Hans Köchler


 Information and Communication in a Multipolar World:

The Role of the Asian Media



Lecture delivered at the


ASEAN Press Convention


15th General Assembly of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists (CAJ)

hosted by the Confederation of Thai Journalists (CTJ)

Bangkok, 5 August 2005





 (I) The State of Global Affairs


(II) A Free and Balanced Flow of Information: Imperative of a Just World Order


(III) The Role of the Asian Media



© by International Progress Organization, 2005. All rights reserved.

International Progress Organization, A-1010 Vienna, Austria, info@i-p-o.org, www.i-p-o.org


(I) The State of Global Affairs


More than twenty years ago, the International Progress Organization has called for the establishment of a just and balanced information order at the worldwide level. At the international meeting of experts on “The New International Information and Communication Order – Basis for Cultural Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence among Nations,” organized by the I.P.O.  in co-operation with Unesco in Nicosia (Cyprus) from 26 to 27 October 1984, the participants affirmed the importance of information and communication for “the pursuit of world peace, universal freedom and human liberty” – and they located these goals in the context of a dialogue among civilizations.[1] The importance of cultural openness and a free flow of information for global stability had initially been dealt with by the International Progress Organization at its first international conference on “The Cultural Self-comprehension of Nations” held in Innsbruck (Austria) from 27 to 29 July 1974.[2]

In the decades that have passed, the need of dialogue in the increasingly power-centered framework of international relations has become even more urgent. The process of globalization, triggered – or speeded up (depending upon one’s definition of the concept) – by the disappearance of the bipolar world order at the end of the 1980s,[3] has increased existing imbalances between the developing and the industrialized world in the field of information and communication[4] and has made the world order less stable.[5] With the end of the Cold War, the framework of international affairs at all levels – political, socio-cultural, and military – has changed in a way unexpected by many. Contrary to the high-flying expectations raised at the beginning of the 1990s, the world has not become a more peaceful place; the “international community” has remained a fiction and the United Nations Organization has not been reinstated in its rightful position, namely that of guarantor of international peace and security. The predicament of the world organization is mainly due to the fact that its statutes were made for a multipolar system – in which a power balance among several major players, the permanent members of the Security Council, exists –, while in reality the organization has to operate in a unipolar political framework.[6]

The state of affairs at the beginning of the 21st century of the Western calendar can be described by reference to a rather peculiar dichotomy between unipolar and multipolar structures of international order at different levels:

(a) the absence of a balance of power since the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the disintegration of the Soviet Union points into the direction of unipolarity;

(b) at the same time, however, multipolarity determines the international system in terms of social and cultural realities – a multitude of civilizations being an undeniable fact of life at the global level.

It remains to be seen whether the organization that focuses on this multipolar aspect of international relations – namely the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – can avoid the pitfalls of the unipolar power system and the predicament of the organization it is affiliated with. Our assessment is not optimistic in that regard; an organization that is devoted to culture and intellectual affairs has nonetheless to operate in a political framework as long as its membership consists of states. The subject matter – science and culture – does not do away with the hard facts of power politics, a lesson which UNESCO has had to learn in the course of the controversies over the “New International Information Order” in the 1980s.

Let us recall: Unipolarity in terms of power relations – which, as we know by now, has not brought new security and peace, but has profoundly destabilized the system of international relations[7] – exists parallel to cultural and social diversity. This structural disparity has caused major tensions in different ways:

(a)                          The civilization associated with the politically dominant system (considering itself the victorious one) tends to impose itself upon the rest of the world. This almost unavoidably implies a tendency towards cultural – more generally: civilizational – uniformity and reduces other nations’ and civilizations’ possibilities of self-expression and interaction with one another.

(b)                          In a politically imbalanced international framework the perception of a “clash of civilizations” is being nurtured particularly among those who seek to hide hegemonial designs, but also among people who are seriously concerned about the preservation of their cultural and ethnic identity.[8] This paradigm flourishes in an atmosphere of international disorder and mistrust. What may, in real fact, be a conflict of interests as part of the political struggle for global hegemony and the related efforts at gaining economic advantage from it, is being coloured with civilizational undertones. The reactions, notably in the Western world, to Samuel Huntington’s 1993 essay on the “Clash of Civilizations”[9] and the use, by some, of Huntington’s paradigm for the justification of military action outside the UN Charter – especially after the events of September 11, 2001[10] – are incontrovertible proof of this assessment.

