The instrumentalization of journalism and journalists in populist Governments in South America: the cases of Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador
Martín Oller, (Ecuador)
Adriana Amado, National University of Matanza (Argentina)
Sonia Virgínia Moreira, Rio de Janeiro State University (Brazil)
Journalism in general and journalists in particular have a leading role within the mechanisms of information, communication, dissemination and propaganda of the so-called progressive Latin American Governments like Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil. The political role, played by some journalists and media, places them in the middle of the discussion between Governments, the opposition and the public (citizens) to the point of wondering where information ends and official advertising begins. Communication as a “strategic asset” has been demonstrated due to the interest of certain Governments to regulate and control the media system and the journalistic processes in their countries. Examples such as Ecuador – by the approval of the Organic Law of Communication (LOC) on June 25, 2013, and the creation of several agencies, public media and regulation and control institutions; Argentina – by the Law on Audiovisual Communication Services in October 22, 2009, and the consolidation of the State as the main advertisers in the country and audiovisual producer –; and Brazil, by the regulation in 2011 permitting the participation of telecommunications groups in the audiovisual media market, and the creation in 2009 of a public media system headed by the Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), show this. Therefore, this study, supported by the results of the Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) project, seeks to establish whether the professional roles that journalists perceive within Ecuadorian, Argentine and Brazilian societies – auto qualified as progressive or disqualified such as populist or neopopulists – is linked with the regulation, control and, even, manipulation of information and communication processes by the Governments – or other powers – of these three countries.
Keywords: Journalistic culture; roles conception; journalists; South America; populism.