Summary of the conference
The second day of the conference began with the topic, meeting 'The Challenges of a Media-Rich World'. Madala Mphahlele pointed out that the term 'media-rich' was only applicable to one part of the world. As far as the media are concerned, Africa, Asia and Latin America are still impoverished. The fact that not everyone has equal access to the media means that, in addition to differences in wealth, there are also differences in knowledge and influence.
David Nostbakken explored this question further. He felt that TV, which is a medium that can convey information in a non-hierarchical way, is crucial for spreading a global ethics. But then one has to make sure that groups and individuals everywhere in the world have access to the media and can get their message across on TV. 'If you don't appear on TV, you don't exist. Right now two thirds of the world doesn't exist.';
Horst Stipp provoked his listeners with his theory that commercial TV is already doing everything the Commission is calling for. The commercial stations contribute to diversity and freedom of choice they encourage competition, they ensure that information is freely disseminated and they promote democracy. 'Work with commercial broadcasters to meet the challenges of a media-rich world', Stipp told his listeners.
During the discussion, this provoked the response that the commercial stations are guilty of cultural imperialism. 'Hollywood films and American T-shirts do not really affect the values of a culture', Stipp replied.
The second important topic was the Internet. Does the Internet guarantee - as Bert Mulder argued in his lecture - that the power of culture will be the force that makes the world turn in ten years time? Or should we believe Jan Pronk, who argued that the power of money and armaments will remain paramount? Mulder insisted that his prediction would be vindicated, but added that to use the Internet properly and to make sure that the power of culture is applied effectively, proper education is essential.