(c)                          As a result of the tension between political-military unipolarity on the one hand and civilizational multipolarity on the other, the controversial debate about globalization is further intensified; its main goals are viewed with increasing suspicion by those who see their capacity of independent action getting irreversibly reduced.

Thus, peaceful co-existence is threatened in a fundamentally new way: In the framework of globalization – a process which is essentially, though not exclusively, driven by the power of the politically dominant system – social and cultural stereotypes are imposed by one civilization upon the others; the dominant civilization’s value system is indeed propagated on a worldwide level. The marginalization of everything non-Western often means the uprooting of indigenous civilizations. In the meantime, these developments are proven to have a destabilizing effect upon the entire framework of international co-operation.

The state of anarchy which characterizes today’s system of international relations is a direct result of these processes. The absence of a global balance of power goes hand in hand with globalization’s trend towards socio-cultural uniformity. Resistance to this tendency –  especially, but not exclusively, in the developing world – has become a key factor of international affairs and is making global stability more elusive than ever.

In view of these realities of power politics, the position expressed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization “that the process of globalization, facilitated by the rapid development of new information and communication technologies, though representing a challenge for cultural diversity, creates the conditions for renewed dialogue among cultures and civilizations,”[11] appears to be a rather idealistic assessment which will have to be reconciled with the development of world politics since the end of the East-West conflict.[12] We shall try to explore in the subsequent chapters up to what extent this may be possible.



(II) A Free and Balanced Flow of Information: Imperative of a Just World Order


In actual terms, the imbalance of power relations (referred to in the previous chapter) has led to an ever increasing disparity in the field of information and communication: Not only global affairs are being viewed “through the eyes” of the dominant civilization (with its undeclared economic interests), but also regional and domestic matters are being evaluated according to the standards of the politically predominant system. The latter tends to define itself as “indispensable.” However, in philosophical analysis, neither the notion of “indispensable nation”[13] nor that of “indispensable civilization” is tenable. The exclusionary approach is not only philosophically naïve, but breeds resentment among a vast majority of nations and may lead to unending confrontation on a global scale.

What does this mean in relation to the media? One cannot ignore the fact that the global “information business” is characterized by an almost complete monopoly of a few media conglomerates (such as CNN or BBC) and news agencies (such as AP, Reuters, UPI) that all have their base in the Western world, but are in a position of setting the standards of news coverage worldwide, thus implicitly deciding about the “newsworthiness” of events – according to the earlier public relations slogan of the New York Times: “all the news that’s fit to print.”

In terms of popular (or mass) culture, this imbalance has been frequently referred to as the “coca-colonization” of the world. As a media observer from South-East Asia recently noted, “highly monopolized multi-national conglomerates under the control of a few countries dominate cultural markets” worldwide.[14]

The other side of the coin – i.e. of this global media hegemony – is de facto (though not de jure) censorship over news coverage in the transnational field. The result of this state of affairs is not only a marginalization of the developing world in the eyes of the so-called international public, but also an effective inability of the people in the West to obtain comprehensive and unbiased information on events in the developing world, i.e. outside the realm of Western civilization. This lack – or more precisely: deprivation – of information leads to a reinforcing of social (i.e. civilizational, cultural) stereotypes, a process that eventually may end up in a vicious circle of mutually reinforcing prejudice on the one hand and distorted information on the other.

The “cultural effects of 'main-streaming' through internationally transmitted media productions” – as they have been aptly described by Ingrid Volkmer in a paper for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)[15] – cannot be underestimated even if some observers tend to minimize the risks of cultural uniformity by hinting at the possibility that, due to the dynamic of globalization, “media culture [is] so hybridized that global ownership of media and global circulation of media images do not necessarily engender cultural homogeneity.”[16]

The lopsidedness regretted by many observers of the global information flow has detrimental consequences not only as regards domestic education and erudition of the global citizen; the information imbalance has an extremely negative impact also in the political and military fields in so far as it may reinforce existing enemy stereotypes and, thus, hamper the resolution of international as well as domestic conflicts.  This problem has been emphasized, for instance, at the Eurasian Media Forum 2003 in Kazakhstan where Javed Jabbar, former Pakistan Minister of Information, pointed to the “imbalance in [the] global media,” i. e. the flow of information only into one direction, as “one of the major reasons for the distorted perceptions that constitute Western/US/UK policy” on conflicts in the Middle East and Asia.[17] In this regard, the International Progress Organization has repeatedly described the problems caused by one-sided information, filtered through the dominant Western media, on the Palestine issue for a fair and lasting settlement of the core problem of the Middle East.[18] The examples of the detrimental effects of a media monopoly on the settlement of international disputes abound, the latest and most serious one being the issue of the “global war on terror.”[19]

