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Body of Knowledge

UNESCO World Communication and Information Report 1999-2000 - Public service broadcasting
by Arne Wessberg

As mass media, radio and television have always held a place between technology and culture. From the beginning, they have always utilized the very latest applications of technology in their routine operations: first radio technology, then electronics and now information technology. They have never been reluctant to take on new technology. This is as evident on the Asian continent and in parts of the Arab world, where there are mazes of satellite transponders and cable services, as it is in most of North and South America. While the new technologies have not yet been as fully developed on the African continent, many projects have already been initiated (see Chapter 13) and certain countries like South Africa are very much part of the emerging knowledge society, as are a number of African capitals. Radio and television rely on time-honoured forms of expression: music, acting, live expression, storytelling and debate. They reflect the continuation of age-old cultural traditions. These two media are today the most important conveyors of myths in modern society. Radio and television combine technology-based change with a long history of cultural tradition and it is precisely this encounter between the very newest and very oldest that makes the audio-visual mass media a unique meeting point in the emerging information society.

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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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