Insufficient Media Reforms in Latin America: Urgency to Go Further

By: Clément Doleac, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Dating from the 1980s until the 2000s, the private sector in Latin America has held a monopoly over much of its media ownership, facing limited competition. However, due to the rise of left-wing governments throughout Latin America within the last 15 years, media rules have been re-drawn through new reforms. These have pushed substantial changes, but failed in completely altering the system. Some media groups are now labeled as pro-government and have defended the executive branches of their respective countries while other conglomerates have presented themselves as defenders of freedom against the censorship of the State, by broadcasting ideologically-oriented content against elected governments. This polarization and the emergence of important state-owned media only highlight the incapacity of some left-wing governments to propose more ambitious regulations and to invent a new media sector above political polarization.

Furthermore, these new forms of regulations are insufficient to meet the growing connectedness of the Internet and the digital revolution. It is urgent that a new regulatory framework be restructured through the creation of a shared resources system, aimed at liberating journalism from the bonds of money, private or state-owned. This system could be financed by public and private contribution, subscriptions by consumers, and administrated by a college of representatives from every actor, including the State, the private sector, journalists and consumers. A new framework should also install independent regulatory agencies above polarization. This system must effectively include the public in the conception, diffusion and creation of its content, thereby promoting more independent and diverse media content. We consider media as “freed” when its editorial content is not subject to any pressure, being from the private sector or the State. This freedom ensures equal access for every social class to the media’s content and minimizes self or externally imposed censorship.

 Media Consolidation in Latin America

During the 1960s and 1970s, Latin American governments displayed their schools of propaganda in the media with the goal of promoting their political agendas, while also strengthening their paternalist legacy. The situation in Mexico emphasizes this as the media was almost completely State-controlled, essentially ruled by the hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI, Partido de la Revolución Institucionalizada). This domination also applied to many cultural organizations emanating from civil society.1 Similar situations arose in Colombia (with the pact between the Liberal and Conservative Parties), Argentina (with the hegemony of the justicialismo), and Brazil (with Getúlio Vargas).2 The dictatorships ruling with total control in the Caribbean countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and the successive regimes in Cuba, are prominent examples of a tightly controlled media.3 The struggle to freely operate became all to clear. Additionally, independent radio, newspapers, and journalists were routinely harassed by censorship and strong political pressure, interfering with their right to work freely.4 Television and media organizations “independent” of the government, mostly appeared in Latin American countries during the 1980’s during the struggle against authoritarian rule.5 The explosion of these “free” media groups were also linked to the massive privatization of former public networks. The number of channels considerably increased, not only in Latin America but on a global scale, with a corresponding decline in attention to audience quality, and TV programs straying from topics that had the potential to generate positive social change.6 In fact, the capitalistic structure of globalization have instigated media convergence, but this time based on the private sector. This development has led to the annihilation of independent media, which managed to survive under authoritarian rule.7 What is left for independent media are smaller structures based on run and gun outfits adapted to the Internet.

Very impressive network empires have grown in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, expanding across geographic borders.8 Televisa, for instance, has a large, influential presence across Latin America, Mexico, and the United States, where it owns an important network in cooperation with Univision.9 The Brazilian conglomerate O Globo, Grupo Clarín in Argentina, Grupo Ciscneros in Venezuela, and the Caracol corporation in Colombia are further examples of enormous and influential conglomerates. The media’s privatization has given birth to concentrated private conglomerates, which continue to serve local economic and political forces. However, throughout the region, the sector now controls diverse local media, political bartering, and its own actions, instead of being manipulated by the government.10 The move toward privatization could initially appear to be a positive step for many scholars and human rights defenders because of their emancipation from the authoritarian government rule, but this illusion quickly fades away. Even if the growth of Latin American conglomerates allows a new voice to emerge on a global scale and to challenge First World mass media, a majority of conglomerates in fact lend themselves to decreased diversity, little public inclusion, and poor quality.11

Media_Conglomerate

Image byJoe Wolf, “This Modern World: The Mainstream Media & the Occupy Wall Street Movement”, taken on Octuber 12, 2011. Via Flickr.

A Change Since the Left-Wing, But to What?

The media sector has evolved over the past 15 years due to a new wave of left-wing governments led by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) and former Brazilian President ‘Lula’ da Silva (2003-2011). Left-leaning governments in Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Bolivia have also played a significant role in this change.12 In the name of democratizing mass media, these governments have promoted new frameworks for the media sector, which have been criticized by U.S.-based non-profit organizations, as well as some other Western countries.13 Far from perfect, due to their potential for censorship, these new regulations installed some interesting changes—especially in social and communitarian media and public inclusion.