Contrary to expectations, the most recent form of information and communication technology, namely the Internet, has not yet effectively counterbalanced this trend. As long as access to the Internet is in itself extremely imbalanced on the global scale, alternative sources of information may only have a chance in the industrialized countries, but have almost none where it could make a difference: in the developing world. The “digital divide” may in fact further aggravate the negative effects of globalization in terms of development, peace and stability.[20]

Only a free and balanced flow of information in both directions – from the developing to the industrialized world and vice-versa – will do away with the negative impact of the existing information monopoly on global stability and peace; this means that the actual cultural diversity at the global level must be matched by a diversity in terms of the global media landscape. This requirement has long been recognized, but never acted upon. In the so-called “MacBride Report” – adopted by consensus at the General Conference of UNESCO in Belgrade in October 1980 – the threat of cultural homogenization was addressed in a comprehensive manner; the report demanded “that the utmost importance should be given to eliminating imbalances and disparities in communication and its structures, and particularly in information flows.”[21] (The report is named after its author, Irish Nobel Laureate Seán MacBride, with whom I had the honour to work closely in the fields of conflict resolution and international peace.)

UNESCO’s “Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity,” adopted on 2 November 2001, has again drawn our attention to the basic requirement highlighted by the MacBride Report. It is worth mentioning that this Declaration was adopted almost two decades after the organization had been forced to abandon its program for the establishment of a so-called “New International Information Order” under pressure mainly of the Western countries during the 1980s.[22] Following the tragic events of 11 September 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has apparently returned to its roots and again identified cultural diversity as a foundation stone for the peaceful co-existence among all nations. In the Declaration, the delegates regret the “current imbalances in flows and exchanges of cultural goods and services at the global level” (Art. 10) and insist on the “free flow of ideas” so that “all cultures can express themselves and make themselves known.” (Art. 6) According to the evaluation by UNESCO, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. (Art. 1)[23]

In his preface to the publication of the Declaration, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of the organization, describes the Declaration as “an outstanding tool for development, capable of humanizing globalization.”[24] In a more general approach, a so-called “clash of civilizations” – in fact a permanent global confrontation along civilizational lines – can eventually only be avoided if no party in the ever more complex global network imposes itself upon the other – and thus condemns other civilizations to a state of marginalization.[25]

In this sense, a system that ensures the free and balanced flow of information at the worldwide level is the best antidote to confrontation also in the political and military fields. In other words: only if the actual multipolarity in social and cultural terms comes to bear on the juxtaposed political unipolarity – instead of being absorbed by the latter –, will global confrontation and anarchy eventually be avoided. As history amply demonstrates, unipolarity in regard to power relations – i.e. the absence of a balance of power – has always tended to reduce all other spheres of human life to the one requirement of the preservation of hegemonial power. All other considerations in cultural or social fields – whether domestically or internationally – are subordinated to this central priority.

If not finally oppressed by the hegemonial power(s), diversity in the field of culture and information may substantially contribute to the gradual replacement of the present unipolar power structure by a multipolar international system, one that is based on the notion of the sovereign equality of states and peoples alike. Only such a system – in fact a new balance of power that will be distinctly different from that of the bipolar order of the Cold War – will be able to provide the framework for peaceful co-existence among nations on a sustainable basis, taking care of the multicultural reality of the 21st century (within and between the nation-states). A multilateral organization such as the United Nations can only carry out its mission in such a context. Indeed, the fate of the United Nations Organization appears to be intrinsically linked to the emergence of a new balance of power along multipolar lines.[26] The same holds true, in our assessment, for affiliated organizations of the UN such as UNESCO.



(III) The Role of the Asian Media


In the present context of globalization where economic interests are the driving force behind change also on the socio-cultural level, Asian countries have gained increasing importance because of the competitiveness of their economies. As we can say by now, the Asian region managed the crisis imposed upon it towards the end of the 1990s as a result of globalization-related currency speculation remarkably well. Asian regional co-operation – of which the establishment of ASEAN has been one of the most important achievements – has further advanced the continent’s global position and has increased its political weight.

