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Table of Contents
                            Many Voices, One World: Towards a new more just and more efficient world information and communication order
Bibliographic information
Members of the Commission
Table of Contents
Communication and Society
	The Historical Dimension
		A Past Still Present
		The Roots of the Present
		The Future in the Making
	The Contemporary Dimension
		The Functions of Communication
		A Social Need
		A Political Instrument
		An Economic Force
		An Educational Potential
		An Impulse and Threat to Culture
		The Technological Dilemma
	The International Dimension
		The Issue
		Imbalances and Inequalities
		The International Debate
		A forum open to the World: Unesco
Communication Today
	Means of Communication
		Signs and Words
		Reading and Writing
		Post and Telephone
		Group and Local Media
		The Mass Media
	Expanding Infrastructures
		From Libraries to Data Banks
		Amplification of Telephone Services
		Vehicles for Specialised Messages
		Broadcasting and Broadbands
		Cinema and Television Combine
		Entertainment and Leisure
		Extension Towards New Areas
	Integration: Changing Patterns
		Combination of Traditional and Modern
		Links between Interpersonal and Mediated Communication
		Extension of Visual Expression
		Cooperative Efforts for News Circulation
		Diverse Messages to Diverse Publics
		Combination of New Technologies
		The Communication Industry
		Pluralism in Ownership and Control
		Concentration and Monopolies
	Interaction: Participants
		Groups and Voluntary Organizations
		National and Transnational Companies
		The State
		International Bodies
		Within Countries
		Regional Disparities
		Disparities between Developed and Developing Countries
		Towards Less Inequality
		Beyond Quantitative Disparities
Problems and Issues of Common Concern
	Flaws in Communication Flows
		Free Flow
		One-way Flow
		Vertical Flow
		Market Dominance
	Dominance in Communication Contents
		Distortion of Contents
		Cultural Alienation
		External Influence
		Shared responsibilities
	Democratization of Communication
		Barriers to Democratization
		Breaks in the Barriers
		Critical Awareness
		The Right to Communicate
	Images of the World
		War and Disarmament
		Hunger and Poverty
		A Gap both Old and New: the North-South Split
		East-West Interface
		Violations of Human Rights
		Equal Rights for Women
		Interdependence and Cooperation
	The Public and Public Opinion
		The Concept of the Public
		National Public Opinion
		World Public Opinion
		Beyond the Concepts of the Public and of Public Opinion
The Institutional and Professional Framework
	Communication Policies
		Relationship with Development Strategies
		The Institutional Framework
		The Structural Framework
	Material Resources
		Costs of Communications Projects
		International Cooperation and Foreign Assistance
	Research Contributions
		The Professional Communicators
		Difficulties of Definition
		Professionalism in Communication
		Training of Professionals
	Rights and Responsibilities of Journalists
		Access to Information
		Protection of Journalists
		Professional Regulations
		Professional Rights and the General Interest
	Norms of Professional Conduct
		Codes of Professional Ethics
		Press and Media Councils
		Right of Reply and Right of Correction
Communication Tomorrow
	Conclusions and Recommendations
		Strengthening Independence and Self-reliance
			Communication Policies
			Strengthening Capacities
			Basic Needs
			Particular Challenges
		Social Consequences and New Tasks
			Integrating Communication into Development
			Facing the Technological Challenge
			Strengthening Cultural Identity
			Reducing the Commercialization of Communication
			Access to Technical Information
		Professional Integrity and Standards
			Responsibility of Journalists
			Towards Improved International Reporting
			Protection of Journalists
		Democratization of Communication
			Human Rights
			Removal of Obstacles
			Diversity and Choice
			Integration and Participation
		Fostering International Cooperation
			Partners for Development
			Strengthening Collective Self-reliance
			International Mechanisms
			Towards International Understanding
	Issues Requiring Further Study
		Increased Interdependence
		Improved Coordination
		International Standards and Instruments
		Collection and Dissemination of News
		Protection of Journalists
		Greater Attention to Neglected Areas
		More Extensive Financial Resources
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Communication and Society
Today and Tomorrow

Many Voices
One World

Towards a new
more just and more efficient

world information and communication order

Report by the International Commission
for the Study of Communication Problems

Page 2

First published in 1980 and reprinted 1981
by the United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Place de Fontenoy, Paris

and Kogan Page Ltd
120 Pentonville Road, London

and Unipub
345 Park Avenue South

New York

© Unesco, 1980

Printed by The Anchor Press Ltd and bound by Wm Brendon & Son Ltd
both of Tiptree, Colchester, Essex

ISBN 0 85038 348 X (Kogan Page)
ISBN 0 89059-008-7 (Unipub)
ISBN 0 92-3-101802-7 (Unesco)

The opinions expressed in this work are those of the International Commission for the
Study of Communication Problems or, where indicated, of one of its members and are not
necessarily those of Unesco. The designations employed and the presentation of the
material in this work do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part
of the Unesco Secretariat concerning the legal status of any country or territory, or of its
authorities, or concerning the delimitations of the frontiers of any country or territory.