The 2014 report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), stated that the “information and communications markets of each country were controlled by one provider [and] several Latin American countries have approved new media laws [in order to make the] landscape more pluralistic and less concentrated.”14 According to the UNESCO, this movement has been viewed as “an opportunity for the governments to act against media outlets that have been critical of their administrations.”15 In these countries, there is a strong battle over the application of these regulations, which could have been rendered more positive if they had not been tainted by a degree of political polarization at the moment of practical improvement.

New Regulations, New Problems

Argentina

In Argentina, a new regulation called the Audiovisual Communications Services Law was enacted in 2009.16 It aimed to reform the concentration of media ownership and redistribute broadcasting licenses into three different sectors: private, public, and communitarian. It also obligates the State to renew concessions every 10 years, instead of 20 years.17 It was followed by an anti-terrorism law in 2011, which “holds the media liable for reporting on issues that could ‘terrorize’ the public.”18 Additionally, the government declared news outlets as a “service of national interest,” which means the sector is vulnerable to direct government regulation.19 In both cases, these laws strengthen the power of the executive branch over private media.

The government is also capable of pressuring the media through economic measures. For example, La Nación of Buenos Aires revealed in 2011 “that the executive branch spent $27 million in public funds on official advertising, of which 67.5% was allotted to Channel 9, property of a businessman closely allied with the government.”20

Grupo Clarín, a broadcasting network giant in Argentina opposed this law, fearing to face a reduction in its concessions, arguing that the law targeted the political opposition.21 In fact, the regulation was aimed at the media’s concentration and Clarín’s monopoly. Additionally, the 2009 law contradicts the recent measures of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which was developed in Argentina in 2015.22 This new project allows telephonic networks to provide TV content and to use the network of other enterprises, acts forbidden in the 2009 Audiovisual Communications Services Law.23 For Cablevision, the most important TV cable provider and property of Grupo Clarín, the new ICT project allows competitors access to its network. This tactic was similarly imposed on companies such as AT&T and the Bell system in the U.S., and France Telecom in France to break apart their monopolies.24 This ICT project, if approved, will provide the Spanish firm Telefónica the decisive advantage of investing in the Argentinian market.25 Even if the 2009 Regulation Law could be seen as a democratic success, it was neither an anti-monopolistic nor an all-inclusive move that overruled the ICT project aimed at achieving these goals.

Venezuela

Similar regulations have been passed in Venezuela. In 2000 and 2004, Venezuelan lawmakers approved new regulations under the Social Responsibility in Television and Radio Law (Ley Responsabilidad Social en Radio y Television, Resorte), which forbade content inciting hatred, intolerance, and racism. Because of the polarized political climate in Venezuela, it is difficult to trust the neutrality of any overseeing regulatory body. The opposition, led by the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela, Fedecamaras) backed by mainstream local medias, tried to overthrow the constitutional government of elected president Hugo Chavez in 2002, thereby creating this polarization, and opening the debate on the role of the media.26 Thus, mainstream media chose not to play the role of neutral watchdog, siding against the government.

After these events, the National Commission for Telecommunication (CONATEL, Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicación), the broadcasting regulatory body, voted in 2004 and modified in 2010 regulations to prohibit radio and television stations from broadcasting any material that “foment[s] anxiety in the population or threaten[s] public order,” “deny[s] the authority of the legitimately constituted authorities,” or “incite[s] or promote[s] hatred and intolerance for religious [or] political reasons.”27 The security of the nation also provides a pretext to allow the purpose of censorship to be served.28 These different categorizations of potentially prohibited content are particularly flexible and do not correspond to any international norms, and specifically not the ones defended by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR).29

These reforms in Venezuela also established the three categories of media: private, state and communitarian. They recognize access to communication as a human right.30 These new regulations significantly altered the spectrum of airwaves in Venezuela with an increase of community radio and the shrinking of the private sector.31

A report by the Center for Economy and Policy Research (CEPR), a Washington-based think tank, reports data showing that “the state TV’s audience share is still very small although it is significantly larger than it was a decade ago.”32 The data used by the CEPR highlights that “for the years 2000-2001, the state channels averaged about 1.9 percent of the market, as compared to 5.9 percent for 2009-2010,” showing that the private channels still earn a comfortable majority of the audience.33 However, the private sector’s audience share has decreased from about 80 percent in 2000 to around 60 percent in 2010. This decrease is mostly due to the emergence of communitarian media.34

The U.S. State Department, many voices in the Western world, and the local opposition argue that freedom of speech in Venezuela is in danger because journalists fear being fired by pro-government forces and that their programs face cancellation for criticizing the government. The facts, however, show that only highly conflicting political content was forbidden, and that TV or radio stations have never been closed by the State. Even the RCTV, a broadcasting channel that backed an attempted coup in 2002, was not closed, but has not had its license renewed.35

The main Venezuelan media, which have been backing the violent demonstrations in 2014 in violation of the law, does not face any dire consequences. One exception remains: the shutdown of the Colombian originated channel NTN 24, due to their attempt to “torment anxiety about a coup d’etat,” as stated by elected President Nicolas Maduro. Still, the channel got back on air the same year.36

As stated by Robert Samet and Naomi Schiller, “instead of acting as a watchdog, the media [in Venezuela] assumes the role of attack dog. Denuncias often devolve into cynical tools of political warfare.”37 They continue by saying that on the international stage, national and international elites denounced the Venezuelan government “for obstructing press freedom [even if] Venezuela would likely have outstripped the United States in most, if not all, metrics of press freedom.”38

In addition, the local opposition suspects the expansion of communitarian media to be ruled upon by the State, even if serious investigation on the matter has demonstrated such allegations to be false. It is however fair to admit that most of the communitarian media are ideologically akin to the government, and many of them are animated by left-wing activists.39

Radio_Perola_Media

Image by Oriana Eliçabe, “Radio Perola”, one of the most important communitarian radio in Venezuela, taken on Octuber 23, 2005. Via Flickr.

Bolivia

In Bolivia, the situation is slightly different and its new 2009 Constitution states that the “media are forbidden from directly or indirectly forming monopolies.”40 Furthermore, the Law Against Racism and Any Form of Discrimination states that the government has the right to act against the mass media.41 In 2011, Bolivia’s National Congress passed the General Telecommunication, Information and Communications Technology Law, which was similar to Argentina’s reform (the Audiovisual Communications Services Law). Bolivia’s law requires 17 percent of broadcasting licenses to go to indigenous, peasant, or rural organizations, with an additional 17 percent invested in urban, civil society organizations.42 The creation of communitarian media was even saluted by Reporters without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres, RSF) even if the possibility for everyone to own a radio spectrum was a concern of this organization.43

The freedom of the press is also a subject seen as very polarized in Bolivia. The tensions between media and government are not well integrated in the political culture, and the political actors see every critique as an act of hostility against the government, allegedly backed by the political opposition. For example, in 2006, when the newspaper La Razon criticized the government’s economic policy, the President answered with a nationalization threat.44 Also, in September 2006, the government published a list of the journalists “hostile” to the country, further intensifying tensions.45

One of the country’s most polemical cases included Mr. Rogelio Peláez, the editor of Larga Vista, who was condemned to jail “for allegedly defaming a lawyer, Waldo Molina, by accusing […] of illicit enrichment.” However a decision of the Supreme Court freed him on April 28, 2014.46

Ecuador

On June 17, 2013, Ecuador also approved a controversial media regulation.47 This regulation was designed with the objective to cut down the incredible power of the privately owned media monopoly in Ecuador—which happened to be highly critical of President Correa’s government.48 In fact most media outlets in Ecuador today are privately owned and support the political opposition. The government has long-since accused the private media of spreading rumors and misinformation leading to an attempted police coup against Correa in September 2010 in which the media certainly bears someresponsibility.49

The new law created a Media Regulation Council with the task of imposing standards for the media by dividing the broadcasting spectrum in three parts: public, private and indigenous groups, the latter being mostly supportive of President Correa.50

The Ecuadorean Association of Newspaper Editors (Asociación Ecuatoriana de Editores de Periódicos, or AEDEP) and the Ecuadorean press freedom foundation, Fundamedios, said that this law would deprive citizens of freedom of speech and the right of access to information.51 RSF took a more balanced position stating that the law endorsed many “good principles and bad provisions” and backed the new redistribution of broadcast frequencies goal, which could encourage a “powerful level of media pluralism.”52 The law also prohibits “media lynching” and the dissemination of information which could “smear someone’s or attack one’s character,” including content inciting violence, promoting racial or religious discrimination, which are positive advancements.53 This law is strongly backed by indigenous right groups such as the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (La Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador, or CONAIE).

Still in Ecuador, President Correa and his government put a lot of pressure on the media and the social media. As reported by the Latin-American and Caribbean Network for Democracy, (Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe para la Democracia, REDLAD) the President is willing to reveal the identity of bloggers, and members of Facebook and Twitter which criticized his administration, going against the respect of the anonymity on the web, in the name of the fight against defamation.54

Mexico

In Mexico, a new Audiovisual Reform was promulgated on June 10, 2013.55 Originally, this law aimed to forbid the monopolistic presence of several actors in audiovisual and telephonic communication market.56 Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto declared that its goal was to reduce the shared monopolistic position of the Mexican conglomerates, such as Televisa and Tele Azteca. The reform also aimed to break the dominating position of Telmex through the creation of the Federal Institute for Telecommunication (IFETEL, Instituto Federal de Telecomunicación), a regulatory agency in charge of controlling and promoting the 2013 regulations.57 Numerous Mexican actors, including journalists, associations, and individuals, criticized it because it would detract from the autonomy of the IFETEL, restraining its possibilities of economic interferences, and reduce Internet privacy under the excuse of security.58

Frente_Contra_La_Imposicion

Image by MaloVerde “Frente Contra la Imposición” taken on July 5, 2012. Via Flickr.

