International Press Corps Background Information - IDIA
Rutgers Model United Nations 11 smaller nations and they are accused of having blanket coverage over the world’s events. According to some people, media imperialism can lead to biased information and inaccuracy in news reports. Some larger corporations may try to control the content and amount of media coverage on a certain issue and this would cut out the smaller media corporations from spreading these stories. Italy and Canada are just a few of the countries that are accused of media imperialism since in these countries, a large amount of media output is controlled solely by one company. When there is one large media corporation controlling the news, bias is very likely and inevitable since they can decide what they want to publish and what to censor. Quantitative Imbalance This term is used to further describe the imbalance of the flow of information and communication between the developed and the developing world. According to recent statistics, about 80% of world newsflow stems from major news agencies in the developed nations. This leaves about 20% of news to developing nations. This discrepancy doesn’t seem too serious until one looks at the fact that the developing nations make up about 85.4% of the world’s population. 23 To illustrate this fact, Who’s on Time, a book studying Time’s cover stories over a period of time, reveals that this international magazine has covered the United States roughly 68.8% of the time between 1923 to 1977. The United States is followed by Great Britain, the pre-Soviet Union, France, and Germany. 24 This magazine proves that there is an obvious imbalance between the attention given to news in developed nations and those in developing nations. Inequality in Information Resources There is also an inequality in the distribution of the frequency spectrum. In other words, in developing nations those few people that have televisions are forced to watch programs and news from the developed nations. According to statistics, developed 23 http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/ 24 Lehnus, Donald J., Who’s on Time! A Study of ‘Time’ Covers from March 1923 to 20 January, 1977, Oceana Publications, Inc. New York, 1980, pp. 14 & 15
Rutgers Model United Nations 12 nations control about 90% of the programming. In a world where 45% of developing countries do not have televisions, the exposure to Western controlled media is putting an unfair advantage to developing nations. Insufficient News Regarding Developing Countries In the major news stations, another conflict that faces developing nations is when news is actually reported, they face distortion, filtration, and editing. Since most of the news is controlled by developed nations, they have the power to present the news of the developing nations in any way that they see fit. Therefore, this has led to biased news reports focusing more on crises, demonstrations, and calamities rather than positive news reports. Also the freedom to report news freely has led many Third World journalists to envy their Western counterparts’ freedom to report critically without fear of retribution. The role of media in society impacts countries differently depending on its position as a developed or developing countries. In developed countries like the United States and France, media is more established and can therefore help further improve communications and the economic situation of the country. In developing or newly industrializing countries, citizens have less access to the media outlets such as television and newspapers. One main discussion lies around the West’s large control and influence on the media and the Third World countries inability to voice their concerns. Technological improvements are likely to impact media’s role in society. The Internet is starting to become the center of mass media. Instead of subscribing to newspaper and magazine publications, many are turning to the Internet as an accessible source of information. Blogging has become a popular form of media since people are able to provide commentary or voice their opinions on issues that are important to them. However these improvements are mainly helping the citizens of developed countries, which developing countries are falling further behind in this technological era. It is clear that media has and will continue to affect developed and developing countries differently.