The Right to Inform and Be Informed: Another Development and the Media

Issue no.1989:2 (30) of Development Dialogue discusses the need for a new international information order to meed demands for the democratisation of communications.

Publication details

Title:The Right to Inform and Be Informed: Another Development and the Media
Type:Development Dialogue

The 1975 Dag Hammarskjöld Report, What Now: Another Development, which formulated the basic principles guiding the work of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, emphasized strongly the role of information and communication in every aspect of development, local, national, regional and global. No real effort to tackle the overwhelming problems of the modern world could succeed if it neglected the rights of citizens ‘to inform and be informed about the facts of development, its inherent conflicts and the changes it will bring about’. Conscientization of the citizens ‘to ensure their full participation in the decision-making processes’ was, the Report argued, a prerequisite for the achievement of ‘a need-oriented, self-reliant, endogenous and ecologically sound’ global society, which in turn had to be based on deep-going ’structural transformations’. Hence, it was a natural consequence that the first major seminar sponsored by the Foundation (in Mexico 1976) after the release of the Hammarskjöld Report concerned the need for a new international information and communications order expressing the demands of the people for the democratization of communications as a truly worldwide social phenomenon. No longer should governmental and commercial power structures be in a position to monopolize public opinion to its own ends thereby perpetuating preconceived ideas, ignorance and alienation.