Activist Television: Sociological and Public Policy Implications of Public Service Campaigns

Article by John M. Phelan

Unlike most advanced countries in the world, the United States does not have a ministry of culture. This may be because, as a nation of immigrants, America is a land of many cultures — and languages as well. The French may tolerate their Academy, which rules with authority on what can properly be said in …

Advertising: Commercial Rhetoric

Article by John M. Phelan

“Advertising.” Entry for Dictionary of Theology and Society. Eds. Paul A.B. Clarke and Andrew Linzey. London: Routledge, 1995. Essay on the moral and ethical implications of commercial rhetoric and their adaptations for political, religious, public order and public service purposes.   Definitions Advertising is a social institution that produces advertisements within a political economy of …

Communication: From Confrontation to Reconciliation

Article by Carlos A. Valle

We live in a world of confrontations in need of reconciliation. What are the grave problems that beset us? What are the possible ways of resolving them? Is reconciliation a realistic, adequate, viable solution? Does communication have anything to contribute along the proposed road from confrontation to reconciliation? Let’s begin by pointing out some of …

Digital Advantage for Development

Article by Cees Hamelink

Promises Digital Information-Communication Technologies (ICTs) promise the world a "new civilization", an "information revolution", or a "knowledge society". Once ICTs have realized worldwide access for all to information, new social values will evolve, new social relations will develop, the "zero sum society" comes to a definite end. According to the digital utopists the ICTs will …

Global Communication for Justice, a National Council of Churches Policy Statement

Article by National Council of Churches

Introduction The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, through its programs of mission and witness, seeks to join with others in defining and creating the conditions for a more just world order. As a new millennium approaches, a unique opportunity exists to replace Cold War animosities, which have dominated the last …

Human Rights in Cyberspace

Article by Cees Hamelink

Cyberspace is the virtual communicative space created by digital technologies. It is not limited to the operation of computer networks, but also encompasses all social activities in which digital information and communication technologies (ICT) are deployed. It thus ranges from computerised reservation systems to automated teller systems and smart cards. With the ‘embedding’ of digital …

Media: Their Structure and Moral and Public Policy Import

Article by John M. Phelan

Definitions “Media” is the plural of “medium.” “Media” is shorthand for “mass media of communication” in advanced technological society. “Medium” refers to a single method of encoding and delivering messages to a broad public; thus, radio is a medium, television is a medium, newspapers constitute one medium; lumping together radio and television in all their …

The Media and Violence: Needed – a Paradigm for Public Policy

Article by Peter Horsfield

In the past two years there have been three major investigations into violence in Australian society. Each of them are examining or have examined, to different extents, the role played by violence on the media. On 11th January, 1988 the Social Development Committee of the Victorian Parliament was requested by the Governor in Council "to …

The Political and Economic Conditions of Freedom of Information

Article by Dallas W. Smythe

An acceptable degree of freedom of information exists nowhere in the world today. Information is the basis of power. The structure of power is today not compatible with freedom for men and the care of the earth; rather it is the social organization by which men are denied freedom and the earth defiled. The technology …

Trends in World Communication

Article by Cees Hamelink

  CONTENTS 1. Introduction. 2. The trend towards digitization.         1. What is digitization?         2. Digitization: The Issues.             Privacy             Security.         Activity I. 3. The trend towards liberalization. 1. What is liberalization? 2. Liberalization: The Issues.      Universal Service.      Market access.      3. Activity II. 4. The trend towards consolidation. 4.1. What is consolidation? 4.2. Consolidation: The Issues. 4.2.1. …

Truth, Lies and the Media

Article by William F. Fore

Why when almost every major denomination on record opposed unilateral U.S. action in Iraq, did most people in the pews support it? In recent months researchers have begun to address that question by examining knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about involvement in Iraq. The findings reveal a deeply disturbing gap between the facts and the public’s …

Violence in Electronic Media and Film, a National Council of Churches Polity Statement

Article by National Council of Churches

Foreword We live in a climate of violence. Violence is everywhere: in city and suburb, in mean streets and quiet lanes, in private conversations and public media. Our society knows violence through abuse and rape, rising crime rates and diminished trust. We acknowledge that the climate of the psychological violence of words, as well as …

War on the Web

Article by Fred Strickert

During the Vietnam war, pictures of death and destruction filled our television screens. In the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pictures of terrorized children and suicide bombings have appeared on our computer screens. Anyone interested in following this conflict can log on to sites showing images of demonstrators on the West Bank or of stone-throwing youth facing …