My work situation will be moving in a significant new direction in the near future. In light of this, I will be expanding the focus of this blog to include the important arena of media reform. In particular I will be reflecting on the areas of media-related advocacy, research and evolution.
There are strong linkages between media reform and my other interests of international public policy, the Information Society, civil society and the UN. In particular, the development of new forms of information dissemination and communication, from texting to blogs, poses new questions and challenges in the area of media reform. The WSIS process brought together a number of different sets of actors that created new energy and focus to several media reform initiatives, such as the CRIS campaign.
Media reform issue areas are a diverse lot, including the following concerns:
- Media Concentration and Ownership: i.e. corporate domination and control of media sources
- Effects of Media on Children: i.e. violent and sexual content
- Freedom of Expression, Freedom of the Press
- Community / Independent Media: cable access, community wifi networks, etc.
- Democracy: promoting public space, debate, minority views, etc.
This last area of democracy is really the heart of the matter. Without access to a diverse set of ideas, information sources, and perspectives, people are not really able to exercise effectively their sovereign rights as citizens. In a market-driven, unidirectional, consumer-oriented media space, people become merely subjects. not actors.
So its important for me to try and see the trends as they are emerging, and at least know the right questions, if not the answers. It could be a fun ride.