Body of Knowledge

UNESCO World Communication and Information Report 1999-2000 - Freedom of the media
by Jean-Paul Marthoz

The emergence of any new form of technology inevitably gives rise to euphoric hopes or dark fears. The development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is no exception to the rule. On the one hand are those who promise us an increasingly democratic global village, and on the other, those who announce a new era of domination and dogmatism. The paradoxes are numerous. ICTs, for instance, have produced an unprecedented profusion and diversity of media, but they have also opened up territory where the most powerful media are in cut-throat competition, and risk either crushing the weakest actors under their weight or leaving them jobless by the wayside. The reason is that the control and use of these new technologies require capital and capabilities of such enormous scale that, on the wealthiest of the consumer media markets, they inexorably lead to further concentration. The economic stakes are obvious: the 1997 sales figure for the largest communication group in the world, Time Warner, was $ 2 4 , 6 0 0 million. Sales for the second largest corporation, Disney, stood at $22,500 m i l l i o n , $6,500million of which were generated by television and magazines.

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Publication Type: Article / Chapter / Essay: 10 pages
Publisher: UNESCO (1999)
Location: Paris, France
Language: English
ISBN: 92-3-103611-4

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