Center for Global Communication Studies
The Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (CGCS) is a leader in international education, training, and research in the fields of media development, strategic communication, and comparative media law and policy. CGCS draws on various disciplines to explore public policy issues and the ways media and globalization intersect with the changing nature of states. The Center has experience both advising on and implementing innovative communication programs and research projects in restrictive, transitional, conflict and post-conflict environments, with particular expertise in the areas of media law and policy, media and democratization, monitoring and evaluation of media interventions, and the design and implementation of training and capacity-building programs.
PublicationAssessing Impact, Evaluating Adaptability: A Decade of Radio La Benevolencija in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC(2014-05-05) Kogen, LaurenFor the past decade, Radio La Benevolencija (RLB) has worked in Rwanda, Burundi, and the DRC to provide citizens with tools for recognizing and resisting manipulation to violence and healing trauma. Until now, however, its numerous programs, projects, and contributions had not been synthesized, and its findings had not been evaluated as whole. The Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania conducted an evaluation of RLB’s past ten years of work in the Great Lakes Region. In addition to understanding the aggregate impact of RLB’s programs, this meta-evaluation seeks to investigate what RLB’s work offers to others engaged in this field. We therefore seek to understand the adaptability of RLB’s methodology to other countries and contexts and how the RLB model might be used a prototype for future interventions. PublicationMapping ICTs in Somalia: Policies, Players, and Practices(2014-06-01) Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication
This report offers a review of the policies and players that impact media and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policies and practices in Somalia. The research, supplemented with interviews with senior policy advisors on ICTs, civil society organizations, journalistsâ unions, and the private sector, suggests that the Somali Federal Government faces significant hurdles in constructing a national media policy. These can be reduced to the following four key challenges:
1) A weak central government;
2) A geographically and politically fragmented media environment;
3) A strong private telecommunications sector that benefits from a lack of regulation;
4) A preference by many actors for the traditional xeer and sharia law systems, rather than a formalized ICT regulatory environment.
PublicationCommercial Remote Sensing Satellites and the Regulation of Violence in Areas of Limited Statehood(2015-01-01) Livingston, StevenThe number and sophistication of commercial remote sensing satellites has grown steadily since 2000 when the first high resolution satellite went into service. The nature and trajectory of the growth in satellite technology is outlined in this paper. The discussion is placed in the context of an international relations theory about statehood. An area of limited statehood framework is outlined, especially as it relates to the maladroit use of force by limited states unable or unwilling to discipline security personnel or otherwise control the use of force. Of course, another possibility is that the use of excessive and indiscriminant violence is deliberate. We consider the “regulation of violence” to be deliberate violence by nonstate actors serving as “functional equivalents” for state oversight functions not found in limited statehood. NGOs and other international institutions, comprising what Keck and Sikkink call a Transnational Activist Network (TAN), use remote sensing satellites to gather data about uses of force by weak-state security apparatuses. Put more formally, we investigate the use of commercial, high-resolution remote sensing data by TANs as they attempt to regulate excessive and indiscriminate violence used by the security apparatuses of states that can be thought of as limited in key dimensions. PublicationInternet Policy Formation in Latin America: Understanding the Links Between the National, the Regional, and the Global(2015-06-01) Aguerre, Carolina; Galperin, HernanUntil recently, internet governance was a relatively obscure topic in most technology policy agendas in Latin America. But in mid-2013, revelations about widespread surveillance of internet communications dramatically transformed conversations about the issue. The work addresses the institutional consolidation of emerging experiences in national contexts to address internet governance and policy as well as their effectiveness in shaping regional and global processes. This paper takes a comparative approach, by looking at several national cases; the experience of Argentine Commission for Internet Policy (CAPI) created in 2014; Costa Rica with the Internet Consulting Committee (in 2012) and Mexico with the Initiative Group (2012). These cases were examined against the backdrop of the well documented Brazilian experience and its Internet Steering Committee (CGI)( 2005). The research analysed the national internet governance mechanisms in the early stages of the institutionalization process, looking at the main developments that have shaped actors’ strategies as well as the evolution of internet regulations in these countries. The three cases differ in both the degree of formality, working mechanisms and stakeholder representation in these new bodies. In each national context, it is clear that governments are now working to formalize policymaking arrangements, as the original informal coordination mechanisms that gave rise to the internet in these countries are no longer sufficient. The bridges between the international and the domestic field will tend to rely on more formally institutionalized spaces as states become more involved with the issue. PublicationIntroduction to News Media Law and Policy in Jordan, 2nd edition(2011-05-01) Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication
The goal of this volume is to examine and assess the legal environment the institutions, laws, and practices in which news media operate in Jordan. It is designed for those in Jordan for whom information and communication is important: citizens, government officials, organizations of civil society, indeed, almost everyone. We seek to describe the system of laws and policies, including basic rights, that affect the way in which information and ideas about public affairs are selected, packaged, distributed, and received. We try to place rules and regulations in context, at least a public context. It is impossible, here, to describe the complex history, the religious institutions, the geopolitical events and other very considerable matters that affect how speech flows. We concentrate, therefore, on press and media laws and their implementation.
By â news media law,â we mean the set of institutions and rules that affect the activities resulting in the dissemination of information and ideas about public affairs to the general public. This includes not only those institutions and rules designed to advance the free exercise of such activity, but also those that are intended to protect other interests with which this exercise might conflict. Indeed, the essence of news media law lies in the inherent, continual need to strike the appropriate balance between press freedoms and competing public and private values and interests.
