Here is my reflection for this week’s readings– which, as I was still learning how to use the blog, got lost somewhere. Although I did email it to Prof Dong, I wanted to share. Cheers!
-I am interested in debating the issue of how the influence of modern media on international development and the devising of an international communication strategy are viewed today. The author (Thussu) claimed this relationship is still an “open question”, and one I think would be very interesting to discuss!
-Regarding the concept of how the level of media development can be an indicator of societal development, I would like to comment that this is really a very complex issue because the way in which these two variables are measured are subjective. What is development for some is not viewed in the same way by others, and so on. Also, because the particular context of a country or culture is not always taken into account when attempting to draw a roadmap of its development, (remember how Thussu mentioned that GNP was not enough to draw conclusions on this matter), I wonder about other possible ways in which the level of media development as related to societal development could be measured. Furthermore, how can one evaluate emerging economies and their media development if they don’t have the same competitive technologies that allow for media innovation in their countries?
The Arab Spring, for example, has shown us that even though citizens make use of information technologies to get ahead on the war, political and economical stability (and, therefore, cultural stability as well) are still a long way from becoming real.
-Finally, regarding the concept of altering media and information flows, I would like to comment on the experience of my country. Ecuador has just approved (without debate, only through voting in the National Assembly, where the government party holds majority votes), an extremely controversial Communication law which initially gained support on the ground of restructuring the media and its information flows so they would directly benefit those historically set apart from having access to or being represented by traditional media outlets. However, the excuse of wanting to democratize the media was itself a display of how power politics will manipulate people through propaganda and effective messages that appeal to the “have nots”. As it has turned out, the Government was able to get away with misleading people on their intentions on the communication arena, and is now the leading actor in the media spectrum. Whereas it used to criticize media monopolization by private parties, it has now sought to monopolize as many public information outlets as possible, serving as official mouthpieces of the official party. In this sense, I would like to point out that, whether under the grounds of a “free flow” or a “modernizing” theory, governments will still trick people into believing the way they establish certain media rules are meant to benefit them, when in truth citizens will continue to “depend” and be subjugated to the power of the governments in turn and the elites that they create once in control. Reality, on the pretense of democratizing media, does not change. The only thing that changes is that power shifts from the hands of a group to another.