Citizens Part 2-Globalization of Media-Lecture Handout, Exercises for Globalization of Media. Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
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Citizens Part 2-Globalization of Media-Lecture Handout, Exercises for Globalization of Media. Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan

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This is lecture handout for Globalization of Media course. This course is part of Mass Media. this course have many examples from Pakistan culture and law. This lecture includes: Citizen, Media, Rights, Fairness, Compaig...
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Lesson 43 “CITIZENS’ MEDIA RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES” Note: As students will have noted, the verbal content of lecture no. 42 and the PPTs provide the conceptual basis for, and the actual text of 11 citizens’ media rights and 11 citizens’ media responsibilities. For the convenience of students, the relevant text of these rights and responsibilities with a preliminary note, is being reproduced as the first part of this handout. When students have noted this new concept of citizens’ relationship with media, the intention of lecture 43 is to also, hopefully, motivate students to themselves, or encourage members of their families, or friends, or colleagues, now, or later in their lives, to form new kinds of voluntary civil organizations known as “citizens’ media associations”. Therefore, to help them in this regard, the second part of this handout reproduces the chapter titled: “creating citizens media forums” from the book titled: “Citizens’ media dialogue”, written and edited by Javed Jabbar, and cited previously in the handout for lecture no. 42. In this second part of the handout, three different options for forming citizens’ media forums are described in ways that are possible to follow and implement in the conditions of Pakistan. The text of this chapter is also available on the website whose content is reproduced in the book: “Citizens’ media dialogue”. The website is: www.wiredet.com/cmd. A formulation first presented by Javed Jabbar, at the Asian Media Summit, organized by the Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development, with the support of UNESCO Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 18-21 April 2004 The concept of universal human rights has evolved steadily throughout human history. Prophets and philosophers, religions and political systems, scholars, leaders and citizens have contributed to the process by which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was eventually adopted on 10th December 1948 at the United Nations. Contextual rights that are specific to categories of human beings such as children or to sectoral groups such as industrial workers have also evolved, but are at varying levels of evolution and enforcement. The growth of mass media in the 20th century and the emergence of new media in the 21st century focus attention on the need to examine the context of citizens’ rights with regard to conventional media as well as new media. Media include: print, radio, TV, cinema, cable TV distribution systems, audio tapes, video, Internet, CDs, DVDs, cell phones/sms/and spin-offs. Media have assumed a position that is unprecedented in human history. They serve as valuable means for the articulation on a mass scale of popular aspirations and problems, of entertainment and pleasure, of advertising and economic information, of shared strengths as well as weaknesses. Media appear to exert enormous power which, in the name of freedom of expression, also remains largely unaccountable. Principal media have their respective codes of conduct and there are also several officials laws and rules that regulate these media. But these parameters do not reflect on a comprehensive basis the need to view the role of media from the most important perspective: that of the citizen. Compared to corporate media and State media, the single citizen, and even groups of citizens’ are weak and under-resourced.At the same time, citizens also have obligations to support and strengthen media independence. Towards articulating a framework for the empowerment of citizens, and for rendering their own duties to media, an attempt has been made to identify 11 rights of citizens and 11 responsibilities of citizens in the context of media in general. Comments and proposals are invited for improving upon the formulation of these rights and responsibilities. docsity.com

