Pink Tide: Media Access and Political Power in Latin America

The Pink Tide: Media Access and Political Power in Latin America

Often referred to as the “pink tide” in mainstream news reports and progressive magazines alike, the recognizable democratic political shift in Latin America is both opened by and opened to the actions of broad-based social movements: landless peasants and radical autoworkers in Brazil, indigenous movements in Bolivia and Ecuador, Bolivarian social missions in working class communities across Venezuela, and popular mobilizations for social reform in Uruguay and Paraguay. In each country, the rowdy entrance of labor, peasants, the unemployed, indigenous, women, students, and environmental movements has upset neoliberal plans and national elite control. In Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, radical leaderships instigated constituent assemblies, allowing citizens to revise national constitutions, which in every case, secured extensive democratic, civil, social, political, and economic rights for the popular classes.

These “moments of rupture” in societal political norms and capitalist cultural hegemony unearth the interconnections between media and society that are often obscured during periods of social stability or political repression. The organic links between media and social power are more apparent when the pluralist shell of “it’s just entertainment” is removed. Different internal political and media circumstances constrain and allow different responses to social crises and the possibilities for democratic media Community and public media in Venezuela have arguably progressed the furthest towards participatory access to communication. Other radical and left democratic-leaning governments from Nicaragua and Bolivia to Ecuador, Argentina, and Uruguay also have reflected and responded to working class interests and indigenous social movements.

To varying degrees, governments across Latin America have created or allowed openings for citizen access to media communication, reflecting disparate social relations of power. In each case, the social relations of power reflected in government policy have resulted in changes in media political economies and public access to communication. Political power has had complex impact on media structures, regulations, and practices, on how diverse media produce messages conveying ideological and cultural proposals for the retrenchment of elite power, the uneasy status quo, or a more democratic world. Across Latin American, democratic media reform depends on the political power of working classes and their allies. Contestations over political power across the continent carry manifestations of public media access opened by working class and indigenous movements for democratic rights and economic and social justice.

This Wiley-Blackwell edited book will feature scholarship, research, and accounts of the diverse and complex processes of media change in Latin America in 10-12 chapters assessing conditions of media structure, media relations, media programming, and public access to the media by diverse social groups.

Proposals for chapters should consist of an abstract outlining theme, topic, method, and expected, preliminary, or collected findings. Abstract proposals should be sent by November 15, 2015 to Lee Artz.

Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s