Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

The World Summit on the Information Society and the Future of the Book: A discussion of the implications of the strategies of ICT roll-out in developing nations, on the future of the Book

Dinesh Balliah.

The WSIS Phase 1 (Geneva, 2003) Plan of Action talks about the need of moving to an icon-based interface for Information and Technological Resources as a means to effectively overcome the problem of illiteracy in developing nations, seen as a major stumbling block to the uptake of these new media technologies. But what are implications of this strategy for the future of the Book. This paper examines the possible effects of the kind of ICT legislation and policies proposed at WSIS, and some created internally in South Africa, on the future of the printed and digital book as we know it. The paper argues that the leapfrogging strategy to eradicate the digital divide will ultimately threaten the future of the book.


Dinesh Balliah  (South Africa)
Head of Discipline, IT for Humanities
The School of Literature and Language Studies Faculty of Humanities
The University of the Witwatersrand

Currently Head of Discipline and Lecturer in IT for Humanities. Reading for a PhD in Media Studies with a focus on new media. Research interests include new media history and global governance of Information and Communication Technologies.

  • WSIS
  • Book
  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Developing Nations

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)