alexa Subverting Democracy and Thwarting Social Change, an Examination into the Latin American Mass Media
ISSN: 2165-7912

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism
Open Access

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Review Article

Subverting Democracy and Thwarting Social Change, an Examination into the Latin American Mass Media

Antonio Castillo*

Journalist and Director of Journalism, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia

*Corresponding Author:
Antonio Castillo
Journalist and Director of Journalism
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT)
Melbourne, Australia
Tel: +61-3-9925-2000
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: January 20, 2014; Accepted Date: March 04, 2014; Published Date: March 31, 2014

Citation: Castillo A (2014) Subverting Democracy and Thwarting Social Change, an Examination into the Latin American Mass Media. J Mass Communicat Journalism 4:185. doi:10.4172/2165-7912.1000185

Copyright: © 2014 Castillo A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



In the last few decades Latin America has seen a shift to left leaning, socially progressive and radical governments. Despite their diverse political textures, all of them have been elected democratically and have appealed to the most marginalised sectors of this vast continent. Hand and hand the region has become a fertile ground for the generation, cross-fertilization and consolidation of history-changing socially progressive movements. From the 2011 student movements in Chile, to the recent Bolivian Aymara Indian actions to block the Dakar rally, Latin America is experiencing a rich tapestry of energetic citizen movements. Considering these two contemporary paradigms, one could argue that Latin America is going through a process of democratic engagement from below. It is a political and civil movement instigated and led by grassroots urban and rural actors struggling to achieve a truly democratic system, a democratic system where social, economic, cultural and environmental justice prevails. The struggle is not without its foes. There is one deep-rooted foe that since the post-colonial period has tried to preserve its class privilege, economic interest and economic control. The Latin American right is not exempt from mighty tools to subvert democracy and obstruct social change. And the mass media is one of its most formidable. In a broad and big-picture approach this article examines, contextualizes and brings up-to-date the role the mass media plays as an “ideological organizer” of the Latin American right. In this context, this paper gives a special emphasis to Chile’s El Mercurio, considered the country’s “paper of record.” It is the oldest daily in the Spanish language currently in circulation and it is the archetypical media “ideological organizer” of the right. Its role in subverting democracy and suppressing social progressive movements cannot be underestimated.


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