Editorial, December 2019 Issue

In the 1970s when the campaign for a New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) gathered steam in forums like UNESCO, the concerns of the developing countries was on the threat posed by direct broadcast satellites to the sovereignty of the newly independent countries. Today, this threat is a reality and we see evidence of it everywhere. But, at the same time, the digital revolution and the Internet have brought down the cost of production and transmission drastically. Yet, why is it that, Asia in particular, is still unable to make the global impact and the western media is still dominant? This is the question that is addressed in this issue of Global Media Journal (India Edition).

In my paper ‘Global Communications In The Satellite Era: A New Information Order’ I argue that the success of such non-western channels such as Al Jazeera, Russian Television and CCTV China in attracting global audiences with English language broadcasting shows promise of making the NWICO a reality. Yet, bottlenecks are pointed out.

In their paper ‘Comparing the Development of Chinese and Western Globalization Narratives’, Chinese scholar Zhang Xiaoying and British scholar Martin Albrow argues that China presents the West with the single biggest challenge to its dominant globalization narrative because it starts from a quite different set of assumptions about the world order and from its own unique historical experience.

In an unique paper of pioneering research, Malaysian scholars Carmen Jia-Weng Lai and Krishnamoorthy Muthaly use the Buddhist ‘Kalama Sutra’ - known as the Buddha’s ‘charter of free inquiry’- to analyse the Malaysiakini alternative news portal model where she argues they have created a contemporary model of “Virtuous Journalism”.

In this issue we also address the issue of dependence on western textbooks and western-centric communication theory in teaching mass communication in Asia. Nirosha Dissanayake and Sugath Senarath from Sri Lanka and Shameem Reza from Bangladesh address this issue, as well as Pakistani communications student Sehar Jenani who takes a critical look at how western-centric communications discourse contribute to western domination of global media.

Ankurran Dutta etal of Gauwati University focusing on the reporting of the release of the National Registrar of Citizens list in Assam in August 2019, looks at how interplay of messages and multiple narratives could take the story to a different play of events.

In an interesting study of Taiwanese and Korean game shows, Cheng Ling-Hui from Taiwan looks at how Asian philosophical ideas could give rise to popular media productions with prospects of spreading it into other countries.

This issue is an attempt to present some Asian perspectives on mass communication, as well as encourage Asian researchers to get out of the box of western-centric theorizing and thinking. We need some authentic Asia focused research and exploration of Asian philosophical thought and its application to contemporary mass communication.

Dr Kalinga Seneviratne
Guest Editor