Der kalte Krieg der Medien

PRINCETON – Es ist ein globaler Informationskrieg ausgebrochen. Die Fronten verlaufen zwischen den Regierungen, für die der freie Informationsfluss und der Zugang zu Informationen zu den Grundrechten der Bürger gehört und denjenigen, für die die staatliche Kontrolle von Informationen ein grundsätzliches Privileg des Staates ist. Dieser Streit wird institutionell in Organisationen wie der Internationalen Fernmeldeunion (ITU) und täglich in Ländern wie Syrien ausgetragen.

Der Soziologe Philip N. Howard verwendete vor kurzem den Begriff des „neuen kalten Krieges“ für die „Kämpfe zwischen den klassischen Übertragungsmedien und den neuen Sozialmedien, die ganz unterschiedliche Vorstellungen von der Produktion, dem Eigentum und der Zensur von Nachrichten haben“. Da das Senden von Nachrichten erhebliche Investitionen erfordert, wird es zentralisiert – und ist daher viel anfälliger für staatliche Kontrolle. Die Sozialmedien dagegen machen jeden, der ein Mobiltelefon besitzt, potentiell zu einem umherschweifenden Überwacher der Taten oder Untaten von Regierungen, was schwer unterbunden werden kann, ohne das gesamte Internet auszuschalten. Aus den Auseinandersetzungen zwischen den traditionellen und den sozialen Medien in Russland, Syrien und Saudi Arabien schließt Howard, dass alle drei Regierungen, unabhängig von ihren unterschiedlichen Medienkulturen, staatlich kontrollierte Medien stark unterstützen.

Diese Kämpfe der Medien untereinander sind interessant und wichtig. Aus der Art und Weise, wie die Informationen zirkulieren, ginge ein Konzept dafür hervor, so Howard, wie eine Gesellschaft bzw. ein politisches System organisiert sein sollte.

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