ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Public Communication in Information Age-Time for a Requiem

Public Communication in Information Age Time for a Requiem?
Dipankar Sinha CONVENTIONAL wisdom suggests that more and more information invariably leads to more and more communication. Accordingly we develop the customary view that information and communication are complementary. But the lesson does not hold true in all cases. Does information invariably facilitate communicative action? Can there not be a situation in which information itself hinders effective communication? Here we address the questions with special reference to the global information explosion, and explain that it is possible to pose a challenge to the still dominant view of information as necessarily conducive to communication. When the global information explosion - hallmark of the contemporary era widely acknowledged as the information age - overwhelms us with its extraordinary magmtude and power, we tend to lose sight of the way it leads to subtle but steady erosion of communicative endeavour. In generating a tension emerging out of a process which can be described as information versus communication', the vertical depth and the horizontal spread of the information revolution posit the instrumental logic of the market in binary opposition to people-centric public communication. In doing so it seeks to serve the interests of the former at the cost of the latter. The result of this 'hidden' war in which people are put against the market is not entirely unpredictable: the market- induced information which requires no reciprocity from its receivers, tend to create mute and obedient citizens devoid of critical faculty. For the citizens who become its passive recipients the only act permitted by the market is "non-action". The implication of this latent process is overtly political: negation of scope of diversity and dissent which are a probable outcome of people's voice on issues that concern their life.

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