Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) professor Jairo Lugo-Ocando has co-edited a book that looks at how the spread of populist and nationalist movements in Latin America and the Caribbean has hindered the process of democratisation and diversity in the region’s media industry.
Media and Governance in Latin America: Toward a Plurality of Voices is an edited collection of chapters that examine the relationship between media and political pluralism in Latin America and how more inclusive media are essential to democratic governance in that region.
“Our main argument,” Lugo-Ocando said, “is the necessity to improve plurality and empower voices to achieve true diversity and strengthen the overall democratic ethos in each one of the countries in the region.”
The book was co-edited by Ximena Orchard, head of the School of Communication and Journalism at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Chile, Sara Garcia Santamaria, associate professor at Blanquerna, University Ramon Llull in Spain, and Julieta Brambila, assistant professor at the University of the Americas in Mexico.
With contributions from scholars and media experts from across Latin America and Spain, the book includes chapters on the media and indigenous rights, authoritarianism and news reporting, media ownership, and plurality and diversity in the media landscape, among other topics that centre around the relationship between the media and political governance on the continent.
According to Lugo- Ocando, the book demonstrates how authoritarian regimes have adopted policies that influence the way the media engages with social justice issues, including poverty and inequality. “The rise of authoritarianism, populism, and nationalism in Latin America proves that one of the first victims of democracy receding has been the diversity and plurality of voices in the media sphere.”
In general, the book addresses topics on media and communications, and media politics in Latin America, and provides a unique perspective on the relationship of governments with journalism and freedom of expression in the Global South “while also questioning and challenging theories and perspectives that at times are assumed to be universal,” said, Lugo-Ocando.
Lugo-Ocando is the author of several monographs and dozens of peer-review journal articles and book chapters examining the relationship between media and political pluralism in Latin America. In 2020, he published three books that explore journalistic practices, ideologies, and the effect political influence has on agenda-setting in the newsroom, specifically in the Global South.