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Pathways to Critical Media Education and Beyond (2003)

Published by Nat, 2020-07-19 10:10:36

Description: How do we respond to unsustainable realities as advocates of democratic media? Do we move away from media education towards media reform? Dialogue with mainstream media? Hold workshops or symposia to discuss key issues? Take legislative action? Organise or support alternative media? Encourage networking (personal and institutional)? Active lobbying (since vested interests with economic and political power prevent the introduction of new laws that promote democratic media)? Run focused campaigns in the real world and in cyberspace? Get involved in active advocacy and/or ‘extra-legal’ approaches? Promote new lifestyles/‘witnessing’ (in a Christian sense)
and newer pathways that are based on justice and sustainability?

Keywords: Critical media education,Asian alternative communication,SIGNIS,WACC,Alternative media in Asia,Hegemonic media


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SIGNIS-Asia and World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) In assocIatIon wIth • Asian Communication Network (ACN), Bangkok an acn • Philippine Association for Media Education (PAME), Manila Publication • Jesuits Engaged iDneSvoeclioapl mCeoi mntmRuensiocuartcioenCseinntEear s(tPADsRiaC)a,nMdaOnicleaania (JESCOMEAO), Taipei • Philippine-China

Pathways to Critical Media Education and Beyond D e l i be r at i o n s o n M ed i a Re f o r m s a n d T h e M a n i l a I n i t i at i v e SIGNIS-Asia and World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) In association with • Asian Communication Network (ACN), Bangkok • Philippine Association for Media Education (PAME), Manila • Jesuits Engaged in Social Communications in East Asia and Oceania (JESCOMEAO), Taipei • Philippine-China Development Resource Center (PDRC), Manila A n A C N P u b l i cat i on • 2 0 0 3

© Individual Authors and Asian Communication Network Published by: Cahayasuara CommuNications Centre, Kuala Lumpur for Asian Communication network, Bangkok Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia Cataloguing-in-Publication Data: Cahayasuara Communications Centre pathways to critical media education and beyond ISBN 983-40497-1-4 Printed by Percetakan Seasons Sdn Bhd 3, Jln 8/155, Taman Industri Bukit OUG Jln Klang Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur Tel: (603) 7785 6960 First Print 2003 Cahayasuara Communications Centre (Social communications office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) 5, Jalan Robertson, 50150 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: (603) 2078 0912 Fax: (603) 2031 7603 E-mail: [email protected] Website:

Pathways to Critical Media Education and Beyond D e l i be r at i o n s o n M ed i a Re f o r m s a n d T h e M a n i l a I n i t i at i v e Edited by M. Nadarajah Co-sponsored by SIGNIS-Asia and World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) In association with • Asian Communication Network (ACN), Bangkok • Philippine Association for Media Education (PAME), Manila • Jesuits Engaged in Social Communications in East Asia and Oceania (JESCOMEAO), Taipei • Philippine-China Development Resource Center (PDRC), Manila A n A C N P u b l i cat i on • 2 0 0 3

A C N P u b l i c a t i o n Se r i e s • Interventions and Pathways to Critical Media Education and Reforms • Communication Tools and Methodologies for Empowerment • Contributions to Democratic Communication Theory and Policy • Research Monographs on Media and Communication Issues • Key Contemporary Issues and Debates: The Communication Dimension Interventions and Pathways to Critical Media Education and Reforms Series • Pathways to Critical Media Education and Beyond: Deliberations on Media Reforms and The Manila Initiative edited by M. Nadarajah. Release Date: May 2003. Communication Tools and Methodologies for Empowerment Series • Talking Straight: Getting People to Listen and Act by Augustine Loorthusamy. Forthcoming: July 2003. • From Passive Communication to Active Learning: Tools for Formation by ACN Team (Augustine Loorthusamy, Chainarong Montienvichienchai, Conrad Saldanha, Jerry Martinson and Joe de Mesa). Forthcoming: January 2004. Research MonographS on the Media and Communication Issues Series • Status of Media Education in Asia: Study of Selected Asian Countries: Japan, Philippines, Cambodia and India. Forthcoming: June 2004. Ab o u t t h e A s i a n C o mm u n i c a t i o n Ne t w o r k ( A C N ) The Asian Communication Network (ACN) is not just another network. An inter-faith, inter-disciplinary initiative of the Catholic communicators of Asia, ACN was conceived and formed in Bangkok in 2002. Though registered and based at St. John’s University, Bangkok, it is a virtual organisation at ACN, a member of SIGNIS World, is a ‘dialoguing community-in-action’, comprising members of all faiths and disciplines, formed to address the communication needs of Asians and their communities. Understanding that these communities are embedded in unsustainable local, national, regional and global realities which marginalise and silence them, ACN’s intervention strategy is primarily targeted at equipping individuals and their communities with up-to-date knowledge and well-developed and tested methodologies so that they may be empowered. It is believed that acquisition of an achievable level of communication competency will allow people and their communities to actively insert their ‘voice’ in critical historical processes and achieve spiritual and societal development, based on the principles of sustainability.

P r e f a ce Organising the symposium-workshop Rethinking Democratisation of the Media: Pathways Beyond Critical Media Education and, later, editing this volume, have both been a major learning experience. But, let me quickly add that it would have been virtually impossible for me and ACN to have organised the event without a number of key associates. Appreciation is due to Augustine Loorthusamy (SIGNIS World), Pradip Thomas (WACC) and Jude Botelho (ACN) for conceiving the idea of the symposium- workshop and working on it for almost two years to realise it. Both Augustine and Pradip remained overall in charge of the event. Siriwan Santisakultarm, President of SIGNIS-Asia, and her team - Fr. Cyril Gamini, Bernard Factor Canaberal and Magimai Pragasam - provided critical support, as the event was organised under their auspices. I was in Malaysia organising the event in Manila. That would have been impossible without Delia Hernandez (PAME/ACN), who made sure that all arrangements for running the event smoothly in Manila were put in place. In this effort, Eleanor M. Gonzalez (WACC/PDRC) also made a significant contribution. In terms of organisational support, JESCOMEAO played an important role. In addition to participants identified by SIGNIS- Asia and ACN, Pradip and Teresita Hermano (WACC) were crucial in providing a list of participants from their rich network in Asia for the gathering. During the course of the event in Manila, I had the support of a number of people. Conrad Saldanha (Co-ordinator of ACN) boldly took up the role of chief rapporteur and fulfilled his responsibilities beyond our expectations. He did a great job in presenting the last session which neatly rounded up all the contributions in a well-integrated narrative. Let me record here the contributions of two young enthusiastic persons who were important in managing Pathways, our symposium-workshop newsletter. The four issues of Pathways were prepared by Jamie Cabrera Ferrer (Delia’s student) and Santhosh George (Mediact). It involved meeting at the end of the day after long hours of listening to the case studies, then getting up early, editing the newsletter, making copies of it and then distributing them early so that participants could jog their memory of the discussions and ideas of the previous day. It was a great team effort in which Conrad and I merely played minor, supportive roles. Three persons - Joycelyn Cauilan, Annie Grafilo and Amy Crebillo – ran the secretariat. They played a crucial part from the time the participants arrived at the airport and their untiring services kept the event moving smoothly. They, along with Jamie, Delia and Bernard, were also there to take the participants for outings whenever there was free time. When we visited Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Teresita took the role of a ‘tourist guide’, giving a detailed history of the Fort to those who were not from the Philippines. As anyone who has been to foreign places to participate in meetings will understand, it is these kinds of ‘invisible’ support and services that make an event enjoyable and rewarding and in the end, memorable. vii