In a recent development of the Mexican telecommunication sector, the Wall Street Journal announced that AT&T, a U.S. telecommunication giant, purchased half of Iusacell, a Mexican telecommunication company owned by the Televisa broadcasting empire, for around $2.5 billion USD.59 Televisa immediately used this money to buy Cablevision Red, a regional operator with nearly 650,000 subscribers to cable TV, broadband and phone services.60 As stated by the Wall Street Journal, “aside from being Mexico’s dominant television broadcaster with around 70% of the free-to-air market, Televisa is the largest pay-TV provider through its various cable units and satellite television service Sky Mexico.”61 These moves, entirely in accordance with the federal reform, were not exactly executed in the spirit of ending the presiding monopolies, leading to profound skepticism among citizens.

Also, Mexico is still one of the worst Latin American country regarding censorship and murders of journalists. As stated by Vice News, Mexico is a “killing ground [of] journalists,” with dozens of murders and deaths threats since 2006, linked with the War on Drugs and the government authorities.62

New Regulations Caught Between Positive Initiatives and Negative Application

Representing a range of views on the political scale, these five examples share several commonalities. First off, various governments have questioned the legitimacy of the monopolistic private broadcasting empires in Latin America. Second, these officials have promoted a come-back to strong state-owned networks, which led to a deepening of the already polarized political game in most Latin American countries.The media has not tried to play the role of neutral watchdog, but one of political actor. Third, these reforms propose new standards such as the positive communitarian media. However, the new communitarian and civil society media are mainly financed by the State, and experience difficultly escaping the polarization of the political life in Latin America.63 Fourth, these new regulations strengthen the position of the State and elected authorities to exploit censorship, mostly in the name of security-even if it is a worldwide trend. Fifth, these regulations distinctly do not forbid broadcasting empires from investing in the communication sector, or from buying cable operators and vice-versa.

Even if the non-renewal of concessions can serve as a positive tool to break a monopoly, or as a legitimate move in the event that the media call for violence, the possibility of misapplication is important if there is not an independent regulatory body that rules the sector. These broadcasting and communication empires will likely become more concentrated in both sectors instead of just one.

These new regulations and laws have reduced the freedom of speech and editorial content by increasing the risk of censorship under the name of security, intolerance, and violence as well as criticizing the legitimacy of elected authorities. Returning to state-controlled media is also not a positive decision; a better option would be to grant financial and political independence to different regulatory agencies as well as to propose a new public service for mass media.

The 2014 report by UNESCO highlighted the extreme polarization affecting the media credibility by “stifling a ‘neutral watchdog’ in favor of ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ government media.”64 These new measures regarding the mass media and newspapers have already opened several paths to escape such bipolarity, but they remain insufficient. As stated by the Journalism in the Americas blog from the University of Austin, new organizations and associations arose in order to escape the sector’s “Cold War,” such as the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI, Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo), the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIPER, Centro de Investigación e Información Periodística) in Chile, the MEPI Foundation in Mexico, and Guatemala’s Public Plaza. According to the same blog, they “[were created in order] to bring awareness to difficulties the profession faces.”65 The 2014 UNESCO report also emphasized that “[t]here is still a lack of independent regulators, in a context that requires renovation and updating of regulatory frameworks [even if] the region has made great progress in the adoption of new laws on information access and with the expansion of the internet access.”66

New Regulations in Latin America: Too Late for the Digital Revolution

Besides this inescapable trend of returning to a State-ruled traditional media, there has been a considerable rise in Internet use in Latin America. Internet use increased from only a quarter of the Latin American population in 2004 (mostly within upper-class) to nearly half in 2014, divisible into three zones: 56.8 percent in South America, 44.1 percent in Central America, and 41.1 percent in the Caribbean on June 2014.67 Media businesses have changed as a consequence of a 5 percent increase between 2010 and 2012 in Latin American advertising and a 38 percent growth in newspaper, concentrated in print advertising.68 Traditional print advertising saw a 21 percent increase in Internet advertising in 2012, even if the Internet content remains of poor quality.69 Also, new businesses focusing on the Internet are constantly re-defining the interaction between the citizenship and the mass media. Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter are example of enterprises that propose more adaptive and personalized content to people than the traditional TV broadcasting channels and the traditional media, being private or State-owned.

Social_Media_CD

Image by Sean McEntee “social media” taken on November 26, 2010. Via Flickr.

