UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Global Media Governance between Free Trade and Cultural Diversity


Puppis, M (2008). Global Media Governance between Free Trade and Cultural Diversity. In: ECREA's 2nd European Communication Conference, Barcelona (Spain), 25 November 2008 - 28 November 2008, Published online.

Abstract

In global media governance, there is a growing emphasis on free trade which could rock the foundations of media regulation in Western democracies. While the US government pushes for a further liberalization of audio-visual services under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the EU, European countries and Canada are more reserved. They see the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as a threat to their national media culture. Indeed the liberalization of the audio-visual services sector could restrict the possibilities of statutory media regulation dramatically: the funding of public service broadcasting, quotas for local content and support programmes for the audio-visual industry are claimed to be at stake. In their effort to resist the looming liberalization of film and broadcasting, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) experiences an unexpected revival as an actor in global media governance. By bringing in a non-economic perspective on the media, the UNESCO is thought to justify regulation that considers the media as not just another commodity. With the adoption of the new UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity (CCD) there is for the first time a legally binding international instrument which justifies regulation for the protection and the promotion of cultural diversity. However, the question remains whether the expectations associated with the CCD – namely to create a counterweight to the GATS – are realistic. This presentation aims not only at exploring the potential future implications of a further liberalization for media regulation but also at discussing whether the CCD can possibly stop this development. First it will be argued that the emphasis on purely economic aspects of the media in the current phase of global media governance puts strong pressure on societal regulation of the media. While the implications of the GATS are rather limited at the moment, future trade negotiations are likely to affect media regulation on both the European and the national level. Second, the presentation will investigate the UNESCO's role in global media governance, with a special focus on the new Convention on Cultural Diversity. It will be pointed out that the CCD fills a void within international law by highlighting the sovereign right of nation-states to take measures to protect and foster cultural diversity, including media diversity. Third, before coming to a conclusion, the relationship between the GATS and the CCD will be dealt with. While several clashes between the two treaties are conceivable, at the moment there is no solution in the actual event of a conflict. It will be argued that there is little scope to invoke the UNESCO Convention as a defence against GATS obligations. The chances that WTO bodies take the CCD into account when deciding on conflicts are probably slim at best. Thus, the convention is unlikely to stop the liberalization of audio-visual services.

In global media governance, there is a growing emphasis on free trade which could rock the foundations of media regulation in Western democracies. While the US government pushes for a further liberalization of audio-visual services under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the EU, European countries and Canada are more reserved. They see the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as a threat to their national media culture. Indeed the liberalization of the audio-visual services sector could restrict the possibilities of statutory media regulation dramatically: the funding of public service broadcasting, quotas for local content and support programmes for the audio-visual industry are claimed to be at stake. In their effort to resist the looming liberalization of film and broadcasting, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) experiences an unexpected revival as an actor in global media governance. By bringing in a non-economic perspective on the media, the UNESCO is thought to justify regulation that considers the media as not just another commodity. With the adoption of the new UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity (CCD) there is for the first time a legally binding international instrument which justifies regulation for the protection and the promotion of cultural diversity. However, the question remains whether the expectations associated with the CCD – namely to create a counterweight to the GATS – are realistic. This presentation aims not only at exploring the potential future implications of a further liberalization for media regulation but also at discussing whether the CCD can possibly stop this development. First it will be argued that the emphasis on purely economic aspects of the media in the current phase of global media governance puts strong pressure on societal regulation of the media. While the implications of the GATS are rather limited at the moment, future trade negotiations are likely to affect media regulation on both the European and the national level. Second, the presentation will investigate the UNESCO's role in global media governance, with a special focus on the new Convention on Cultural Diversity. It will be pointed out that the CCD fills a void within international law by highlighting the sovereign right of nation-states to take measures to protect and foster cultural diversity, including media diversity. Third, before coming to a conclusion, the relationship between the GATS and the CCD will be dealt with. While several clashes between the two treaties are conceivable, at the moment there is no solution in the actual event of a conflict. It will be argued that there is little scope to invoke the UNESCO Convention as a defence against GATS obligations. The chances that WTO bodies take the CCD into account when deciding on conflicts are probably slim at best. Thus, the convention is unlikely to stop the liberalization of audio-visual services.

Downloads

355 downloads since deposited on 17 Dec 2008
29 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Event End Date:28 November 2008
Deposited On:17 Dec 2008 11:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:34
Official URL:http://www.ecrea2008barcelona.org/guide/abstract.asp?id_callfor=1585&id_seccion=3&id_subseccio=22
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-5630

Download

[img]
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 72kB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations