Communication Theory Off the Press

Communication Theory Off the Press

Communication Theory Off the Press

Communication Theory: The Asian Perspective, 2nd edition (2022), edited by Dr. Wimal Dissanayake, packs in one volume the thoughts, perspectives, and arguments of the leaders in Asian communication scholarship—both the early trailblazers and those who have followed them in the field of communication/mass communication research in Asia.

In the last 50 years, these authors have been the persistent voices calling for a commitment among scholars to enrich and expand the global communication setting with Asian communication theories, perspectives, paradigms, values, and practices. 

This book will be most useful to students, faculty, and researchers of communication/mass communication in Asia and around the world as they seek to understand the processes and dynamics of communication/mass communication not only from the Western point of view but also from a more inclusive and global perspective.

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Changing Global Media Values and Ethics

Changing Global Media Values and Ethics

Prof. Dr. Charu Lata Singh
Dean, Vivekananda School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (VIPS)
(Affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, India)

The scope of media ethics is not confined today to honesty and objectivity. In the wake of social media, the higher values of our mental, moral and spiritual being need to be properly integrated with the pragmatic values and aims of transnational co-existence of truth in the post globalized world. Welfare of all and sustainable efforts in this direction should be the guiding factors of our actions.

Spiritual attitude and orientation can only be the force for right values and ethics in changed technological environments. The pragmatic significance of values is an important principle, which is beginning to be recognized in our lives, for moral or spiritual value lived in action releases a corresponding moral or spiritual force, which in the long run results in sustainable gains. However, it may be difficult at present to prove this in empirical terms.

The  values and ethics are so important when we talk about media. Human values are integral part of one’s personality. Values are essential to ethics. As ethics is related to choice of actions to be taken, ethics evaluates the actions. “Moral values, and a culture and a religion, maintaining these values are far better than laws and regulations.” — Swami Vivekanand

In the context of the press, ‘Ethics’ may be described as a set of moral principles or values which guide the conduct of journalism. The ethics are essentially the self-restraints to be practiced by the journalists voluntarily, to preserve and promote the trust of the people and to maintain their own credibility.

The media all over the world have commonly voluntarily accepted the code of ethics which covers the areas of conduct which include:

  • Honesty and fairness;
  • Duty not to falsify pictures or to use them in a misleading fashion;
  • Duty to provide an opportunity to reply to critical opinions as well as to critical factual reportage;
  • Appearance as well as reality of objectivity;
  • Respect for privacy;
  • Duty to distinguish between facts and opinion;
  • Duty not to discriminate or to inflame hatred on such grounds as race, nationality, religion or gender;
  • Duty not to use dishonest means to obtain information; and
  • Duty not to endanger people.

New forms of communication are reshaping the practice of a once parochial craft serving a local, regional or national public. Today, news media use communication technology to gather text, video and images from around the world with unprecedented speed and varying degrees of editorial control. The same technology allows news media to disseminate this information to audiences scattered around the globe.

Global media ethics aims at developing a comprehensive set of principles and standards for the practice of journalism in an age of global news media, although they do not define or refer to something with clarity or have one established code worldwide.

The idea of a global media ethics arises out of a larger attempt to change, improve or reform the global media system to eliminate inequalities in media technology and to reduce the control of global media in the hands of a minority of Western countries. This attempt to re-structure the media system has been controversial, often being accused of being motivated by an agenda to control media or inhibit a free press. The debate continues even today, decades after the recommendations of the McBride report in 1980, One World, Many Voices, which outlined a new global media order.

The digital media technologies have affected the guidelines of ethics in the globalized world to a great extent. News reports, via satellite or the Internet, reach people around the world and influence the actions of governments, militaries, humanitarian agencies and warring ethnic groups. A responsible global ethics is, therefore, the  need in a world where news media bring together a plurality of different religions, traditions and ethnic groups.

We also have brigade of non-professional online writers, bloggers, youtubers disseminating all kind of information 24X7. New online news media analysis channels have emerged in a big way, many with biased agendas with no gatekeeping. What are uniform ethical guidelines for them is not known or developed. Further, we have steaming platforms with not much regulation. AI and Metaverse is coming with leaping strides and would hugely require different set of values and ethics.

The ethics developed for yester years are no longer applicable today.  The technology has started leading us, already we know that AI is there, which is further going to make us lazy mentally and physically. The ethics now have to be made in relation to the humans in relations to machines. When we have robots, the ethics need to guide the developers as well as the robots in action.  At the same time, humans have to grow mentally and spiritually more than the technology, to compete with the technology and stay ahead of the technology so that they are able to control it and put it on the right path.

