The journal, like its parent organization, the Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture, always has had an international outlook and a special concern for the impact of communication developments on less technologically developed countries (LTDCs).
Although the MacBride Commission included representatives from both "developed" and "less developed" countries, it tended to highlight the problems faced by the LTDCs in gaining what they felt to be adequate representation in international mass media dominated by Western perspectives.
Terms such as "cultural domination" and "cultural imperialism" stressed the damage caused to local cultures by films, television, music, and other forms of media that were wholly Western and tended to submerge and displace local forms of cultural expression whenever they were imported into LTDCs. Multinational media corporations, like other multinational corporations, brought powerful, well-funded marketing campaigns into places where their local counterparts were too weak to compete effectively with them and often simply merged with the multinationals to promote imported products.
One criticism aimed at the model of journalistic professionalism espoused by the Western media was its alleged failure to serve the interests of development so badly needed in the LTDCs. Objectivity in news coverage, even if it was really objective, was seen as counter-productive, since it did not give adequate stress to reinforcing national and cultural identities or the single-mindedness needed to enable Third World people to work for common development goals.
In response to the outcry about imbalances in news flow, various studies have attempted to assess the actual state of the world's news gathering, with stress on transnational news agencies, the agencies and news pools the non-aligned nations formed to bypass the transnational agencies, stereotyping and other skewed depictions of LTDCs in Western media, government-sponsored "external services" (e.g., BBC, VOA, Radio Moscow, Deutche Welle, etc.), and statistical research on the content of international news.