Media and Politics in Latin America: Globalization,Democracy and Identity 9780755620692, 9781848856127

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Media and Politics in Latin America: Globalization,Democracy and Identity
 9780755620692, 9781848856127

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To all the oppressed peoples, may they find light in their darkest hour … To all the philosophers and writers who have suffered injustices in life, thank you for your teachings … To my friends in the UK and Brazil, who have been there … And to my mother

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Mellichamp Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse of the University of California Santa Barbara, for his kindness and generosity, and Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva, former USP professor, for having believed in me. A warm thank you also goes to UFRJ university student Manuela Andreoni, for assisting with the conduction of the online survey, and journalist Juliana Braga, for her friendship and support. I am also very grateful for the journalists and academics who took time out to be interviewed for this book and the staff at Senate House library, University of London. A special thanks go to the editors at I.B.Tauris, Jenna Steventon and Tomasz Hoskins, and Mathew Brown, for reading drafts. Finally, to my parents and friends.

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS Abert BBC Confecom EBC ESP FCC FNDC FSP LGT NAFTA NWICO Ofcom PSB RJ SP TWBD UFRJ USP

Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasting British Broadcasting Corporation National Conference on Communications Empresa Brasileira de Comunicacao Estado de Sao Paulo Federal Communications Commission National Forum of Communication Democratization Folha de Sao Paulo Lei Geral de Telecomunicacoes North American Free Trade Agreement New World Information and Communication Order Office of Communications Public Service Broadcasting Rio de Janeiro Sao Paulo TV Without Frontiers Directive Federal University of the State of RJ University of Sao Paulo

INTRODUCTION This book contrasts the role performed by the public media in European countries, mainly the UK, with the strengthening of the public media platform in Brazil and other South American nations. The rapidly changing media environment in South America, and the strategies for increasing media democratisation in countries like Brazil, have brought to the surface pressing debates on the formation of a new regulatory framework for the media and other demands for media reform and democratisation. Such demands are taking place at a moment when European public service broadcasting is facing a serious identity crisis. Ideological attacks on public service broadcasting cut across the political spectrum: they come not only from corporate and market lobbyists worried about competition with commercial broadcasters but also from sectors of the left concerned about the public service media’s commitment to quality programming. At the same time, public service broadcasters (PSBs) are having to adapt to a changing media environment of expanding new media technologies and fragmented audiences with diverse media consumption habits and tastes. My purpose here is to examine the state of public service broadcasting and the public media at the turn of the twentieth century, by contrasting and comparing national systems through historical analysis, and with reference to various international debates. The research undertaken for this book investigates the ways in which the public service media platform in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, can have a role in deepening democratisation, in assisting in national development, and in contributing to wider international dialogue between countries. There are four main lines of inquiry: 1 an evaluation of the historical evolution and the public broadcasting tradition of countries like the UK and Brazil; 2 the relationship established between the public media with the state, the public sphere and the public interest in both countries, with a

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particular stress on the lack of tradition in Latin America of public communication structures committed to the common good; 3 the debates on what constitutes ‘quality’ programming and information in both the private and public media; 4 an examination of the ‘crisis’ of civic forms of communication, and of political and ‘serious’ journalism worldwide, and the ways in which it can still be used for the public interest. A central question is the extent to which the public media actually differ from commercial forms of communication. This requires an evaluation of theories about how public media have contributed to the national life in European countries, which contrasts with deliberations on how the public media can contribute to democratisation in developing countries, including through the expansion of independent programming and wider representation of national, regional and local cultural identities. I also look at the ways in which the public media can enhance pluralism by including more players in the mediated public sphere and offering a platform for discussion on politics and controversial issues, with a potential impact on policy formation. In this way, the public media can help to widen the social and political inclusion of various groups in mainstream politics and society. In short, I probe the extent to which the public media, particularly electronic media such as television and the internet, can play a role in creating political, social and cultural common spaces that might fortify the projects of democratisation and national development in Latin American countries (Canizalez and Lugo-Ocando, 2008: 218). This core hypothesis is explored through a critical engagement with, among others, theories of development, modernisation, cultural imperialism and globalisation. As various academics have pointed out, Latin American broadcasting has been very much shaped by international relations, and by the influence of the USA in the development of television broadcasting in countries like Brazil and Mexico (Straubhaar, 1996; Waisbord, 1995; Sinclair, 1999). Scholars disagree, nonetheless, about the extent to which foreign influence has played a determining role in the formation of broadcasting in the region (Fox, 1997). This book considers this question by investigating the links between global and local politics and the ways in which media systems are shaped and have changed in the last years in both developed and developing societies. As we shall see, there is a reason why we equate honest and thorough information with democracy, and repudiate ideological manipulation, onesided information and commercial and/or political pressures on news, in the

