The Changing Landscape of Journalism and Communication (Part I)

Manila Bulletin, December 11, 2004 | Go to article overview

The Changing Landscape of Journalism and Communication (Part I)


LET me start by saying that I am grateful for the honor of giving this special lecture before a group of eminent colleagues in the field. For this, let me thank our AIJC Board of Trustees and officers for organizing this event. My deep gratitude goes to Atty. Felipe Gozon, CEO of GMA Network and AIJC Trustee, for being a gracious host to this event.

I must confess that I found it difficult to organize this lecture, first, because the sector of journalism and communication straddles both theory and practice for which reason I would have to try to strike a balance between theory and application. Too, the complexities in our national and global scene and new developments in information and communication technology (ICT) present threats and opportunities which pose awesome challenges that can only be addressed through "out of the box" approaches.

Among the changes in the communication landscape, I will focus on civic journalism, public advocacy, and e-learning as the response to the crisis going on at all fronts the social, moral, economic, environmental, and governance concerns, which threaten to destroy the fabric of our society. These new functions of communication are strengthened because of the availability of the new ICTs which, together with radio, TV, and the print media, have become powerful tools because of their reach, their capacity to dramatize events, and to focus on urgent policy agenda. Communication through continuing dialogue is a potent resource in building trust and consensus, and a force in unifying the diverse groups in our fragmented nation.

As many know, communication science has evolved as an amalgam of the social sciences sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, economics, as well as the humanities and information sciences. Drawing from the rich knowledge generated by these sciences, communication has become an important tool for policy and advocacy, a much needed intervention in our country today.

My purpose for sharing some highlights in history and theory is to demonstrate how patterns in the growth of the sector and knowledge from theory had guided the design of media and communication strategies. It is also to provide support to the importance of theories and frameworks as guide for action

The Six Revolutions and Historical Trends: Irving Fang, communication historian suggests these six categories: First Revolution Writing; 2nd Revolution Printing; 3rd Revolution- Mass Media; 4th Revolution- Entertainment; 5th Revolution The Toolshed Home; 6th Revolution The Highway.

From these perspectives, I have drawn some trends which include:

Propaganda as a tool for political control

Revolution of "rising expectations & rising frustrations" (creation of unmet wants)

Management of change development communication, organizational communication

Transnationalization New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO)

Globalization of information Digital Revolution- conglomeration, "digital divide"

Social Accountability Learning, social marketing, teledemocracy, civic journalism

Empowerment through knowledge as a countervailing force to propaganda

The Theory Perspective From the trends, these theories have evolved Rhetoric, Propaganda, Advertising, Public Opinion; "Hypodermic needle effect," Four Theories of the Press; Social-psychological models (selective retention, cognitive dissonance, opinion leadership, cultivation, gratification, etc.), Functional theories, Semantics and linguistic theories, Diffusion, Massification, Hegemony and transnationalization, Cybernetics, Organizational Communication, Human dialogue, Development communication, Participatory Communication, Pluralism, Globalization of communication, Communitarianism, Demassification, Civic journalism, Critical theories, Knowledge Management, Constructivism.

Application in Policy and Program Planning The application of early theories of rhetoric and propaganda started with Aristotle with the emphasis on form, logic, and persuasion. …

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