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$s$ 0 - The Right to Tell: The Role of Mass Media in Economic Development (World Bank Institute Development Studies)

0. Critical Theory of Technology: An Overview (Andrew Freeberg)

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0. Shelf Space Allocation and Profit Maximization in Mass Retailing (Ronald C. Curhan)

0. The Culture of Consumption (R.W. Fox and T. J. J. Lears, Editors)

1. Introduction (Dennis DuBe')

7. Conclusion ()

Affordances ()

Definition: technology ()

Hamilton, Alexander, Federalist Papers #9 (commentary from Landgon Winner Whale & Reactor 42) ()

Harold Innis -- The bias of Communication ()

Karl Marx and the Three Faces of Technological Determinism (Bruce Bimber)

Langdon Winner The Whale and the Reactor 1986 ()

Language ()

Marxism and Literature, Raymond Williams ()

Modernization theory ()

paper # 1 williams ()

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paper #1 peters ()

Peck, Janice, Historical Materialism ()

Society and Technological Change by Rudi Volti (New York: St. Martin 's Press, 1988, 279 pp. ()

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Technological Determinism and the Firm (David B. Sicilia)

Technological Determinism is an effect cause by human problem-solving techniques. ()

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0 - The Right to Tell: The Role of Mass Media in Economic Development
          World Bank Institute Development Studies #3843   Created 05/04/2016   Updated 05/10/2016

Foreward [stet]

James D Wolfensohn (President, the World Bank Group).

To reduce poverty, we must liberate access to information and improve the quality of information. v

...a free press is not a luxury. It is at the core of equitable development. v

But as experience has shown, the independence of the media can be fragile and easily compromised. v

1. Inside the Looking Glass: What the Media tell and Why--An Overview

Roumeen Islam (Manager of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit at the World Bank Institute)

The media industry...plays an important role in any economy by garnering support or opposition for those who govern by highlighting or failing to do so the view and/or sins of industry by providing a voice for the people or not doing so, and by simply spreading economic information. 1

...the media are likely to promote better economic performance when they are more likely to satisfy three conditions: the media are independent, provide good-quality information, and have a broad reach. that is, when they reduce the natural asymmetry of information, as Joseph Stiglitz puts in in chapter 2, between those who govern and those whom they are supposed to serve, and when they reduce information asymmetries between private agents. Such a media industry can increase the accountability of both businesses and government through monitoring and reputational penalties while also allowing consumers to make more informed decisions. 1

[ media rely on 1. state regulation, 2. advertising, 3. consumers ]

[conditions: independent, good-quality, broad reach. "When they reduce natural asymmetry of information...." ] 1

...the dissemination of credible information in a timely manner depends critically oh now the media business is managed and regulated. 2 The chapters in this book document evidence on media performance and regulations in countries around the world and highlight what type of public policies and economic conditions might hinder the media in supporting economic development in poor countries. 2

The first [ issue i'd like o develop ] is the relationship between free media and democracy. It seems obvious that generally, more democratic counties also have a freer press, as figure 1.1 shows, but do free media promote greater democracy or does a functioning democracy promote free media?

The second issue I would to address concerns the general relevance of laws and formal regulations for the independence, quality, and reach of the media. 3 "measures of freedom"

In countries where information has always been scarce or kept secret, several effects work against the media, namely: (a) the potential value of more information is underestimated or not well understood; (b) the public perceives that information alone will not help, because coalitions strong enough to make use of the available information do not exist; and (c) the weak financial state of the media and their shaky consumer base make the industry vulnerable. 3

Independence refers to the media industry's ability to report information it receives without undue fear of being penalized. 4

(not a quote) journalistic techniques enable consumers to better utilize media experiences 4

[ independence factors] --the ownership structure of the media

--the economic structure of industry, economic conditions, and the availability of financing.

--the laws regulating access to information, production of information, entry into the media industry, and content

--the policies regarding industries related to the media 5

Notions of quality and independence are linked, for example, quality can be compromised by media dependent on concentrated sources of financing.

--the training a capability of journalists and of those who manage the media business.

--the checks and balances on journalists and people in the media industry. 5

Private media firms that have close links with business or government are also in danger of distorting information. 6

Djankov and others find that high levels of state ownership reduce the effectiveness of the media in providing hce3cks and balances on public sector behavior and are negatively correlated with economic and social outcomes. 7

As Bruce Owen (chapter 9) and Timm Carrington and Mark Nelson (chapter 12) point out, the survival of the media as a business--often under adverse economic conditions--takes priority. If the business does not survive, then quality is not an issue. 8

According to Stiglitz, the most important check against abuses by the press is the presence of a competitive press that reflects a variety of interests. 9

First, the production of mass media content is characterized by enormous economies of scale, which tends to favor large firms. Second, advertising to large circulations is more efficient than advertising to small ones. However, a third basic characteristic is that output is heterogeneous: firms compete by differentiating their output, because different people have different tastes. 10