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belief that access to quality information not only enables the inclusion of citizens in political debate but also serves educational purposes and makes public opinion more robust and participatory. There are pressing concerns here with the unequal power relations between Latin American countries and the advanced democracies, with the impact of neo-colonialism on the region, and with the ways in which the social, political, economic and cultural development of a country like Brazil is tied to its need to tackle national social and inequality problems as well as to its continuing subordinate position and relative weakness within global democratic decisionmaking. I thus aim to establish a relationship between the local and political problems of a country like Brazil with external and global influences in the communication, political and economic fields. These debates are assessed in the context of the decline of the cultural power of the West: the economic crisis has affected many European countries, and there has been a growth in social and economic inequality in advanced democracies; there is increasing commercialisation of media corporations worldwide and a concentration of ownership; and there is a crisis of identity within European public service broadcasting, affecting ‘serious’ journalism and ‘quality’ newspapers and thus the cultural vehicles that have traditionally composed the mediated public sphere in modern European states. With the expansion of the printing press in Europe from the seventeenth century onwards, the spread of ideas, knowledge and information has been tightly linked to the development of European modern societies and their institutions (Thompson, 1994). Thus the ways in which ideas, rationality and information can promote progress and contribute to social improvement has been very much part of the Enlightenment project. Various intellectuals, journalists and media policymakers, especially in the UK (Curran, 2000; Garnham, 1997; Scannell, 1986), have placed their hopes on the electronic media, mainly television broadcasting, having the capacity to revive in a contemporary setting the traditional Habermasian public sphere role of the nineteenth century. Europe public service broadcasting has traditionally been part of what has been deemed a ‘communication welfare’. Its historical adherence to liberal media principles of impartiality, editorial quality and programming and independence from political and economic pressures, with the BBC being its prime symbol, is seen as a model worth preserving in an age of increasing commercialisation and preoccupation with the declining role of communications in helping build democratisation and citizenship worldwide. The crux of this book is how such a ‘communication welfare’ can remain

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genuinely committed to the public interest and independent of political and economic pressures, and be tied to the deepening of democracy in Latin American countries.

Focus and Rationale

As Esser and Pfetsch (2004b: 384) state, the macro-societal structures that are taken for granted within one’s own system can only be detected from a cross-national, comparative perspective. It is my wholehearted belief that the comparative approach is of great benefit to researchers, who can use it to analyse the integration of politics, communications, economics and technologies in a globalised world, in contrast to approaches that examine fields of study in isolation and thus encounter various limitations (Esser and Pfetsch, 2004b: 385). Such a diverse region as Latin America, because of its dramatic differences in history, culture, national identity and politics, can pose challenges to a writer and researcher, and I have tried to overcome these by focusing on certain themes and topics of interest both to Latin American and to European nations. Nevertheless, I place a particular emphasis on Brazil, the main economy in the region and a fast-growing powerhouse. One important element that many countries in Latin America hold in common is the fact that until approximately three decades ago they were under right-wing military dictatorships. Many of these countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Chile, are today pursuing similar policies in regards to expanding political democratisation. These include a critical approach to the strict adherence to the neoliberal economic policies which dominated in the 1990s; the restructuring of the state and the introduction and proliferation of social and wealth distribution programmes, such as the Bolsa Familia in Brazil; the creation of new legislation to replace some outdated laws implemented during the military years; the revision of human rights laws; the ratification of articles from the Constitution and the coming to terms of many of these countries, like Argentina, Chile and Brazil, with their dark past and the shadow of some of the crimes practices during the dictatorship. There has also been an intensification of the internationalisation of the media in the last three decades in these countries, with the entry of cable, satellite and new technologies following the deregulation trends of the 1990s and changes in telecommunication laws. As many authors point out (Herman and McChesney, 2004), communication systems in much of the world have not remained the solely national phenomena that they were prior to the 1990s. In the case of Latin American countries, this has not been much different. As Hardy (2008, xvi) further states, ‘national cultural differences