As regards the issue of world order, this continent, being the most dynamic in terms of economic development – some Asian countries being key players of “globalization” –, can indeed make a difference if Asia’s economic weight and related influence in global affairs are  gradually complemented by active participation in the global media and communication sector. The negative aspects of globalization – in particular the tendency towards cultural uniformity referred to earlier[27] – can only be neutralized on the basis of a proactive approach, by the countries of Asia, in the field of information.

UNESCO has also pointed to the problems caused by the rapid development of information and communication technologies in the economically-dominated framework of globalization: “these processes carry with them the risk of uniformity as well as the standardization of lifestyles and cultural practices, thus potentially impoverishing diversity.”[28] The media of Asian countries, and especially of ASEAN, can undertake a joint effort at countering these tendencies towards uniformity – and they can and will make a difference if they co-ordinate their international information policies (without abolishing, of course, the commitment to their regional role in the service of the promotion of friendly relations among the member countries themselves[29]).

It is a basic fact of public life that mass media are agents of change. Every democratic polity is proof of this. According to a recent analysis of the potential of ASEAN media in the framework of regional and worldwide co-operation, the media help “to accomplish transitions to new customs and practices and in some cases to different social relations.”[30] As aptly stated in a position paper on the changing role of the Asian media, “the press can shape public discourse and serve as catalyst for change”[31] – and, we would like to add, it can exercise its function in the service of civil society not only on the domestic, but, in this era of globalization, on the transnational level as well.[32]

Specifically, Asian media can help in counter-balancing the quasi-monopoly of Western media conglomerates in the field of worldwide information:

                           In this regard, the operation of international TV channels with global outlook (as distinct from an inward-looking approach that is only related to communicating with a country’s expatriates) should be seriously contemplated. An approach of this kind has now been adopted by the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel which has announced that it intends to launch an English program by March next year, saying that it aims at counteracting “unbalanced reporting” on Arab and Muslim issues by Western networks such as CNN or the BBC.[33] The economic potential of many Asian countries – Asia being the economically most dynamic region of the world – can undoubtedly back up such media projects with global outreach; and this will even be easier if a co-operative approach is followed, using possible synergies that may be available through existing regional structures.

                           If we want to move away from the paradigm of Eurocentrism (which epitomizes everything Western as a global standard), Asian positions regarding democracy, human rights, the international rule of law, civilizational identity, etc. should be conveyed at the same level as those of the predominant West. There exists no rational argument why one civilization’s value system should be accorded priority over all the others. In this sense, the mission of the Asian media could be “nothing less than reversing the dominant flow of global information, which now originates on TV channels in the West.”[34]

According to our analysis, the role of the Asian media is to be seen at two levels:

(a) Geographical: apart from their undisputed domestic and eventually regional mission, the media should aim at a “global outreach;”

(b) Content-related: the media should at the same time define their role on the basis of a universal outlook, i.e. in the sense of a “global mission;” their news coverage should not be confined to “Asiatica” only.

In their complementarity, global outreach and global mission define the challenges confronted by and the opportunities accorded to the Asian media in a politically unipolar global environment. Through capacity-building and increased institutionalized co-operation, the media of the ASEAN countries can contribute significantly to what Kiatichai Pongpanich of the Matichon Newspaper (Thailand) has recently described as the need to “counterbalance” the Western media so that the Asian voice will be heard[35] without being filtered through channels from outside the region; those almost unavoidably insert a different agenda (one that is alien to the region) in a rather complex web of economic, political and strategic interests. In a more general context, international observers have also called for a kind of “counter-movement to the current landscape of research on international communication and globalization in the Western hemisphere.”[36] A remarkable effort has been made, in that regard, by a team of leading media critics from Asia and the West who have undertaken – under the title of “De-Westernizing Media Studies” – to present a series of case studies on the relationship between media, power and society within a conceptual framework that is not exclusively shaped by a Western perspective.[37]

A balanced international system – one that is not only politically stable, but perceived as just by the nations and citizens of the globe – can only exist in an atmosphere of dialogue. Dialogue, however, needs at least two. Globally, the Asian media can help to bring about a situation in which the Western world is not only talking to itself.

