Hamelink_Politics_of_Global_Comm

Hamelink_Politics_of_Global_Comm - d D L Rirnon 11 G&...

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Unformatted text preview: d, D. L., Rirnon 11,]. G., & Rinehart, W. (1997). Health communicatim: nily planning and reproductive health. Westport, CT: Praeger. (1970). Imperialism and underdevelopment. New York: Monthly Diffusion ofinnovations. New York: Free Press. 4 history of communication study: A biographical approach. New York: ). The stages of economic growth: A non-communist many‘esto (3rd ed) ambridge University Press. 4). ill/[ass media and national development: The role of information in as. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. hao, P. (1994). Concepts: The theoretical underpinnings of levelopment communication. In Approaches to development communican'orz, Z). :cernber). Pro—social soap operas for development: A review of eory. journal ofInternational Communication, 4(2), 75401. atob,]. (1993, December). The field ofdevelopment communication: conversation with Professor Everett M. Rogers. journal ofDeve/opment 2(4), 97—101. 9 :rs, E. (1999). Entertainment-education: A communication strategyfor social 1, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. rs, E. (2002). Combatting AIDS: Communication Strategies in Action. ’ublications Ltd. tanonda, P. (1996,]une). The role of communication in development: from a critique of the dominant, dependency, and alternative al of Development Communication, 1(7), 10—25. change and development: A/Iodernization, dependency, and worldsystern /‘ Park, CA: Sage. dutainment: How to malee edutainment workfor you. Houghton, South y. '81, June 2). Highlights of PSC activities in 1980. Project Support Newsletter, 5(2), 1—2. 1e 7). Resolution on the new international information order of the 4th .Meeting nental Coordinating Council chon-aligned Countries for Infiirmation. l9). Statistical yearbook 1948. Lake Success, NY: United Nations. 1, May 1). Declaration on the establishment of a new international economlf :: United Nations. mble. http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter Social and cultural change: Social science for a dynamic world. Boston: ', B., & Olson,]. (1992). lsing communication theory: An introduction W ation. London: Sage. 10 Q The Politics of Global Communication CEES J. HAMELINK' Cees J. Hamelink (PhD, University of Amsterdam) is Professor of International Communication at the University of Amsterdam and Professor of Media, Religion, and Culture at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is the editor in chief of the International journal for Communication Studies: Gazette. He is also honorary president of the International Association for Media and Communication Research and founder of the People’s Communication Charter. Hamelink’s major publications include Cultural Autonomy in Global Communications (1983), Finance and Information (1983), The Technology Gamble (1988), The Politics of World Communication (1994), World Communication (1995), The Ethics of Cyberspace (2000), and Human Rights for Communicators (2004). 1 THE THREE SUBSTANTIVE DOMAINS Since the mid—19th century, global communication has developed into an impor— tant concern on the agenda of the international community. Over the past 150 years, the players in this field (governments, commercial firms, and professional practitioners) have designed and adopted rules (by legislation or by self—regulation), institutions, and practices that provide limits and incentives for their conduct. For additional online resources, access the Global Media Monitor website that accompanies this book on the Wadsworth Communication Cafe website at http:/ /communication.wadsworth.com. 201 R 10 During all these years, the substantive domains of global communication politics have largely remained the same. They encompass the fields of telecommunication (now including data communication), intellectual property rights, and mass media, By and large, the core issues of today’s communication politics are still to be found in these three domains. Technological developments have obviously added new dimensions to these issues. In the area of telecommunication, the main issues continue to involve accessibility, allocation, and confidentiality. Today, the accessibility issue refers not only to basic telephony but also to advanced coma puter networks. In addition to frequencies and settlement rates, the allocation issue today involves the new field of domain names for the use of the Internet. The confidentiality issue has gained increased urgency through the global proliferation of data networks, data collection activities, and new forms of electronic surveillance. The issues in the domain of intellectual property rights have acquired more urgency through the application of new technologies that make large—scale copying of copyrighted materials easy. In the domain of mass media content, the basic controversy is still focused upon the tension between harmful content and free speech. The regulation of content on the Internet is today an urgent new issue on the agenda of global communication politics. Global communication politics is initiated, amended, debated, and implemen— ted by a variety of multilateral forums, including both governmental and nongo— vernmental organizations. For specific issues, distinct multilateral institutions have become responsible. Global communication in the 1990s confronted the world political arena with complex and controversial policy concerns that demanded resolution through multilateral bargaining. A major challenge for the 21st century is the inclusion of actors from global civil society in these bargaining processes. THE BEGINNINGS The politics of global communication emerged in the mid—19th century in the domains of telecommunication, intellectual property rights, and mass media. Telecommunication In 1868, Heinrich von Stephan, a senior oflficial in the postal administration of the North German Confederation, prepared a proposal for an international postal union. Through his government, this plan was submitted to a plenipotentiary conference that was held at the invitation of the Swiss government at Berne on September 15, 1874. The 22 countries present at the conference founded. through the Treaty of Berne, the General Postal Union.1 The treaty of thi9 1, The countries present at the conference were Austria, Belgium, Denmark. Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece. Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States, ‘ . Hamburg, Han THE POLITICS OF GLOBAL COMMUNI convention entered into force on July 1, 1875. In 1878, the name of the organization was changed to Universal Postal Union. The 1874 Berne confer— ence introduced basic norms and rules that still hold today. Among these were the guaranteed freedom of transit within the territory of the union and the standardization of charges to be collected by each country for letter—post items addressed to any part of the union’s territory. By 1865, the need was felt to substitute a multiplicity of bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral arrangements for a multilateral agreement. In that year, France invited the European states to an international conference that became the founding meeting of the International Telegraphy Union (May 17, 1865). With the establishment of this predecessor of today’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the first treaty to deal with world communication was adopted: the International Telegraphy Convention. _The original text of the convention’s treaty stated that the signatories desired to secure for their telegraphy traffic the advantages of simple and reduced tariffs, to improve the conditions of interna— tional telegraphy, and to establish a permanent cooperation among themselves while retaining their freedom of operation.2 The convention adopted the Morse code as the first international telegraph standard. Among the other norms adopted were the protection of the secrecy of correspondence, the right of all nations to use international telegraphy, and the rejection of all liability for international telegraphy services. The contracting parties also reserved the right to stop any transmission considered dangerous for state security or in Violation of national laws, public order, or morals. Intellectual Property Rights The Berne meeting of the International Literary and Artistic Society adopted the draft for a multilateral treaty entitled Convention Establishing a General Union for the Protection of the Rights of Authors in Their Literary and Artistic Works. This draft was Sent to “all civilized countries” through the Federal Council of the Swiss Con— federation, with the plan for a diplomatic conference in 1884 to adopt a formal treaty. The third diplomatic conference (September 6—9, 1886) adopted the , earlier drafts for a convention, an additional article, and a final protocol. These three texts were signed by Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Haiti, Italy, 1. Ebena, Spain, Switzerland, and Tunisia. These founder members created a union . at was open to all countries. The Berne treaty provided international recogni— thn for the national treatment principle. As article 2(1) stated, Authors who are subjects or citizens of any of the countries Of the Umon, or their lawful representatives, shall enjoy in the other countries for their works, Whether published in one of those countries \ 2. - The followmg states attended: Austna, Baden, Bavaria, Belgium, Denmark, France, 5 . over, Italy. the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, P3111, Sweden, Turkey, and Wurtemburg. Great Britain was excluded because its telegraph ne . ‘ . . ' - tWork was pnvatcly 0w ned. The unions also decided in 1858 that French and German Were to be the official languages for international telegrams. ER 10 or unpublished, the rights which the respective laws do now or may hereafter grant to natives. (Berne, 1886) In the field of copyright, the Beme convention treaty remained the only multilateral treaty until 1952. Since 1886, it has been revised at diplomatic conference in 1896 (Paris), in 1908 (Berlin), in 1928 (Rome), in 1948 (Brussels) in 1967 (Stockholm), and in 1971 (Paris). In the development of author rights, the basic principles have been to ensure remuneration for an author by protecting his or her work against reproduction (fer 50 years after the author’s lifetime); to demand respect for the individual integrity of the creator; to encourage the development of the arts, literature, and science; and to promote a wider dissemination of literary, artistic, and scientific works. Mass Media With the proliferation of printed and especially broadcast media (in the late 19th and early 20th centuries), serious concerns about the social impact of the mass media emerged. The positive, constructive contribution of the media to peaceful international relations generated considerable excitement. Such positive expecta— tions were expressed in the 1933 Convention for Facilitating the International Circulation of Films of an Educational Character. This treaty of this convention was signed at Geneva on October 11, 1933. The contracting parties to the convention, which was registered with the secretariat of the League of Nations, considered the international circulation of educational films that contribute “towards the mutual understanding of peoples, in conformity with the aims of the League of Nations and consequently encourage moral disarmament” (League of Nations, 1933) to be highly desirable. To facilitate the circulation of such films, the signatories agreed to exempt their importation, transit, and exportation from all customs duties and accessory charges of any kind. However, the negative social impact of the mass media was also a serious concern. A moral, educational concern was expressed regarding the spread of obscene publications across borders. This concern resulted in the adoption of the 1910 and 1924 treaties on traffic in obscene publications. The 1924 International Convention for the Suppression of the Circulation of and Traffic in Obscene Publications declared it a punishable offence “to make or produce or have in possession (for trade or public exhibition) obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinemato— graph films or any other obscene objects” (League of Nations, 1924). Also punishable was the importation or exportation of obscene materials for trade Or public exhibition, and persons committing the offence “shall be amenable to the Courts of the Contracting Party in whose territories the offence. . . was com— mitted.” Concern about the negative impact of the mass media also arose from the increasing use of the mass media in the course of the 19th century 35 instruments of foreign diplomacy. Although this was particularly the case With newspapers, the development of Wireless radio widened the pOtential for this new form of diplomacy. THE POLITICS OF GLOBAL COMMUl Increasingly, diplomats shifted from traditional forms of silent diplomacy to a public diplomacy in which the constituencies of other states were directly addressed. In most cases, this behavior amounted to propagandistic abuse of the medium. During World War I, the means of propaganda were used extensively. This psychological warfare continued after the war ended, as international short— wave radio began to