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and traditions, differences of language, geography, political systems and power structures, economies, international relationships and histories have shaped and continue to influence media systems’. It is precisely this complex interplay of the national with the global, in both politics and the media, past and present, which I investigate throughout this book. I shall further analyse here the characteristics of Latin American media systems, including their historical commercial model tradition of broadcasting, which has been heavily influenced by the USA (Straubhaar, 2001; Fox and Waisbord, 2002). I will also look at the impact that this has had on the formation of national identities, and on the shaping of audiences’ perceptions of the role of commercial and public media broadcasting in their everyday lives. The key questions are these: 1 Can the integration of the public media platform contribute to strengthen press freedom and expand political democratisation in the region? 2 What role can the public media platform perform in the deepening of the democratisation project in countries like Brazil? 3 Can the public media offer better quality information and debate, contributing for wider cultural emancipation and increased levels of education? 4 What lessons can be learned from the tradition of European public service broadcasting, and the relationship that it has established with democracy? In general terms, then, this book is concerned largely to articulate a debate on what exactly constitutes the public media, and to outline the role played by the public media in correcting market failures and boosting media democratisation in developing countries. This debate is framed within the context of the ‘crisis’ of the public media in Europe, where models like the UK’s BBC, are currently under threat.

Book Outline

Part I of this book constructs a historical outlook on the development of public forms of communication in Brazil and in key Latin American countries. It engages also with the debates about broadcasting legislation which have predominated in Brazil, providing a further critical discussion of current media policies on radio and television broadcasting and other initiatives which have been presented by governments throughout the region in a strive to deepen media democratisation and political liberalism.

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The key intellectual framework of Part I enables assessment of these debates from a historical as well as a contemporary national and international perspective. It provides a critical appraisal of cultural imperialism, modernisation and globalisation theories and moves on to advocate a more participatory or ‘cosmopolitan democracy’ (Held, 1995). The second part attempts to look at the macro and micro structures of the media, and how the political systems established in Brazil and other Latin America countries fare in a comparative analysis with the Northern European model (Hallin and Mancini, 2004). Part II examines the relationship between the public media and the public interest, how this tradition has been developed in European public service broadcasting systems, and the impact that these have had on democracy and on everyday life in countries like the UK. This chapter thus investigates the key perspectives and approaches to the public sphere and the nature of its relationship to European public communication systems (Habermas, 1989; Scannell, 1989; Keane, 1995; Curran, 2000). It synthesises the arguments and critiques of the Habermasian concept of the public sphere, and considers the ways in which this has been seen as an ideal, having largely underlined the philosophy behind the construction of the UK’s public service broadcasters. The role of the state and the market, and the relationships that these societal spheres have developed with different media systems, is also a defining intellectual concern of Part II. This broader debate is, however, broken into various other pressing issues, including the type of economic and commercial constraints placed on communication media and the degree of press freedom and challenges faced by the contemporary Latin American press. The latter are the subject matter of the second chapter of Part II. Here I shift the focus to the specific case of journalism and the ‘crisis’ of public communications in Europe as a consequence of expanding commercialisation, proliferation of new technologies and changing audience habits. Deliberations on the decline of ‘serious’, political and quality journalism in the West receive particular attention, and are contrasted to the multiple journalism narratives which have emerged in Latin America and Brazil in the aftermath of the dictatorships. The first chapter of Part III examines core television theories and audience research perspectives, including a discussion of the changing nature of the medium of television – its relationship to the public sphere and to audiences, and how audiences interpret its messages, and to globalisation. It also investigates the medium’s contradictory nature: its ability both to reinforce the views of the status quo and to offer possibilities of resistant readings. It thus