Two types of legal institutions are critical to the performance of the media, namely, (a) those that determine access to information, and (b) those that constrain how the media use the information they obtain. 11

Laws regulating information dissemination to the private sector are generally established to enable markets to work smoothly and to improve the enforcement of various other legislation, but market responses also depend critically on information mainly available in the public sector. 11

On average, residents of industrial countries are more than 25 times more likely to receive a daily newspaper than residents in African countries; however, according to the World Association of Newspapers (2001), in many African countries, the average newspaper is read by as many as a dozen people. IN village in Bangladesh and Nepal newspapers are read aloud so that many others benefit in addition to the subscriber. 17

Formal regression analysis indicates (table 1.3)O that newspaper circulation is negatively related to illiteracy and income. 18

2. Transparency in Government

Joseph Stiglitz (Professor of Finance and economics at the Graduate School of Business, the School of International and Public Affairs and the Economics Department at Columbia University and winner of the Nobel Prize of Economics of 2001.)

While one can view free speech and a free press as ends in themselves--an inalienable right that governments cannot strip away from the citizenry--this chapter approaches these issues from an instrumentalist perspective, that is, as a means to achieving other equally fundamental goals. Free speech and a free press not only make abuses of governmental powers less likely, they also enhance the likelihood that people's basic social needs will be mend Sen. (1980) 28

"A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information of the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both." (letter from James Madison to W,. T. Barry, August 4, 1822, cited in Padover 1953 and also quoted in Carpenter 1995) 30

3. Mass media and Political Accountability

...comparatively little work in the political economy literature scrutinizes the role and effectiveness of the media in fulfilling this function [ produce information play key role citizens monitor govt and take action ] 45

While most countries have media of some description their mere existence is no guarantee that they are an effective a vehicle for critical scrutiny of state actions. This requires that media outlets have real information about such actions that they are willing to print or broadcast. The will depend on the extent to which the media are regulated, captured, or repressed, an outcome of a variety of government actions.... 46

The democracies with low press freedom scores also tend to be low-income countries. 46

How the government treats the media industry affects the development of news media and the quantity and quality of news generated. ... Not surprisingly, strong links exist between media development and other development indicators such as income per capita and literacy. 46

A strongly positive correlation is apparent between media penetration and Freedom House measures of press freedom. Media penetration seems also to go hand in glove with indexes of formal and real democracy. ...countries that are rated as more democratic have higher levels of news media penetration as measured by newspapers circulation and television ownership. Of course, the direction of causation is unclear. A positive correlation is found between media penetration and the weaker formal notion of democracy measured by th whether a country has held an election in the past five years. 46-47

The tradition of a free and independent press has permeated somewhat into the developing world. A prominent example is India, which has a newspaper industry that is distinguished from that in the bulk of other low-income countries by being both free and independent (Ram 1991). Sen (1984) attributed a major role to this freedom and independence in explaining why India has not experience any major famines since achieving independence. He observed that:

India has not had a famine since independence, and given the nature of Indian politics and society, it is not likely that India can have a famine even in years of great food problems. The government cannot afford to fail to take prompt action when large-scale starvation threatens. Newspapers play an important part in this, in making the facts known and forcing the challenge to be faces (Sen 1984, P. 84).

In Contrast, investigators have pointed to China's lack of democracy and of freedom of information as reasons why it experienced a major famine between 1858 and 1961, with excess mortality figures ranging between 16.5 and 29.5 million. They have also identified representative democracy and the media as factors in African countries that have succeeded in preventing famines (see Dreze and Sen 1989). As the quote from Sen makes clear, the media increase the salience of government performance in famine situations by providing informations on politicians' actions that citizens can use in their voting decisions. 53

[note he comments that "sen's analysis does ot establish a robust link between the development of mass media and government responsiveness". ]

Thus we have strong evidence that even within India, variation in newspaper circulation can explain how responsive the government is to the needs of its citizenry. 54

Our central conclusion is that free and independent media should not be viewed as a luxury that only rich countries can afford. Instead our analysis suggests that they should be viewed as a requisite and integral part of representative democracy. 59

4. The Media and Markets in the United States

Where the mainstream media are privately owned and are funded almost entirely by commercial advertisers, as in the United States, the media themselves are members of and participants in the market. Their attitudes toward the market are obviously heavily shaped by that fact. At issue in this context is the precise meaning of "the market." It could mean a free and fully competitive market; it could merely mean private ownership, whether competitive or monopolistic; or it could describe the preferences of the dominant participants in market activity. this last meaning is not uncommon in everyday parlance, where the market often refers to consensus market opinion that, for example, favors some stock or is hostile to a particular government action. People often say that the market now controls national policy, because of the threat of financial flight or possible adverse investment decisions when politics threaten the bottom line. the market in this sense refers to the collective or net actions and preferences of financial and other important market participants. 62

