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International Press Corps Background Information - IDIA

International Press Corps Background Information - IDIA

Rutgers Model United

Rutgers Model United Nations 9 Regional Comparisons in the Developing World Africa The greatest misconception about Africa is that Africa is “one great homogeneous whole, almost one country with one pattern and one inevitable destiny.” There are 400 million people grouped together into 50 countries, almost all of which are independent from colonial rule. A characteristic of all African countries is that there is a lack of reliable information and a common frustration of missing and contradictory statistics. An interesting statistic about newspapers in Africa is that the UNESCO minimum criteria of what is considers an adequate communication system is 100 copies per 1,000 copies. In the 1980s, Africa barely fulfilled one-tenth of this standard and this region had the poorest newspaper quality among the developing countries. In terms of radio and television however, ownership of radio and television receivers have increased by the millions every year. Most programs have to be imported and the signal is usually very poor in this region. In most cases, on the national capital has a signal. 18 Middle East Relative to the other regions in the developing world, the Middle East has changed the most. Due to its location over massive oil reserves, the Middle East has prospered as economic development has flourished. William Rugh, a Foreign Service officer described Arab media however as “politically patronized, fragmented, geographically concentrated in a few urban centers, and low in credibility and prestige.” 19 The Middle East did not experience significant growth in comparison to Africa in terms of newspaper circulation. However, in terms of radio and telephone broadcasting, the number of sets owned was the highest of any Third World region. Asia Asia, accounting for seventy percent of the Third World is considered to be the most media-poor part of the Third World. Before China and India were classified as 18 blue book pg 107-8 19 blue book pg 109

Rutgers Model United Nations 10 newly industrializing countries, the number of daily newspapers in Asia without China grew from 34 million to only 36 million in the 1980s. In broadcasting, the difference between Asia and the other regions was even more dramatic. Estimates showed Asia to be below the Middle East and Latin America and only slightly ahead of Africa. Telephones were one bright spot for Asia as telephones grew faster in Asia than in the other three regions. 20 Latin America Since most Latin American countries achieved political independence before the countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia and its proximity to the United States, Latin America is often considered to have one of the highest level of media development even in broadcasting among the four regions. Media in most Latin American countries are often subject to considerable government influence. This includes pressures such as occasional bribes, control of imported newsprint, and physical violence against journalists. The rate of growth of media in Latin America is lower than in other regions because of their higher levels to being with. 21 Along with all their troubles, developing countries are finding it harder to gain entrance into the mass media world due to the theory of media imperialism. Media Imperialism The media imperialism theory debate began in the early 1970s when developing countries began criticizing developed countries for their large amount of control over the media. The theory states that smaller countries are losing their identity due to the “forcefeeding of media from larger countries”. 22 As larger media corporations begin to settle, the smaller media corporations are forced out or swallowed up. Some criticisms of media imperialism are that the media coverage from larger nations overshadows news from 20 blue book pg 111 21 blue book pg 113 22

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