

Rutgers Model United Nations 8 developments in science and technology, the industrialized world is credited for contribution ninety-five percent. Economic statistics show that manufacturing and production per capital is almost insignificant in the industrializing world. In comparison to developed countries, developing countries suffer from ineffective infrastructure. Developed countries have fewer problems to deal with such as poor roads, canals, or railways and they have more time to pay attention to more important concerns. In many developing countries, essential infrastructure such as electricity and the telephone, which are common in developed countries, are seen as luxurious commodities. Because of the poor infrastructure, transport and communication are affected. In countries in Africa, one spends more time traveling to a public telephone than on the cost of the phone call itself. Some developing countries are cannot join the information age because they have so many fundamental economic and social concerns such as hunger, sickness, population explosion, and the destruction of the environment. In the industrializing world in half of its countries, “the income share for the lowest 40 per cent of households averages 12 per cent. On the other half, the share is only 9 per cent of the total national income.” Adding to this problem is that although the average per capita income has increased by 50 per cent since 1960, the money and growth is unequally distributed between the countries. Adult literacy in these countries is about 48 per cent compared to 97 per cent for the developed counties. According to many experts, the challenge that faces these developing countries is to become more independent and self-reliant. Mass media can be an important tool in establishing a cultural identity. By producing media content, a society is also producing content and in turn celebrating its own existence. 17 17 green book 181

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