Two persons in Manila who added value to the symposium-workshop deserve mention. Abe Cordero of Chikka Asia brought his many years of experience in the IT field and made a very interesting presentation on digital convergence. The other person was Dr. Terrel M. Hill, UNICEF Representative to the Philippines, who in his presentation dwelt on children, media and globalisation. Computers and internet support services were made available to us by Eastern Telecoms and Chikka Server (through the intervention of Abe). This critical service allowed participants to do some last-minute work on their papers, to keep in touch with their families and their offices and eased the work of the secretariat, a spacious room provided by Orchid Garden Suites, the hotel where our symposium-workshop was held. A big thank you is indeed due to all these people and service providers. A special thank you is due to Rash Behari Bhattacharjee, who improved the overall presentation particularly in terms of language since most of us were not writing in our mother tongue. A special thank you is also due to Adeline James, Lawrence John (Eljay) and Canute Januarius of Cahayasuara Communications Centre, Kuala Lumpur. They not only checked the manuscript, did the layout and designed the cover but also published the book on behalf of the publication unit of the Asian Communication Network, Bangkok. Let me end with this message from a friend I made at the symposium-workshop: \"…by 10am I got into the taxi and went to the airport (to leave for home). Until I got into the plane I was quite ok. But as the plane took off, I became very sad. I was literally in tears. Luckily, I got a seat near the window and I could pour out my feelings into the vast expanse of the sky. In fact, I had been unaware how much I had been caught up in the Manila experience. The ‘fellowship’ of Manila is still vibrant in me…\" M. Nadarajah Deputy Co-ordinator, Asian Communication Network Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Coimbatore (India) March 2003 viii

Ab o u t t h e C o n t r i b u t o r s (in Alphabetical Order) Abe Cordero Manager, Information Systems, Operations, Support & Logistics Chikka Asia Inc., Manila, Philippines Ashish Sen Director, VOICES Bangalore, India Augustine Loorthusamy Special Assistant, Jescomeao; Vice President, Signis World, Brussels, Belgium Founder/Core Member, Asian Communication Network (ACN), Bangkok, Thailand Cheon Young-Cheol (Rev.) Institute for Christian Communication Seoul, South Korea Conrad Saldanha Founder/Core Member and Co-ordinator, Asian Communication Network (ACN) St. John’s University, Ladprao Bangkok, Thailand Delia C. Hernandez President, Philippine Association for Media Education (PAME), Manila, Philippines Core Member, Asian Communication Network (ACN), Bangkok, Thailand George Gerald (Jerry) Martinson, S.J Vice President and Producer, Kuangchi Program Service (KPS), Taipei, Taiwan Founder/ Core Member, Asian Communication Network (ACN), Bangkok, Thailand Leela Rao Director (Academic), Manipal Institute of Communication Manipal, India M. Nadarajah Ph.D. Founder/Core Member and Deputy Co-ordinator, Asian Communication Network (ACN) St. John’s University, Ladprao Bangkok, Thailand ix

Sashi Kumar B. Menon Chairman, Media Development Foundation, Chennai, India Board Member, Asian Communication Network (ACN), Bangkok, Thailand Steven Gan Editor, Malaysiakini Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Teresita Hermano Director for Services Sector and Women's Programme World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), London, UK Toshiko Miyazaki Director, Forum for Citizens' Television & Media (FCT) Associate Professor, School of Media Science Tokyo University of Technology, Tokyo, Japan Santhosh George Joseph Secretary, Media Education for Awareness and Cultural Transformation (Mediact) Kerala, India Tive Sarayeth Co-director, (in-charge of Networking Department) Women's Media Centre (WMC), Cambodia Yoseph I. Iswarahadi, S.J. Director, Puskat Audio Visual Studio Yogyakarta, Indonesia x

Abb r e v i a t i o n s (in Alphabetical Order) ACN Asian Communication Network AMARC World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters ANWIC Asian Network of Women in Communication FCT Forum for Citizens’ Television and Media (Japan) GMMP Global Media Monitoring Project ICT Information and Communication Technologies JESCOMEAO Jesuits Engaged in Social Communications in East Asia and Oceania KPS Kuangchi Program Service (Taiwan) MEDIACT Media Education for Awareness and Cultural Transformation OCIC International Catholic Organisation for Cinema and Audiovisuals OSA Official Secrets Act (Malaysia) PAME Philippine Association for Media Education PDRC Philippine-China Development Resource Centre PUSKAT Pusat Kateketik [Catechetical Centre (Indonesia)] SIGNIS World Catholic Association for Communication SOFA Statute of Forces Agreement (South Korea) UNDA International Catholic Association for Radio and Television UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNTAC United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund WACC World Association for Christian Communication WMC Women’s Media Centre (Cambodia) Note on Citation There is no particular style of citation adopted in this volume. Although ACN has a house style, the citation format used by the individual contributor has been retained in this volume. Since all the contributors are active democratic media advocates, they have focused on the presentation of their activities rather than on the accuracy of their academic notations. While they have mentioned the sources of the ideas in their papers, the contributors, except for a few, have not given full details of these sources that would satisfy the ACN house style rules. There are also practical difficulties in getting the extremely busy contributors to go back looking for the sources and then to provide this information. Therefore, we have left the citation style as it was given to us. All citations are quoted as endnotes, by chapter. xi

contents Preface v About the Contributors vii Abbreviations ix Note on Citation ix Opening Remarks by Teresita Hermano and Augustine Loorthusamy 1 Chapter 1 Introduction 7 M. Nadarajah Section I: Media Education/Media Reforms: Trends, Overviews and Frameworks Chapter 2 Sustainable Development and the Role of the 23 ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework 35 M. Nadarajah 51 Understanding Television as an Extension of 69 Ch ap ter 3 Our Times and Taking Steps Towards Media Reform Sashi Kumar 85 The Landscape of Digital Convergence 99 Abe Cordero Ch ap ter 4 Globalisation, Media and Culture: Ch ap ter 5 Interweaving a Web of Dehumanisation Conrad Saldanha Section II: Media Education/Media Reforms: methodologies, Interventions and Pathways Chapter 6 Media Monitoring for Gender Advocacy: The GMMP 2000 Experience Teresita Hermano Networking for Gender Empowerment: Ch ap ter 7 A Case Study of the Asian Network of Women in Communication (ANWIC) Leela Rao xiii

