Denis McQuail
Recursos en línea
"The principle
of diversity"
con estudiantes
de doctorado
Quaderns del CAC
Durante su estancia en la UAB, Denis McQuail ofreció una conferencia titulada "The principle of diversity: what does it mean and is it still relevant for media policy?".
The principle of diversity: what does it mean and is it still relevant for media policy?

14 de noviembre de 2005

12h. (GMT +1)

Aula Magna
Facultat de Ciències de la Comunicació. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona)

Diversity has probably been the most widely agreed and also potent concept for media policy since the mid 20th century, second only to the idea of freedom, with which is related. Many of the goals of contemporary media policy have been aspects of diversity and policy has also been directed at creating the conditions for diversity, initially by public or legal intervention in media structures. More recently policy has been diverted towards managing media markets so as to be an instrument of reaching similar objectives. Diversity has a multiple value because it is equally relevant for economic, political, cultural and social objectives.
There are also numerous different specific benefits and expressions of diversity. This can be a weakness, since ultimately diversity becomes empty of meaning, except as a reference to difference and change for their own sake. In fact the various meanings of diversity are not always compatible and there is no agreement on which type or goal of diversity should have priority. Diversity as a value can also come into conflict with other values, such as integration and cohesion. A central opposition is between an economic individualist model and a democratic, collective model.
Diversity can be investigated along a number of dimensions and the degree and type of media diversity can be approximately measured by communication researchers. This makes it of interest to media policy makers and helps us to analyse and understand it, but also brings the danger of overestimating the power of such methods to deal with qualitative aspects. In the end we have to make value judgements about what sort of diversity we want and what price can be paid for it. Rapid media developments of the last decade or so have seemed to increase diversity but have also made any intervention or control by policy more difficult. The Internet is one major site of these developments and the traditional concept of diversity is very difficult to apply. The relevance of the diversity principle is in urgent need of re-evaluation.

Fotografías: Fede Tort (InCom-UAB)