LAS 322 • JOURNALISM IN LATIN AMERICA
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
This course intends to provide students with an understanding of the practice of journalism in Latin America, and its progress and constraints in the struggle for the freedom of the press. In addition, it includes general information about the region, such as historical, political, economic, cultural, ethnic and even geographical aspects. Although the emphasis will be on three major cases, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, there also will be a country-by-country analysis of the evolution of the current status of journalism. Latin America here is understood to be the 20 nations of the Americas and the Caribbean that share an Iberian cultural heritage: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico (a US commonwealth), Uruguay and Venezuela. Some topics to be considered: How the recent democratic wave in the region is affecting journalism in countries that for generations had been under dictatorship and strong censorship (We will analyze five cases of newspapers that have been at the vanguard of their countries' transition to democracy); how corruption, traditionally widespread in some countries, affects the practice of journalism; the relations between the press and governments which do not understand or accept the role of independent journalism in a democracy; monopolistic situations or the concentration of media ownership in few hands; the colegios and degree requirements as ways of licensing professional journalists; and violence against journalists and news organizations.