Global Communication: Is There a Place for Human Dignity?
By Dafne Sabanes Plou. Geneva: WCC Publications, 1996. Pp. xi, 74. Paperback $9.50/ L6.25/SFr 11.90.
An Argentine journalist specializing in church issues, Plou reports on the 1995 congress of the World Association for Christian Communication held in Metepec, Mexico. The participants agreed that the rapid growth of new media, especially television, and the creation of giant new media monopolies are threatening human freedom and dignity worldwide and that this presents a challenge to every Christian community.
The fundamental problem is the current tendency to turn information into a commodity, rather than a social good. The result is monopoly. "In many countries you can buy a newspaper, listen to the radio and watch a television program produced by a single private multimedia company and receive the same information, the same opinion, the same analysis" (p. 1). Four news agencies, located in the United States and Europe, control 96 percent of the entire flow of the world's news.
But the wealthy nations seek to maintain this disparity, and UNESCO has been cowed into avoiding the problem altogether. Who will take responsibility for preventing the …