Regional governments understand the importance of data protection and storage, and have approved a new generation of laws in reaction to U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s NSA spying revelations. Brazil, for example, passed a law to increase web privacy with the Marco Civil law in April 2013.70 New transparency laws and initiatives have also appeared in Paraguay and Uruguay. A previous lack of these kinds of laws in Mexico has bolstered protest movements and debates emanating from the public arena.71

Despite numerous improvements, many challenges await Latin American governments, given that these new regulations are far from adequate. During a forum held in the United States by the World Bank and National Public Radio (NPR) in June 2014, participants suggested that the traditional press has been turned upside down due to the digital revolution bringing an uncertain future with no economic model equipped to answer to this revolution. As stated by Omar Rincón, Director of the Journalism Institute of Colombia’s Universidad de los Andes, while discussing the new Latin American regulations, these have “not improved citizen inclusion.”72 In fact, what was criticized and seen as a likely dictatorship was the one of “the click”, referring to the action users perform to open a web page.73 Daniel Moreno, Director of the Mexican news site Animal Político explains: “the click takes place in a context of competition where rigor and ethics as well as depth take a back seat.”74 On the other hand, Óscar Martínez of El Faro, a pioneering digital newspaper based in El Salvador, claims that some online media sources have managed to “depoliticize” coverage of the national situation, surprising readers who have come to identify media with politics.”75

New opportunities to escape political polarization are progressively opened thanks to the new technology. More oriented towards the civil society and citizenship participation, this digital revolution has opened a path that must be further explored. Deeper and sharper regulations are still required and they should adapt to the Internet and digital era. Internet is seen by several scholars as a way to break through monopolies and to free the people’s word. It is no more a question of being able to provide an alternative story to the private conglomerates, through a State-owned conglomerate. The issue for today is to free people from domination by the private or State-owned conglomerates, as well as to make citizenship part of the content creation. Are the Latin American governments willing to promote such reforms, or will they stand their ground and promote regulations answering the problems of last century?

Current Necessities: Liberty From Every Domination

One of the most coherent propositions suggested to reform the media narket was formulated by Pierre Rimbert in the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatique. He proposed to create a “[National] shared service [which] would provide newspapers […] with printing, paper, distributors and newsstands, […] offices, servers, storage equipment, distribution tools, and research and development resources, […] access to administrative, accounting, legal and commercial services, and would provide a shared platform for subscriptions, payments and database management.”76 This shared public service would also pay IT engineers, developers and hackers, in order to collaborate on “ensuring personal data security, improving the legibility of websites and inventing new graphic concepts.”77

This model is financed though a special tax base on the model of social security contributions (cotisations in French). These contributions, from the State, media consumers, and the owners of the media would be administrated by representative of each contributors, as well as representatives of journalists and producers, through unions and elected representatives. It would lead to the simplification of “creating or buying a newspaper or a news website […] because the costs would be limited to the salaries of the journalists, the rest being covered by the shared service. The alternative press would cease to be marginal.”78 Additionally, the media would still compete based on content only, and not on funds.79 Liberated from state and/or private sector funds, journalism would enjoy the freedom of expression in a real, competitive manner. This idea is one of many possibilities that have been offered.

Are Latin American governments open to this path or a similar solution? It is urgent to probe deeper, go further, and to understand that being liberal is to free people from domination. To simply transfer domination of the individual rights from the private sector to the state, potentially leading to censorship, paternalism and clientelism is no solution. State domination has previously demonstrated its failure and it is necessary to avoid any replication of the past where fictive rights are sacred, but those of any substance are ignored.

By: Clément Doleac, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

lease accept this article as a free contribution from COHA, but if re-posting, please afford authorial and institutional attribution. Exclusive rights can be negotiated. For additional news and analysis on Latin America, please go to: LatinNews.com and Rights Action.

Featured image by:  Trey Ratcliff, ” What is on television tonight” on November 22, 2006. Taken From https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/305625785

References

1 BIZBERG Ilan, « La transformation politique du Mexique: fin de l’ancien régime et apparition du nouveau ? », in Critique Internationale, n°19, avril 2003. ; BIZBERG Ilan, « La sociedad civil en el nuevo regimen politico », Foro internacional, Vol. XLVII, Numéro 4, Octubre-Diciembre 2007, pp. 785-816., El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico.

2PECAUT Daniel, Les FARC : une guérilla sans fins ?, Lignes de repères, Paris, 2008., ; CALVO OSPINA Hernando, Colombie: derrière le rideau de fumée: histoire du terrorisme d’Etat, Pantin: le Temps des cerises, 2008. ; Russell, Roberto., and Carlos Altamirano. Argentina 1910-2010: Balance Del Siglo. 1. ed. Buenos Aires: Taurus, 2010. ; OUALALOU Lamia, Brésil : histoire, société, culture, Paris : la Découverte, impr. 2014, cop. 2014,

3DOLEAC Clément, “Human Rights in Haiti”, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, December 2014. ; LAMRANI Salim,Cuba. Ce que les médias ne vous diront jamais, Paris, Éditions Estrella, 2009. Prologue de Nelson Mandela ; ROUMETTE Sara, Cuba : histoire, société, culture, Paris : la Découverte, impr. 2011 ; CAPDEVILA Laura, La dictature de Trujillo : République dominicaine, 1930–1961, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1998

4 BECERRA Martin, “Medios de comunicación: América Latina a contramano » in Nueva Sociedad N. 249, January-February 2014.

