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The commercial mass media

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Perhaps the most significant development in the culture of war over the course of history has been the increasing importance of the control of information. In parallel with the developments of the printing press, the telephone and radio, television and now internet, the control of these media has been crucial for the maintenance of political power and the propagation of propaganda.

In recent years control of the media has greatly reinforced the culture of war of the state and military-industrial complex. Never before in history has there been such a concentration of communication power in the hands of a few multi-national corporations, Most media in the United States, for example, are now in the hands of five multi-national corporations.

At the international level, a particularly revealing moment occurred in the 1980's when UNESCO considered implementation of the proposals of the International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems. This is usually called the MacBride report after its chairman, the Nobel Peace Laureate Sean MacBride. The report recognized the growing dominance of Northern media:

[page 111]: "We can sum up by saying that in the communication industry there are a relatively small number of predominant corporations which integrate all aspects of production and distribution, which are based in the leading developed countries and which have become transnational in their operations."
The MacBride report called for the "democratization of communication at national and international levels". When it looked like they could not block implementation of the Report's recommendations, the United States and the United Kingdom resigned from UNESCO, effectively removing over half of its operational budget and putting enormous pressure on their allies that remained in the organization. When I was at UNESCO in the 90's there was no question but that this topic had become taboo for the organization.

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game administrator Jun. 24 2008,04:35
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