Introduction/ ISSUES IN COMMUNICATION FLOW, GLOBAL VILLAGE AND TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM
One of the hot chapters in the history of international communication or global communication is information/communication flow particularly global village which usher technology determinism. It is unusual to talk about global village without talking about technological determinism because global village make it easy for technology to determine our way of life i.e how we receive information, how we communicate and interact, how we shop, how we bank, how we participate politics, even how we date to mention but a few.
Meanwhile, as the world becomes a global village as proposed by a Canadian English Professor Marshal McLuhan when he predicted that the world will compress into a single electronic room where information from far and near will be exchanged with a single click but today it has gone beyond a single click to a touch of a screen as in the case of smartphones, tablet, iphone and screen touch system. However, one main fundamental issues the surrounds global flow of information is information imbalance. This level of imbalance led to NWICO Debate.
Information/Communication Flow is said to be imbalance and as a result, there is need for New World Information and Communication Order as proposed by leaders in developing countries. The fundamental issues of imbalances in global communication had been discussed for some time. The American media scholar Wilbur Schramm noted in 1964 that the flow of news among nations is thin, that much attention is given to developed countries and little to less-developing ones, that important events are ignored and reality is distorted (Wilbur, 1964).
From a more radical perspective, Herbert Schiller observed in 1969 that developing countries had little meaningful input into decisions about radio frequency allocations for satellites at a key meeting in Geneva in 1962.
Schiller pointed out that many satellites had military applications. Intelsat which was set up for international co-operation in satellite communication, was also dominated by the United States. In the 1970s these and other issues were taken up by the Non-Aligned Movement and debated within the United Nations and its United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (Herbert, 1969).
In 1970, at the 16th Congress of a UNESCO, the NWICO was clearly raised for the first time. NWICO grew out of the New International Economic Order of 1974. The term “new world information order” was coined by Hedi Nouira, the prime minister of Tunisia, who was the first to use it during a conference in 1974 (Oledzki, 1981). From 1976 to 1978, the phrase New World Information and Communication Order was generally shortened to New World Information Order or the New International Information Order.
In 1976, for the first time, the slogan of establishing a “New World Information and Communication Order” was clearly proposed. At the start of this discussion, NWICO got associated with the UNESCO starting from the early 1970s.
Mass media concerns began with the meeting of non-aligned nations in Algiers, 1973; again in Tunis 1976, and later in 1976 at the New Delhi Ministerial Conference of Non-Aligned Nations. The ‘new order’ plan was textually formulated by Tunisia’s Information Minister Mustapha Masmoudi. Masmoudi submitted working paper No. 31 to the MacBride Commission. These proposals of 1978 were titled the ‘Mass Media Declaration.’ The MacBride Commission at the time was a 16-member body created by UNESCO to study communication issues (The Grenada Revolution Online, n.d).