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Strategies for Media ReformInternational Perspectives$
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Des Freedman, Jonathan Obar, Cheryl Martens, and Robert W. McChesney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271641

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271641.001.0001

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Legislating for a More Participatory Media System

Legislating for a More Participatory Media System

Reform Strategies in South America

(p.268) Chapter Twenty-One Legislating for a More Participatory Media System
Strategies for Media Reform

Cheryl Martens

Oliver Reina

Ernesto Vivares

Fordham University Press

South America has been an important site for media reform over the past decade. Examining two South American countries in particular, Argentina and Venezuela, it is possible to see that media reforms have aimed at redistributing media power to a much wider range of civil society actors. The key strategy that brought major support for the reforms in the case of Argentina was the joining of forces of a large number of groups to form the Coalition for Democratic Radio Broadcasting. Leading a wide range of debates and distributing throughout Argentine society, the Coalition’s 21 action points for media reform, presented to the government for the first time in 2004, were incorporated into legislation in 2009. The most significant components of these reforms have been the Coalition’s call for citizen involvement in media as fundamental to media democracy and demands for the redistribution of media power, dividing up the media spectrum in thirds, among government, corporate media, and community media. Secondly, the chapter considers the strategies associated with the development of alternative and community communication in line with reforms aimed at the construction of a participatory, democratic project and, the diversification of the traditional accumulation of power in Venezuela.

Keywords:   civic engagement, community media, development, media reform, South America

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