The forces that affect media treatment of these kinds of issues can be summarized in a model or framework that focuses media structures and relationships and reflect the media's integration into the market system and political economy. Herman and Chomsky's (2002, chapter 1) propaganda model attempts to do this, featuring five factors that profoundly influence the media's editorial positions and news choices, namely (a) ownership and control and bottom-line orientation, (b) funding by advertisers, (c) sourcing, (d) flak, and (e) ideology. 64

(Sourcing) The major media want steady and reliable sources of news, which they can obtain mainly from other large governmental and business organizations. Fishman (1980, p. 143) calls this "the principle of bureaucratic affinity; only other bureaucracies can satisfy the input needs of a news bureaucracy." 66

U. S. Ideology flow from the strength of the property-owning and business class, and has long been characterized by anticommunism, possessive individualism, belief in the merits of private enterprise and markets, and hostility toward the government except in its role of maintaining law and order and serving business interests abroad (Herman and Chomsky 2002; Katsnelson and Kesselman 1979, Chapter 2).

Sociologist and media Gans (1979, pp. 42-55) lists a number of assumptions, such as "ethnocentrism," "altruistic democracy" and "responsible capitalism" that he also calls "enduring values," and which he contends U. S. Journalists take for granted. He gives this set of premises and values the name "para-ideology". There is evidence that many journalists the belief that free enterprise and free trade are good and government enterprise and regulation and constraints on free trade are bad are important elements of their para-ideology. The forces of ideology and para-ideology add to the other factors that tend to make journalists favorable to the market. 67

5. Irrational Exuberance in the Media

Although the news media--newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, and now the Internet--present themselves as detached observers of market events, they are themselves an integral par of these events. Significant market events generally occur only if there is similar thinking among large groups of people, and the news media are essential vehicle for the3 spread of ideas. 84

The role of news events in affecting the market seems often to be delayed, and to have the effect of setting in motion a sequence of public attention. Attention may be to facts that may already have been well known, or to images or stories. The facts may have been ignored or were in the past judged as inconsequential, but attain new found prominence after some news event. These sequences of attention may be called cascades, as one thing attracting attention leads to another and then to another.

6. Distributing News and Political Influence

In this hybrid model the distribution of informed and uninformed voters arise endogenously through the deliberate and purposeful actions of the mass media, voters, and politicians. It indicates that some common features of the mass media have important political consequences. 96

This cost structure induces media motivated by profits to cover issues that concern large groups while frequently neglecting minority groups and special interests. 96

The resulting news bias has political consequences. For example, in a world without mass media trade policies are likely to ignore dispersed consumer interests and favor special interests with highly concentrated benefits from trade barriers (see Lohmann 1998; Olson 1965). 96

...without the mass media we might expect policies to ignore dispersed taxpayers interests and favor those that receive concentrated benefits from some small government program. 96

12. Media in Transition: The Hegemony of Economics

Tim Carrington and Mark Nelson

However, behind the often passionate debates about media rights and responsibilities is a simple fact, too often overlooked by the international organizations that seek to support media development in transition and developing countries: the media are a business. 225

Development economists are increasingly recognizing the media as a "development good" capable of contributing to improved accountability, more efficient markets,and more information-rich societies. At the same time, one must recognize that all these beneficial outcomes derive from the media's financial independence. That independence, in turn, is a function both of the local economy and of a particular media company's ability to turn a given economic environment to its advantage. 226

According to the report, Danjic added that major changes in the media would be come visible only when major changes in the economy occur: "Before that, there is nothing we can look forward to." 226

[ a tension between survival and independence ]

One of the reasons that media markets in the least-developed countries tend to receive less attention from investors is that they generally suffer from greater restrictions on press freedom. 228

Among developing and transition countries, a growing percentage of spending on advertising is a fairly reliable indicator of a country's improving economy and progression toward having independent media. 228

While analysts disagree on whether functional and independent media are a product of a flourishing economy or one of its causes, the two seem to go hand in hand. 229

The Media and Development in Bangladesh

...the media can have a stronger impact on economic and political outcomes when they form alliances with other institutions such as on-government groups or academics. 267

Directly related to the greater freedom enjoyed by the print media is the growth of the private advertising market in the last decade and the liberalization of the economy. Even though it has for ato go to reach its potential, the break away of advertising from the government's stranglehold has been perhaps the most significant contributory factor to media independence. in the past more thatn 80 recent of advertisements consisted of government tender notices and related matters. With the nationalization of the economy in the early days of Bangladesh, private advertising was scarce. The media were thus extremely dependent on the government for their survival. All this has changed for urban media. Today most leading newspapers derive 79 to 90 percent of their advertising revenues from the private sector. IN addition, another way in which the government controlled newspapers--supplying subsidized, locally produced newsprint--has disappeared, because imports of high-quality imported newsprint, which mose of the leading newspapers use, have been liberalized, High-quality newsprint ias also now produced domestically in limited quantities. By contrast, rural newspapers are still almost totally dependent on government advertisements, as the private sector is still underdeveloped in rural areas. However, these newspapers, mostly weeklies, do not rate highly either in terms of credibility or of impact. 268


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