Analysis of the MacBride Report on Communication

Categories: CommunicationHistory

Many Voices One World

This report on the MacBride Report aims to give the reasons why the report did have a present-day relevance in the Internet aided-text message enabled- 4G networked World. Although considered controversial, the heated discussions on the World Wide Web, books and live arguments among communication stalwarts, the MacBride Report has emerged to be the first ever world-re port to have UNESCO support in matters of communication and the proble ms related to international relations and internal conflicts.

The 1979 report has had 16 committee members from all over the world researching the plethora of considerable means of communications; possible outcomes of analysis and the most probable flak that was yet to be received with the New Orde r they conjured up to. Here is a report on the same: The background of inception: Amadau-Mahtar M? Bow (Director-General of UNESCO) was instructed in the 19th session of the UNESCO General Confe rence in Nairobi to undertake a revie w of all the problems of communication with relation to complexities and magnitude of technological advance and international affairs.

He appointed the Irish Nobel Laureate Sean MacBride as the President of International Commission for the Study of Communication Proble ms. Several big brains from countries like USA, France, USSR, India, Nigeria, Egypt, the Netherlands, Canada, and Chile etc. were appointe d in the important research work. The MacBride report and the study per se took over two years to complete a thorough research. Two months went only to draft a final report.

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Precisely, eight sessions in a span of 24 months are the meetings that took place of the committee of people coming from different he mispheres, regions and latitudes.

In 1978, in the 20th session of the General Conference of the UNESCO, the MacBride report was unanimously adopted. English, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanis h and Arabic we re the languages initially approved to have the report published in. “Defenders of journalistic freedom we re labeled intruders on national sovereignty” is a powe rful thing to say, back in 1977 by Sean MacBride. A balanced, non-partisan, within the purview of Objectivity and clearly generic enough to engulf the situation prevalent in the whole world niformly or otherwise was the biggest concern and challe nge, said MacBride. It is inte resting to note in 2011, the “modern culture of communication” was pretty much different in 1977. The concepts and the tradition of communication to be “friendly, collabo rative and cooperative” were widely looked forward to. To include every aspect of communication-the people, the need and the means was the first step that the team of intellectuals carried out in their respective nations.

H G Wells said (edited) “History becomes more and more a race between communication and catastrophe. Full use of communication in all its varied strands is vital to assure that humanity has more than a history…that our childre n are ensured a future. ” Sure enough, communication in the 21st century is almost paralleled with de mocracy, dreams and yes, catastrophe. Evidently, the MacBride project with 16 stalwarts of communication and intelligence tried to build a world order.

A New Order of communication that set up various standards defined the m and punched various data in reference to problems, future value and most importantly, the sustainability of communication for the humanity in the peaceful, war-like or a day in the normal course of the late 1900s even. Indians particularly had a very relevant role to play back in 1970s when the report was being studied upon. Various meetings in different generics, cultural and geographical backgrounds were made possible.

This was followe d by various pe rspectives on the communication and its absolute need in nations in the Indian sub-continent. This supported by India? s dive rse language culture and the need felt by every citizen from the Indian Sub-continent to preserve and share his language beyond the realms of culture was what made MacBride really unique back then. Boobli George Varghese was the Indian who represented the nation in the committee which drafted the MacBride report-right from its initiation to the end result. The Analysis for yesterday? s tomorrow: The MacBride Report can be understood with present day cases.

Communication and the Society

Communication has a direct relevance to evolution, says the report. No matter how advanced we are, our roots go back to days our ancestors spent hours roaming the jungles to search for food, preserve their race by reproduction and save their skin by being akin to the “Survival of the fittest”. The report asserts that in every action of the early man, communication-oral, physical, gestural or otherwise played a huge part in the development of the species. The thinking social animal later came to discover the Internet to make Earth seem smaller than before.

Hence, from the earliest centuries of existence to the discovery of language to the making of paper, to the schools and colleges promoting education and to the latest reports on Mashable. com about the human interaction and development has a task of crediting the same to Communication as the biggest blessing. Comparing communication from the days of 1970s when the communication aided debates, lectures, motivated and guided people via books, maps, enabled sign language in a documented fashion to the communication today: on mobile phones, click of a button, travel, insurance or health, media or entertainment, MacBride predicted most of it.

