The New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) was a debate in which UNESCO wanted to ensure media is representative across the world especially in the developing countries (Fourie, 2008). The MacBride Commission aimed to present recommendations on how the order would operate and identify the main philosophical points (Fourie, 2008). The two main antagonists were the United States of America and Tunis. USA was against the idea because they saw the ideas as barriers to communication flow and would also affect how media corporations would operate (McPhail, 2011). In addition, they were against government-based management of communications since the report from MacBride questioned the basis of private sector in media.
Moreover, USA argued that licensing of journalists was akin to censorship and that counters freedom of expression as held by US law. Conversely, Tunisia argued that the Western/developed media shows biasness on reporting about the developing countries (McPhail, 2011). The developed media concentrated on negative issues such as military coups and natural disasters about developing countries. Moreover, the developed countries controlled most satellites, advertising agencies, radio spectrum, geostationary orbit and unbalanced flow of media components such as movies (McPhail, 2011).
The NWICO had important assumptions and underlying principles. Even though the world has witnessed globalization with the presence of Internet, there are imperialistic undertones, profit maximization and increase in inequalities (Fourie, 2008). These factors shape policy making when it comes to communication. In addition, the standard in which journalists report with nations claiming to have technology advancement, press freedom and skilled journalists; the same journalists show biasness in their coverage. Moreover, market mechanisms that developed countries controls do not favor the concerns of NWICO (Fourie, 2008). Therefore, the underlining principles and philosophical aspirations of NWICO are relevant and address important media communication aspects that are common (McPhail, 2011). Even if social media has changed reporting and the distribution of media/communication, the world still needs the NWICO proposals/ideas.
- Fourie, P. (2008). Media studies: Media history, media and society. New York: Juta and Company Ltd
- McPhail, T. (2011). Global communication: Theories, stakeholders, and trends, 3rd Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons