Title

Beyond rhetoric and the New International Information and Communication Order: Economically developing countries do not practice what they preach

Date of Award

1991

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communications

Advisor(s)

Henry F. Schulte

Keywords

Global information, Journalism, New International Information and Communication Order

Subject Categories

Mass Communication

Abstract

Statement of the problem. In the mid-1970s, economically developing countries intensified their call for a New International Information and Communication Order. In international forums such as the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) representatives of these countries contended that because global information flow and technology was skewed in favor of industrialized nations, other nations were not given adequate news coverage. If and when they were covered, the focus was on sensational news related to crises, corruption and coup d'etats. Little, if any news was given to developmental issues such as cultural events, education, health, and infrastructure development.

Little research has been done on what economically developing nations themselves have done to correct this perceived imbalance. This dissertation is designed to help fill the void.

Methodology. The research method used in this study is content analysis.

Purposive sampling was used to select three government-owned-and/or-controlled newspapers in three economically developing nations--Cuba, Malaysia, and Zambia. The papers studied were Granma (weekly issue in English), The New Straits Times, and The Zambia Daily Mail, respectively. Stratified random sampling was used to select certain dates of publication. Once the selections were made, all international news items published on those dates were coded for analysis.

Findings. This research found that despite the rhetoric of the New International Information and Communication Order and all the good things that have been written about it, economically developing countries, when publishing news about other "Third World" nations have a tendency to publish non-developmental news 87.5 percent of the time and developmental news 12.5 percent of the time. Politics, crises, and corruption dominated the international news pages.

Recommendations. If and when the issue of a New International Information and Communication Order awakes from its slumber, governments in economically developing nations will have to go beyond the rhetoric of the mid-1970s and do more to convince the world that they are indeed to be taken seriously in their call to balance the flow of global information and the distribution of information technology.

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