عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
The relationship between access to mass media and the societal development has been discussed in communication science literature since the 1950s. In 1958, Daniel Lerner proposed a linear cause-and-effect relationship between the mass media and societal development. Through the years the subject has stimulated intense discussion among communication researchers, especially in developing countries. In one of our previous studies, the Iranian media was studied for the period 1956-1991 and it was observed that the correlation coefficient among the elements ofLerner s discussion was more than 0.9. However, we argued that the observed correlations were not representative of a cause and effect relationship. To derive such a relation, the effect of inequality in the amount of media access and also the difference in the media content should be considered. To have a comparative media access criterion we first introduce thث Media Access Index (MAl) and its computation method. It is shown that the MAI has a high correlation coefficient (more than 0.9) with the well-known United Nations (UN) Human Development Index (HDI) in more than 167 countries. Hence, it is a reliable index to use in performing adaptive studies. Another index which has been used is the Digital Access Index (DAI) which has been recently developed by the International Telecommunication Association. In this paper, the MAI and the DAI indexes among different categorized countries are compared. The categories are based on the major religious group in each country (as representative of the religion in that country) not the geographical position of the country. However the paper is mainly concentrated on the countries with Muslim population. The comparative study shows that there is a deep inequality among different categories. Finally, based on the regression equations, the normality or abnormality of the amount of media access among the different categories is investigated.