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starts from the general and goes to the particular, finishing by interpreting the key findings of the audience survey conducted with UFRJ students from Brazil as a means of understanding attitudes to and perceptions of both the commercial and the public media. As a means of comparison the chapter also presents some core findings from Ofcom’s research into audience’s attitudes to the UK’s public service broadcasters. The second chapter of Part III probes the debates on television as popular culture in Latin America and in Brazil. It builds on the perspectives outlined in Part I regarding the historical tradition of a US style of commercial broadcasting, and the nature of the relationship that it has established with audiences, including a brief analysis of the role of popular entertainment in Latin American television, and of the Brazilian novelas and their part in the construction of a type of individualistic and consumerist Brazilian national identity (Straubhaar, 2001; Porto, 2007). This chapter thus examines some of the core theoretical frameworks highlighted in Part I, including the theories on cultural imperialism and cultural globalisation, and in particular the controversy regarding the hybridity of the Latin American identity, and how it is still placed in an ‘inferior’ position globally as a result of the contemporary reproduction of historical inequalities which date back to the era of European colonialism. Part IV also establishes a link and continuity with Part II regarding theories about the public interest and the uses of the internet in political mobilisation, inquiring further on the ways in which it can assist in the reinvigoration of Brazil’s mediated public sphere. The main intellectual framework presented in Part IV thus consists of the assessment of contrasting debates concerning the internet’s potential as a vehicle which can assist the public interest, either contributing to the empowerment of local or national, feminist and/or particular political groups, or functioning as a opposing public sphere to the mainstream commercial media, boosting diversity and posing positive competition to the market. Given the high media concentration in Brazil and in many of the other Latin American countries, the low level of newspaper readership and access to quality information to larger sectors of the population, this chapter underscores the structural inequalities of Latin American societies. It also looks at the difficulties with the endorsement of an argument that sees the internet as a mobilising and ‘alternative’ public sphere in contrast to the commercial media, mainly television, which can be seen as the most ‘democratic’ and truly mass medium in countries like Brazil. Part V is a concluding section that has three main aims. Firstly, it summarises the main conclusions and points developed in previous chapters;

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secondly, it provides a link to the theoretical debates articulated in Part I; and lastly, it attempts to reach a wider general conclusion by elaborating on the need for greater media democratisation in Brazil and in Latin America more generally. I argue that this is dependent on various improvements in the countries, including the reduction of poverty indicators and the rise in educational levels of larger sectors of the population. Wider economic prosperity for larger segments of people will permit more consumption of cultural products and a wider appreciation also of quality media, information and programming. The last chapter also looks at future prospects for the Brazilian media and underlines some of the current challenges faced by communication systems, including the adoption of a new model for digital TV, the growth of the newspaper market and of segmented media outlets, and the persistence of various economic and political obstacles to the full development of a genuinely public and independent public media. Lastly, I examine the need to create a new regulatory framework for the media and broadcasting legislation, issues which are tied to the intellectual concerns set out in Part I.

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THE LATIN AMERICAN MEDIA SYSTEM Media and Democracy in Latin America: Setting Out a Debate

Introductory approaches Latin American countries have emerged at the dawn of the twenty-first century with a series of challenges to confront, from coming to terms with their authoritarian past to tackling economic and social inequality and inserting themselves fully into the global economic and political order. As Lugo-Ocando (2008: 3) notes, after less than two decades of democracy, some Latin American societies are only just beginning to get to grips with the notion of freedom of speech, in what for many is still a context of weak institutions, political confrontations and clashes between different elite groups, and persistent levels of poverty and inequality. Such a turbulent contemporary environment, following the collapse of dictatorial regimes throughout the continent in the 1980s, makes rational, peaceful and necessary political debate highly charged and problematic, although not an utopian dream. When it comes to discussing the relationship between media and politics in Latin American countries, there is a series of pressing issues to consider, which range from problems of granting wider internet access to various sectors of the population to increasing the dissemination of quality information to wider sectors of the population. This will enable citizens to exercise their full rights and will include them more fully in their country’s public sphere. One of the pressing problems in countries like Brazil is the persistence of biased and manipulated information and politicisation of the media, in contrast to a slow growth in media diversity and the availability of more

