Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Free Flow of Information
Toward the end of World War II (1939–45), the expression “free flow of information” and the ideas that it encapsulates began appearing in national and international documents. Briefly, the expression is meant to convey the open passage of print and electronic media across borders and among nations. Important examples include (as “free flow of ideas by word and image”) the constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 1945) and (as “freedom of opinion and expression”) the UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948). The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) established the Subcommission on Freedom of Information and of the Press in the early 1950s. ECOSOC addressed the problem of a global imbalance of information structure as early as 1961, as did the United Nations General Assembly in deliberations in 1952 and again a decade later. The intellectual currency of “free flow” has demonstrated durability and adaptability ...