Chapter 8 Building Friendship Among Religious Groups Through 107 Communication: The Indonesian Experience 115 Yoseph I. Iswarahadi 127 Democratising Media: From Mass Media to 133 Ch ap ter 9 Community Media 141 Ashish Sen 151 Virtual Democracy in Malaysia 159 Steven Gan 169 Ch ap ter 10 Media Reform in Cyberspace: 183 Ch ap ter 11 The Case of Ohmynews Cheon Young-Cheol 201 Reaching the Popular Heart/Mind: The Kuangchi Experience Ch ap ter 12 Jerry Martinson Challenges to and Responses of Media Education in Kerala Santhosh George C h ap ter 13 Media Education in the Formal and Non-Formal Setting: A Call for Networking Delia C. Hernandez Media Education and Reforms: Ch ap ter 14 A Cambodian Experience Tive Sarayeth ‘Media Literacy’ as a Driving Force for Media Democracy: The Experience of the Forum for Ch ap ter 15 Citizens' Television and Media (FCT) Toshiko Miyazaki Conclusion: The Manila Initiative M. Nadarajah Ch ap ter 16 Ch ap ter 17 Appe n d i ce s Appendix I Profile of Participants 219 Appendix II Pathways (Four issues of the symposium-workshop 249 newsletter. Provides summaries of most of the papers presented and record of the first panel session on 273 ‘Culture, Media, Globalisation and Media Reforms’) 283 Appendix III List of Selected Web-Based Resources on the Media and Communications (Education, Literacy, Reform, Information and Empowerment) Appendix IV List of Web Resources on Statements/Charters/Declarations on the Media and Communications xiv

Opening Remarks

Ope n i n g Rem a r k s Augustine Loorthusamy and Teresita Hermano Augustine Loorthusamy Vice President, Signis World Brussels, Belgium SIGNIS is an organisation which is the result of the merger of Unda and OCIC. It concurs with WACC that we need to go beyond media education, and therefore the title of the symposium-workshop: Rethinking Democratisation of the Media: Pathways Beyond Critical Media Education. There are certain key questions which we need to ask ourselves: Is there still a need for media education or have we overdone ourselves? Why this symposium? What is the rationale and the motivating force behind this symposium? Why are we concerned at all? Is there an ideology and a philosophy that we embrace or need to embrace? What is our concept of development and change? By answering the ‘why’ and ‘what’ questions, we would be able to achieve clarity, cohesion and enhance the quality of our participation and networking. We need to reflect deeply on the following realities: globalisation, global poverty, global ignorance, injustice, imbalance in wealth distribution, monopoly of information, cultural imperialism, media manipulation, gender exploitation, abuse of youth, increasing migration/rising refugee tide, breakdown of family values, violence and corruption, conspicuous consumption, materialism, environmental degradation and ‘fragmentation of responses’ reflecting ‘kingdoms’ and ‘queendoms’ (i.e. vested interests) within the movement for democratic media. How do we respond to all these unsustainable realities as advocates of democratic media? Do we move away from media education towards media reform? Dialogue with mainstream media? Hold workshops or symposia to discuss key issues? Take legislative action? Organise or support alternative 1

media? Encourage networking (personal and institutional)? Lobbying (since vested interests with economic and political power prevent the introduction of new laws that promote democratic media)? Run focused campaigns in the real world and in cyberspace? Get involved in active advocacy and/or ‘extra- legal’ approaches? Promote new lifestyles/‘witnessing’ (in a Christian sense) and newer pathways that are based on justice and sustainability? There are other important questions: What are the challenges to be overcome to achieve a democratic media and an enabling communication environment? What is the scope of media education? What are the limitations of media education? How do we move from media education to media reform? What is the relationship between those involved in these two activities? We should consider concrete actions/activities that could be collectively carried out after the symposium-workshop to achieve a democratic media. ❖ 2

Teresita Hermano Director for Services Sector and Women's Programme World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) London, UK Media education traditionally has been understood as a process of creating awareness and promoting ‘conscientisation’. However, there is a need to go beyond this understanding of media education. In this effort, we need to become aware of the large media conglomerates like CNN, the structures they command and the power they exercise. We need to think of what can be done with reference to global media structures that have implications for media education and its effectiveness. “The global media system is the Today, the media is being widely province of some seventy or eighty used as a tool for globalisation. firms that provide the vast majority To deal with this, we need to the world’s media fare. There are two intensify critical media distinct tiers to this hierarchy. The awareness that goes beyond just the personal level to the first tier is comprised of eight institutional. Take the example transnational media conglomerates of the American view of globalisation as the (AOL-Time Warner, Disney, ‘Mcdonaldisation’ of the world, Bertelsmann, News Corporation, an argument developed by Viacom, Sony, AT&T, and Vivendi George Ritzer and popularised Universal) that all collect between by Thomas Friedman. Among $10 billion and $30 billion per year other conclusions, it states in annual media-related revenues. that any two countries which These firms tend to be dominant have McDonald restaurants – players in numerous media sectors and one popular way globalisation is to do business all across the world. institutionalised - have not gone The remaining sixty or seventy firms to war with each other. This are smaller tend to concentrate more point of view is puerile and upon one or more media sectors, and indicates the need to expand are more likely to be national or and intensify our efforts in awareness raising, particularly regional power-houses.” on global institutions. John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney, It’s the Media, Stupid (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2000), p 56. 3

WACC has made many critical contributions in these areas at the global and local levels. To elaborate, some of the areas in which WACC is involved are: ownership and control of media, marginalised groups, minority cultural groups, refugees and displaced persons, women’s programmes, and a global media monitoring programme on the images of minorities and women in the media. It is based on community building, cultural development, and participatory, liberating and prophetic Christian communication principles. To conclude, in raising the level and quality of communication, we need to measure communication in terms of freedom, equality and participation and to promote it as a human right linked to development. ❖ 4


C h apter 1 Introduction* M. Nadarajah 1.1 Introduction Most of us today experience the world most of the time through the mainstream mass media. It is the media-ted realities rolled out by the media - print, electronic and the new media - in the form of words, images and sounds, and the ‘framing’ (what we see, hear and read) and ‘narrative ordering’ (how we are made to see, hear and read) constructed by the media that contribute to our prejudices, our ‘mis-recognition’ of what is ‘real’ as well as our understanding of our world. This position and role of the mass media has given it immense power in contemporary society. While the contribution of the mass media to our progress cannot be denied, its direct ties to economic and political interests has led to it being largely and continuously used to create a mindlessly materialistic, spiritually empty, socially and economically unequal, politically undemocratic and culturally homogenous, unsustainable world - a world, in essence, without a future. We clearly need pathways out of this quagmire. The building of socio-culturally rich, sustainable futures that are spiritually vibrant, socially and economically equitable, politically democratic and people-centred, and culturally poly-centric and dialogic requires the active collaboration and networking of many movements taking up issues like human rights, cultural freedom, environmental protection, conservation, and identity, among others. Among these movements, one that certainly has a major role to play in the construction of better futures is the one that ceaselessly engages with the mainstream mass media in dealing with issues like the concentration of media ownership, the distorted representation of reality for marketing, sales and mass consumption, and the promotion of unsustainable lifestyles. * The information provided in the boxes do not directly relate to the Introduction but play a supporting role. 7

