Television, Regulation, and Civil Society in Asia

Television, Regulation, and Civil Society in Asia

Television, Regulation, and Civil Society in Asia

Television, Regulation, and Civil Society in Asia

Synopsis

This highly topical book exposes the tensions between state policies of broadcasting regulation and practices of civil society in the Asian region which is struggling with its incorporation into a new globalized, electronic information and entertainment world.

Excerpt

The term 'civil society' encompasses a number of factors regularly entered and taken off public and mass media agendas. Some salient ones discussed in this book are participatory communication and political processes, people's rights, state/society/media relationships, and ownership and other regulatory trends.

Many of the issues that contributors to Television, Regulation and Civil Society in Asia write about have appeared, disappeared and reappeared as parts of national media or broadcasting commissions and policies in Asia or campaigns of NGOs such as unesco and the Non-Aligned Countries Movement. For example, in the 1960s and 1970s, much ink and spittle were expended discussing ways to use mass communication for the betterment of the southern world, particularly Asia. Cultural-media imperialism, one-way news and information flows, elite-oriented media and authoritarian rule were condemned; salutary concepts such as participatory communication, horizontal and free and balanced flows of information, traditional and alternative forms of communication, and people's right to be informed free of government restrictions came to the fore.

But, this euphoric period was soon eclipsed by one that pushed high technology as the panacea for the world's ailments (again), the frightening-rapid takeover of mass media by a handful of money-hungry, public discourse-be-damned moguls, and commercialisation and commodification of news and information the like of which the world has never before witnessed. Global village, globalisation, glocalisation, political correctness, privatisation, liberalisation, cyber this and that, these became the buzzwords. the many new television stations and cable systems that emerged because of privatisation usually served as shopping malls, rather than public debate fora, and the tightening of control of media through ownership by fewer conglomerates often meant less public accountability, fewer chances for people to participate in public discourse, and omission of vital news/information to protect parent corporations' vested interests. Self-censorship, engineering of social responsibility, political correctness and envelopmental journalism (bribery) stood slightly taller as means of control than more attention-grabbing

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