There is a problem in achieving coherence between the design of an alternative approach to development, the formulation of national communication policies and the strength of existing power structures in Third World countries. This article highlights the gap between preconceived communication policies and planning perspectives and the constraints on their realization. As development is only an option that a society takes at a particular historical moment, it reflects on the division in societal structures, and presents a typology of the main leadership structures in Third World countries. Governmental authorities in Third World countries often seem to be more interested in maintaining the status quo than in strengthening the communication capacity of the people. Delay in resolving the problem of information and communication inequality is an inevitable consequence. This calls for a review of fundamental human rights principles and the obligations of all UN members to guarantee freedom of expression and information, and equal access to information and communication channels.
International Communication Gazette, April 1999 vol. 61 no. 2 153-174