5GALVAN Javier A., Latin American Dictators of the 20th Century: The Lives and Regimes of 15 Rulers, McFarland, 2012.

6 This movement was linked to full cable roll out and the advances in Satellite transmission capacity, which brought costs way down ; BECERRA Martin, “Medios de comunicación: América Latina a contramano » in Nueva Sociedad N. 249, January-February 2014.

7Ibid.

8Ibid.

9GUMUCIO Alfonso, “Media, Freedom and Poverty: A Latin American Perspective,” In Communication for Social Change Consortium. Consulted on http://www.communicationforsocialchange.org/mazi-articles.php?id=313 ; “Grupo Televisa Y Univision Ampliarán Relación Estratégica En Los Estados Unidos De América” Press Release by Univision and Televisa on Octuber 5, 2010. (PDF).

10Ibid.

11Ibid.

12 KNOLL Travis, “UNESCO reports advances and setbacks on Freedom of Expression in Latin America and Caribbean” in Journalism in Americas, University of Austin Texas, on July 11, 2014. Consulted on https://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-15679-unesco-reports-advances-and-setbacks-freedom-expression-latin-america-and-caribbean on January 21, 2015.

13HALL Alexandra, “South America: A Panorama of Media Democratization » in NACLA. Consulted on https://nacla.org/article/south-america-panorama-media-democratization on January 21, 2015.

14Ibid.

15Ibid.

16HALL Alexandra, “South America: A Panorama of Media Democratization » in NACLA. Consulted on https://nacla.org/article/south-america-panorama-media-democratization on January 21, 2015.

17Ibid.

18QUINTANA Ana, “Government-Sanctioned Censorship in Argentina” in DailySignal, on November 13, 2013. Consulted on http://dailysignal.com/2013/11/01/government-sanctioned-censorship-in-argentina/ on February 3, 2015.

19Ibid.

20TROTTI Ricardo, “Indirect Censorship (English version)Journalism in a Difficult Context”, Journalism: of the Americas, Spring 2011. Consulted on http://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/indirect-censorship-english-version on February 3, 2015.

21 MOCHKOFSKY Graciela, Pecado Original. Clarín, los Kirchner y la lucha por el poder, Planeta Espejo de la Argentina, 2011 ; “Magnetto: ‘Nosotros nos pusimos al frente del conflicto y a partir de allí, el Gobierno decidió destruirnos.'” Perfil. 12 August 2008.

22DE CARLOS Carmen, “Polémica en Argentina por una ley del Gobierno que afecta a Telefónica » in ABC News, on November 11, 2014. Consulted on http://www.abc.es/economia/20141109/abci-polemica-argentina-gobierno-afecta-201411071835.html on January 21, 2015.

23 RAFFO Julio, “El proyecto TIC, un impúdico mamarracho » on Clarin, on November 7th, 2014. Consulted on http://www.clarin.com/opinion/TIC-Telefonica-Ley_de_Medios-Cine-AFSCA_0_1244875599.html on January 26, 2015.

24DE CARLOS Carmen, “Polémica en Argentina por una ley del Gobierno que afecta a Telefónica » in ABC News, on November 11, 2014. Consulted on http://www.abc.es/economia/20141109/abci-polemica-argentina-gobierno-afecta-201411071835.html on January 21, 2015. ; For the case of France, you can read “France Telecom and Free to cooperate on rural fibre deployment” on TeleGeography Authoritative Telecom Data, on July 22, 2011. Consulted on https://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2011/07/22/france-telecom-and-free-to-cooperate-on-rural-fibre-deployment/ on March 3, 2015 ; For the case of AT&T and about the Breakup of the Bell System, you can read FRUM David, How We Got Here: The ’70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. 2000 and TEMIN Peter, GALAMBOS Louis, The Fall of the Bell System: A Study in Prices and Politics, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1987.

25DE CARLOS Carmen, “Polémica en Argentina por una ley del Gobierno que afecta a Telefónica » in ABC, on November 11, 2014. Consulted on http://www.abc.es/economia/20141109/abci-polemica-argentina-gobierno-afecta-201411071835.html on January 21, 2015.

26LEMOINE Maurice, “How hate media incited the coup against president, Venezuela’s press power” in Le Monde Diplo, on August 2002. Consulted on http://mondediplo.com/2002/08/10venezuela on February 9, 2015.

27Human Rights Watch, Concentración y Abuso de Poder en la Venezuela de Chávez, on Human Rights Watch, on July 17, 2012. Consulted on http://www.hrw.org/es/node/109538/section/3 on February 3, 2015.

