La guerre froide des médias

PRINCETON – Une guerre de l’information a éclaté sur la planète. Les lignes de bataille sont tracées entre les gouvernements qui considèrent la libre circulation de l’information et la capacité à y accéder comme un droit humain fondamental, et ceux qui estiment que le contrôle officiel de l’information est une prérogative souveraine fondamentale. La campagne se mène aussi au niveau institutionnel par des organisations comme l’Union Internationale des Télécommunications (ITU) et chaque jour dans des pays comme la Syrie.

Le sociologue Philip N. Howard a récemment utilisé le terme « nouvelle guerre froide » pour décrire « les batailles entre médias traditionnels et réseaux de médias sociaux, dont les approches en matière de production de l’information, de propriété et de censure sont très différentes. » Parce que cette industrie traditionnelle de l’information requière des fonds conséquents, elle est plus centralisée – et donc d’autant plus sujette au contrôle des états. Les médias sociaux, par contre, peuvent confier la veille des actes et des méfaits des gouvernements à quiconque possède un téléphone portable, et il est difficile de les mettre sous silence à moins de fermer internet dans son entier. Etudiant les conflits entre médias traditionnels et médias sociaux en Russie, en Syrie, et en Arabie Saoudite, Howard conclue que, malgré des différences dans leurs cultures médiatiques, ces trois gouvernements soutiennent fortement les médias contrôlés par l’état.

Ces luttes inter-médiatiques sont intéressantes et importantes, car comme le déclare Howard, le mode de circulation de l’information reflète en effet une conception particulière de l’organisation d’une société ou d’un régime politique. 

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