In the midst of amazing discoveries, inventions and scientific advancements that we have achieved today, it is ironic that more people lack the basic needs of food, water and shelter than any other time in mankind’s history. Half a billion of the world’s adults are illiterate. Of all these, two-thirds are women. In some countries, more food and clean water is wasted on feeding and fattening livestock while people in other parts of the world lack even basic access to one meal and a glass of clean drinking water a day. After so many years of civilization and with so many advances in technology and living standards, yet we have been unable to resolve these inequalities.
The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals aim to resolve these inequalities by ending hunger, eradicating extreme poverty, providing universal education and facilitating gender equity, among other goals. One of the key stakeholders in this process is the media. In our globalised world, the media is more than just a watchdog. In every society, the media play important roles including creating awareness, disseminating the relevant messages, providing channels of communication and ensuring transparency in this global effort of the UN to achieve its millennium development goals.
Changing Media, Changing Societies: Media and the Millennium Development Goals explores the media’s role in the UN’s effort. Selected papers from a conference of the same name have been organised and presented in this book under the sections of thematic issues, case studies of the media in various Asian countries and media representations of the various issues.