Mass Communication Questions
1a. What is international communication? Use three international media houses to explain what it is.
International communication is the exchange of ideas, knowledge and all sorts of information across international borders. International communication consists of the phenomenon of exchanging knowledge, ideas, and information and interaction of individual across the borders, between two or more countries. It is often used synonymously with global communication but in some instances international communication may not be as broad as global communication. International communication could be between government of different countries, businesses in different countries or people in different countries. The increasing effects and influences of globalization have made international communication more essential in today’s world.
b. Three international media houses that could be used to explain this are CNN, BBC, and Reuters. These are channels of international communication. They disseminate information across the world and the content of such information influence international businesses, relationships, governments and other activities. While answering the second part of this question you can use any international media house as example. Here we used two television/radio houses and one international news agency.
c. Masmoudi argued that there existed a flagrant quantitative imbalance between North and South created by the volume of news and information emanating from the developed world and intended for the developing countries and the volume of the flow in the opposite direction; How genuine in your own thinking is this argument? Use 3 relevant examples to buttress your answers.
First of all, the North and South here refer to the developed and developing nations. Once you understand this, it will be very easy for you to answer this question.
Masmoudi was simply saying that most of the reports carried by the international media are from and about the developed world, and that this high volume of stories about the western media are also meant for audience in the developing world. So if you’re watching CNN in Nigeria for instance, you end up seeing stories about developed nations more than what happens in Africa and other developing nations. That was what Masmoudi referred to as “flagrant quantitative imbalance.” The volume of flow in the opposite direction (from the developing countries to the Western world or from the South to the North) is very low. You have more stories about the North (Western or developed nations) in international media than stories about developing nations.
The argument is very genuine. Using three examples, CNN carries more stories about the developed world than about Africa or other developing nations. You can’t compare the volumes of reports about the North (Western world) in the international media to the volume of reports about the South (developing nations). Again, international news Agencies such as Reuters, AFP, and AP, all carry more stories about the North than that of the South. A third example you could give is the fact that newsbreaks in the Western world get more attention in the international media than newsbreaks in the South (developing nations), irrespective of the news value. There could be an outbreak of violence in an African nation which should get attention in the foreign media but the BBC might be more interested in reporting about the Royal Family is in disarray after Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle decided to abandon their royal duties.
2a. What is the current state of world communication?
The current state of world communication is still skewed. This means that there is still imbalance in world communication between the North and the South (Western world and developing nations). Much of the information still flows from the developed nations (also called the center or the North) to the developing nations (also called the periphery of the South). This is basically due to advanced communication technologies which the Western world still control, making them dominate the information dissemination process through the world media such as CNN, BBC, Fox News, and such other cable news media, including newspapers and magazines, and other internet media. Quality of their programmes is still far better than the quality of programmes in the developing nations’ media. So the Western world still have much of the audience attention across the world.
b. Has the problems surrounding a free and balanced flow of information and how the needs of the developing countries link with the flow been solved? Or was it just a perception by the South?
No, the problem has not been solved. The imbalance still exists due to lack of technology, lack of quality problems and so on. The free and balanced flow of information would have projected the problems of the developing nations to the world but much of what we see on CNN, BBC, and other big media about Africa and other developing nations is negative news. It was not a perception of the West. The problems of imbalance still exist today.
c. How can the media become vehicles for educating public opinion about world problems?
First of all what is public opinion? Public opinion refers to the views and thinking of the majority of the people in the society on an issue. It consists of the collective opinion of the people of a society or state on an issue or problem. Public opinion could be very important in achieving goals in the society.
The media can be vehicles for shaping public opinion about world problems by disseminating accurate information about the problems and interpreting the problems for the audiences to understand how the problems affect them and implications of such problems to every facet of the society. Information is very crucial in public opinion formation. So what the media need to do is to constantly give accurate and detailed information upon which the public can base their opinions on specific issues. You should use examples to answer the question. For instance, the media can give accurate information about the coronavirus, how it spreads, preventive measures, symptoms and implications of the disease to the economy, politics, and other aspects of the society. With such information people can form a good opinion of the nature of coronavirus and what they can do to prevent contracting the disease.