This edition published by Information Habitat: Where Information Lives based on Optical
Character Recognition of a scanned copy of the original report available from Unesco at

Page 125

Many Voices, One World. Part III. Problems and Issues of Common Concern III-1

Many Voices, One World

Towards a new more just and more efficient world information and communication order

Report by the Commission for the Study of Communications Problems

Part III. Problems and Issues of Common Concern

Chapter 1. Flaws in Communication Flows
1. Free Flow
2. One-way Flow
3. Vertical Flow
4. Market Dominance

Chapter 2. Dominance in Communication Contents
1. Distortion of Contents
2. Cultural Alienation
3. External Influence
4. Shared responsibilities

Chapter 3. Democratization of Communication
1. Barriers to Democratization
2. Breaks in the Barriers
3. Critical Awareness
4. The Right to Communicate

Chapter 4. Images of the World
1. War and Disarmament
2. Hunger and Poverty
3. A Gap both Old and New: the North-South Split
4. East-West Interface
5. Violations of Human Rights
6. Equal Rights for Women
7. Interdependence and Cooperation

Chapter 5. The Public and Public Opinion
1. The Concept of the Public
2. National Public Opinion
3. World Public Opinion
4. Beyond the Concepts of the Public and of Public Opinion


Page 126

Many Voices, One World. Part III. Problems and Issues of Common Concern III-2

Part III
Problems and Issues of Common Concern

In the preceding pages, we have endeavoured to outline the progress and dimensions of the many
forms of communication present in the world about us. Thanks to the fast-increasing variety and
efficiency of the media, and to the skill of communicators and journalists who are constantly
becoming more numerous and better trained, the effects of communication are strongly positive
and indeed impressive. One cannot fail to pay tribute to the scale of the achievement.

While communication has been improved and amplified within almost every nation, there has
also been some improvement in the conditions of international exchange of information and in
the balance and diversity of its content, which is at the core of the debate on problems of
communication. Also, as the world debate has proceeded, there has been some advance in the
dialogue and mutual understanding among the protagonists.

Unsolved problems, nevertheless, remain, and it is now our task to examine them, to consider the
factors involved and the possible lines of development, and thus to move toward solutions. To
place the emphasis on the difficulties, inconsistencies and imbalances still evident in the world of
communication inevitably means presenting a picture in dark tones. But this is only a reflection
of the truth that the complexity of the problems increases even while the instruments for solving
them are being developed and perfected.

Page 250

Many Voices, One World. Part V Communication Tomorrow V-21


(1) Comment by Mr. S. MacBride: "I wish to add that owing to the cultural importance of
spiritual and religious values and also in order to restore moral values, policy guidelines should
take into account religious beliefs and traditions."

(2) Comment by Mr. E. Abel: "At no time has the commission seen evidence adduced in support
of the notion that market and commercial considerations necessarily exert a negative effect upon
communication flows. On the contrary, the commission has praised elsewhere in this report
courageous investigative journalism of the sort that can be sustained only by independent media
whose survival depends upon their acceptance in the marketplace, rather than the favors of
political leaders. The commission also is aware that market mechanisms play an increasingly
important role today even in so-called planned economies."

(3) Comment by Mr. S. Losev: This paragraph doesn't correspond to the Helsinki Final Act (see
section 2 - information, point (c)), contradicts the interests of developing nations, and therefore
is completely unacceptable and I object against it being included. I suggest to replace this
recommendation by the following text: "All countries should take appropriate measures to
improve the conditions for foreign correspondents to carry out their professional activities in the
host countries in accordance with the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and with due respect
to the national sovereignty and the national identity of the host country".

(4) Comment by Mr. S. MacBride: "I consider this paragraph quite inadequate to deal with what
is a serious position. Because of the importance of the role of journalists and others who provide
or control the flow of news to the media, I urge that they should be granted a special status and
protection. I also urge that provisions should be made to enable a journalist to appeal against a
refusal of reasonable facilities. My views on these issues are embodied in a paper entitled The
Protection of Journalists (CIC Document No. 90) which I submitted to the Commission; I refer in
particular to paragraphs 1-17 and 35-53 of this paper."

