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UNESCO World Communication and Information Report 1999-2000 - Governing information and communication technologies
by Julian Thomas; Gareth Grainger; Karen Koomen

Global computer networks promise to make the circulation of information easier, cheaper and faster than ever before; new digital technologies are transforming the production and distribution of media of all kinds. The social and economic consequences of the emerging digital communications technologies are, however, not yet clear. While commercial and legal systems designed to manage analogue communications and the movement of physical cultural objects are slowly adapting to the new digital environment, the place of governments and nation states in this process is still uncertain, as is the functioning of democracy. National governments have historically exercised strong controls over telecommunications and the distribution of books, films, and other so-called "˜packaged' cultural materials across their borders. Where necessary, as in the case of international telecommunications, governments successfully co-operated in the formulation and implementation of technical standards and common industry practices. In most countries, the electronic media and telecommunications were directly owned by governments or subject to interventionist government regulatory regimes well into the 1980s. As a result, national cultural and economic policies shaped the development of the world's communications for over a century.

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Publication Type: Article / Chapter / Essay: 15 pages
Publisher: UNESCO (1999)
Location: Paris, France
Language: English
ISBN: 92-3-103611-4

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