Books, films and underdevelopment

Published: Sunday 31 March 1996

If producing cultural products, such as books, newspapers, movies or radios, reflects a nation's degree of progress, then the developing world trails far behind. And the gap has decreased only marginally over the last two decades. The South-Northratio of book titles published for every million individuals was 1:10 in 1991, barely more equitable than in 1970, when it was 1:11. The same holds true for newspapers, radio an? TV sets. The developing countries did Improve theIr world share of cultural goods from a mere 10 per cent m 1975 to more than 30 percent in 1991. But even this pales into insignificance, considering that in 1991 the developed world exported about seven times more of cultural goods than the developing world.

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