Introduction This vision inspired us to convene a symposium-workshop aimed at bringing together those concerned about the impact of the mass media in Asia to deliberate on issues covering media education and reform. Accordingly, a symposium-workshop - Rethinking Democratisation of the Media: Pathways Beyond Critical Media Education - was organised in Manila in September 2002. 1.2 Rationale for the Symposium-Workshop Media education refers to the theory and practice associated with initiatives directed at understanding and critically engaging with the media. A cursory examination of the history of these initiatives reveals two broad trajectories. There is an institutional, academic version offered to those in the formal educational system, which effectively excludes a great number of people who need media education. Historically, this trajectory started in the US in the 1930s in the context of mass communication studies and was referred to as ‘media studies’. From this starting point, the study of the media and communications has developed in different directions and with differing points of emphasis according to the era, locations and theoretical positions of the inquirer (based on explicit or implicit ontological, epistemological and methodological leanings). Academic attention to the media indicates a trajectory that studies the operations of the media and produces competent people to sustain it. Total Internet Users in Asia Country 1995 1997 Worldwide Internet Population January 2000 Japan 1,600,000 3,500,000 South Korea 100,000 525,000 Africa 2.1 Million Malaysia 100,000 495,000 Asia/Pacific 40.0 Million Singapore 100,000 495,000 Europe 70.0 Million Taiwan 70,000 480,000 Middle East Thailand 35,000 140,000 Canada & USA 1.9 Million Hong Kong 32,000 423,000 South America 120.0 Million Philippines 20,000 150,000 World Total Indonesia 10,000 100,000 8.0 Million China 15,000 200,000 242.0 Million Source: research/stats/wwstats.html Source: 8

Introduction In this, the media’s outlook and responsibility are not critically addressed but its professionalism improved (a professionalism that is very often compromised under economic and political pressures). There is however another sub- trajectory that seems to suggest an attempt at critical understanding of the media, its responsibility and its institutions. While the institutional location of the first broad trajectory is the academia, the second trajectory is located in civil society organisations. Civil society organisations that focus on development for the people have made media education available to individuals and communities through a non-formal educational process. Thus, their involvement is critical in taking media education to the grassroots, to all those who do not directly benefit from the formal educational process. It is also vital to keep in mind that this trajectory of media education is essentially critical, evaluating mass media and its impact, and proposing alternatives. In this aim, the above trajectory generally shares a concern that drives the critical academic version mentioned above. What is this concern? Why is there a need for critical media pedagogy in general and grassroots media pedagogy in particular? It stems from the recognition of the enormous power exerted by personal computers the mainstream mass media on our consciousness, motivation and behaviour. This involves the way per person individuals and societies think, rationalise, United States narrativise, act and set priorities. The impact of Singapore the media has now become even more acute with Switzerland the media moving online through web Australia technologies. Norway Denmark Critical media pedagogy is motivated by the desire to make ordinary people critically aware TopSweden of media and communication, and the impact these have on their lives as individuals and Finland communities. It is aimed at equipping the ordinary Netherlands person with the skills necessary to make sense of 10Canada the media so that the individual will be able to Source: World Culture Report appreciate it even as s/he critically engages with 2000: Cultural Diversity, it. Conflict and Pluralism (UNESCO 2000) 9

Introduction As can be deduced from the discussion above, the central purpose of media education is to empower individuals and communities so that they are capable of critically exercising their judgement on matters related to the media and the 'media-tion' process. Among the key aims is to make people exercise the right to (a) accept media content according to contextual and prevailing dictates of taste, morality and values and (b) critique, counter or reject media content that implicitly or explicitly denies the dignity of events, life- processes, communities and individuals. It is a matter of faith that the outcome of media education will be the creation of a public that demands democratic changes to their media and cultural environments. Today there are any number of media education workshops aimed at a variety of constituencies - school-going children, university students, youths, religious communities, women’s groups, workers, teachers and lecturers, government officials, managers, policy-makers and owners of video rental shops. These efforts have led to greater awareness at both individual and community levels of the promise and perils of the modern mass media, including the new online media. Certainly there are successes that the worldwide media education movement can showcase. But has it realised its goals? Have the people been able to control or decide media content? Have the people been able to deal with the power of the local and global media televisions institutions? Have the people been able to actively choose and organise their lifestyles without the annual rate of change per person media ‘forcing’ upon them particular globally standardised forms? Has the media-tion process China been democratised? Sri Lanka 1980-97 Senegal A careful stock-taking of this situation suggests Oman that media education efforts have definite Ghana limitations. It can contribute to our critical Mongolia engagement with the media but for collective and systematic reform-ation and democratisation TopIndia of the field, there is an urgent need to look beyond media education and collectively Thailand deliberate on the way forward. Being an active Guinea global movement, critical media education has 10Benin the potential to translate its gains into Source: World Culture Report comprehensive media reforms. 2000: Cultural Diversity, Conflict and Pluralism (UNESCO 2000) 10

Introduction It is therefore imperative to set a new agenda for consolidation and to build on the gains made through media education in the direction of media reform in order to bring about definite democratic changes in the media and communication environments. It is this thinking that formed the basis of the symposium-workshop. 1.3 Some General Background Concerns The rationale for the symposium-workshop is captured above. But the papers presented at the symposium-workshop and the deliberations that ensued during the six-day colloquium in Manila require some consideration of background concerns and some attention to general issues. Thus, there is a need to encourage an ‘organised, motivated preoccupation’ before embarking on reading this volume. a) Media Education or Reform? Media Education and Reform? The symposium-workshop was organised to consider the relationship between citizens/netizens and the media in relation to media reforms through networking, advocacy, lobbying and direct action. The aim was to go beyond media education. However, a great deal of discussion centred on media education. Thus, the concern of the participants was not just to move from media education to reforms but to promote media education and media reforms or media reforms through media education. It was also clear that the agenda of media education is hardly exhausted in Asia, just as it is relevant in other parts of the world. There are in fact vast territories in Asia that not only need more focused and organised media education efforts but have yet to witness media education as a critical civil society activity (e.g. Mongolia). In addition to this, the use of the term ‘media education’ is contested and the term ‘media literacy’ is used instead. b) What is Media Reform? Presenting Alternative Media or Reforming Mass Media or Both? In considering media reforms, the popular focus is on reforming the way mainstream mass media works in terms of ownership, decision-making and 11