28TROTTI Ricardo, “Indirect Censorship (English version)Journalism in a Difficult Context”, Journalism: of the Americas, Spring 2011. Consulted on http://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/indirect-censorship-english-version on February 3, 2015.

29Human Rights Watch, “Concentración y Abuso de Poder en la Venezuela de Chávez”, on Human Rights Watch, on July 17, 2012. Consulted on http://www.hrw.org/es/node/109538/section/3 on February 3, 2015.

30HALL Alexandra, “South America: A Panorama of Media Democratization » in NACLA. Consulted on https://nacla.org/article/south-america-panorama-media-democratization on January 21, 2015. ; ROSALES Arturo and BLOUGH Les, “Opposition Media Dogs Salivate Over Venezuela’s New Cable TV Law,” Axis of Logic, June 12, 2009, available at axisoflogic.com.

31Ibid.

32 RUTTENBERG Tara and WEISBROT Mark, “Television in Venezuela: Who Dominates the Media?,” In Center for Economic and Policy Research, December 2010. Consulted on http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/who-dominates-the-media-in-venezuela on January 21, 2015.

33Ibid.

34Ibid.

35HALL Alexandra, “South America: A Panorama of Media Democratization » in NACLA. Consulted on https://nacla.org/article/south-america-panorama-media-democratization on January 21, 2015 ; SUGGETT James, “ Free Speech and RCTV in Venezuela” in Upside Down World, on May 22, 2007. Consulted on http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/742/1/ on February 9, 2015. ; SCHILLER, Naomi, “Reckoning with Press Freedom: Community Media, Liberalism, and the Processual State in Caracas, Venezuela.” American Ethnologist 40, no. 3: 540–54, 2013.

36This case is just one of the most recent case. See more on “Venezuelan government shuts down internet in wake of protests” in Slash Gear, on February 22, 2014. Consulted on http://www.slashgear.com/venezuelan-government-shuts-down-internet-in-wake-of-protests-22317781/ on February 18, 2015.

37SAMET Robert, SCHILLER Naomi, “Battles over Press Freedom in Venezuela” in Cultural Anthropology, on February 5, 2015. Consulted on http://culanth.org/fieldsights/645-battles-over-press-freedom-in-venezuela on February 9, 2015.

38Ibid.

39HALL Alexandra, “South America: A Panorama of Media Democratization » in NACLA. Consulted on https://nacla.org/article/south-america-panorama-media-democratization on January 21, 2015 ; The Revolution in Venezuela : social and political change under Chávez, edited by Thomas Ponniah and Jonathan EastwoodCambridge, Mass. : Harvard University David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, 2011, vol. (VI-338 p.) ; Venezuela’s Bolivarian democracy : participation, politics, and culture under Chávez, David Smilde and Daniel Hellinger, editorsDurham, NC : Duke University Press, cop. 2011 ; Le Venezuela au-delà du mythe : Chávez, la démocratie, le changement social / sous la direction de Olivier Compagnon, Julien Rebotier et Sandrine RevetIvry-sur-Seine : Éd. de l’Atelier, DL 2009.

41HALL Alexandra, “South America: A Panorama of Media Democratization » in NACLA. Consulted on https://nacla.org/article/south-america-panorama-media-democratization on January 21, 2015

42Ibid.

43 Infoamérica, Bolvia, Informe 2007, consulted on http://www.infoamerica.org/libex/bolivia.htm on February 3, 2015.

44Ibid.

45Ibid.

46 Reporters without borders, “Bolivian editor’s 30-month jail term quashed but other journalists are being prosecuted” on Reporters without borders, on July 22, 2014. Consulted on http://en.rsf.org/bolivia-bolivian-editor-s-30-month-jail-22-07-2014,46674.html on February 3, 2015.

47 “Ecuador Passes Controversial Media Reform Law” on Pan-American Post, on June 17, 2013. Consulted on http://www.thepanamericanpost.com/2013/06/ecuador-passes-controversial-media.html on February 4, 2015.

48Ibid.

49 LEMOIRE Maurice, “Latin American coups upgraded”, le Monde Diplo, on Augusr 2014. Consulted on http://mondediplo.com/2014/08/06coups on February 5, 2015.

50 “Ecuador Passes Controversial Media Reform Law” on Pan-American Post, on June 17, 2013. Consulted on http://www.thepanamericanpost.com/2013/06/ecuador-passes-controversial-media.html on February 4, 2015.

51Ibid.

52Ibid.

53Ibid.

54La Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe para la Democracia Condena los Ataques de Rafael Correa a activistas de Redes Sociales, 29 de enero 2015.

55BRENNAN Mark, FARQUHAR Michele, FITZGERALD Ari, HANBURY trey, HERNANDEZ ARROYO Frederico, “The new Mexican Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law” in Global Media and Communications Watch, on September 11, 2014. Consulted on http://www.hlmediacomms.com/2014/09/11/the-new-mexican-federal-telecommunications-and-broadcasting-law/ on January 28, 2015.