More specifically, international news coverage should not be presented through the eyes of one civilization alone. This is not only a requirement of fairness of news reporting, but an element of rationality, i.e. an indispensable element of the critical mind. The self-perception of a given civilization should not be construed exclusively through the eyes of another – in this particular case: the predominant Western – civilization. In order to be genuine, each civilization’s self-realization has to be based on an interdependent relationship with other civilizations which, in turn, requires the renunciation of any claims of civilizational superiority or priority of one’s value system over other such systems. In another context, namely that of philosophical hermeneutics, we have described this as the dialectical structure of cultural self-comprehension, which is derived from the dialectical nature of the human mind (reflection) itself.[38]

What the global community – euphemistically referred to as “our global village” – needs in order to achieve UNESCO’s goal of cultural diversity as fundament for stable peace is genuine transnational competition in the fields of information and communication. The socio-cultural multipolarity that this requires is incompatible with the present “monopolistic” status quo in which the politically and militarily dominant actors also set the rules of the “information game.”

At the 2005 Asian Media Summit in Kuala Lumpur (9-11 May 2005) the need for accurate, impartial and freely available information has again been affirmed; only balanced information will help to achieve genuine mutual understanding on a worldwide level. If a non-exclusionary approach – the only viable alternative to the Eurocentric paradigm – is followed, no party in the global game for power and influence (which has been somewhat idolized by the term “globalization”) should perceive itself as “losing out” in this new world order, if I may refer to the speech of the director of BBC’s World Service, Richard Sambrook, on “The Cultural Challenge to Globalization.”[39]

This is particularly true as regards the relations between the Muslim world and the West and the looming so-called “clash of civilizations,” a notion often used as a pretext for legitimizing the resort to more violent means than just a war of words or ideologies.[40] As stated by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, at this year’s Asian Media Summit, “[t]here is no doubt that in the interface between Islam and the West lies one of the greatest challenges confronting humankind today, and media have not played a positive role in this aspect.”[41]

Against the backdrop of this rather bleak assessment as regards one of the major issues of world order in our century, I would like to express the hope that the Asian media, and particularly those of the ASEAN region, increasingly assert their role not only within their respective polity (domestically) and regionally, but more and more with the global public in mind – and that, to that end, they find effective ways of co-operation among themselves. I have no doubt that the media of the ASEAN countries, if they use the synergies within the institutionalized regional framework, will be able to build bridges of “understanding, knowledge and development among the nations and peoples of the world,” as has been said by the Philippine Press Secretary Hector Villanueva at the 12th General Assembly of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists in December 1997 in Manila.[42]

The countries of a region with an ever more influential role in global affairs should consider to back up their position by means of active involvement in the global exchange of ideas on an equal level; only a proactive information and communication policy with a worldwide outlook will make the economic and social advancement achieved in the last few decades sustainable.

However, such a policy will not merely be a measure of properly understood self-interest on the part of the Asian countries. By establishing their role as actors in their own right in the international media sector – a role that is distinctly different from that of mere recipients or transmitters of information that has originated and has been edited elsewhere –, the Asian media can render a great service to the advancement of humanity in general; they can contribute to the gradual emergence of a multipolar order in a multidimensional sense (combining civilizational, social and eventually political relations) which alone can be the basis for sustainable peace.

At a time when other regions are threatened by a lack of attention on the part of the international public and are thus faced with marginalization and the economic and social deprivation that goes along with it, we sincerely hope that Asia will make its imprint on the international information system and will thus contribute actively to what the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has identified as antidote to global conflict, namely cultural diversity. The specific role of Asia will undoubtedly be highlighted in the forthcoming World Forum on Cultural Diversity to be jointly organized by the Foundation for Global Cooperation and UNESCO in Hangzhou (China) from 7 to 9 November 2005.[43]

In conclusion: A just and balanced international information and communication order is not only an imperative of the dialogue of civilizations – the proclaimed goal of all who believe in a peaceful world; it may become the very catalyst for the end of global (political) unipolarity. Accordingly, a permanent “conflict of civilizations” will not be avoided by marginalization of all civilizations other than the dominant one, but by virtue of a free and fair interaction between all civilizations and cultures – a process that will be facilitated, first and foremost, by genuine competition and diversity in the global media landscape. It is here where I see the unique role of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists in the context of globalization and under the conditions of the “international information society.” I wish the Confederation further success in the accomplishment of its important mission in the service of regional co-operation and global peace.




[1] Hans Koechler (ed.), The New International Information and Communication Order. Basis for Cultural Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence among Nations. Studies in International Relations, X. Vienna: Wilhelm Braumüller, 1985, p. 126 (Resolution).

