Despite the seeming efforts of the third world nations in redressing global information imbalance, the gulf between continues to widen. The flow of information, in the so-called global village is still a one-way traffic. From the developed to the under-developed, the under-developed is not only under reported, but the thin news about them is also distorted and negative.
This research project seeks to investigate the following problems which were as follows: – whether the debate on information imbalance do exist, whether the debate on the attacks on free flow of information concept is real and whether there are socio-cultural and political imperialism and dominations occasioned by the western media concept and style.
Finally, the purpose of this study is to ascertain the kind of pictures African presents of itself to the outside world. Establishing whether African countries are alleviating, compounding or are even the main architects of their contents image problems. Another area of attention would be to examine, how far the African Press is embracing the call for development journalism, the purpose of the study is for practice, if the recommendation will be put in practice the problems will be a thing of past.
BACKGROUNG OF THE STUDY 1 – 6
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM 6 – 7
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY 7 – 8
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 8 – 9
RESEARCH QUESTIONS 9
DEFINITION OF TERMS 10
1.7 ASSUMPTIONS 11
REFERENCE 12 – 13
SOURCES OF LITERATURE 14
THE REVIEW 14 – 17
DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION DEFINED 17 – 20
THE NEWS FLOW CONTROVERSY 20 – 22
DEBATE ON THE NEW WORLD INFORMATION
AND COMMUNICATION ORDER (NWICO) 22 – 24
2.6 THEORETICAL FRAME WORK 24 – 31
REFERENCE 32 – 33
RESEARCH METHOD 34
RESEARCH DESIGN 35
RESEARCH SAMPLE 36
DATA COLLECTION 36 -37
METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS 38
DATA ANALYSIS 41 – 51
RESEARCH QUESTIONS 52 – 53
DISCUSSION 53 – 54
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 55 – 60
RECOMMENDDATION 60 – 63
REFERENCES 64 – 65
APPENDIX 1 66
QUESTIONNAIRE 67 – 69
1.1 BACK GROUND OF THE STUDY
The debate on information imbalance and its implication on the third world nations have been controversial as well as perplexing and intriguing.
In the last one decade in particular, whatever hopes raised by some initiatives aimed at mitigating the African and the third world under development have dwindled to the very last as the world emerged from the cold war into a more problematic concept called globalization – Lamido (2001:50).
That the National liberation movements of various Africa nations have yielded political independence for most African countries is undoubted. Ironically, however the grip of the erstwhile dominate nations on the neck of their former colonies in the areas of economy information and technology is still palpable several years after political independence.
The political independent that does not liberate the nations from the tutelage of economic, communication, cultural and technological dependency only translates into a mockery of the semantic expression “Independence”.
According to W.A. Hatchen (2004:40), for a hundred young states that came into existence after the world war 11, the end of our century marks a new stage in the fight for a real independence and sovereignty, not just in the political field, but also in the spheres of economy, information and culture.
Consequently, innovations in the technological, social, political and economic spheres in our contemporary world have lent credence to the concept of globalization. The globe which is the symbol or logo of the United Nations depicts humanity from the world globe has been derived the phenomenon globalization, which explicitly connotes a world without (national) borders. Hence, the initiator of the concept, Marshal (2002:15) refers to the world as a global village where time ceases to exist and boundaries have collapsed. In the global village where the dominant west is the head, there has emerged the struggle for a new independence by the less powerful nations in recent times. First, the third world demanded for a New International Economic Order, which was followed by the New World Information and Communication Order. When the global economic and information structure was unfavorable to the third world, there was no option but to become apprehensive, the reality of the growing imbalance has given rise to considerable apprehension about their fate in the new millennium. This is justified sufficiently by Lamido (2001:10) as being:-
“A natural occurrence given that the past
millennium was, for most of these countries,
characterized by extreme poverty, heavy
indebtedness, was of attrition and the resultant
mass ordeal and anguish both for it’s immediate
and distant victims, absolute vulnerability to
epidemics, the rage of the HIV/AIDS pandemic,
the scourge of natural disasters, serious
technological backwardness, profound
economic decline and infrastructure decay
(The Punch Sept. 26, 2000 P.34).
With this arrangement, the third world are getting increasingly weary of the information available to their citizens, the treatment of such information and how events about them are being reported to the outside world it was based on this spirit that the third world countries called for a New world information and communication order (NWICO). The trust of NWICO is hinged on two propositions.
That “communication has become an exchange between two unequal protagonist, without necessarily having to complete but instead allow the predominance of the powerful, the richer and the better equipped to continue to monopolies the flow of communication”. Consequently, what is known as information imbalance is infect a one way flowing rather a genuine exchange of information between two equals.