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‘objective’ information due to commitments established by the mainstream media to balance (Matos, 2008). Nevertheless, the consolidation of quality, in-depth and balanced information by the media is crucial to the better health of a country and to national development. This can undoubtedly contribute to open up wider avenues for debate within the press of controversial issues, such as the combat of poverty and illiteracy levels as well as the need of wider investments in education. As Norris (2004: 1) correctly points out, media systems can strengthen good governance and promote positive development, especially if there is a free and independent press capable of performing a watchdog role, holding powerful people to account and acting as a civic forum of debate between competing interests. The 2010 Unesco report, Media Development Indicators: A Framework for Assessing Media Development, also underlined the close relationship that exists between the development of a country and the health, independence and quality of its media. In my previous work on the relationship between media systems and political processes in Brazil (Matos, 2008), I examined how the mainstream Brazilian media contributed to advance spaces of debate in the mediated public sphere, having investigated also the role played by journalists, and questioned the extent to which public debate was actually strengthened, on the one hand, and extended to less privileged groups of Brazilian society, on the other. I underscored how the role of the media in transitional or emerging democracies such as Brazil can be understood to be a complex and even ‘schizophrenic’ process. Throughout the twenty-year period that the research focused on, different sectors of the media acted and performed in contradictory ways in different historical moments, and were subject to various societal, political and economic influences, pressures and constraints. I also emphasised the difficulty of defining the exact nature of the relationship between the media and politics in Brazil during the dictatorship years, which might have been one of ‘100 per cent intellectual resistance’ against the dictatorship in the newsroom, especially during the 1970s, or one of total journalistic passivity and commercialisation. Many have argued that the latter scenario very much characterises the journalism culture current in the country since the 1990s. The pressures for the enhancement of media democratisation in countries like Brazil and Argentina have not occurred without accusations from liberal sectors as well as from the market elite of media censorship and the adoption of authoritarian practices by some sectors of the radical left against the ‘bourgeois’ media. Similar accusations were made against the military

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generals during the dictatorship but, obviously, in a different (authoritarian) political context and for different reasons. As various academics have nonetheless affirmed (Raboy, 1996; Voltmer, 2006), the problems that face many media systems in the transition to democracy are often the best examples of problems of democratisation more generally. It is no wonder, then, that the pressures for wider media democratisation in Brazil, and the various difficulties of implementing a new regulatory framework for the media, are being compared with the difficulties in advancing agrarian reform in the nation, as we shall see later. Other academics have pointed out the complex role that media systems can have in democratisation. In their examination of the varying relationships that have been established between the media and democratic politics in Asia, Africa, North and South America, James Curran and Myung-Jin Park (2000) state that their case studies ended up challenging prevailing wisdom, having come to the conclusion that in many cases, especially for emerging democracies, free markets can also give rise to consumer freedom and to new systems of power relations. As authors such as Voltmer (2006) and myself (2008) have pointed out, media democratisation involves more than the transformation of media institutions, a freer press and the rise of journalistic professionalism, or even the good intentions of journalists. At its best, it involves a change in citizens’ understandings of, uses of and approaches to the media. Thus, demands are placed on media systems to provide better quality information, to make a increased commitment to representing political diversity and giving voice to different groups in society, and to pay greater attention to professional standards. These need to go beyond those assumed to be necessary during the 1990s in the context of restructuring key media industries in the country to better attend to the multiple publics which emerged following the dictatorship (Matos, 2008). These new emerging publics of the post-dictatorship phase in Brazil slowly ceased to be accustomed to one-sided messages and gradually began to learn to make sense of the competing versions of reality put forward by different mainstream media vehicles (Matos, 2008). Political liberalisation, however, has not been enough to guarantee full media democratisation. There are various roadblocks in the way of media reform which persist throughout Latin America, which are the result of the various tensions between multiple interests and different understandings shared by sections of the elites concerning the role of the media in Brazilian and Latin American society. Attached to the concern with the workings of the media in Latin America countries is the anxiety over the public media platform, as well as the creation of a new regulatory framework for the

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media which is capable of strengthening the public service ethos and at the same time not undermining the market media.