[2] See Hans Koechler (ed.), Cultural Self-comprehension of Nations.  Studies in International [Cultural] Relations, I. Tübingen/Basel: Erdmann, 1978.

[3] On the implications of the process of globalization for the international system in general see Hans Koechler (ed.), Globality versus Democracy? The Changing Nature of International Relations in the Era of Globalization.   Studies in International Relations, XXV. Vienna: International Progress Organization, 2000.

[4] On the implications of the globalization process for the media and the socio-cultural realities see the comprehensive volume by Naren Chitty (ed.), Mapping Globalization: International Media and a Crisis of Identity. Penang (Malaysia): Southbound, 2001.

[5] Cf. the author’s lecture “Globalization: Its Impact on Politics and Economy” delivered in Kuala Lumpur on 9 August 1998. See the article “Expert: Globalisation will lead to instability,” The Sun, Kuala Lumpur, No. 1452, 10 August 1998, p. 7.

[6] On the predicament of the United Nations Organization after the end of the Cold War see the author’s lecture "International Rule of Law and the UN," in: Executive Intelligence Review, Vol. 32, No. 7, February 18, 2005, pp. 67-70.

[7] For details see the author’s analysis: The Precarious Nature of International Law in the Absence of a Balance of Power. I.P.O. Research Papers. Vienna: International Progress Organization, 2005. i-p-o.org/rp.htm.  

[8] On the notion of the “clash of civilizations” see Hans Koechler and Gudrun Grabher (eds.), Civilizations: Conflict or Dialogue? Studies in International Relations, XXIV. Vienna: International Progress Organization, 1999.

[9] Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?” in: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 5 (1993), pp. 186-194. See also his later work: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

[10] See Hans Koechler, After September 11 – Clash of Civilizations or Dialogue? UP FORUM online, UP Publications Online (2002) at http://www.up.edu.ph/forum/2002/Mar02/sept_11.html.

 [11] UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. Adopted by the 31st Session of the General Conference of UNESCO. Paris, 2 November 2001. Preamble.

[12] On the global order resulting from the developments of 1989 see Hans Koechler (ed.), Democracy after the End of the East-West-Conflict. Studies in International Relations, XXI. Vienna: International Progress Organization, 1995.

[13] That term was introduced into the international discourse – by reference to the United States – by then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in her speech at a “Town Hall Meeting” at Ohio State University on 18 February 1998. (Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, and National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger – Remarks at Town Hall Meeting, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, February 18, 1998. As released by the Office of the Spokesman, February 20, 1998. U.S. Department of State.)

[14] Ramon R. Tuazon, “Mass media as a news item.” Business World Online, Manila, 24 June 2005, bworldonline.com/Weekender062405/marketing1.php.

[15] Ingrid Volkmer, International Communication Theory in Transition: Parameters of the New Global Public Sphere. “Media in Transition.” An International Conference, October 8-10, 1999, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, http://web.mit.edu/m-i-t/articles/volkmer2.html.

[16] Chin-Chuan Lee, “Beyond Orientalist Discourses: Media and Democracy in Asia,” in: Javnost – The Public, Journal of the European Institute for Communication and Culture, Vol. 8, No. 2 (2001), pp. 7-20; p. 20. N.B.: The quote does not represent the view of Chin-Chuan Lee.

[17] Elements of the keynote address at Eurasian Media Forum 2003 by Javed Jabbar, former Pakistan Minister of Information & Senator, Founding Chairman, South Asian Media Association, 25th April 2003. Eurasian Media Forum, http://www.eamedia.org/kns/kns8.php.

[18] See Hans Koechler (ed.), The Legal Aspects of the Palestine Problem with Special Regard to the Question of Jerusalem. Studies in International Relations, IV. Vienna: Braumüller, 1981.

[19] For details see “The Baku Declaration on Global Dialogue and Peaceful Co-existence among Nations and Threats Posed by International Terrorism (9 November 2001),” in: Hans Koechler, Global Justice or Global Revenge? International Criminal Justice at the Crossroads. Springer: Vienna/New York, 2003, pp. 380-386.

