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Book: Global Media Governance: A Beginner's Guide

24 Sep 2002

  • Authors: Seán Ó Siochrú, Bruce Girard, Amy Mahan


What are the key influencing forces and elements in media governance at the global level? In Global Media Governance: A Beginner’s Guide, the authors attempt to answer this and other questions central to this most timely debate. The “Guide”, co-published with Rowman and Littlefield, was commissioned by UNRISD under its ongoing project on Information Technologies and Social Development. As governance encompasses regulation, questions addressed in the book include: Why do we regulate the various media at all? What currently are the major forms of global regulation, and how do they work? Who participates in, and who benefits from, media regulatory and governance structures? And what are the trends?

These are questions that people who work in the media, or are closely associated with them - or who are just simply interested in the subject - will sooner or later find themselves confronted with. The ever rising influence of the media over so many dimensions of life and society underscores the importance of finding answers to such essential questions. This “Guide” is intended as an aid to such interested readers. It fills an important void in the area and is designed primarily for policy makers, scholars, activists, media and communication professionals, and all other concerned persons. It is intended to become required reading for students of media and communications, law, business, politics, government, and education. It is essential to understanding the struggle for media control and which actors shape the future of global communication and how they do it. The “Guide” raises a range of issues, and either attempts to answer most of the questions that are central to the subject, or points to directions where more complete ones can be found.

Global Media Governance: A Beginner’s Guide is divided into three parts.

Part I explores the overarching issues of governance and globalization in the context of media industry and media convergence. Its three chapters set the scene for the rest of the book in three areas: media regulation and the forms it takes at the national level; governance in general and how it has emerged at an international level; and the main trends and dynamics driving the media themselves.

Part II provides an overview, in five successive chapters, of key institutions of media global governance. It is primarily descriptive rather than judgemental, and reviews their history, describes their functions and structures, and analyses their central dynamics as they relate to the media.

Part III synthesises, summarizes, and looks to the future. In three chapters, it provides an overview from several perspectives of current global regulatory mechanisms that impact on the media; it looks at the governance of these instruments, focusing especially on their adequacy in terms of democratic principles; and it describes two realistic but contrasting scenarios for the future.

Contents
Preface
Introduction
Part I
Introduction to National Media Regulation
Global Governance Institutions
Trends in Media
Part II
The International Telecommunications Union
The World Trade Organization and Trade in Media Products
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
The World Intellectual Property Organization and Intellectual Property Rights
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and Internet Governance
Part III
Global Media Regulation
Actors and Trends in Global Governance
Scenarios for Media Governance
Selected References for Further Reading
Selected URLs

Seán Ó Siochrú is co-founder and director of Nexus Research in Dublin. Bruce Girard is a media worker and researcher at the Delft University of Technology. Amy Mahan is a researcher at Delft University of Technology.

Global Media Governance: A Beginner's Guide is co-published with Rowman and Littlefield under their series Concepts in Critical Media Studies. Paperback ISBN 0-7425-1566-4 USD 19.95; Hardback ISBN 0-7425-1565-6 USD 65.00, 202 pages, 2002.

Order from: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, Maryland 20706.