What is NWICO? What did it demand? What is Semantic Noise?

The New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO or NWIO) is a term that was coined in a debate over media representations of the developing world in UNESCO in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The term was widely used by the MacBride Commission, a UNESCO panel chaired by Nobel Peace Prize, laureate Sean MacBride, which was charged with creation of a set of recommendations to make global media representation more equitable.

The MacBride Commission produced a report titled “Many Voices, One World”, which outlined the main philosophical points of the New World Information Communication Order. Mass media concerns began with the meeting of non-aligned nations in Algiers, 1973, again in Tunis 1976, and later in 1976 at the New Delhi Ministerial Conference of Non-Aligned Nations. NWICO demanded for establishing free and balanced flow of information without any cultural colonialism.

Semantic Noise: When a message is misunderstood it is termed as semantic noise. Most of the times it is received exactly the way it was transmitted but as the sender and the receiver do not have common frame of references or have different field experiences this might happen.

Different interpretations of the meanings of certain words, For example, the word “weed” can be interpreted as an undesirable plant in a yard, or as a euphemism for marijuana. This can also happen with the subject or due to difference in denotative and connotative meaning of words. Cultural differences also can cause different meaning and understanding between sender and receiver.

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