[20] On the two aspects of the “digital divide” – “global divide” between industrialized and developing countries and “social divide” within each society – see the comprehensive analysis by Pippa Norris, Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

[21] Seán MacBride / International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems, Many Voices, One World. Communication and Society − Today and Tomorrow. London etc.: Kogan Page etc., 1980 [the so-called MacBride Report], Conclusions and Recommendations: Introduction and Part I, Art. 2. On the impact of the MacBride Report on the debate on the global role of the media at the time see William F. Fore, “A New World Order in Communication,” in: Christian Century, April 14, 1982, 442.

[22] The abolished policy of Unesco was initially set out in the “Declaration on Fundamental Principles Concerning the Contribution of the Mass Media to Strengthening Peace and International Understanding, to the Promotion of Human Rights and to Countering Racialism, Apartheid and Incitement to War” adopted by the General Conference of Unesco at its twentieth session, Paris, 22 November 1978, and elaborated in detail in the above-mentioned MacBride Report of 1980.

[23] UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. Adopted by the 31st Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, Paris, 2 November 2001.

[24] Page 4 of the official text published by UNESCO: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001271/127160m.pdf.

[25] On the implications of this imperative in the context of the present unipolar world order cf. the author’s paper “The Clash of Civilizations Revisited,” in: Hans Koechler and Gudrun Grabher (eds.), Civilizations – Conflict or Dialogue? pp. 15-24.

[26] For details see the author’s lecture “Quo Vadis, United Nations?” in: Law Review, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, College of Law, May 2005, pp. 49-65.

[27] On the problem of cultural uniformity see the lecture delivered by the author in Tbilisi (Georgia) on 1 October 2004: The “Clash of Civilizations” – Perception and Reality in the Context of Globalization and International Power Politics, http://hanskoechler.com/Kochler-civilizations-Tbilisi-2004-V3f.pdf.

[28] Quoted according to the announcement of the preliminary agenda of the “World Forum on Cultural Diversity” by The Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity, UNESCO, 8 July 2005.

[29] See Art. 10 of the “Code of Ethics for ASEAN Journalists,” adopted by the 7th General Assembly of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists, Manila, 25 November 1987.

[30] Kiatichai Pongpanich, “ASEAN-China Mass Media Cooperation – View from Thailand.” People’s Daily Online, P. R. of China, 9 September 2004, http://www.people.com.cn/GB/guoji/8212/36645/37492/2772604.html.

[31] Leslie Ann Tan, “New World, Old Mandate.” The Changing Role of the Asian Media, 17 & 24 August 2002. Radio Singapore International, http://archive.rsi.com.sg/en/programmes/Young%20expressions/2002/08_17.htm.

[32] On the role of the media in the context of democratic politics in general see Peter Dahlgren, “Media, Citizenship, and Civic Culture,” in: James Curran and Michael Gurevitch (eds.), Mass Media and Society. London: Arnold, third. ed. 2000, pp. 310-328.

[33] Quoted according to the article “US: Al-Jazeera to launch English channel in West.” The Straits Times, Singapore, Saturday, June 4, 2005.

[34] “Al-Jazeera launching all-English Channel.” China Daily, Beijing, 5 July 2005, www.chinadaily.com.

[35] Kiatichai Pongpanich, loc. cit.

[36] Frederik Richter, book review published at the web page “The World in Crisis,” Islam Online, http://www.islamonline.net/english/crisis/BookReviews/article1.shtml.

[37] James Curran and Myung-Jin Park (eds.), De-Westernizing Media Studies. London/New York: Routledge, 2000.

[38] Hans Koechler, Philosophical Foundations of Civilizational Dialogue. The Hermeneutics of Cultural Self-comprehension versus the Paradigm of Civilizational Conflict. Occasional Papers Series, No. 3. Vienna: International Progress Organization, 1998.

[39] Quoted according to Jose Maria G. Carlos, “Media Summit Tackles Cultural Diversity and Religion,” in: Philippine Journalism Review (PJR), online version on the web site of the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility, Philippines, http://www.cmfr-phil.org/pjr-june3.htm.

[40] Cf. Hans Koechler, The Dialogue of Civilizations and the Future of World Order. Foundation Day Speech, 43rd Foundation Day, Mindanao State University, Marawi City / Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, Philippines, 1 September 2004.

[41] Article by Jose Maria G. Carlos, loc. cit.

[42] Quoted according to Johnny C. Nunez, “Villanueva urges ASEAN journalists to be bridges to understanding.” The Philippines News Agency, Manila, 3 December 1997.

[43] See the conference announcement and preliminary agenda on the web site of The Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity: http://portal.unesco.org/culture.