Media Democratisation Across Borders

The slow democratisation of Brazil that has taken place since the 1980s cannot be completely disassociated from the authoritarian legacy that characterised the core formation of Brazilian society. Consequently, the recognition that the media became more professional during this period, and that there was a wider variety of voices in the mediated sphere, for instance, does not provide sufficient reason to state that the struggles for media democratisation have ended or are a thing of the past. Brazil’s authoritarian legacy has resulted in the marginalisation of politics from the mainstream media. Television broadcasting has been allowed to operate largely unregulated, providing audiences with a heavy entertainment diet, and not a balanced one of information and entertainment. As my previous research showed (2008), large sectors of the media were heavily biased and susceptible to ideological manipulation, favouring particular groups, something which gradually began to change in the period studied. Nonetheless, partisanship and political constraints have continued to prevail, manifesting themselves during the 2006 and 2010 presidential elections and throughout the administrations of both Cardoso (1994–2002) and Lula (2003–2010). Slowly, different groups in civil society, students, labour movements, sectors of the working class, as well as the low and middle classes, began to talk more about politics, to be less afraid to voice their opinions about social reform, economic inequality, social exclusion and which party they support. In Part IV, we shall see how these discussions are reaching the Brazilian blogosphere with full force. As Voltmer and Schmitt-Beck (2006) state in the context of their discussion of the representative survey data of four new democracies, Bulgaria, Hungary, Chile and Uruguay (the first two having emerged from communist rule, and the South American countries from a history of military dictatorship), the fact that many citizens in new democracies lack the durable party identifications of the more established capitalist societies makes many more vulnerable to media biases. They encounter difficulties in dealing with contradictory media messages. Thus according to the authors, ‘open political communication following regime change can take on a missing quality that confuses newcomers to democracy’ (1998: 201, in 2006: 228).1 Voltmer (2006) further argues that information quality and the need for orientation is even more significant in new democracies in the context of the breakdown of old regimes. Citizens in new or transitional democracies

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thus need to make sense of information that comes from various sources which are not only closely tied with political orientations but also subject to the authoritarian cultural and historical legacy of the country in question. The literature on media democratisation (i.e. Voltmer and Schmitt-Beck, 2006; Curran and Myung-Jin, 2000; Sparks, 2007) also stresses that countries as different as South Africa, Chile and China have encountered similar problems when it comes to the democratisation of political communications. There have been difficulties with implementing a more neutral, independent public service broadcasting (PSB) model similar to the UK’s BBC in new democracies. Some countries in Eastern Europe for instance implemented PSB with some degree of independence from both the state and market competition (Voltmer and Schmitt-Beck, 2006). It is thus central to any debate on the deepening of democratisation in Latin America that the media has a key role to play in the process and that it is necessary to assess realistically and empirically how it can contribute to national development. In this book, I aim to contribute to previous comparative political communication research (i.e. Voltmer, 2006; Hallin and Mancini, 2004; Hardy, 2008; Norris, 2004, 2009) that has discussed how political communication in new democracies differs from the situation of established ones. I thus explore similarities and differences between the media and politics in Latin American countries, relating this to media traditions in the UK and the USA. In an age of increasing globalisation and cultural hybridity, and in the context of the diversity of the formation of Latin American societies, composed of Europeans, indigenous populations and former African slaves, I problematise ‘the West’ as a unit of analysis and with it the notion of ‘Western’ as something exclusively associated with the USA or Northern Europe. To start with, it is clear that Latin American nations have been subject to Western cultural influences since their beginning. One could argue that this is very much reflected in the similarities that they share today with the European countries that previously colonised them. Various studies, such as Hallin and Mancini’s (2004) examination of three models of media systems, have traced parallels between communication media and political processes in Southern Europe with those of Latin America. Thus the rigid opposition that some draw between Europe or the UK with Brazil or Latin America, as if both regions are totally distinctive, is for me flawed and can only be understood in the context of Eurocentric or ethnocentric thinking, and in the ways in which some still hold on to a vision of cultural superiority and sharp differences in attitudes, beliefs, values and ideologies between the advanced countries and the emerging, developing ones.

