Fire, homing pigeons, messengers on horses are all means of international communication (IC) we hardly use this days – if any. IC took part in chaning our world, and been changing itself as well.
So, one might ask (and luckily someone did) what aspects of international communication in history are still relevant today?
IC created international communities then, and it does so today. Recently I learned, from one of my professors, that the International Telegraph Union was the first international organization back in 1865. It included 22 European countries that worked togther to regulate Telegraph usage around the world. Note this was about 80 years before the Coal and Steel Community. Such cooperation between countries, surrounding IC, exists today as well. Just recently the US State Department asked the help of countries and companies to remove a gory ISIS footage, showing a beheading, from the internet. The Olympics might serve as another good example. The International Olympic Organization relies on IC to transmit the Olympic live everywhere on earth.
IC also serve as a tool to shift power. Like the printing press, which helped taking the monopoly of knowledge away from the Catholic Church, the internet and social media helped the people of Egypt to overturn Mubarak. The Nixon impeachment could be another example of the printing press forcing change. Starting with two journalists from the Washington Post.
IC takes part of shifting the balance of power, but how it does that? One way is propaganda. During the cold war the Americans tried to reach over the iron curtin using the Voice of America to spread their beliefes. Today AL Jazeera provides the point of view of the Arab gulf countries, and RT gives the Kremlin’s. The problem with propaganda is that it gets a bad reputation. It is all around us so it becames pointless to call it out. But fact is propaganda couldn’t reach us as much without IC and that not all propaganda is evil. Would the world hear about what’s going on in Africa without IC and propaganda? Just ask yourself if you knew who Joseph Kony was before 2012.
This was very short list on how IC elements are relevant today. IC had, and will continue to have influence on our world rather we like it or not.
Anyway, I’m sure the pigeons are happier today.