At the same time, our scope is closely defined. We do not seek to make this presentation comprehensive: an encyclopedic survey of all legal provisions affecting news media activity would be beyond the scope and space limitations of this volume. Therefore, most issues regarding the structural aspects of Jordanâ s media regulation (for example, ownership of mass media) are not included here. Instead, we focus on the legal environment in which the news media operate, organizing our material according to a way of thinking about media in a society that is seeking to increase the participation of its citizens in the functioning of government. We emphasize the importance of the rule of law itself, and then the laws and policies governing journalistsâ access to information and content regulation, as well as content-neutral rules that affect how the media perform.
Laws and policies are frequently looked at in isolation. Laws are also often analyzed and discussed with attention paid merely to their wording. However, each society has a cluster of activities, interactions of laws, and settings in which they exist that make those laws more or less effective. Different states, at different stages of development, require different strategies for thinking about the role of media and, as a result, for thinking about the design and structure of the environment in which they operate. We seek to explore the particular laws of Jordan, and the institutions which give them meaning.
PublicationBenchmarking Demand: Pakistan and the Internet Users’ Perspective(2016-05-01) Khan, Arzak; Nisbet, Erik CThis report is the third in a series that examines public attitudes and preferences about Internet censorship and regulation in states in which media and Internet use are subject to increasing restrictions. In the context of Pakistan, where rapid increases in internet access and usage are accompanied by a propensity to regulate this new cyber-territory, the goal of this report is to uncover the views of Pakistani Internet users with respect to the regulation and control of online spaces. In each of these reports, we seek to provide insight into who uses the Internet in each country and the most used and trusted sources of online and offline information. But more than that, the surveys seek to add to a process: learning how to plumb general views about the influence of the Internet on politics and society and chart attitudes concerning censorship on various political, religious and social grounds. The reports test an approach to determining who, among competing institutions, people trust to regulate the Internet, what constitutes their policy preferences about Internet regulation, and the extent to which Internet regulation issues might figure in political mobilization efforts in furtherance of Internet freedom. PublicationIn Search of Local Knowledge on ICTs in Africa(2015-01-01) Gagliardone, Iginio; Kalemera, Ashnah; Kogen, Lauren; Nalwoga, Lillian; Stremlau, Nicole; Wairagala, WakabiBy reviewing and comparing literature on the role of ICTs in statebuilding and peacebuilding in Africa, with a particular focus on neighboring Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, this paper examines whether the claims of the transformative power of ICTs are backed by evidence and whether local knowledge – e.g., traditional mechanisms for conflict resolution – is taken into consideration by ICT-based initiatives. Several key findings emerged, including: 1) empirical evidence on the successful use of ICTs to promote peacebuilding and statebuilding is thin; 2) few differences exist between scholarship emanating from the Global North and from Africa; and 3) the literature exhibits a simplistic assumption that ICTs will drive democratic development without sufficient consideration of how ICTs are actually used by the public. PublicationCitation Filtered: Iran’s Censorship of Wikipedia(2013-11-01) Nazeri, Nima; Anderson, CollinUsing proxy servers in Iran, researchers Collin Anderson and Nima Nazeri identified every blocked Persian language Wikipedia article and divided blocked pages into ten categories to determine the type of content state censors are most adverse. In total, 963 blocked articles were found, covering a range of socio-political and sexual content including politics, journalism, the arts, religion, sex, sexuality, and human rights. Censors repeatedly targeted Wikipedia pages about government rivals, minority religious beliefs, and criticisms of the state, officials, and the police. Just under half of the blocked Wiki-pages are biographies, including pages about individuals the authorities have allegedly detained or killed. Based on prior research, it is known that Iran’s Internet filtration relies on blacklists of specifically designated URLs and URL keywords. Keyword filtration blindly blocks pages that contain prohibited character patterns in the URL. Sexual content is the main target of keywords, for example most keywords are sexual and/or profane terms. We found dozens of pages that seem to be unintentionally censored by keyword filtering, meaning that they were misidentified as sexual or profane and contained no content likely to offend Iranian authorities. PublicationIntroduction to News Media Law and Policy in Jordan(2009-04-01) Griffin, Douglas; Morgan, LibbyThe goal of this volume is to examine and assess the legal environment-the institutions, laws, and practices in which news media operate in Jordan. It is designed for those in Jordan for whom information and communication is important: citizens, government officials, organizations or civil society, indeed, almost everyone. We seek to describe the system of laws and policies, including basic rights, that affect the way in which information and ideas about public affairs are selected, packaged, distributed, and received. We try to place rules and regulations in context, at least a public context. It is impossible, here, to describe the complex history, the religious institutions, the geopolitical events and other very considerable matters that affect how speech flows. We concentrate, therefore, on press and media laws and their implementation. PublicationThe Rise of the Global South on the World Wide Web: Bridging Internet Policies and Web User Behavior(2014-08-01) Taneja, Harsh; Wu, Angela XiaoScholars of internet governance have traditionally focused on how institutions such as sovereign nation states and multilateral organizations establish public policy. In doing so, experts and policy makers often presume the impact of Internet policies on Internet usage, but rarely do they examine usage aggregated from the behavior of individual web users. In this study, authors Harsh Taneja and Angela Xiao Wu examine the relationship between internet governance and internet user behavior, empirically investigating web user behavior on a global scale. The authors utilize web use data from ComScore to construct a network for the 1,000 most visited websites globally in September 2009, 2011 and 2013. Analysis of these networks revealed a number of “clusters” of websites, whereby sites within the cluster had more users in common than they did with sites outside the cluster. In each of the three years, the most salient means upon which websites clustered together were both language and geography (and not content type). Thus, the authors interpret such clusters as online expressions of place-based cultures, or “regional cultures”, with data suggesting a de-Americanization and rise of the Global South on the WWW since 2009.