proliferate. In the immediate postwar period, the League of Nations initiated discussions about the contribution of the international press to peace. In 1931, the league asked the Institute for Intellectual Cooperation (the predecessor of UNESCO) to conduct a study on all questions raised by the use of radio for good international relations. In 1933, the study, Broadcasting and Peace, was published, and it recom— mended the drafting of a binding multilateral treaty. Under the war threat emanating from Germany after 1933, the treaty was indeed drafted, and on September 23, 1936, it was signed by 28 states. The fascist states did not participate. The International Convention Concerning the Use of Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace entered into force on April 2, 1938, after ratification or accession by nine countries: Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, India, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, and the United King— dom. Basic to the provisions of the treaty was the recognition of the need to prevent, through rules established by common agreement, the use of broadcasting in a manner prejudicial to good international understanding. These agreed—upon rules included the prohibition of transmissions that could incite the population of any territory “to acts incompatible with the internal order or security of contracting parties” or that were likely to harm good international understanding by incorrect statements. The contracting parties also agreed to ensure “that any transmission likely to harm good intemational understanding by incorrect statements shall be rectified at the earliest possible moment” (League of Nations, 1938). In 1999, the treaty was still in force and had been ratified by 26 member states of the United Nations. The New Multilateral Institutions After 1945, global communication politics received a new impetus through the establishment of the United Nations. With the creation of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, a crucial group of institutions for multilateral policy evolution and policy coordination entered the international system. The General Assembly of the UN (particularly through the International Law Commission and several subcommissions) and the International Court of Justice became the Prlmary movers in the progressive development of the norms and rules that make up the current system of international law. The UN General Assembly has contributed to global communication politics Fhrough a vast number of resolutions that address such divergent issues as the Jamming of broadcasts, the protection of journalists on dangerous missions, direct Satellite broadcasting, and human rights aspects of science and technology. Among the key Standal‘d—setting instruments adopted by the General Assem— bly that are pertinent to World communication are the basic human rights ER 10 covenants, declarations and conventions against discrimination, and treaties on outer space law. Among the various organs of the UN General Assembly, Special attention for communication matters is located in the Third Committee of the General Assembly (responsible for social, humanitarian, and cultural matters) and the Economic and Social Council. The Economic and Social Council Was established as the principal organ to coordinate the economic and social work of the UN and its specialized agencies. In the subsidiary bodies of the council, communication issues are addressed, especially in the case of the Commission On Human Rights or the Commission on Transnational Corporations. Of particular importance was the 1959 establishment by the General Assem- bly of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. This body became the focal point for UN standard setting in outer space law, with important references to world communication politics through regulatory instruments addressing satellite broadcasting. In 1966, the General Assembly established the Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), with the mandate to facilitate the harmonization of the laws of international trade. With the increasing importance of computer technology in international transactions, the commission has been required to address such problems as legal validity of computer records and liability in electronic funds transfers. In 1978, the UN General Assembly established the Committee on Information, which received its mandate through a resolution adopted on December 18, 1979. The committee has contributed to a series of resolutions on the new international information order and the public information activ— ities of the UN. Specialized Agencies Multilateral policy is also made by the specialized agencies of the United Nations, and several of these became important regulators for the field of communication, especially the ITU; the Universal Postal Union (UPU); the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). To a far lesser extent, the International Labor Organization (ILO) became involved through employment questions relating to communication professionals; and the World Health Organization (\X/HO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), through work in the field of stan— dards for advertising and marketing of health and food products. Standards affecting world communications are also set in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which has adopted rules for aircraft tele— communications systems; and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which has addressed issues of maritime communications. In addition to the already—existing multilateral forums that became UN specialized agencies, new regulatory bodies were also established, such as the now defunct Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics (IBI) and the UN Coh’ ference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which has adopted standard5 in such fields as intellectual property and transfer of technology. ‘ Conduct for transnational corporations. .. IPO, and UNESCO, INGOs have ma nnulation of world communication politi In UN agencies such as the ITU, de significant contributions to the es. TER1O Shifts in Global Communication Politics Over the past decade, the arena of global communication politics has seen major changes. Among the most important ones are the following: I The international governance system for communication operated during the past 100 years mainly to coordinate national policies that were independently shaped by sovereign governments. Today’s global governancB system to a large extent determines supranationally the space that national governments have for independent policy making. I Global...
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