A Guerra Fria dos media

PRINCETON - Uma guerra de informação estalou em todo o mundo. As linhas de batalha estão traçadas entre os governos que consideram a livre circulação de informação e a capacidade de se aceder à mesma, como uma questão de direitos humanos fundamentais, e aqueles que consideram o controlo oficial da informação como uma prerrogativa soberana fundamental. A disputa está a ser travada institucionalmente em organizações, como a União Internacional de Telecomunicações (UIT), e diariamente em países como a Síria.

O sociólogo Philip N. Howard utilizou recentemente o termo “nova guerra fria” para descrever as “batalhas entre os meios de comunicação social tradicionais e as empresas emergentes das redes sociais, que têm abordagens muito diferentes no que diz respeito à produção de notícias, aos direitos de propriedade e à censura”. Uma vez que os meios de comunicação tradicionais requerem um financiamento significativo, são mais centralizados - e, portanto, muito mais suscetíveis ao controlo do Estado. As redes sociais, ao contrário, transformam qualquer pessoa que tenha um telemóvel, num potencial monitor errante das acções ou dos delitos governamentais e só se desliga caso se desligue a Internet. No estudo da contenda entre os meios de comunicação tradicionais e as redes sociais na Rússia, na Síria e na Arábia Saudita, Howard conclui que, apesar das suas diferentes culturas em relação à comunicação social, todos os três governos têm os meios de comunicação fortemente controlados pelo Estado.

Estas contendas intra-media são interessantes e importantes. A forma como a informação circula reflecte, tal como Howard argumenta, uma ideia de como uma sociedade/governo deve ser organizada.

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