Latin Politics, Global Media by Elizabeth Fox, Silvio Waisbord

By Elizabeth Fox, Silvio Waisbord

The globalization of media industries that all started in the course of the Eighties and Nineties happened even as the institution of or go back to democratic varieties of govt in lots of Latin American international locations. during this quantity of particularly commissioned essays, 13 recognized media specialists learn how the intersection of globalization and democratization has remodeled media platforms and rules all through Latin America.

Following an in depth evaluate via editors Elizabeth Fox and Silvio Waisbord, the members examine the interplay of neighborhood politics and worldwide media in person Latin American international locations. a number of the matters they speak about comprise the privatization and liberalization of the media, the increase of media conglomerates, the impression of alternate agreements on media industries, the function of the country, the mediazation of politics, the nation of public tv, and the position of family and international forces. The participants deal with those themes with quite a few theoretical methods, combining institutional, historic, monetary, and criminal perspectives.

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Consider the case of Brazil as an example of ‘‘electronic clientelism’’: of the 302 licensed commercial TV stations in 1995, 94 were owned by politicians or expoliticians, and 1,169 of the 2,908 radio stations were owned by the same crowd, about one-third (De Lima 1999). Of the 594 members of the Brazilian Parliament, 130 owned either a radio or a TV station or both; the same is true for twelve of the twenty-seven state governors as well. Moreover, of the 1,848 TV transmitting stations authorized under the presidency of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 268 were given to politicians, among which were included nineteen federal representatives, eleven state representatives, six senators, two governors, seven mayors, three former governors, nine former federal representatives, eight former mayors, and twentytwo others.

Second, it eliminated a number of ownership limitations, most notably lifting the restriction on newspaper publishers from entry into broadcasting (a restriction long questioned, and often violated, by the publishers). Finally, it changed the legal status of Argentina Televisora Color (the original public station founded by Perón), clearing the way for its privatization (not carried out to date). Content regulations were loosened through a number of steps. Presidential decree 1771/91, issued in 1991, lifted the ban on the formation of national networks, although restricting network time to 50 percent of affiliates’ programming and prohibiting networks from selling spots directly to advertisers.

Private companies also benefited from the transition from an era of scarcity to an era of abundance of electromagnetic spectrum. The vast majority of the new radio and television frequencies were awarded to private bidders, and only a few to public organizations and governments. These changes have not fundamentally altered old dynamics in the interaction between states and markets in media policies, most notably the lack of wide participation of civil society in the decision-making process and, ultimately, in the lack of public access to media organiza- 10 / L at i n P o l i t i c s , G l o b a l M e d i a tions.

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