The 1980s witnessed a rapid growth of communication technology and an immense expansion of new media around the globe. The development of new information and communication technologies has emphasized again the importance of economic, social, political, and cultural institutions associated with the definitions of new technologies. Many of the traditional conceptions of the relation of the media to democracy were predicated upon a certain perception of communication technology and the major contemporary debates related to democratization have to do, again, with the deployment of technologies. How do all these developments affect society? How is the communications explosion related to democracy? What are the implications for the social functions of communications, people's activities, consciousness and values, media ownership and control, both nationally and internationally? These are some of the questions discussed in this volume edited by Slavko Splichal and Janet Wasko.