The MacBride Commission
named for its president Sean
MacBride, former President of
Official Chair for UNESCO's
International Commission for the
Study of Communication
Known as the MacBride report
Published by UNESCO in 1980
Written by ICSCP.
82 suggestions named ‘ManyVoices, One World’,
72 suggestions were passed unanimously
10 were opposed by several countries
Aim: To analyze communication problems in
modern societies, particularly relating to
mass media and news, and to suggest a new
communication order to solve these
problems to further peace and human
Offers a brilliant analysis of the
history and evolution of
Focus on media concentration
and media domination by
Includes a remarkable insight into
the emergence of peer-to-peer
and grassroots communications.
Evoked a storm of criticism from
Was a catalyst in the decision of
the U.S. and U.K. to leave
Formed as per the decision of the 1976
General Conference of UNESCO.
Met 8 times at the UNESCO
headquarters in Paris for facilitating
discussion among its members.
Organised 4 round table discussions in
Sweden,Yugoslavia, India and Mexico
Comprised experts representing world's
diverse ideological, political, economic
and geographical zones.
International organization dedicated to representing
the interests and aspirations of developing countries.
Emerged in the context of the wave of decolonization
that followed World War II
It had 25 members; today, NAM comprises of 120
countries and 17 observers
India is founding member of NAM
During ColdWar, countries of the developing world
should abstain from allying with the United
States and the U.S.S.R. and should instead join
together in support of national self-determination
against all forms of colonialism and imperialism.
Beginning in the 1960s, US was trying to
maintain the “free flow of information” as a
core principle in international
'Oneway free flow’- imbalances and
Eg: At the time ofWorldWar II, the British
network of sea cables connected Australia,
Canada, China, India, and SouthAfrica to the
imperial center and established a
British (Reuters) and French (Haves/French
Information Office) press agencies controlled
news flows to and from their colonies.
9. ThirdWorld countries encouraged by the
movement of Non- Aligned Countries
(NAM), protest against the global
leadership of the Western News Agency
( AP, AFP and REUTER)
These agencies were perceived as
controlling up to 95% of worldwide
They were practicing cultural
imperialism through their control of
communication infrastructure, news
circulation, cultural products,
educational software, books, films,
equipment, and training.
It was the idea that communicators, in
order to authentically contribute to
cultural and social understanding, must
first serve social and cultural
New International Information Order
(NIIO) appeared during the 1970;s as a
result of what they are perceived as their
disadvantages situation in the field of
information and communication.
11. NWICO grew out of the New
International Economic Order of 1974.
From 1976-1978, the NewWorld
Information and Communication Order
was generally called the shorter New
World Information Order or the New
International Information Order.
The start of this discussion is the New
World Information and Communication
Order (NWICO) as associated with the
United Nations Education, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
starting from the early 1970s.
So NWICO became the expression of the
aspirations of many countries to democratize
the international communication system
and rebalance information flows worldwide.
UNESCO played a major role in fostering the
debate especially through the work of an
independent commission chaired by Irish
diplomat Sean MacBride
This was known as MacBride
Commission, they came out with a
report in 1980
“ManyVoices, One World”.
13. Some of the main concerns of NWICO were:
Broadcast mass media was dominated by few developed countries
America, England and France mainly.
One-sided flow of information from developed countries to
poorer countries. Very little news flowed the other way, and often
news about developing countries was distorted or rejected by
media houses. Thus these countries were not represented in the
These poor populations saw mostly American channels and were
influenced by it. Their culture was not reflected in the media thus
there were culture shocks, disparities and trends in developing
countries started aping the ‘west’.
14. Most of the radio frequency almost 90% of the band was taken
by the US! It was mainly used for military purposes.
The developed countries were quickly sending satellites in
space, and taking up the few positions in space where it is
cheap and easy to keep satellites. In a few years when
developing countries would need to send satellites these places
would be filled up making it even more difficult for them to bridge
Many of these satellites sent up had military, commercial and
analytic abilities which allowed the developed nation to figure
out natural resources of poorer countries
15. MacBride commission report
The members of the commission were media
dignitaries of several countries and experts in
various operational streams of the media.
This commission was created under the
support of the UNESCO
Report considers the complaints of the NAM
nations about the defect in the system of
international news transfer.
It tried to analyse the problems related to the
It tried to define the issues that formed the
bases of conflict between the eastern and
western nation in the field of transnational
The report is not a consensus but only a text.
16. Recommendation by MacBride Commission
I. New world information and communication order could be
based, among other considerations, on:
• Elimination of the imbalances and inequalities in flow of information in
• Removal of the internal and external obstacles to a free flow and wider and
better balanced dissemination of information and ideas.
• Plurality of sources and channels of information.
• Freedom of the press and information.
• Freedom of journalists and all professionals in the communication media, a
freedom inseparable from responsibility process.
17. • The capacity of developing countries to achieve improvement of their own
situations, by improving their infrastructures and by making their
information and communication media suitable to their needs and
• Respect for each people's cultural identity and for the right of each nation to
inform the world public about its interests, its aspirations and its social and
• Respect for the right of all peoples to participate in international exchanges
of information on the basis of equality, justice and mutual benefit.
• Respect for the right of the public, of ethnic and social groups and of
individuals to have access to information sources and to participate actively
in the communication
18. II. This new world information and communication order should be
based on the fundamental principles of international law, as laid
down in the Charter of the United Nations.
III. Diverse solutions to information and communication problems
are required because social, political, cultural and economic
problems differ from one country to another and, within a given
country, from one group to another
19. The MacBride Commission's recommendations
and the resolution given above are of nonnative
chapter only; nothing in these is binding on the
In brief, the establishment of the NWICO
depended upon five major factors:
(a) The will of the developed and developing
countries to bring about changes in all areas of
communication within their respective regions;
(b) Cooperation between the developed and
developing nations for removing all obstacles to a
two-way and balanced flow of news and
information among nations;
20. (c) Sharing of communication resources,
including technologies, for countering
monopoly of the international news flow
by a few;
(d) Cooperation among the developing
countries to correct imbalances with their
own regions by increasing horizontal flows
(e) Cooperation between the media, for
mobilization of resources to strengthen
The MacBride Report was written in a much
different global context than we witness today
The MacBride Report, and the call for a “new
world information and communication order”
created a huge political reaction
As a result of the MacBride report, UNESCO
launched the “International Programme for
the Development of Communication” (IPDC)
MacBride Commission wanted to stop media
monopoly. They tried to build a world where
information flow will be two way not one way.
MacBride Commission had a noble
intention to make world communication
system better and more participatory
In that time MacBride Commission Report
created a movement all over the world,
though the movement didn’t succeed, it
has enormous historical value.