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New York, New York, Longman, 1988. xv, 223 p.In 1964 Wilbur Schramm, on a grant from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), wrote a book called "Mass Media and National Development." It painted a glowing picture in which the mass media would reveal the way to development and enable the Third World countries to achieve in a few decades the development that had occurred over centuries in the West. By the 1970s it became clear that population growth was overtaking development. The Third World nations began to see the mass media as tools of the conspiracy of transnational corporations in their to keep the Third World a source of cheap labor. The Third World countries began to seek an alternate route to development, without help from either the East or the West. Their ideal and model was China, where the radical alternative had been shown to work. The Third Word countries joined together as the "Non-Aligned MOvement," a organization which had been founded in Indonesia in 1955. By the 1970s the Third Word countries constituted a majority in UNESCO, which they turned into a forum of resentment against the Western mass media, which they perceived as using dominance over world news flow to keep the Third World in a state of cultural dependency on the West. The poverty of the Third World nations, they claimed, was the heritage of colonialism, and the West owed them restitution. The Western news media were identified as the modern day equivalent of the colonial armies of imperialism. The debate over the dominance of Western influence in world news flow was launched in UNESCO by a request from the Soviet Union in 1972 for "a declaration on the fundamental principles governing the use of the mass media with a view to strengthening peace and understanding and combatting war, propaganda, radicalism, and apartheid." The debate in UNESCO took on a new name, the "New World Information Order," in which the Third World nations argued that they had the right to restrict the free flow of news across their borders. UNESCO Director General, Amadou M 'Bow, tabled the resolution and appointed a commission, headed by Sean MacBride, to undertake general review of communications problems in modern society. The report, entitled "Many Voices, One World," was in many ways vague, but it at least endorsed the Western values of free flow of information. The Us offered technological assistance to the Third World under the auspices of the International Program for the Development of Communication. This institution was designed as a world clearinghouse for communication development, but as such it accomplished little. Meanwhile, the Third World countries gave priority to developing their own national news agencies and the Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool, dedicated to the "journalism of national development." What this meant, if effect, was journalism limited to "development news" (which by definition was always good)and to "protocol news," i.e., ribbon-cutting and other ceremonial events. By the time of the US withdrawal from UNESCO at the end of 1984, the issue was becoming, if not resolved, at least quiescent, with some indications of progress. At the 1983 conference at Talloires, the World Press Freedom Committee and the Associated Press put together a list of 300 journalistic exchange, training, and internship programs in 70 countries. The World Bank issued a report on "Telecommunications and Economic Development," and a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Telecommunications Union pointed out the cost-benefit relationship of telecommunications to economic development. Finally, a report by an international commission headed by Sir Donald Maitland stressed the importance of shifting existing resources to telecommunications so that basic communications services would be available to everyone on earth by the early 21st century.
Assignment Children. 1984; (65/68):267-72.The Regional Program on Early Stimulation, initiated by UNICEF in Central America and later extended to Latin America, was designed as an educational child rearing program for families in the lowest income group and based on nonformal methods to be used outside the scope of official education programs. The program started with the preparation of a series of booklets with information on illnesses, immunization, nutrition and on the stimulation children require at each stage of their development if they are to achieve their maximum potential. A simple, universal, easy-to-read vocabulary was used. The next step was to introduce some of the concepts contained in the booklets into newspapers and radio programs. In Guatemala, a phone-in program was broadcast with enormous success by a commercial radio station. As a result, a television program was planned. It was decided that a film should be made to illustrate the basic concepts underlying the integral development of the child. In Costa Rica, the film was broadcast by a national television station and seen by almost the entire country. With the help of these materials, and the use of teacher-training courses, group dynamics and special techniques, over 6000 people were trained in early stimulation in Central America. A more comprehensive strategy was devised to make further use of the mass media in Central America. A number of film scripts, television and radio programs were developed in El Slavador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. In other countries radio and television have been used to teach the care required to improve children's biological, psychological and social development. Throughout Central and Latin America, use of the mass media for educational purposes is welcomed. Many of the projects undertaken during the International Year of the Child have been established on a peermanent basis in Central American countries.