Objectivity in journalism has usually been understood as the duty to avoid bias toward groups within one’s own country. In the interconnected world, generally, the global objectivity takes on the additional responsibility of allowing bias towards one’s country or culture as a whole to distort reports, especially reports on international issues. In order that  the reports are accurate and balanced, they must contain all relevant international sources and cross-cultural perspectives. In addition, global journalism asks journalists to be more conscious of how they frame the global public’s perspective on major stories, and how they set the international news agenda. The aim should be to facilitate rational deliberation in a global public sphere. It calls for independent, sharp-edged news, along with investigations and analysis.

Developing a uniform code of conduct applicable for all the global media systems, however, seems a distant dream. The conceptual challenges of developing consensus is, whether universal values exist in media practice around the world and how an appeal for global values would counter or avoid the voices of cultural imperialism.

For ethics to be redefined when we have post globalized scenario, there are two views:

I) Constructionist View — It believes that global ethics is to see whether all or most interested parties are able to “construct” and agree upon a set of principles through a fair process of deliberation.

II) Global journalism ethics will have to amount to more than a dreamy spiritualism about the brotherhood of man and universal benevolence. Global journalism ethics must show, in detail, how its ideas imply changes to norms and practices in different contexts.

There is, therefore, a need to talk about ethics at multiple levels, as the moral values and culture may change from one corner of the world to another.

Universal Values only can be the code of conduct today. These are the human values pertaining to the individual, and we know that each individual is a media factory today, continuously engaged in the process of production, consumption and  dissemination of content. The ethics need not be for the organizational behaviours, not just for the individual behaviours.

The way forward, however, is to look eastward. Go back to the ideas of humanity developed and cherished in global east: the belief in the Indian and Buddhist philosophy of right conduct and welfare of all;  belief in the idea of ‘Vasidhaive Katumbakm’ as all are interconnected and one.

The ethics can be constructed, endorsed and implemented, keeping the individual at the centre. In practical terms, it means the values and ideals of higher mind and spirit should inspire, guide and control our physical and vital life and cast their refining influence on the body, and life of our individual and collective organism.

New books by Prof. ( Dr.) Surbhi Dahiya

New books by Prof. ( Dr.) Surbhi Dahiya

New books by Prof. ( Dr.) Surbhi Dahiya,  Indian Ambassador of IAMCR

Prof. (Dr.) Surbhi Dahiya, Professor of English Journalism at Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, published three books recently.

Dr. Dahiya is also the IAMCR Faculty Ambassador in India. Her books offer to the media educators fraternity and industry professionals an incisive and panoptic view and understanding of the Indian media conglomerates.

Her latest book, Indian Media Giants: Unveiling the Business Dynamics of Print Legacies, is an analytical chronicle of six Indian mega media conglomerates’ individual odyssey–from their humble, incipient beginnings in the pre-independence era to their transformation into powerful business empires in the digitized world. The book traces the metamorphosis of Indian media: from birth to the phase-wise contours of growth and development; the travails and trajectories; the organizational structures, editorial policies and business dynamics of major print media organizations in India, namely, The Times Group, The Hindu Group, The Hindustan Times Limited, The Indian Express Group, Dainik Jagran Limited, and DB Corp Limited.

Published by OUP in 2022 (ISBN–13 (print edition): 978–0–19–013262–0 )

Foreword by Prof. Graham Murdock, UK.; Preface by Prof  Tim Vos, USA,  Advance Comments by Media Barons Vineet Jain, Shobhana Bhartia, Viveck Goenka, Anant Goenka, N Ram, N Ravi, Sanjay Gupta, Sudhir Agarwal, Girish Agarwal , Pawan Agarwal, and by noted academicians and industry professionals

It unravels their understanding of the values of co-dependence, collaboration, and competition with their contemporaries. It is an untold story of how these organizations leapt over the perimeters of conventional greatness to achieve unmeasured success that spans the globe.  The book analyzes how innovations have been brought in the management policies of these print businesses, with respect to production, distribution, and consumption, while accrediting the visionary leadership that drives each organization forward in its endeavors. What the case studies also detail is the wide extent of strategic intent enunciation; the role of product lines, development and diversification into radio, TV, digital and other segments; geographical spread, expansion, regional penetration and international footprint; the role of technological advancements in throwing up unimaginably new business opportunities; strategic alliances, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and takeovers; manpower management policies; CSR activities and financial performance of these media giants. The theoretical implications of the growth of media organizations in terms of the nature of mass media and their products are also underlined.

Her second book, The House That ZEE Built, is about the legacy of India’s pioneering media enterprise as it is about its founding fathers. Beginning at the humble inception of the ambitious dreams the Goenka patriarchs saw way back in 1890, the book traces the story of an agri-business’ growth into the country’s first satellite television channel, and further branches out into a media conglomerate whose fingers are dipped in news, entertainment, and many more. 

Offering an incisive look into the creation and sustenance of a brand that transcends regions, both national and international, this is a chronicle aimed at capturing the very essence of the phenomenon called Zee. It comprises priceless insights from voices at the media giant, including from magnate Subhash Chandra and his son Punit Goenka, making for an enriching read about a journey through generations.

Rupa Publications Pvt Ltd ( 2021)
Foreword by Prof Alan Albarran, USA
Book Praise By Dr Subhash Chandra

Without tilted commentary, the book also sheds light on the institution’s confrontation with challenging upheavals as well as its brushes with success, sharing behind-the-scenes anecdotes, exclusive inputs, and expert analysis, promising an unputdownable experience for the reader. 

Her third book, Beat  Reporting and Editing: Journalism in the Digital Age, is an edited volume with 48 chapters. Beat Reporting and Editing: Journalism in the Digital Era offers an extensive and pioneering study of reporting for all the news beats, news writing and news editing. This coedited book is an exhaustive resource filled with insights on traditional beats like defense, politics, court, crime, sports and entertainment, besides exclusive chapters on rural reporting, storytelling, photo journalism and cartooning, social media reporting, misinformation and fake news, solution based journalism, among others. The book includes all emerging forms of journalism like Artificial Intelligence, blockchain and bots, podcast, mobile journalism (MOJO), drone journalism (DOJO) and data journalism in India.

SAGE Publications ( Edited volume- 48 chapters) ( With Shambhu Sahu); Foreword by Bill Hinchberger; Message by Honourable Vice President of India, Sh Venkaiah Naidu
ISBN- 9789354792144.

Including the work of eminent journalists and leading media scholars, it is structured to guide the students and teachers on techniques to report on specific beats in the digital environment, role of AI and digital technologies in newsgathering and reportage besides, issues of identity, data, research and analysis in new age journalism. Drawing on an enormous range of examples, case studies, and first hand experiences of eminent journalists and media educators, this book encourages critical engagement with all forms of journalistic writing in the digital era as well as theory and practice.

New Asia Pacific nonprofit takes up role of PJR publishing

New Asia Pacific nonprofit takes up role of PJR publishing

New Asia Pacific nonprofit takes up role of PJR publishing

The inaugural annual general meeting of the Asia Pacific Media Network | Te  Koakoa Incorporated, publishers of Pacific Journalism Review. Image: Nik Naidu 

A new Asia Pacific nonprofit group has taken up the role of publishing the independent Pacific Journalism Review and other research and publication ventures.

The launch of the Asia Pacific Media Network | Te Koakoa Inc. has ensured the viability of the New Zealand-based 28-year-old journal that was founded at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1994.

The journal has a focus on Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand media research but also publishes widely on global issues.

Chair Dr. Heather Devere said the members of the network – mostly in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand – aimed to “show support and work for the benefit of First Nations and other communities in Aotearoa and the Asia-Pacific region.”

But, added Dr Devere, retired director of research practice of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS): “The first and most urgent aim is to enable the continued publication of the non-profit media research journal Pacific Journalism Review”. 

The journal has already produced two double editions since becoming independent of its last host, Auckland University of Technology, which had followed the University of the South Pacific as publisher.

Professor David Robie, founding editor of the journal and who retired as AUT’s Pacific Media Centre (PMC) director in 2020, said he was “delighted” with this development and thanked colleagues for their support.

After organizing the establishment of the APMN, he is now deputy chair and is looking for new projects. He is also country representative of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC).

Dr. Devere said it was urgent to establish such a network “ to continue the work on Aotearoa New Zealand’s role in the Asia Pacific region following the demise of the Pacific Media Centre at AUT.”

There was no longer a space for those working on the PJR that was publishing research related to important and on-going issues in New Zealand’s immediate region.

Dr. Devere said there was no longer a focus of any New Zealand universities doing the work being done by APMN.

“While there is a current focus on Pacific Issues, there is no stable space for those working on media issues in the Asia Pacific region,” she said.

“There is also a conflict of interest between universities that are now functioning as commercial institutions and investigative journalism that is engaged in providing accurate and reliable information for citizens.”

More information about APMN

Contact: David Robie –



ASEAN ROADMAP 2025 to realize a common higher education space in Southeast Asia

The ASEAN Secretariat, the EU Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (SHARE) Programme, and the members of the ASEAN Working Group on Higher Education Mobility (AWGHEM) officially launched the ‘Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space 2025 and its Implementation Plan,’ on 27 July during 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue.

The launch was officiated by Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN; Dr Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Minister of Education and Training, Viet Nam; and Giorgio Aliberti, EU Ambassador to Viet Nam.

The Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space 2025 contributes to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the strengthening of future resilience through enhanced people-to-people connectivity and improved access and recognition of higher education in the ASEAN region. It envisages a resilient and sustainable ASEAN Higher Education Space that enables greater harmonization and internationalization of the region’s higher education systems.  It is reflective of the new reality for education worldwide, and proposes adaptive and sustainable approaches in responding to the changing context of higher education. This includes augmenting access and inclusion to internationalized higher education provision by students through digital transformation.

At the launch, Secretary-General Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi, stated that, “the ASEAN Secretariat recognizes the crucial importance of synergy and working together to ensure efficient use of resources and maximize impact of our initiatives in the region. The Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space and its Implementation Plan is also our attempt to synergize our work, consolidate our efforts, and appreciate the valuable work that has been done by the ASEAN Member States and regional partners on implementing a common higher education [space] in Southeast Asia.”

The SHARE Programme was launched in 2015. SHARE is the European Union’s flagship higher education programme with ASEAN and has worked alongside the ASEAN Secretariat and regional partners to strengthen regional cooperation and enhance the quality, regional competitiveness and internationalization of ASEAN Higher Education institutions and students.

The 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue, entitled ‘Envisioning the Future of a Higher Education Common Space in Southeast Asia,’ is co-hosted by the Ministry of Education and Training of Viet Nam and is organized in partnership with the Education, Youth, and Sports Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, SEAMEO RIHED, the ASEAN University Network, and UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.

About the Asian Journal of Communication

About the Asian Journal of Communication

Asian Journal of Communication: The voice of communication theory, research, and education in Asia

By Peng Hwa Ang, Editor, Asian Journal of Communication

The Asian Journal of Communication is the flagship journal of AMIC. It was founded in 1990 by Professor Emeritus Eddie Kuo of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the late Anura Goonasekera, who was then Head of Research at the Asian Media Research and Information Centre, which later became AMIC.

They were visionary because communication as a field in academia was in its infancy in Asia. Since then, as the field of communication has grown and flourished, so has the journal. Today, it is published by Taylor & Francis and its annual revenue helps support the AMIC secretariat in Manila.

The Journal is jointly owned by NTU and AMIC. My colleague Xiaoming Hao took over as editor from Eddie Kuo in 2010. I was handed the editorship in 2019 when Hao retired. NTU’s support has been and continues to be substantial. Although it is entitled to half the royalties, it has not collected a cent; instead, I am given a course waiver as editor and a doctoral student is assigned as an editorial assistant.

Last year, we received some 450 submissions and this number looks to increase. Unfortunately, we can only publish fewer than 10% of the submissions. The high quality as a result of this filtering is a rising impact factor, currently at 2.074. If the joke about academic writing is that only the author’s mother reads, an IF of more than 2.0 suggests that someone other than the author’s mother is reading the journal. That’s heart-warming.

The rise of the impact factor could be attributable to the pandemic, when we, along with many other quality journals, received more submissions and citations than the year before. But it may also be due to our attempts to promote authors’ works over Facebook and Twitter. Our social media editor, Earvin Cabalquinto (Deakin University), has been instrumental in ensuring that every published article gets due exposure in those platforms.

Many of our authors are junior scholars, which augurs well for Asian communication scholarship. But they also need some handholding. For example, I have taken it on myself to go over manuscripts and edit them for readability.

The Journal continues, in the vision of the founders, to be a voice of Asia in communication. Being a journal oriented to a region, it would be pointless to try to “compete” globally. In fact, I have directed articles from my friends and colleagues to more internationally-focused journals.

So what is the Asian focus of the Asian Journal of Communication? The Journal is focused on theory. That is, submissions must critique, refine or extend theory. Merely confirming a theory is not enough. Using Asia as a test-bed or a source of data to confirm a theory is not enough. There must be contribution to theory and with an Asian connection. This is thought leadership with an Asian perspective.

For example, we have a special issue on anti-Asian racism. Interestingly, the associate editors advised that the guest editors should also include intra-Asian racism, that is racism by an Asian against another Asian.

Also in progress is one on Islamic communication research, led by Indonesian researchers. In Indonesia, academics in Islamic universities are calling the politicians to account. They are using Islamic norms on probity to address such issues as corruption. I thought it was important to bring to larger attention the contribution of our colleagues with a different tradition and background in communication.

The perspectives and approaches in Islamic communication research would, I imagine, be different from those we are familiar with in Western communication research. Such differences reflect the diversity in Asia and can only enrich our understanding of communication.

In the Western convention, many of the articles are quantitative, given  the centre of gravity in communication being the US. But I note that many Asian scholars write scholarly essays. I have appointed an associate editor, Terence Lee (Sheridan Institute), to consider such scholarly essays.

In the next issue, I will answer the commonly asked questions of how to get published in the AJC.