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The aim is to enhance the people’s capacity to effectively address their relationship with media for the goal of building a just and equitable global society. (Citizens’ rights in the context of media in general) 1) All citizens, indeed all human beings including children, youth, adults and senior citizens should have convenient access to all media, such access being subject to just and fair law, and universally recognized principles of human rights. 2) Citizens should be able to choose between options within each medium rather than be dependent on only one source or medium. 3) Citizens should be able to receive media content which is reasonably balanced between news/analysis/programming content and advertising content. 4) Citizens should have convenient access to information about identities of persons and organizations in regard to media ownership, management control of media, sources of funding of media and on other financial aspects of media. 5) Citizens should have fair and convenient access to independent and credible mechanisms which enable media to be held accountable for accuracy, fairness and balance without such monitoring and accountability mechanisms unduly restricting freedom of expression of media. 6) Citizens have the right to access all media at reasonable, and preferably low cost. 7) Citizens have a right to be given appropriate time and space in media directly or indirectly without charge in case media content is inaccurate, misleading or defamatory about a citizen or the community to which a citizen belongs. 8) Citizens should have the right to own and operate non-profit public service media without being obliged to pay auction based license fees. 9) When citizens address letters or complaints to media about aspects of media content they should receive acknowledgements/replies from media, if the letters/complaints are conveyed in appropriate language. 10) Citizens have the right to know how the media content they are being exposed to, is being presented in other parts of the country, the region, or the world, through other editions or versions of the same media. 11) Citizens, particularly youth and children, have the right to be to imparted media literacy and be informed on media issues as part of their general education. (Citizens’ responsibilities in the context of media in general) 1) Citizens should help to ensure that all media function freely as per the laws of the country in which the media are based and that media are allowed to similarly function freely across regions, and across the globe. Where laws are unjust or unduly restrictive, citizens should campaign to change and improve media laws. 2) Citizens should actively support and demand pluralism in media. 3) Citizens should also originate content and contribute to media content, and not remain passive consumers of media output. docsity.com

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4) Citizens should monitor media ownership and cross media ownership to prevent undue concentration of media power e.g. of State power or corporate power. 5) Citizens should create and operate civil society forums that serve as independent bodies to monitor media policies, practices and content and to analyze media issues from a public interest perspective. 6) Citizens should fulfill their financial obligations to media by observing copyright of media content and by respecting intellectual property rights and thereby, citizens should reject purchase, or use of pirated materials. 7) When citizens use media or appear in media, they should promote truth and accuracy, rather than disinformation and distortion. 8) Citizens should initiate and operate or support citizens’ media that are exclusively focused on the public interest and which help balance the dominance of corporate media and State-controlled media. 9) Citizens should help protect media and media practitioners from physical violence or coercion. 10) Citizens should operate citizens’-controlled or citizens’-driven media such as the internet, cell phones, sms and other new media by giving primacy to the values of friendship and fraternity amongst all people, to help build peace, tolerance and harmony. 11) Citizens should campaign for inclusion in school and college curricula and in other educational materials, of information on media issues to prepare young people to effectively address their citizens’ media rights and responsibilities. In December 1997 a small group of concerned citizens met in Islamabad and formed the Citizens’ Media Commission of Pakistan with the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Dr. Nasim Hasan Shah as Chairman and Mr. Javed Jabbar former Information Minister of Pakistan as Convenor. Its aims are stated separately. From 1998 to 2004, the Commission has functioned as an informal body which has nevertheless functioned as an advocacy group and has focused on observing 14th February of each year as “electronic media freedom day”. It has also published 3 monographs on aspects of media and has monitored media issues. The draft of these 11 citizens’ media rights and 11 citizens’ media responsibilities was prepared in April 2004 without prior reference to the text of the “people’s communication charter”, a document that is placed on the website: http://www.pccharter.net/charteren.html. last modified on 22nd December 1999. While this charter is a relevant point of reference, the formulation of: “citizens’ media rights and responsibilities” has its own separate specificality and validity. For instance, the “people’s communication charter” makes no reference at all to citizens’ own obligations in regard to media. Now in 2005 and onwards, to disseminate the concept of citizens’ media rights and responsibilities at the grass roots level, to encourage inputs to the draft of this framework, and to build public opinion in favor of formalization of these rights and responsibilities, it is necessary to enlist the participation of concerned citizens, of existing public interest and civil society organizations which are already working with communities across the country and to form local, community-based chapters of the Citizens’ Media Commission. All constructive initiatives are encouraged and welcomed. Comments from overseas countries are also invited. For further details, please contact the founding convenor of the Commission at: [email protected] [email protected] or through http://www.citizensmediapak.org Creating citizens’ media forums: Options Formation of groups, forums, associations. docsity.com