Introduction content generation. While this is certainly necessary, media reforms are really part of a larger agenda in which reform of the mass media is but one, albeit very important aspect. It really refers to the democratisation of the media in terms of ownership, decision-making and content generation, i.e. reforming the way mainstream mass media is organised today nationally and globally towards a ‘people-oriented’, not ‘profit-oriented’ or ‘power-oriented’ basis. In this context, media reforms also refer to the efforts at directing the media towards alternative pathways. For instance, organising ‘community media’ would result in the resolution of key issues like ownership, decision-making and content creation through a shift to members of civil society. Another important direction that media reform should take involves the question: Do we engage with the mass media or go in our alternative ways? This is a contested area since both views have strong adherents, i.e. those who argue that there is no need for an engagement with the mass media and those who believe that to change mainstream mass media we need to engage with it to achieve changes from within. c) What is Democratic Media? There is no confusion in the discussion of what kind of media is wanted: it is ‘democratic media’. But like other notions taken up above, it is a contested one. It is therefore important to be clear what the term implies. This is because authoritarian governments in Asia talk of a ‘state-sponsored democratic media’ while the business sector talks of a ‘profit-oriented democratic media’. Members of civil society, on their part, want a ‘people- oriented democratic media’. So the meaning of the term changes according to whether it is the government, business or civil society that is using it. While there are areas of overlap, the character of the proposed (people-oriented) democratic media is not the same as the commercial or state-sponsored versions of the media. (Note: ‘Authentic democratic media’ does not necessarily depend on the nature of governments, i.e. whether they are seen as liberal and democratic, or as authoritarian. Mass media in liberal US has been criticised for “manufacturing consent” just as the mass media in authoritarian states, like China. This was very clear in the biased reporting on the Iraq war in March/April 2003 by the American commercial mainstream media and the suppression of news of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome [SARS] at the beginning of 2003 by the state-controlled Chinese media. The 12

Introduction mainstream media in both types of governments have promoted, in different ways, an undemocratic representation of events. Authentic democratic media is therefore really a project of an active civil society.) d) A Poorly-Developed Common Guiding Framework or Vision The efforts to take up the cause of media education and reforms are far too fragmented and isolated and not guided by a clear, common vision. This situation also indicates that networking has not been well institutionalised and there is poor commitment to continuous engagement in terms of sharing of ideas, methodologies and resources, both human and financial. In effect, a common cause has not developed to animate the advocates of media reform except in terms of the independent concern for doing something about the power of the mass media and the content they promote. This makes it very difficult for civil society to deal with the power of the mainstream mass media, particularly the global media. As much as democratic media needs to be achieved locally and nationally, attention is equally needed on the regional and global fronts. Civil society needs to be present in major national and global meetings on the media to insert its ‘for-the-people’ agenda. This kind of navigation to overcome fragmentary initiatives and poorly developed regional and global networks in order to establish or strengthen a ‘truly’ democratic media is possible only if three conditions are in place: (a) a clear common future based on some larger, more universal, vision that animates all civil society interventions; (b) a properly institutionalised and World Projections of the Computer Industry • 259 million online users worldwide by year-end 1999 • By 2000 the number is expected to reach 349 million • 490 million Internet users by year-end 2002 • Over 765 million by year-end 2005 Newsbytes Asia reports that there will be a 422% increase in the number of online users in Asia over the next six years and the number is expected to reach 228 million by 2005... Most of Asia's users are in Japan; however by 2005, China is expected to surpass all other countries in the region of Asia. 37.6% of Asia's online users will be Chinese in 2005; this signifies 85 million users. (Nov. 1999) Source: 13

Introduction Perspectives on Reporting the Iraq War (March/April 2003) Two Different Wars! Changing channels between al-Jazeera As the campaign slowed down after the television and America's Fox News you swift progress of the opening days, the Fox might be watching completely different presenters have had to work hard to wars. maintain the air of optimism. Anything Al-Jazeera takes viewers to Baghdad and else, is considered unpatriotic. other Iraqi cities and shows the war as it Fox is much happier analyzing tactics and is experienced at the grass roots - the discussing the awesome capability of terror and gruesome results of being on America's weaponry, than looking too the receiving end of sustained missile closely at what happens when the weapons attacks and heavy bombing. It shows the are used. conflict from the perspective of people Much of the channel's attention, for who have to endure it. example, has been on the deployment of Fox, on the other hand, keeps the horror the war's first so-called digital division of of war at arm's length, sanitizing atrocities American ground troops equipped with and presenting the conflict as the Bush computers in their tanks. This enables the administration is trying to portray it - for combat units to be linked together through the benefit of the Iraqi people. a computer network and turns them into To watch Fox for any half-hour period what Fox called ‘a combat force since the start of the war has been to disproportionate to their size.’ witness a slick production that was designed for a painless, high-tech conflict. Source: Gerald Butt, Al-Hayat, 9th April 2003 The Thick Fog of War on American Television Journalism that may seem notably daring They have ‘death squads,’ and we have in the U.S. media would not raise an noble troops. Their bullets and bombs are eyebrow elsewhere. For instance, the odious; ours are remedies for tyranny. contrast is stark between National Public Radio and BBC Radio, or the PBS ‘NewsHour \"It looks and feels like terrorism,\" a With Jim Lehrer’ and BBC Television. In Pentagon official said on national comparison, most public broadcasting in television after several American soldiers the United States seems to be cravenly died at the hands of an Iraqi suicide licking the boots of Uncle Sam. bomber. But if attacks on U.S. troops With a straight face, and with scant inside Iraq are ‘terrorism,’ what should we willingness to raise fundamental questions, call the continuously massive bombing of American networks uncritically relay a Baghdad? Surely, to people in that city, the nonstop barrage of statements from U.S. current assault looks and feels like officials that portray deadly Iraqi actions terrorism. as heinous and deadly American actions as positive. Source: Norman Soloman, Media Beat, 3rd April, 2003. Norman Solomon is co-author of the new book Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You. 14

Introduction pro-active network structure; and (c) easy accessibility to the network by civil society media organisations, even while remaining small and focused at the local level. The first condition is critical in a number of senses. Critical media action today is localised not only in geographical terms but also in the sphere of ideas, intervention and action. This is confined in most cases to the media structures and their dynamics. Though engagement on this front is absolutely necessary, complete confinement to the issue results in ‘issue parochialism’. This in turn hampers the ability to see media issues as part of a larger canvas of issues and prevents intervention on media issues as part of a ‘universe of interventions’ by civil society. Such parochialism militates against not only stronger networking among critical media educationists and media reformists but also results in the loss of the power that could come from collaboration of cross-issue organisations and movements. e) Culturally Homogenising Media? Among the concerns that need attention is one that has been, as observed above, a highly contested one: Is the global media really homogenising? There are those who feel that this is really an alarmist view. Location and ethnic group-specific cultures cannot be homogenised. There are those who like to suggest that a local culture always transforms what comes from outside, eventually indigenising it. Thus, we may have fast food that comes from the US but they are indigenised. So in India we will be served vegetarian burgers which are not found, for instance, in Malaysia. In Malaysia, there are many types of burger that are suited to local tastes. Such developments are seen and presented as localisation of what comes from another cultural region on the back of globalisation and indicate, so the argument goes, that homogenisation in unachievable and a fiction. While the findings of such studies cannot be disputed to an extent, how does one come to terms with the issue of cultural homogenisation, particularly when this is achieved through market power and cultural hegemony? For instance, is ‘Americanisation’ something that is really taking place or is it purely an alarmist misconception, with absolutely no basis whatsoever? Is the mainstream mass media guilty of supporting cultural homogenisation? 15

