The Historical Context of International Communication

The developments in film, advertisement and radio ushered a new era in communication and mass culture. Radio as a propaganda tool was first utilized by former USSR and then all the nations of the world followed the suit. Communist and capitalist propaganda used radio all over the world to promote their point of views. Third world countries used communication tools for promoting health care, education and culture. Third World countries genuinely felt the disparity in communication technologies between developed and developing countries and demanded for more just treatment. The MacBride Commission is the result of such efforts by Third World. The commission called for impartial, balanced and responsible reporting. USA opposed the commission as it deemed it more pro Soviet Union. The opponents called the proposals as instrument against freedom of press and information. This opposition came to an end with Soviet disintegration. Opinion The chapter is a detailed look at the role of different communication devices through out history and world. The writer presents different facts and figures from ancient time to colonial era in order to press the point that communication is vital aspect of any empire. The writer then discusses in detail the impact and role of telegraph from 19th Century onwards on different social and political aspects of the world. The writer then relates the development of journalism and radio with telegraph in 20th Century. At the end the writer gives a detailed look at the impact of radio during the Cold War. The chapter is according to the title and it gives a very detailed look at the historical development of international communication. The data regarding length of cables of telegraph and the spread in different areas of the world may confuse the reader but the information is very helpful in understanding the development. The writer has used simple language and starts from ancient time in order to present the main argument. The writer is able to give a cursory look at the ancient history and then focuses on colonial era in order to make argument clear. Overall the reader may find the data presented in the chapter a bit taxing but for scholarly purpose the chapter is very well documented. The logical sequence and development enable the involvement of the reader. The writer overlooks television and internet but still the effort is very good. Summary : The Technology and Society Science has brought many changes in the society. In order to investigate the issue of social changes and scientific discoveries there are two schools of thought. One group attributes all the changes in the society to the scientific inventions. For them scientific discoveries produce change in the society. The other group takes a less radical view by stating that changes in the society are going on the new scientific inventions just contribute in these changes. Both of these views take technology and society in isolation. Military and commercial needs forced improvement in communication. These social factors were to great extent satisfied by the development in the field of telegraphy, telephony and early stages of radio. The need of addressing masses in new political world gave power to press but this political urge was satisfied by television. This complex situation set the stage for broadcasting. The use of different broadcasting tools for social communication and political manipulation greatly influenced the rapid technological advancement in the field of communication. Political stimulus and economic benefits made television a popular medium for bringing change.