Information plays a crucial role in shaping our outlook on the world and hence our responses to it. The better informed we are, the better our chances of responding adequately and sanely to the innumerable challenges of the modern world.
Information comes to us through a variety of media, but much of this media is controlled by a relatively small number of corporations, inevitably with their own political and ideological bias. For example, six corporations control roughly 90% of the media in the United States including television and news channels, radio stations, movie studios, newspapers, magazines and publishing houses.
During the past 20 years the influence of the traditional media has been increasingly challenged by alternatives such as weblogs, Twitter and other social media. But much of the internet is controlled by government agencies and corporations such as Google, and the decline of traditional news channels has seen a parallel decline in the standard and scope of investigative journalism. This emphasises the importance of raising the levels of media literacy. Moreover, leaks by individuals and websites, such as Wikileaks, have revealed the extent of electronic surveillance by many national governments.
More positively, digital technology has become a very important information and communication tool for the developing world. It is having a significant impact across most sectors, including health, agriculture, education, media and business. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are changing our world.
It is a truism that we are drowning in information. But where can we turn for information that we can trust? As our governments prepare for war, as our economies fail, as corporations flood the media with tainted news, how can we find out what is really going on?
This section contains information and links on Mainstream media, Alternative media, and Information and Communications Technologies for Development.