This article argues that it is important to position the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in a historical perspective to understand the roots of the current debate and how they relate to changes that are affecting the world today. A lexical content analysis of the words and phrases of three key documents – final Recommendations of the MacBride Report and WSIS final Declarations from the Geneva Summit (official and alternative) – enable us to identify continuity and change in international policy discourses on communication imbalances, the role of information technologies for development and their implications for human and communication rights. The discussion of the findings points out similarities and differences between the narratives of yesterday and today and how these relate to developments in the social and political environment.
Global Media and Communication, December 2005 vol. 1 no. 3 316-338