Introduction Cultural Exchange or Hegemony? G l o b a l C i n em a M a r k e t COUNTRY Share Earned by Share Earned by Philippines US Films (%) Domestic Films (%) Malaysia 35 China Hong Kong SAR 45 50 Norway 49 4 Japan 58 Italy 59 42 France 60 9 Indonesia 64 Republic of Korea 65 30 Australia 66 26 Argentina 68 27 Switzerland 70 Denmark 70 7 Germany 74 26 Sweden 75 South Africa 76 4 Spain 77 13 Finland 79 Poland 80 2 Canada 83 14 Thailand 85 10 United Kingdom 85 15 Hungary 85 Netherlands 90 4 Colombia 90 12 Mexico 92 10 Venezuela 92 11 Brazil 94 Portugal 95 8 United States 95 10 96 9 6 9 1 4 1 3 2 - US films dominated the global cinema market in 1988. In only three of the thirty countries in this table, China Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia and the Philippines - all in Asia - do US films account for less than half the cinema box office receipts. In twenty-one of the countries, US films account for more than two-thirds of receipts. In only five countries, China Hong Kong SAR, France, Italy, Japan and the Republic of Korea do receipts from domestic films account for more than a quarter of box office receipts. (Comparable data were not available for India, which has a vast domestic film industry.) Source: World Culture Report 2000: Cultural Diversity, Conflict and Pluralism (UNESCO 2000) 16

Introduction Issues relating to globalisation in relation to local cultures need attention because we can have healthy transactions between the two spheres leading to what has come to be called ‘glocalisation’. But many transactions do not take place within a dialogic space where exchanges are brought about by the active engagement of the cultures involved but take place within a market space where a product or service is promoted by a powerful economic agency through multi-million dollar advertising and PR campaigns. Indigenisation of a global product is merely a market strategy. Thus, we need to be clear about active transactions between cultures and about hegemonic relationships between them, in which the local is actually displaced by the global but presented in a ‘disguised’ local popular cultural form. In an aggressively neo-liberal world where there are dense transactions between the global and the local and where the economic and financial agenda have subordinated everything else, the above issues are difficult to deal with as not all the parameters are clear. Engaging globalisation and cultural hegemony presents a major challenge to media education and reforms. f) Women and Other Marginalised Communities The mass media constructs our world through ‘selection’, ‘framing’ and ‘narrative ordering’ of print, sound and visual data, which is supposed to represent ‘reality’. We consume these motivated ‘constructions’ or ‘representations’. The representation of women in the media is, for instance, a major issue for all those concerned with democracy and justice. Women are either shown to be marginal to social dynamics or portrayed as sex objects that feed male ‘gaze’ and desire. But the problem of representation does not stop with the gender issue. In poorly developed multi-cultural societies, representation of poor and marginalised ethnic communities or sub-cultural communities following norms that are different from the majority also needs attention and reform. Healthy youths are portrayed but the disabled and the aged are completely invisible in the mass media. In addition, through selection, framing, and narrative ordering, undemocratic media has completely made invisible important social developments in civil society and made visible the inane and the frivolous. 17

Introduction g) Spirituality The struggle for democratic media is not something that just takes place on a material plane. Often unarticulated is the struggle taking place around different value orientations and spiritual concerns. Spirituality is not religion though in essence religion cannot be conceived without spirituality. In a sense, the subject of spirituality opens up dialogue among various religious communities in Asia without the constraints that tend to follow with the traditional institutionalisation of religion. Legitimate interests that were associated with these institutions very often deteriorate into power and ideological struggles, frequently losing sight of the practical problems of life and spiritual aspirations that are common to all. Democratic media can encourage spiritual dialogue across faiths, strengthening them through an alternative institutionalisation process and through active networking that fortify multi-cultural communal life. In turn this development will contribute to the strengthening of democratic media. The above discussion presents some issues and concerns as background review to the contributions in this volume. It is an attempt to help the reader seriously and meaningfully engage with this book. The discussions (captured in the two sections of this volume) cannot promise answers to some of the queries raised above but set the stage to address those questions and issues. Some of the aspects touched upon here are re-visited in the conclusion. 1.4 ContentS of this Book All the papers included here except one (chapter 5) were presented at the symposium-workshop held in Manila, Philippines, in September 2002. Chapter 5 was prepared for the symposium-workshop but not presented in full. It was only presented in parts in one of the two panel sessions, which covered globalisation, culture and media reforms (this is presented in appendix II). There are in total 15 papers which have been categorised into two sections. The first is ‘Media Education/Media Reforms: Trends, Overviews and Frameworks’ (chapters 2 – 5) and the second is ‘Media Education/Media Reforms: Methodologies, Interventions and Pathways’ (chapters 6 – 16). Chapter 2 presents a discussion on democratic media from the framework of sustainable development. 18

Introduction Chapter 3 is a complex overview paper that presents, among other things, a deeper understanding of the context and features of the ‘American television idiom’. Chapter 4 captures the reality of digital convergence and offers ideas on how democratic media advocates can proceed in a fully digital world that is not far from becoming a global reality. Chapter 5 analyses the present nature of globalisation and its dangers while offering an alternative approach to it along with an implementation strategy. The rest of the papers are case studies of specific activities. Only chapters 6 and 7 are case studies of activities that were carried out at the global and Asian levels, respectively. The rest are country-specific case studies covering Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan and in areas such as media education, media reforms, broadcast media, community media and the new (online) media. The concluding chapter 17 captures the six-day deliberations on media education and reforms, and presents the proposals of The Manila Initiative, a group of do-able activities that are meant to realise the agenda of networking, media education and reforms all with the aim of creating a spiritually and culturally vibrant, sustainable democratic media. There are four appendices which include resources that will be of practical use to readers. 1.5 Conclusion While the mass media has certainly benefited us, it has largely contributed to the creation of an unhealthy, undemocratic and unsustainable world. It therefore needs attention and intervention from all of us - children, young adults, parents, women, workers, religious groups, indigenous and minority communities, the disabled, media professionals and advocates of democratic media. Among the three main interest communities in contemporary society, i.e. the government, business and civil society, it is the latter-most that is our concern for it represents the groups and constituencies mentioned above. In principle, civil society – consisting of the consumer and being the rationale for the production of media products and services - is in the best position to deal with the problems created by the mainstream mass media. 19

Introduction Armed with their cultural and political mandate, issues can be addressed effectively for civil society by advocates of democratic media. Or, they can be addressed by direct action of the members of civil society mentioned above through systematic and ‘high-vision’ media education and reforms. This is the way to the establishment of a people-oriented democratic media. It is these pathways that are fleshed out in this volume. ❖ 20

