The Effects of World Information Flow Imbalance on Third World Countries

The Effects of World Information Flow Imbalance on Third World Countries

Information Flow Imbalance – It is worth pointing out that it is the techno-economic advantage of the developed communication, by expansion, international relations and world politics the developed countries really understand the economic of the international communication, which image on making the most of scare media resources to achieve numerous media goals. These countries own the media by direct investment. The technology in theirs and for this reason, the call the shots in international communication. Nwachukwu (1998:110) notes: A nation’s economic condition does not only determines the domestic politic, but also the extent of it’s trade monetary, military and technological capabilities. It a result every state, once it identifies any special area of economic advantage employs it to bargain coerce or influence other stated to achieve its objective.

All the international satellite systems are completely owned dominated by major international communication consortia. Masmondi (1979:173) laments that there is a defect to hegemony and a will to dominate this hegemony, masmondi say, is founded on financial industrial, cultural and technologies power and result in most countries being regulated to the status of mere consumers of information sold as any other commodity inadequate also exist in the distribution of radio frequency spectrum between developed and developing countries. The former control nearly 90 percent of the source of the spectrum while the developing countries have no means of protecting themselves against foreign broadcasts.

Even the ITU that regulates telecommunication in often a tool in the hands of the developed world to achieve defined communication goals. This is why the entire hullabaloo about a NWICO will never raise a hair of the white man’s body. He sees his technology as a means to an end no matter whose development is obstructed. Mac Bride et al (1981:37) capture the situation thus… “certain powerful and technologically advanced stated exploit their advantages to exercise a form of cultural and biological domination in which Jeopardizes the national identity of other countries, undeniable therefore economic and technological powers occupy a pivotal position in international relations, communications and world politics. These who have the wherewithal to finance global news gathering and dissemination would only process the news with the frame work of their news values and disseminate to an information crazy world, that is all too often in such a haste that it allows little time for information assessment. The relationship between culture and technology is a subtle thing and the technology of these developed world gave it a foot hold, from which it advanced to the strong hold they have on Africa.

At the other end are the poor third world countries whose media have extreme low programme production capability. This is always due to either lack of personnel to produce or funds to finance productions.

So, when a country does not have the enabling environment to produce and package programmes and tops it all with under developed communication technology therefore remains a passive receiver of media products of other countries.

Foreign programs are therefore cheaper for these station owned by poor nations at least on the short run. This is consequently an easy explicable economic behavior. According to Picard (1959:16) “The economic behavior of the media is impelled and constrained by the characteristic of and influence on media market” the Africa economic question has a hand in the continents media slavery to foreign media. Foreign entertainment programmes are in alternative to attract an large media audience even when they are completely indecent and obscene production. But to the advertisers, money is needed badly. Thus, Picard continues: media cannot be considered separately from the economic system in which the operate because the economic forces of the system direct and constrain the choices of those who manages media just as they do the choice of those who manage any other industry.

The economic forces are usually price supply and demand. If the cost (price) of programmes production is high, local programmes will be short in supply. This increases the demand for the readily available but culturally unsuitable programmes Ume Nwagbo (1995:25) says: “Good programmes cost money to produce or buy. And predominantly government owned stations in Nigeria hardly ever have such money to produce or buy programmes, let alone good programmes” He say this results in the production of few programmes locally and an over dependence on cheap, old and cultural unsuitable programmes.

There is also a lack of the up-to-the minute news gathering processing and disseminating equipment among Nigerians news media. They are therefore muffled drums, a situation that makes Nigerians constantly tune to foreign stations which they attribute more creditability to than static. The white man does not even believe he is to blame for using the work of his sweat to achieve his economic purpose. It is believed then that it requires his benevolence to concede to the black man’s questions, should Africa depend on the developed world for his information needs. Ultimately, Africa and the third world’s misfortune is the developed world fortune, the advantages of the imperialist is unspeakable bad news for the yet subjugated African.

In another argument, the political system a country operates determines the effectiveness of the media. These first world countries are able to have an effective media and become predominantly over the developing countries because that have a media friendly environment which creates room for routine effectiveness of the media, for this reason they excel. Similarly there is constitutional freedom that enables individuals to take advantage of available resources and publish.

The relative success of a privately owned media is because of the favorable economic system economically developed structurally advanced to accommodate the private enterprises.