That the quantity of news about development countries carried by developed countries is thin and of negative quality. It is this monopoly and imbalance of information and communication flow and orders perpetuated by Western powers that P.O.J. Umechukwu (2000:5) termed information imbalance, which interestingly has grievous information imbalance for the third world.
The big news agencies that are at the vanguard of the perpetration of information imbalance belong to the Western countries. These media are Agency France press (AP) and United press international (UPI) of the United State. Western nations, through the activities of these big four, have tuned third world nations into a “media colony”.
According to R.L Bishop (2000:62), “the big four are …a tightly – knit group of professionals or technocrats who hold population so to speak at their mercy and can direct, if not manipulate them at will”.
On the other hand, Africa has been in the force of the agitation to redress the unfortunate imbalance. She has been aided by the privilege of having had four representatives out of the sixteen members commission for the study of international communication problems. She also used the advantage of her size under the then forum of the non-aligned nations to draw the world’s attention to the imbalance cause. These have been remarkable additions to her efforts in making the subject a prime issue of concern to UNESCO.
Among African nations, Nigeria’s position is that of an Iroko in a
Savannah forest in the region’s many voices of protest against the domination of international news flow by the developed nations. In translating their desires into a meaningful programme, the government of Nigeria established the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). S.A Ekwelie (2000:23) in supporting this development, point out that … in spite of the confrontations and clashes here and there… the establishment of NAN will remain memorable as one of the seemingly positive developments affecting the media in Nigeria”.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
For some decades now, so much heat has been generated by developing countries (Nigeria) on the grounds that Western media coverage on them the developing countries has been terribly inadequate. Worst still, the little coverage done on these developing countries by the Western media has often been observed to be done not on good light. They include such reports on famine, drought, war, violence, outbreak of epidemic and crises etc, as if something good never ever happen in developing country of Nigeria, down here in Africa, which constitutes the main component of some of the developing countries, the same disturbing mode of Western media coverage is what the Western media equally exhibits.
In view of the foregoing situation, to what extent have BBC and VOA reports of the developing countries such as Nigeria contributed to their transformation and development?
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study aimed at highlighting the remote and immediate causes of the information imbalance controversy and brings into light the perspectives of both poles involved in the debate.
It will also afford one of the opportunities of grosping authoritatively the implications of one-way information flow on the socio-cultural, political, economic and religious development
of third world countries especially Nigeria as well as its implication concept as argued by the Western world led by the united state and Britain.
The study is aimed at collecting and collating the various views and perspectives of professionals, government and non-governmental organization and agencies on the information flow and controversy, as well as the views of individuals.
It will also enable one to understand whether focus on international news flow imbalance is on television, radio and satellite transmission excluding the study and research on the impact of videos and films in the cultural subjugation and information imbalance of the third world countries.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
At the end of the study, we would be in a better position of contributing to the debate on broader perspectives, proffering suggestions and solutions to the controversial information imbalance debate and the need for a new world information and communication order (NWICO).
This work is the contribution of the researcher in the correction of news flow imbalance and will be an added impetus in the struggle for the emergence of solution to the great debate.
The basic research questions are:
Does there really exist an information imbalance?
What are the causes of the imbalance?
What are the effects of this imbalance?
What are the implications of this imbalance on the third world countries?
What are the third world efforts at correcting these imbalances?
Are the arguments on information a gross negation of free of information concept?
Will there be any measure to synchronize these differences?
Is there any hope in the UNESCO commission?
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
This is the term used in this project in evaluating or weighing either, information imbalance really exists or not.
In this project, the word implication is used and as seen as the consequences or the results of the one way movement or information imbalance on the socio-cultural, religious, political and economic development of Africa.
THIRD WORLD NATIONS: –
Third world Nation refers to those countries of African, Asia and Latin America who have unable to have access to free flow of information, thereby making a strong assertion that the western version of news is wrong. They want positive news about them, transmitted world wide not just news about catastrophe and government corruption. They want to break the western monopoly over the world’s news flow and to eliminate the inequality of coverage given different countries, they call for an equilibrate flow of world news.
The basic assumption is that the apparent extremist and parallel nature of the western and third world perspectives on the global information flow controversy, as well as most of the issues involved makes it unrealistic for us to believe that we can remove the obvious and seemingly natural bipolarize in world information flow without effecting some changes in the current international political arrangement.
The existence of information flow imbalance as argued by the third world countries is real and that the new world information and communication order as requested by the third world will affect some free flow of information concept as argued by the west.
The socio-cultural, political, religious and economic independence of the third world countries is highly jeopardized by technologically advanced media of the western world.
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