Posts tagged ‘international communication’

09/08/2011

International Communcation through the ages

I am embarrassed to admit that my conceptualization of “International Communication” as a discipline was not even close to fully realized when I chose to enroll in the International Media program at AU.   You think I would given the fact that International Communication is a core part of the my curriculum (which we are all paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for no less).  Thankfully, after these first three weeks, the idea of international communication as a discipline is clearer to me know.  Seeing what international communication meant in the historical context in comparison with what it means today is fascinating – there’s been both an evolution and and expansion in what international communication as a discipline and in practice.  It’s interesting to see what has changed, but it’s more interesting to see what has remained the same despite the passing of time.

The Thussu reading was very helpful in understanding the development of international communication throughout history.  The discussion on the  role communication played in maintaining power and empire was a subject I had not thought about before, but upon hearing the explanation it makes immediate sense and it seems s obvious (“of course communication is essential to empires maintaining their place…duh!”).  From the most rudimentary measures of inscribing edicts on rock in South Asia to the invention of the printing press in Europe, having access to whatever modes of communication are available to you at the time meant you had power.  I mentioned earlier that certain aspects about the importance of international communication not changing are sometimes more interesting than the aspects that do change.  The way information was spread hundreds of years ago was dependent on technological innovations like the telegraph and the printing press.  Now, we still physicallly print things (albeit at a much faster speed) and use the internet.

One of the things that hasn’t changed is how engaged political power structures are in media and communication.  I segue into this subject because I want to share an interesting article  I read in the NYT about the Obama administration issuing two sets of guidelines to government officials both here and abroad about the upcoming 9/11 anniversary.  Take a look at it if you have a chance: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/us/politics/30terror.html?pagewanted=all

It’s an interesting piece that shows how communication is still of the utmost importance to those in political power.

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