The computers have a major cre dit in the Future section of the history of Communication in the MacBride report; and ve ry appropriately so. Communication Today: This section of report concentrates much on HOW the communication has/had/will happens. Naturally, body language, signs, gestures were the forefathers of short hand, typed words or even handwriting class children take today. The alphabet in Chinese, Latin or Sanskrit has a large r share of history rather, unexplored.

The developing nations have been accredited to knowing more than their national languages because of the economic good that comes their way when they possess „skills of a foreign language?. Beyond economics, communication has been one of the biggest employers in developing countries—the Business Process Outsourcing being the most recent relevant example. The MacBride report explores various ways in which communication takes place-among the demography of people in different Diasporas in an alarmingly evolving world. Telephone has an entire chapter dedicated to it.

Not surprisingly, even today, telephone and its youngest cousin, mobile phone telephony has the biggest market—practically everywhere in the world. The reason? Communication! Proble ms and Issues of Common Concern: “Everyone has a right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interferences and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any me dia regardless of frontiers”. The line aptly conjures up the same emotion Sean MacBride expressed in the statement “Defenders of journalistic freedom we re labeled ntruders on national sovereignty”. According to the MacBride report, there is never a complete free flow of information for several reasons of safety and security, securing important info rmation behind safe fences or for reasons of individual or national inte rests.

Censorship could be widely criticize d but it ensures that not all information is leaked, especially the one which does need a non-Wiki Leaks approach. Very interestingly, the MacBride report does predict that one of the proble ms that the world could be facing in the „near future? s blatant exposes. The moral dilemmas of the world dealing with (ref: Wiki Leaks) would be most resourceful to note and study. In another present day scenarios, a certain American radio-announce r/ reporter expressed, “nervous ness” in the presence of Muslims. He was immediately suspended from job. Such cases are present day cases of proble ms of communication which could be biased, untruth or clearly blurry. Such communication could lead to bigger tensions internationally, hints the MacBride project.

The Institutional and Professional Frame work

This is the most interesting part of the MacBride project hinting at various current scenarios in the communication. Considering Facebook is banned in China and that there are local Chinese versions of the same we bsite are the most relevant examples. Economically, China pumps in social network and blogs by way of Chinese-owned (the real owner being the regime, anyway), censored websites that could ban, block or manipulate information if it is inflammable enough to thrust a wind of „free opinion? among the Chinese.

The MacBride report does indicate that having Development Strategies and discussing the m on an international forum could give way to debates. It is indeed controversial when communication and entertainment tools like YouTube are temporarily blocked in a democratic India over censorship issues. The Governme nt? s interference in people? s communication is rightfully controversial, so also is the Vigilance factor (terroris m). The MacBride report hints that the re wouldn? t be a win-win law that could ens ure both freedom and security in 100% of the cases.

Professional frame work of communication is the need of the ho ur irrespective of the geographical or historical background of the governance. The facts of the 1970s mentioned/studied up on by the committee somehow add totality to the curre nt scenes in communication management. Hence, the elaboration of the present case-studies. The recomme ndations and the flak received: This part of the report forms the conclusive recommendations given by the committee towards solving the various problems discussed and expected in the near future.

However, there have been several criticis ms drawn by the MacBride report. Although supported very we ll by international communities, the United States and the United Kingdom condemned the report on basis of an attack on the freedom of the press. There are reports of US and UK withdrawing from the UNESCO in protest in the years 1984 and 1985 (later re joined). Making communication an important part of development is perhaps the strongest message the MacBride reports sends across the world order. In the curre nt scene, internet has replaced the theoretical “communication device”.

No matter which side of the globe once resides in, connectivity to the internet is considered utterly necessarily in a rapidly informed and fast world. Secondly, efforts to preserve languages must begin right from the grass-root stage. No matter how able the technology, the absence of a medium of communication can disable every communicative tweet, Face book status or a text message. Communication is language. Third, perhaps the most important one in the whole world: education. Mere literacy ensures statistical ego-boost to the GDP counting economists.

MacBride report hints at education beyond minimum elementary level. In addition to radio, TV and ne wspaper networks, MacBride report focuses its largest recommendation to the integrity of the media in trying situations of world/national/local ne ws. The communication of the ne w world is ensured true and fair if the reporting media conjures up enough confidence to call s pade a spade. Utilization of communication devices, research and development and practical upgrade of knowledge are the other recommendations of the MacBride report.

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Analysis of the MacBride Report on Communication. (2016, Sep 11). Retrieved from

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