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Formation of groups, forums, associations, or organizations representing viewers and listeners in support of pluralistic and editorially independent electronic media in the developing countries. There are three options for the formation of such groups. Option A: Forming units within existing bodies Who should use this option? This option can be used where active civil society organizations already exist in sectors such as human and consumer rights, professional associations (of architects, lawyers, engineers, teachers, etc.) and where they already possess a credible track record in advocacy. The option New units should be formed within the existing bodies. These will focus specifically on issues related to public service broadcasting, to engage in dialogue with pluralistic and editorially independent electronic media and, where necessary, to also engage with the government and regulatory authorities in this context. Advantage of the option This option has the advantage of a readymade, well-established platform that, with minimal resources will enable a new, media-specific unit to initiate, and to sustain its work, at least in the short term. Disadvantage of this option The disadvantage with this option is one of preconceived notions. Existing civil society organizations may have a prior, defined identity or perception about their aims and their agenda. They may also already be “controversial” organizations situated in a confrontationist or a “negative” relationship with other segments of the society, the state, or even the media. A “prior” specific, negative identity or profile may adversely affect the ability of the new, media- specific unit to develop its work and credibility. OPTION B: FORMING A NEW ASSOCIATION Citizens who want to focus exclusively on the role of media and are willing to create an association for this specific purpose. Once they have decided to do so, the next step is to choose between different kinds of organizations i.e. societies, social welfare bodies, trusts, not for profit joint stock companies, etc. They should then apply for and obtain formal registration under the laws and rules of the country. OPTION C: FORMING AN INFORMAL NETWORK Who should adopt this option? Citizens who want to function as an informal network of individuals and groups that share an interest in pluralistic media, in public service broadcasting and in dialogue with media and which works together to achieve common goals. The disadvantage & advantage of this option While this option has the disadvantage of not being subject to a formal process of registration and review, its informal nature also offers the advantage of the capacity to respond speedily to new situations instead of waiting for formal procedures to be observed. This format also offers operational flexibility and the ability to mobilize diverse sources of support that do not otherwise want to become formally associated with a specific media group over a long period of time. Eligibility for Membership docsity.com

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Option A: Membership for all citizens with interest in Media issues With this option, the organization may take an open-ended approach, in that membership is open to all citizens with an interest in media issues. These would include media practitioners – those directly associated with electronic media, even media proprietors and senior managers provided that they do not constitute a majority of the members. While allowing media practitioners to become members of citizens’ media association may sound contradictory and risky, such members may prove to be useful. They bring with them a specialized, relevant, in-house expertise _ and sometimes even “insider” knowledge! _ which may subsequently become available to the citizens’ media group. However, there is also the disadvantage of direct conflict of interest because those professionally associated with media and dependent on media for their income may not be able to view the role of media with the independence and impartiality required to give credibility to the views and policies of the citizens’ media group. OPTION B: Exclusive Membership This would be the exclusivist option by which membership would be open to only those citizens who do not have any direct association with electronic media as employers or employees, managers or practitioners. By ensuring that only citizens outside electronic media are viewing the media’s role, citizens’ media groups automatically acquire a credible status at their inception. Option C: Categorizing Membership Category 1 Members with voting rights and full participation rights for citizens who do not have any direct professional relationship with media. Category 2 Members without voting rights who could comprise associate members to include citizens with a direct relationship with the media. Their presence in the citizens’ bodies would help to provide a specialist media perspective to the other members. Office Bearers While merit and competence should be amongst the determinant criteria to elect/nominate office- bearers, consideration should also be given to inviting a person of high eminence in a country to accept the chairmanship of a citizens’ media association as his/her relationship with the forum brings exceptional value, credibility and recognition. For instance: the fact that the chairman of the Citizens’ Media Commission of Pakistan is the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan has given this forum a notable degree of public and media recognition and the Commission’s meetings and observations are normally given wide coverage by media. Transparency and accountability Transparency and accountability are ensured through publication of regular annual or periodic reports that contain relevant details of the organization’s activities such as its fund management, and the use of its other resources. Thus the citizens’ media association should be able to ensure accountability and transparency. By circulating such reports to the government, the media, the members and the general public, the association would set an example for the media at large to emulate. This is especially important because docsity.com