In the case of Nigeria and other third world countries favorable to allow the media flourish and produce effective programmes that can compete with that of the developed countries. Because the government over shadow the press in Nigeria, and has not expanded to accommodate their media it has not been able to flourish and this is responsible for the relative infirmity of the underdeveloped world. All these factors boil down to the economic and cultural orientation of these countries. In Nigeria for instance when Britain that colonized Nigeria developed the media. They did this to enable them establish their foot hold is their colonies and also to pro-page the superiority of their cultural values or and run their administration. These colonial masters did not establish the media with the intentions of advancing our own policies and cultural values.

So when subsequent Nigeria government tool over from them they did nothing to change those obnoxious policies inherited from the colonial masters in termed of media advancement. Hence this colonial heritage of using the media to champion government causes remained.


International communication ought to be as situation where major actors in the international scene have the opportunity to read information about significant events and news to the whole world or to as many countries as they wish and in return have adequate knowledge of world issues. All these should happen through de-politicizes and objective media. This is the ideal picture that never exists anywhere. As ever the developing countries have accused their developed countries part of calling the shots in the scene of information dissemination. Summarily the third world countries have registered their protest on what they referred to as quantitative imbalance in news flow.

Quantitative imbalance concerns the amount of news flow in both directions (developing and the developed). It is argued that most news and information flow from the developed to the under developed world, while news and information crawl up from the latter to the former

Masm oudi (1979:175) points the picture thus this imbalance is created by the disparity between the volume of news and information emanating from the developing world and intended for the developing world and they volume of the flow in the opposite direction. Almost so percent of the world news emanates from the major trans-national agencies. However, these devote only 20 to 30 percent of news coverage to the developing world despite the fact that the latter accounts for almost three quitters of the mankind.

Continuing, uche 1989:75 says that the world information flow imbalance of media autonomy, a situation which portrays the risk of cultural imposition on the people of Nigeria and third world as a whole this stand is also shared by Sean Mac bride and his team of communication experts, who are of the opinion that: since the same media with the same contents are reaching million of people in cities and villages, people of different ideological or religious attachment, people of various ethic back-groupings,    life styles, habits and manners, tasks and preference even beliefs and opinions, tend to become uniform to the detriment of social variety (Mac Bride 1980:160)

Writing about cultural influence through the mass media hamelink (1983:6) points out that cultural synchronization: implies that a particular type of cultural development in the metropolitan (North) countries in persuasively communicated to the receiving countries with the result that the whole process of local social inventiveness and the cultural creativity is thrown into confusion or is destroyed. Similarly Opubar shares the same views, Opubar (1985:145) says “In Nigeria, the media tends to transmit the cultural patterns of the various metropolitan powers to whom our elites are dependent”

If culture refers to the ways of behaving, to value attitudes to share idea etc. then one can raise questions about what culture our media are transmitting. This existing imbalance in communication and information flow has further resulted in reliance and over dependence on foreign media rendering our own media redundant and un-patronized. In Nigeria for instance the broadcast media are the worst culprits, some if not most of our radio stations today broadcast western type music for the 45 days in preference top our own local music.

Further more, UNECO statistics shows that 63 percent of all television programmes broadcast in Nigeria are imported from abroad mostly the unites states and Britain (balogun:153) it is sad that even though the cultural content on most of the films, musicals imported in to Nigeria are of little relevance to the social realities of the average Nigerian, they still have large patronage.

The third world countries are concerned about what is said about them in the little news about them yet they are unable to reciprocate. Generally it has been discovered that the western media treasure oddity as a news value. The influence their reports about Africa. Most of these unfavorable reports are based on wars, pestilence, strife and all kinds of crisis, diseases, hunger disasters famine, coups, political instability, economic down turn and every other thing that wears a black out fit. Okigbo (1990:339) says there is perhaps a more serious quantitative imbalance which manifests itself in the permanent unfavorable third world news in the international news system. The third world countries are worried because there is little mention of the development aspiration of Africans or how situation could be exploited to achieve development in Africa. It is therefore, not that the foreign news about wars or other bad reports are outright his. News and information need not only mirror the society. They show manifest concern for the developmental needs of a people. As a cultural world view or philosophical issue, news and information ought to respect people’s values and help them to understand and deal better with their circumstances and environments.

—-This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————

This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic



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The Effects of World Information Flow Imbalance on Third World Countries

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