Media Education/Media Reforms: Trends, Overviews and Frameworks

C h apter 2 Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework* M. Nadarajah 2.1 Making Sense of Theory Media education and media reforms, which reflect the growing concern for democratisation of the media environment, are critical and need sustained support, particularly from civil society. While such initiatives are sprinkled throughout Asia, one unfortunate limitation is the tendency to not engage with theories or frameworks. Theories/frameworks are summarily dismissed as the ‘concern of the academics’ or those who like to sit in their ‘ivory towers’, making no sense to others. The struggle for democracy is not purely based on action. It is equally a contestation of different concepts and theories. Theoretical practice and practical efforts must go hand in hand, though not necessarily together. If you tie theory and practice together tightly, they would simply hop around and fall. Theory and practice are certainly different types of activities. The way we are educationally socialised does not help us to think through our concepts and guiding frameworks. We prefer activities at the empirical plane. But not engaging with theories/frameworks means that one does not have a ‘map’ as part of a collective experience to help chart a clear course through one’s daily life. Theories are like ‘maps’. If you do not have a ‘map’, it means that you are not sure where you are, where you want to go and the route you are taking (with all its implications). It also means that you may actually be using somebody else’s (‘your adversary’, for example) map and not realise it. Imagine that for a minute and the problems that it could create. * This is revised from the paper presented at the symposium-workshop. 23

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework Coming to the topic at hand, taking up issues of media education or democratisation of the media requires content sensitivity, collaboration and direction. It needs a ‘map’. Media education or reforms cannot be considered in self-contained enclosures. It must become conscious of where it is, what it must deliver for its survival, its role and responsibility to the community and how it should go about doing that. Theories and frameworks will certainly play a major part in such an effort. In the rest of the paper, I will present a case for sustainable development. It is an examination of a theoretical framework and the role and meaning of media within that framework. 2.2 Making Sense of Sustainable Development a) Capitalism and Commodification: The emergence of industrial capitalism brought into our midst the ‘culture of commodities’ and the process of commodification. This complex transformation process saw the encroachment of commodification into all aspects of our daily life. Everything came to be thought in terms of profit -- material and/or non-material. Relationships were forged on the basis of profit-motive. Nature was turned into an object of exploitation for the benefit of entrepreneurs. From external control of nature, biotechnology provided us the power to control its inner being, with the control of germplasm. The commodification process has become all- pervasive, from the interiors of our being to the vast expanse of outer space. b) Instrumentalisation of our Relationship with Nature: The transformation of the relationship with nature into an instrumental one meant that nature had no intrinsic value. Its value was dependent on us. In an unsustainable sense, we exhibit a species-wide anthropological aggressiveness. Nature could thus be exploited without a conscience, without a concern for any values. Such a relationship in the context of ‘progress’ led to the sustained degradation and destruction of nature, presenting us with what we have come to understand as environmental problems – resource depletion, destruction of habitats, extinction, pollution, health and general environmental risks. Because capitalism was global in nature, so environmental problems also assumed a global nature. Thus, environmental problems were both local and global in scope and both, ordinary and spectacular in form. 24

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework c) The Birth of Environmentalism: To begin with, responses to environmental problems addressed the consequences of the capitalist development process [that was essentially based on the articulation of formal rationality]. This consequence-based movement came to be called environmentalism. To a large extent, environmentalism did not question the basic structure of (capitalist) production. In fact, eco-efficiency became the in-thing. It added an environmental dimension to the development path but did not allow that dimension to radically change the path. (The ‘radical environmentalists’ who sought to were a marginal group.) d) A number of changes took place in the world of production and the dominant West from the 1970s that resulted in a significant change in environmental/ecological consciousness. (i) The period of modernity was coming to an end in Western societies around the 1970s. (ii) The social structure of the Western world (and the advanced among the developing world) was changing from a modern society to a post- modern one. (iii) The post-modern society saw the growing importance of information and knowledge (not as wisdom but as data) and their growing differentiation. (iv) The form of technology changed from industrial to information technology. Or, more broadly, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). (v) Considering the information society, there was a movement away from Fordism to Post-Fordism to ‘Murdochism’. (vi) Even as the world globalised, there was greater sensitivity to locality. (This also meant the production of knowledge was really a local issue, sensitive to the context of a form of cultural life. The importance of knowledge produced by experts was being questioned.) These changes brought about paradigmatic changes in the response to environmental problems. It brought in the social dimension as part of the response. e) A new stage of ecological consciousness and activism came into being. There was a shift from environmentalism to sustainable developmentalism (Table 1). 25

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework Table 1: Stages of Ecological Consciousness and Activism Stages Ecological Consciousness and Activism Lower Environmentalism Higher Sustainable Developmentalism f) Sustainable development needs to be seen not as a technical but as a moral-emancipatory project. It demands a moral regulation of our relationship with nature, our fellow beings and the future generations. Simply put, sustainable development, as a UN definition goes, ‘is development which aims at providing for the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to take care of their needs’. 2.3 Some Concepts to Think Through On Sustainable Development To help us think about sustainable development, let me present three concepts: a) species contextualisation b) value focus and c) imaginative orientation. a) Species Contextualisation Three contexts constitute species contextualisation, which relates to ecological niche creation or the formation of cultural life. These are: the existential context (specific natural space), the relational context (specific social space) and the temporal context (the time-space) - Fig. 1. While these concepts can be applied in a modified form for all species, here they are used to understand human beings. 26

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework Fig. 1: Species (Individual/Community/Species) Contextualisation Temporal Context Relational Existential Context Context b) Value Focus The three contexts produce three symbolic objects endowed with meaning and value and help secrete three value-focuses that serve as a guide for our evaluation, choice and decision-making processes (in our private and public life - Fig 2). Fig. 2: Value Focus Future Generations Equity (and Ecology Equality) (Nature) c) Imaginative Orientation The Orientation Principle presents an interpretational-navigational device, a device that helps in the interpretation of a situation. It helps us make choices and decisions in order to navigate in a socio-cultural context in the direction of sustainability. The orientations provide a philosophical-moral-practical basis for our everyday life. Thus with the three value-focuses as the basis, we arrive at three imaginative orientations (Fig. 3). 27

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework Fig. 3: Three Imaginative Orientations Generational Imagination Socialistic Deep Ecological Imagination Imagination The three imaginative orientations will help us focus on development with reference to future generations, equity (intra- and inter-generational, and equality) and nature (the ecological context). I would like to suggest that a development process which is guided by the three imaginative orientations be termed sustainable development. They are the basis of sustainable developmentalism. 2.4 Components of Sustainable Development and the Democratic Media Based on the discussion above, it is not difficult to see that sustainable development goes beyond the confines of traditional environmental concerns. To achieve sustainable development, the effort must include sustainability at various levels i.e. we need to locate environmental sustainability in the contexts of economic, political, social and cultural sustainability. Table 2 offers a view of these various types of sustainability and their main concerns. It also locates the concern of ‘democratic media’. How do we make more critical sense of this location and type of media? 28

