The barriers to media opening in Latin America

Sallie Hughes, Chappell Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Despite the spread of electoral democracy, few Latin American media systems today encourage the deepening of democracy. We attribute this outcome to (a) generalized weakness in the rule of law, (b) holdover authoritarian legislation, (c) oligarchic ownership of media outlets, (d) uneven journalistic standards, and (e) limited audience access to diverse sources of information. Reforms designed to address these problems could include the appointment of special prosecutors to investigate crimes against journalists; replacement of criminal libel laws with civil procedures; legislation protecting journalists' sources and guaranteeing transparency in government; the establishment of nonpartisan boards to allocate broadcast concessions, administer state-owned stations, and distribute government advertising; user fees to expand public media; and various measures to enhance professional standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-25
Number of pages17
JournalPolitical Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Democracy
  • Latin America
  • Media
  • Political communication
  • Press

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The barriers to media opening in Latin America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this