11 Points in UNESCO Resolution for Attainment of New World Information Order

Following the submission of the report of the McBride Commission, at the 21st general conference session of UNESCO held in Belgrade in 1980, a resolution for the attainment of NWICO was passed, thereby formerly approving the demand. The resolution proposed had eleven (11) points in it. What are they? Discuss each one of the 11 resolutions proposed.

 

Here are the eleven (11) points in the resolution proposed for the attainment of NWICO (cited in Nordenstreng, 2010):

 

(i) elimination of the imbalances and inequalities which characterize the present situation;

Here the resolution was referring to the imbalance in flow of information from the North to the South through major international media; and the inequalities in the content of news about the western world and about developing nations.

(ii) elimination of the negative effects of certain monopolies, public or private, and excessive concentrations;

This refers to addressing the fact that so much bad news about African nations affects perception of these nations by the entire world. When for instance CNN reports primarily negative news about African nations, this scares investors away from such nations. This resolution is saying there should balanced coverage of developing nations to eliminate negative effects of bad news.

(iii) removal of the internal and external obstacles to a free flow and wider and better balanced dissemination of information and ideas;

Internal and external obstacles refer to tariffs, tax regimes, censorship and other laws and regulations that could prevent developing nations from having access to information technology that would facilitate balanced information flow. According to Damon (1986), developing nations contend that the developed nations retain an impermissive control of the information flow. As an example, they cite to the control exercised by the four major Western news agencies, which are responsible for approximately nine tenths of the news transmitted in the world. The developing nations’ approach, according to Damon (1986) set forth in the NWICO guidelines, is to exercise control of this information flow to achieve the desired balance of information from developed and developing nations. So the developing nations are saying that internal and external obstacles that prevent free flow and wider and better balanced information should be removed.

iv) plurality of sources and channels of information;

This says that media houses in the Western world should have several sources, including in the developing nations to ensure accuracy of facts and balanced coverage.

(v) freedom of the press and information;

This calls for the right for media houses to circulate opinions, information and ideas of all kinds without censorship, provided the ethics of the profession are observed.

(vi) the freedom of journalists and all professionals in the communication media, a freedom inseparable from responsibility;

This calls for the right of journalists to operate freely without fear of arrest by authorities, brutality or any other form of attack, while carrying out their responsibilities as journalists.

(vii) the capacity of developing countries to achieve improvement of their own situations,

notably by providing their own equipment, by training their personnel, by improving their infrastructures and by making their information and communications media suitable to their needs and aspirations;

(viii) the sincere will of developed countries to help them attain these objectives;

This says developed countries should also make efforts on their own to achieve the objectives stated here. They should be sincere in training personnel, acquiring technology and engaging in efforts to catch up with eh global trends in information flow; not just allowing corruption to prevent such achievements and sitting back to complain always.

(ix) respect for each people’s cultural identity and the right of each nation to inform the world public about its interests, its aspirations and its social and cultural values;

This suggests that contents of programmes should respect and recognize diverse cultures in the world and not just a situation where the Western world force their cultures down the throat of the rest of the world due to imbalance in information flow.

(x) respect for the right of all peoples to participate in international exchanges of information on the basis of equality, justice and mutual benefit;

The calls for inclusiveness in programme contents development to recognize the global village factor in information dissemination. This says information should not always come from the North to the South (vertical imbalance due to concentrated flow from top to bottom). Information should also flow from bottom to top (developing to developed nations).

(xi) respect for the right of the public, of ethnic and social groups and of individuals to have access to information sources and to participate actively in the communication process;

This also refers to plurality of sources, whereby the Western media engage sources from the developed world and the media in the developing nations also have access to sources in the Western developed societies, across ethnic and social groupings. No one ethnic or social grouping should dominate media content.

 

References

See;

Damon (1986)

Nordenstreng, 2010

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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