Genesis of the Latin American Debate on Communication Policies in the '70s.

Contemporary drifts and regressions. From the NWICO to the WSIS.


  • Daniela Ines Monje Universidad Nacional de Córdoba




Communication policies as state guidelines for action are incorporated into the national projects of the Latin American countries in a progressive way in the postwar context, but only get a place in the international agenda in the 70's from the momentum and coordinated political action that the meeting of states known as the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (MPNA) will carry forward within UNESCO. The historical time that elapses between the '60'70 wrapped by the winds of emancipation and revolution in which the MPNA struggles are born, illuminates an unprecedented encounter between the academy and the political action that will have its special accent in Latin America. This is expressed as a sort of "state of political consciousness" about the unequal exchanges of information (Mattelart 2006, 14) and it is based on a proposal of a foundational nature that was expressed as the New World Order of Information and Communication (NOMIC ).

Indeed, after an extensive process of preliminary international debate, in November 1976, the General Conference of UNESCO represents an International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems (CIC), chaired by Irishman Sean MacBride. His work culminates with the presentation and approval of the General Assembly of UNESCO held in Belgrade in 1980 of those results, which were known and disseminated under the name of MacBride Report. A year later these conclusions are published in the book Many voices, one world.

The presentation of the Report implied, paradoxically, the closure of the topic. Even with the limitations that can be recognized in its elaboration and in the excessive "diplomacy" of the final document that is avoided by all means to confrontational tone, it is necessary to recognize that never again in history did an international debate take place again in these terms in the sine of UNESCO.

Taking these references, and the interventions made by Latin American intellectuals in the construction of these debates, we are interested in reading from the light and from the present, that drifts occur around the nucleus of communication policy that discussions Latin America in the international concert, between this seminal moment and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) that took place in 2003-2005 under the orbit of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Finally, we will seek to reflect on the regressions observed in terms of contemporary communication policies for the Latin American region, in a context of increasing economic concentration and infocommunication convergence.



How to Cite

Monje, D. I. (2019). Genesis of the Latin American Debate on Communication Policies in the ’70s.: Contemporary drifts and regressions. From the NWICO to the WSIS. A Contracorriente: Una Revista De Estudios Latinoamericanos, 16(2), 159–175. Retrieved from



Dossier: Textures of the 60s/70s