56Ibid

57Ibid

58TURNER William, «#EPNvsInternet y el regreso de los jóvenes al activismo en redes sociales». CNN México. On April 23, 2014. Consulted on January 28, 2015 ; «Viral Twitter protest targets Mexico Internet law», Al Jazeera, April 22, 2014. Consulted on http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201404222018-0023661 January 28, 2015 ; «Mexican Youth Protest ‘Anti-Freedom of Expression’ Telecom Bill», Vice News, April 12, 2014. Consulted on https://news.vice.com/article/mexican-youth-protest-anti-freedom-of-expression-telecom-bill on January 28. 2015 ; Redacción, «Marchan contra ley de telecomunicaciones». La crónica de hoy. On April 22, 2014. Consulted on http://www.cronica.com.mx/notas/2014/829346.html on January 28, 2015 ; GONZALEZ Noma, « Las consecuencias en la Ley de Telecomunicaciones” in La Jornada, on July 8, 2014. Consulted http://www.lja.mx/2014/07/las-consecuencias-en-la-ley-de-telecomunicaciones/ on January 28, 2015.

59 HARRUP Anthony, “Mexico’s Televisa Sells Mobile Stake, Buys Cable Company” on Wall Street Journal. Consulted on http://www.wsj.com/articles/mexicos-televisa-sells-mobile-stake-buys-cable-company-1420777241 on January 26, 2015.

60Ibid.

61Ibid.

62KNOLL Andalucia, “Mexico Is a Killing Ground for Journalists,” Vice News, on April 29, 2014. Consulted on https://news.vice.com/article/mexico-is-a-killing-ground-for-journalists on February 18, 2015

63SCHILLER, Naomi, “Reckoning with Press Freedom: Community Media, Liberalism, and the Processual State in Caracas, Venezuela.” American Ethnologist 40, no. 3: 540–54, 2013.

64HALL Alexandra, “South America: A Panorama of Media Democratization » in NACLA. Consulted on https://nacla.org/article/south-america-panorama-media-democratization on January 21, 2015.

65 KNOLL Travis, “UNESCO reports advances and setbacks on Freedom of Expression in Latin America and Caribbean” in Journalism in Americas, University of Austin Texas, on July 11, 2014. Consulted on https://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-15679-unesco-reports-advances-and-setbacks-freedom-expression-latin-america-and-caribbean on January 21, 2015.

66Ibid.

68KNOLL Travis, “UNESCO reports advances and setbacks on Freedom of Expression in Latin America and Caribbean” in Journalism in Americas, University of Austin Texas, on July 11, 2014. Consulted on https://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-15679-unesco-reports-advances-and-setbacks-freedom-expression-latin-america-and-caribbean on January 21, 2015.

69Ibid.

70RIDOUT T.A., “Marco Civil: Brazil’s Push to Govern the Internet” on the World Post, on October 22, 2013. Consulted on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/t-a-ridout/brazils-push-to-govern-the-internet_b_4133811.html on February 3, 2015.

71Most of Latin American countries also participate in the Open Government Partnership (OGP), see more at : http://www.opengovpartnership.org/ ; For the protests in Mexico, see TURNER William, «#EPNvsInternet y el regreso de los jóvenes al activismo en redes sociales». CNN México. On April 23, 2014. Consulted on January 28, 2015 ; «Viral Twitter protest targets Mexico Internet law», Al Jazeera, April 22, 2014. Consulted on http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201404222018-0023661 January 28, 2015 ; «Mexican Youth Protest ‘Anti-Freedom of Expression’ Telecom Bill», Vice News, April 12, 2014. Consulted on https://news.vice.com/article/mexican-youth-protest-anti-freedom-of-expression-telecom-bill on January 28. 2015 ; Redacción, «Marchan contra ley de telecomunicaciones». La crónica de hoy. On April 22, 2014. Consulted on http://www.cronica.com.mx/notas/2014/829346.html on January 28, 2015 ; GONZALEZ Noma, « Las consecuencias en la Ley de Telecomunicaciones” in La Jornada, on July 8, 2014. Consulted http://www.lja.mx/2014/07/las-consecuencias-en-la-ley-de-telecomunicaciones/ on January 28, 2015.

72World Bank, “Latin American media: freedom of the press or a dictatorship of the click?” on World Bank Website, on June 30, 2014. Consulted on http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/06/30/madios-digitales on January 21, 2015.

73Ibid.

74Ibid.

75RIMBERT Pierre, “Freeing the fourth estate », in Le Monde Diplomatique, December 2014. Consulted in english on http://mondediplo.com/2014/12/13press on January 21, 2015.

76Ibid.

77Ibid.

78 Ibid.

79Ibid.