Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Implications of Voice- Good and Bad- Within the Global Civil Society

The two chapters, one by Daya Thussu called “Creating a Global Information Infrastructure” and the other by Marc Raboy called “The WSIS as a Political Space in Global Media Governance”, highlight the global media and communication infrastructure. Historically, so much about governance has been about these ominous global institutions that have no direct connection to the people they govern. While global governance gets a bad reputation for its inability to maintain legitimacy in its endeavors, it too is changing, as it must. As global governance is transitioning into recognizing that it is not just about the governances of governments and more about the governance of many stakeholders (including the global civil society), it is imperative that creations like the Civil Society Bureau are established. Granted, the effectiveness of the Bureau might not be seen blatantly, but the mere fact that there is a space being made in the international community to hear the voices of individuals is refreshing. If people do not have a voice to address issues, how can global governance institutions help them? They can’t. The next step to worry about is having the global civil society’s voice be heard and legitimized.

As I was reading for this week, I was particularly intrigued by Sean O’ Siochru and Brusce Girard’s chapter entitled, “Introduction to National Media Regulation”. Yesterday, one of the top news stories was about a Facebook survey posted on Facebook about whether or not President Obama should be assassinated. It has since been taken down off of the site and Facebook released a statement that one individual using an add-on application created the survey. The Secret Service is investigating the person. Girard and Siochru note that media is not just about reading, listening, and watching anymore. They say it also includes interacting- blogging, using social networking sites, twittering, and emailing media sources for answers to questions in the media. Regulating national media, especially with the onset of social networking media, is a tremendous task, which is why self-regulation is of the up-most importance (just as the authors argue). I don’t know if the founder of Facebook ever had any idea that his social networking site would become so powerful. It started small, first at Harvard, and expanded fast. Now it’s an international networking site that has created vast implications (both positive and negative) in 21st century international politics.

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