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Media Development

Media Development. ISSN: 0143-5558. Published quarterly by the World Association for Christian Communication; 357 Kennington Lane; London SE11 5QY, England.

Vol. 45(2). (2003)

Issue theme: Digital cohabitations: The social consequences of convergent technologies.

  • Schiller, Dan. "Pushing informationalized capitalism into science and information technology."
  • Duffy, Kathleen. "Religious responses to an evolutionary universe."
  • Van den Heuvel, Albert. "Grace and the Information Society."
  • Harkin, P. & Jones, S. & Sosnoski, J. J. "The ethics of virtual histories."
  • Tompkins, Paula S. "Truth and trust in cyberspace."
  • Yong-Bock, Kim. "Faith and science for life on earth."
  • Best, S. & Kellner, D. "The dangers of human cloning."
  • Horsfield, Peter G. "The ethics of virtual reality: The digital and its predecessors."

Vol. 45(1). (2003)

The issue explores the relationship between the capitalist structure of our society and how it creates a culture of commoditization of intellectual property.

  • Bettig, Ronald V. "Copyright and the commodification of culture." Article explores the current capitalistically voracious approach of our society to deal with creative products such as music, art and even cake decorating and picture taking. The author expresses the hope that in the future there will be an "elimination of the capitalist division of labor in which artistic and intellectual labor is subordinate to the logic of capitalism."
  • Collins, John. "The 'folkloric copyright tax' problem in Ghana." This is a shortened version of longer article that presented at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Illinois in November, 2000. It deals with the complications, pros and cons of creating a tax for folk music which is, when applied to the Ghanaian nationals might have an adverse influence on the creativity of local artists and disinterest in Ghanaian culture for the young generation.
  • Zamara, Camil. "Las nuevas perspectives mundiales en la computacion y el software libre." This article approaches the topic of the current attempts being made in various countries by their governments to create a policy of deregulating computer and software operations, by using the "system of open code" and free programs in the public sphere.
  • Morris, Christine. "Intellectual property and traditional law." This theme has a set of recurring questions that the author considers central to the topic, among them: "what is knowledge in a clan," "what are the duties and roles of custodians in this realm of protection." The author discusses a group of indigenous people that were successful in setting up an IPR system based on traditional law that allowed them to preserve their identity and deal responsibly with the matter at hand in the context of a world frought with "global commodification" and "political instability."
  • Krishna, Ravi S. "Innovations and creativity: Open Source, Bio Linux and Seeds." This article brings up the dangers of stringent control associated with IPR's that became first starkly evident during the AIDS crisis in Africa and how they actually restrict intellectual innovation ad "fair-play in the global commons" that is central to the health field.
  • Liang, Lawrence. "Global commons, public space and contemporary PR." Author brings up the symbolically grand ideal of a "global commons," but critiques the flip side of this term that brings to light practices that stand in the margins of legality and that are overlooked or unnavigated by various local authorities.

Vol. 44(4). (2002)

This issue features the theme, “Communication rights in the information society (CRIS),” and publishes a number of articles drawing on experiences from the CRIS “campaign launched by a consortium of NGOs belonging to the media advocacy group Platform for Communication Rights in late 2000.” The campaign is connected to the World Summit on the Information Society. “What this issue does provide is the background to the CRIS campaign, an overview of some of the events in which CRIS has been involved, a few CRIS two-pagers that outline key issues related to the information society, the obstacles that have become a predictable aspect of CS/WSIS [civil society/World Summit on the Information Society] interfaces” (p. 2).

Working papers include these topics: “Is the ‘information society’ a useful concept for civil society?”; “Why should intellectual property rights matter to civil society?”; “What is the special significance of communication media to civil society?”; “Media ownership: Bib deal?”; and “The corporate sector and information control”; “A personal account of PrepCom 1" (Seán Ó Siochrú); and the “Statement to the WSIS Civil Society Press Conference” (Bruce Girard).

In addition, the issue carries a number of related articles:

  • Sasha Costanza-Chock, “The CRIS campaign: Mobilisations and blind spots” (pp. 24-26);
  • Anna Turley, “Gender issues, the digital divide and the WSIS” (p. 27);
  • Fernando Reyes Matta, “Y de nuevo las mismas preguntas: ¿Cómo se articulan democracia y comunicación en el siglo XXI?” (pp. 30-34);
  • Antonio Pasquali, “The information society: A case for setting up an international tribunal” (pp. 35-39);
  • Cees J. Hamelink, “Moral challenges in the information society” (pp. 40-43).

Vol. 44(3): Communication in China

  • Sparks, Colin. "China, the WTO and the mass media: What is at stake?" Media Development, 44(3), pp. 3-7. This article examines the potential shifts in the Chinese media that will be incurred through the influence and involvement of the "Western" media. Also explores the possibilities for true 'western media takeovers' and the logistical issues entailed with this phenomenon.
  • Zhao, Yuezhi. "Transnational capital and market tensions in Chinese communications," Media Development, 44(3), pp. 8-11. Essay looks at how China's communication industries, whether accessed or directed by "Party officials" or "private entrepreneurs" are using WTO accession to further penetrate the Chinese market as part of an agenda to re-structure Chinese communication industries.
  • Schiller, Dan. "Communications and power: Interpreting China's emerging role," Media Development, 44(3), pp. 12-16. Article delves into the somewhat obfuscated question of whether all of the "Chinese initiatives" that are unfolding in the various branches of communication technology are haphazard and unrelated or whether there is a "unified coherence" and "systematic national ambition" that is embodying itself and being linked to China's politico-economical affairs.
  • Chin, Yik-chan. "China's regulatory policies on transnational television drama flow," Media Development, 44(3), pp. 17-22. This article "analyses China's policies regulating flows of transnational television dramas," and the socio-cultural repercussions of the re-organization of China's television in the late 1990's and the role of the government in policy-making in broadcasting.
  • Banisar, David. "The Great Firewall of China: Cyber-policing dissent," Media Development, 44(3), pp. 23-25. Article looks at the critical issue of government censorship in China and the freeing opportunities offered by the WWW for the dispersal of significant information and the limitations imposed by the Chinese government in the interest of preserving party rule through suppressing dissidence and dissatisfaction among its citizens.