Abstract - The Information Society 2 (1)

Priorities for National Communication Policy in the Third World

Robert A White and James M McDonnell

The debate on the New International Information Order in the mid-1970s came as a shock to many communication researchers and policymakers. This debate is but the latest stage in a movement toward a new geopolitical order that has been emerging for at least 50 years. The international recognition of the rights and needs of the Third World and a restructuring of international communication are a consequence of nation-building in former colonies and a new sense of autonomy in many older countries. The New International Information Order debate suggests the need for a restructuring of communication patterns at the international level and within developing countries. The formulation of new, more equitable patterns of national and international communication is a key step in this process. New international policies must build on new national and regional policies developing in the Third World. Four major trends indicate structural changes are being considered: 1. new ideas on the development of more adequate communication systems, 2. approaches to decentralizing national communication systems, 3. policies of national self-reliance and detachment from global communication structures, and 4. attempts to improve and extend regional cooperation in the Third World.

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