(5) Comment by Mr. S. MacBride: "I urge that such a Round Table be convened annually for a
period of five years; I refer to paragraphs 50-57 of my paper on The Protection of Journalists (CIC
Document No. 90)."

(6) Comment by Mr. S. Losev: "This whole problem of censorship or arbitrary control of
information is within the national legislation of each country and is to be solved within the
national, legal framework taking in due consideration the national interests of each country."

(7) Comment by Mr. S. MacBride: "I also wish to draw attention to the provisions of Article 10
of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights which I consider as wholly
inadequate. I urge that Articles 13 and 14 of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights
(1979) are much more comprehensive and effective than the equivalent provisions of the
European Convention. The matter is discussed in paragraphs 26-29 of my paper on The Protection
of Journalists (CIC Document No. 90)."

(8) Comment by Mr. E. Abel: "Regarding (a) and (c), anti-monopoly legislation, whether more
or less effective, is relevant only in countries where a degree of competition can be said to exist. It
is a travesty to speak of measures against concentration and monopolization in countries where
the media are themselves established as state monopolies, or operate as an arm of the only
authorized political party, (b) Transnational corporations are expected to comply with the laws of
the countries in which they do business. (d) Where it can be shown to exist, the influence of
advertisers upon editorial content or broadcast programming would warrant careful study. But a
sweeping demand that such influence be reduced, without pausing to examine or attempting to
measure that influence in particular circumstances, is a symptom of ideological prejudice."

Page 251

Many Voices, One World. Part V Communication Tomorrow V-22

(9) Comment by Mr. M. Lubis: "I strongly believe that the present set-up in Unesco (Sector of
Culture and Communication) is adequate to deal with the problems of Communication."

(10) Comment by Mr. M. Lubis: "I am of the opinion that the present communication potential
of the UN system has not been effectively and efficiently used and managed. And I cannot
foresee for a long time to come that the UN system will be able to speak with one voice on the
really relevant issues of the world, disarmament, peace, freedom, human rights. However, I
support the suggestion about a feasibility study, contained in the same paragraph."

(11) Comment by Mr. S. MacBride: "I would point out that the phenomenal growth of
international broadcasting highlights the absence of a UN International Broadcasting System.
Some thirty countries broadcast a total of 12,000 hours per week in one hundred different
languages. I urge that the UN should establish a broadcasting system of its own that would
broadcast 24 hours round the clock in not less than 30 different languages. See my paper on The
Protection of Journalists (CIC Document No. 90, paragraph 46) and the paper on International
Broadcasting (CIC Document No. 60)."

(12) Comment by Ms. B. Zimmerman: "Although I agree that a coordinating body in the field of
communication development could serve a useful purpose, I cannot support this precise
recommendation. All members of the Commission did not have the opportunity to discuss
thoroughly the advantages and disadvantages of various objectives and structures for such a
coordinating body. As a Unesco Intergovernmental Conference is to be held in 1980 to cover
that topic, I feel the Commission should welcome the careful study that the Unesco Conference
is in a position to give the matter, rather than offering any recommendation at this time."

Comment by Mr. E. Abel: "This proposal is premature, unnecessary and unwise. The design of
an appropriate mechanism for promoting and coordinating communications development
demands more time and resources than this Commission possesses. Essentially the same proposal
here advanced was one of two submitted to a Unesco experts meeting in November; neither one
was endorsed. The question is on the agenda for an intergovernmental meeting at Unesco in
April. The UN General Assembly has now taken a strong interest in the matter and has
requested the Secretary-General to intervene. As it stands, this proposal can only deter the
necessary cooperation of both the competent UN bodies and the developed nations whose
cooperation is indispensable to further progress."

Comment by Mr. S. MacBride: "I suggest that if any steps are taken in this direction prior
consultation and accord should be reached with journalists' organizations and other NGOs
involved in the mass media."

(13) Comment by Mr. S. Losev: "The idea of an international tax for whatever good reasons or
causes does not seem just or justifiable to me."

(14) Comment by Mr. S. MacBride and Ms. B. Zimmerman: "The examples cited, particularly
those proposing international duties, seem to have been insufficiently considered in terms of their
validity or practicability in the international sphere, and indicate the need for further careful
study in this area."

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