Saturday, July 07, 2012

Media fairness in Latin America

Al Jazeera will have a discussion about whether the media in Latin America is fair. In a certain sense, I think it is the wrong question because it suggests there is some definable quality of "fairness." Instead, we can do a better job measuring bias, and in Latin America these are usually quite obvious.

I periodically have a comparative discussion in my Latin American politics class. In the United States, we are obsessed with journalistic objectivity, to the point that we pretend newspapers or networks are unbiased when they clear aren't. Fox News' slogan is a conscious mockery of this obsession.

In Latin America the media is different. You can buy newspapers with different ideological bents, and no one tries to make false claims of fairness. Further, it is much more normal to have state-owned media in the mix.

A better question, then, is how is the media biased in Latin America, and what types of ideological biases have more sway--more money, more circulation, more stations, what have you--than others.


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