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework Table 2: Types of Sustainability and Their Concerns Environmental/ Economic Political Social Cultural Ecological Sustainability Sustainability Sustainability Sustainability Sustainability • Biological • Appropriate • Human rights/ • Improved • General diversity economic Reduced Risk income sensitivity policies/ Environment distribution to cultural Demateriali- with reduced factors/ • Population sing the income Enlightened management/ Economy/ • Democratic differential localism Resource use Market development/ both locally planning for alternatives/ multi-cultural and globally present, Appropriate citizenship • Cultural future and technologies and multi- diversity and other species/ stakeholder • Gender equity dialogical Space use participation and Equality/ transactions management/ • Efficient Equity and Private to resource equality for public allocation/ • Good Indigenous • Values Footprint governance folks and contributing Management/ (corporate people with to non- • Inter-species and use/Waste and disabilities anthropo- equity/ Deep management government)/ morphism, ecology Accountabi- to dematerial- concerns lity/ • Social isation • More transparency/ Investment in equitable trust basic, access to preventive • Long term resources for health and time sense all (gender, education/ and holism indigenous Social people, Investment people with in the family disabilities, etc.)/Inter- generational • Emphasis and intra- on people generational participation equity • Glocalism Democratic Media 29

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework 2.5 Making Sense of the Media in Relation to Sustainable Development a) To begin with, what is the media all about? I like to think of the media as a ‘technology of (narrativised) representation’. And by representation, I mean the individual and collective, the conceptual and practical activities of naming, meaning making, classification, orientation, negotiation, and navigation in the natural, cultural, and now, cyber worlds. Let me link this understanding to sustainable development with the aid of the two figures provided below. Fig. 4: Values-Vision Relationship and the Location of the Media Vision Direction Representation Media [(Technology) (Content)] Communication Values b) Media is the interface between the need to communicate and the practice of representation (of what is to be communicated). Communication involves representation in understandable narratives (‘stories’). The key questions to be asked about communication and representation are: ‘What/who influences these representations?’ ‘Is it carried out democratically or produced under a hegemonic situation?’ c) The values one holds and the vision one has about society (Fig. 4) directly characterise communication and the practice of representation. Thus, if society is influenced by the commodity culture in a general sense, the representations made by the media (largely the ‘commercial media’ - see Table 3 below) will be a type that will rationalise and legitimise the society that supports commodification. If the vision is one of sustainable society and 30

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework the values are non-anthropocentric, de-materialised and democratic, then the representation by the media of society, the people and their concerns will be different. d) Figure 5 locates communication in relation to media and representation (as indicated in Fig. 4 above) within a sustainable development framework. It transforms ‘media’ into a part of the general process of democratic mediation. e) What does this mean? A sustainable society is only possible when three conditions prevail: (a) a general democratic environment (b) active self- consciousness at a societal level and (c) a free, responsible democratic media. Fig. 5: Media, Social Criticisms and Social Learning Loops Y H Time u m a Sustainability n X A A Media & c B Social Learning Loops t i Media & Social Criticism v i t y Zone of Irreversibility C Adapted from Anil Agarwal (ed.), The Challenge of the Balance: Environmental Economics (New Delhi: Centre for Science and Environment, 1997), p. 13. 31

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework f) Figure 5 suggests that human activity today is generally taking us in the direction of unsustainability – environmentally, politically, economically, socially and culturally. ‘Society C’ is unsustainable. The only way we can change that is by creating a critically self-conscious society that is willing to learn and change from its unsustainable ways, creating social learning loops, and, consequently, alternative institutions. This can be created by democratic media through social criticisms and by encouraging social learning and establishing feedback loops. ‘B’ and ‘C’ are hypothetical societies that have transformed themselves in the direction of sustainability (though one does so faster and earlier than the other). g) It is important to keep in mind that communication is a generic property of all human interaction. The responsibility of media activism is therefore really much larger than what it is made out to be. The way to connect media activism to this larger responsibility can be achieved by placing media within the framework of sustainable developmentalism. h) The reference to democratic media above implies other forms. Table 3 below provides other details of the types of media. These are sort of ‘ideal types’. There are transactions between these types and there are of course certainly hybrid types. Thus, for example the commercial media transforms people into ‘demand’ and ‘market’. However, people are not merely ‘demand variables’ but have the capability of taking action to deal with the market hegemonic situation. Table 3: Sector and Media Type Sector Private Government Civil Society Media Type Commercial Media State Media Democratic Media Audience ‘People’ as Market, ‘People’ as ‘People’ as Actors Bottom-line Market Hegemony Passive Citizens, and Participants, Co-Creators/Co-Owners Profit Motive/ Recipients of of Media Content and Class Hegemony Media Content Media Institutions Individual/ Community Political Identity Building and Hegemony/ Development/Self- Survival Realisation 32

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework i) To conclude, the democratisation of the media needs to include not only a reform in the technological and content creation aspects of the mediation process but also an active contribution to the re-formation of our society towards a sustainable model (Fig. 6). Fig. 6: Media Reforms for a Sustainable Society Vision: Sustainable Society Direction Representation Democratic Media Communication Values (Non-anthropocentric, dematerialised, democratic) j) This framework not only contributes to an internal democratisation process of the media and its institutions but also allows media activists to build networks with other movements. Representing the generic property of communication, which is unavoidable in all relationships, media activism can naturally insert itself into any movement that is animated by the sustainable development agenda. ❖ 33

Sustainable Development and the Role of the ‘Democratic Media’: A Case for a Theoretical Framework References Agarwal, Anil (ed.), The Challenge of the Balance: Environmental Economics (New Delhi: Centre for Science and Environment 1997) Berthold-Bond, Daniel, ‘Can there be a `humanistic' ecology? A Debate Between Hegel and Heidegger’, Social Theory and Practice, Vol.20, 9-1-1994, pp.279. URL: December 1996. Cuello Nieto, Cesar, Fundacion Neotropica and Paul T. Durbin, ‘Sustainable Development and Philosophies of Technology’. URL: October 1997. Guha, Ramachandra and Juan Martinez-Alier, Varieties of Environmentalism: Essays North and South (London: Earthscan, 1997) Lee, David and Howard Newby, The Problem of Sociology (London: Unwin Hyman, 1983) Martell, Luke, Ecology and Society: An Introduction (Cambridge: Polity, 1994). Ravindra, Ravi, ‘Ahimsa, Transformation and Ecology’, Re-vision, Vol.17, 1-1-95, p.23. See URL: June 1997 ‘Religious Coalition Press Environmental Policy Concerns’, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2-12.1997. See URL: June 1997. Snarey, John, ‘The Natural Environment's Impact Upon Religious Ethics: A Cross- cultural Study’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol.35, 6-1-1996, pp.85. See URL: December 1996. The Society for International Development and Centre for Respect of Life and Environment, Towards Sustainable Livelihoods (Rome: The Society for International Development; Washington: Centre for Respect of Life and Environment, 1996) Welford, Richard, Hijacking Environmentalism: Corporate Responses to Sustainable Development (London: Earthscan, 1997) 34

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