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in developing countries, even when media have made a positive contribution in the field of public service broadcasting, they are not necessarily transparent about themselves. For instance it is a rare instance where media will acknowledge the size of their audience (viewers, listeners, readers) in order to ensure that these figures, if lower than advertisers', estimates or expectations, do not adversely affect their advertising revenue. Size of Group Option A: Unlimited Membership A literally logical approach to citizens’ participation would be that as electronic media continue to reach out to larger and larger numbers of people, so too should any group or association representing viewers and listeners attempt to maximize its membership. If the media reaches millions of people, then such associations should attempt to comprise at least thousands of members. While this option does ostensibly offer the advantage of attempting to be numerically representative in terms of scale, the practical difficulties also immediately suggest themselves. Unless there is an incentive or reward system, there would be very limited motivation on the part of thousands of citizens to become members of new forums. The average citizen is already preoccupied with several options competing for his/her time and attention. If such forums are able to attract members in thousands, the task of managing a large number of members would require significant logistical resources. This requirement however would dilute and distract from the real objective of forming such bodies. Nevertheless, in theory, as the numbers-based option, Option A needs to be noted for the record. Option B: Representative Membership To assemble a group of about 30 to 40 individuals in a city, or in rural or urban districts, that represent principal professional sectors as well as representing a balance of gender, age, and, where applicable, ethnic and linguistic features of the population in an area. Such groups would symbolically as well as substantially represent the different categories and classes of citizens who maintain regular contact with media and take more than a normal interest in media issues. Option C: Small Groups To assemble a group of up to 10 people who are a tightly-knit, highly cohesive, well-disciplined and sharply focused team. This team would be clear about its mission and would work single-mindedly over a period of time. They would not be restricted by the difficulty associated with managing large numbers of people, unhindered by dealing with diverse opinions and contrasting perspectives, and possible clashes of personalities within the group. As such they would be able to work with intensity and make an impact. Such a small group could be termed as a collective version of the singular character of Ralph Nader of the USA who, over a period of about 40 years, has remained a relentless champion of consumer interests in the USA. Mode of Governance Option A: Elective Mode In keeping with globally preferred norms of democracy, the forum adopting an elective mode should follow the process of formal election of its representative office bearers, regardless of its size. docsity.com

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Experience suggests that a one-year term is too short to allow the representative to be productive and have an impact. Therefore it is suggested that a 2-year term would be ideal. The office bearers would then serve in their respective capacities as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, etc., each with conventionally defined areas of responsibilities. The number of terms that each office bearer can serve consecutively may be limited to two consecutive terms. Limiting the number of terms for office bearers (as recommended by Voice of the Listener & Viewer, UK), has the advantage of encouraging new leadership to emerge and of discouraging prolonged and personalized leadership. However a limit of two consecutive terms also brings with it the disadvantage of enabling discontinuity in momentum and direction. Even as an association retains its long-term aims, a change of personality occupying a certain position can often result in a change of emphasis or shift in priorities that is not always in the best interest of the cause being pursued. Option B: Consensual Nomination Mode This option would only apply to a group whose size does not exceed 8 to 10 people. A compact group of about 8 to 10 people need not necessarily rotate leadership out of the obligation for periodic change for the sake of change alone. If there is a high level of trust and respect for each other, a small group can permit and support the same people from amongst the group to continue with the tasks they are best suited to render. Equally, the rotation of office within such a small group is not subject to the competitive, wasteful, often acrimonious partisanship that marks elections in forums where the number of members exceeds 40 to 50 people. To be a non-elective forum is not necessarily to be non-accountable or non- transparent. Given the values of integrity and sincerity of purpose in a small and dedicated group it is possible to ensure that high ethical standards of conduct are maintained. The remaining part of this particular text, comprising possible aims and objectives of new citizens’ associations of viewers and listeners, guidelines on how to obtain funding, observations on formulating model statutes/constitutions and a background note are available on the website cited earlier.

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