4The Medium: Global Technologies and Organizations

During most of the 20th century, global media tended to heavily rely on regulation, planning, and coordination by national governments. Occasionally, goals and agendas of one nation would conflict with those of another with regard to communication through the media. In addition, it quickly became apparent that because global media crossed national boundaries, some form of intergovernmental coordination was needed in order to maintain an international flow of media messages. To some extent during the Cold War era, global communication entailed heavy‐handed attempts by various national governments to manage the image of their own respective nations through media representation. At the same time, developing nations sought to ensure that they would eventually find a significant place in the ever‐evolving global system of electronic communication.

For these sorts of reasons, in addition to a desire to establish international technical standards where possible, various NGOs and IGOs arose during the 20th century to serve the needs of global media. NGOs, or nongovernmental organizations, are sometimes international, and may receive some government funding. They operate independently from national governments, although they may receive some funding from them. An intergovernmental organization, or IGO, typically consists of various national governments as well as other entities, such as profit‐making organizations and even multinational ...

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