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The structures of media systems, and their relationship to the democratisation process, to politicians and public opinion, are pertinent to both developed and developing societies. They also constitute much of the core of the debates explored in this book. In order to compare media systems we need a framework of analysis, capable of taking into account the impact of historical factors, social and cultural traditions, and the political and economic system of a given society on the type of media system that has been created. As Norris (2004) has argued, there can only be a positive relationship between democratic governance, human development and media systems in countries that meet the conditions of an independent press which permits the access to pluralistic information to all citizens. I would also add that there must be wider access to the internet beyond mainly the middle classes; more players need to be producers of media content and participate more fully as citizens in the mediated public sphere; there should be more support for community radio, and more funding for segmented media outlets and magazines directed to specific audiences. Finally, it is necessary to fortify genuinely public media which are capable of offering positive quality competition and serving the public interest.

Defining an Intellectual Framework of Comparative Analysis

Comparative political communication research offers us a set of knowledge that increases our intellectual sophistication and understanding of the complexities of the world and of other cultures. It is rich in all senses of the word – it forces us not to be narrow-minded and puts us out of our comfort zone. We are obliged to deal with other cultures and ideas. As Gurevitch and Blumler (2004: 325) state, the quality of comparative research lies precisely ‘in its ability to reveal fundamental … features of the structures and cultures of the societies being examined’. As I understand it, ‘real’, ‘in-depth’ and ‘relevant’ knowledge is all about comparison. Curran and Park (2000), in their introduction to De-Westernizing Media Studies, emphasise that research into the relationship between globalisation and the media needs to develop a stronger comparative research tradition, one that is not focused exclusively on the US and UK experiences. Their collection of essays is an effort to fill an information gap in the knowledge of media systems of countries like China and other nations in Eastern Europe. As Graber and Smith (2005: 479–507) affirm, given the fact that globalisation affects politics in the USA and all around the world, the lack of more research in the field is surprising. Having said that, as Gurevitch and Blumler (2004: 327) assert, comparative political communication research

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has grown considerably. It has become even quite fashionable within the academic environment. This is perceived as a consequence of the growing perception amongst academics that globalisation is driven by communication technologies, as well as by the fact that expanding internationalism is producing more awareness about the similarities and differences between cultures and political systems. However, most comparative research still concentrates on particular countries, mainly North America and the West, and, with some luck, Russia or India and China when it comes to Asia. Certain regions, such as South America, remain little explored. I have thus made use here of a sophisticated approach to comparative political communication research, shifting it from its predominantly UK/European/Asian focus to look at Latin American nations, and mainly Brazil, in greater depth. There are, however, limits to this comparative research project in that it does not exhaust the available information and data on the public media systems of Latin America. That would have been a much bigger project, which would have required appropriate funding, collaboration of researchers from each country and an immersion in the data of each nation/station. It would also have been an entirely different study altogether, and perhaps not much different from some of the literature already available, mainly Lugo-Ocando’s The Media in Latin America (2008). Thus the examination of the media systems in Latin America has not been achieved by dividing the nations into different chapters but rather has focused on particular themes, which I rephrase as lines of inquiry, as discussed in the introduction. These for me constitute the key challenges, problems and aspirations that developing, as well as developed, countries face in the struggle for wider media democratisation and press freedom, and in the debate over the role that should be reserved for the public service media in democratic nation-building in the digital age. Esser and Pfetsch (2004: 385) further underscore how comparative political communication research differs from non-comparative political communications in that it involves a strategy to gain insight of an international nature, attempting to reach conclusions that cover more than one culture. A core concern shared by this type of research tradition is its engagement with arguments about the current state of the public media. A fundamental preoccupation for instance is with the role of the state and its relationship to the public and to private media, as well as the interaction between politicians, journalists and the media and how this affects media systems. In this book I also attempt to probe the ways in which politicians use media structures, such as the public media platform and the internet,

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and discuss finally why and how these communication structures should be directed to the public interest. I will not be engaging here with what Norris (2009: 2) defines as the traditional line of investigation of much political communication research, mainly the contrast between other countries and the USA to discover the extent to which their media or political system has become more ‘American’ or ‘personalised’. That said, Part IV looks at modernisation debates and political campaigning practices in Latin America, paying particular attention to the Brazilian 2010 presidential elections. The key preoccupation of this part is not with ‘Americanisation’, however, but rather with the ways in which the internet can be used as a tool for political mobilisation, advancement of particular causes and reinvigoration of the media’s public sphere. Many international studies on Latin America have tended to focus on political and economic perspectives or on national identity, literature, film and music (Shohat and Stam, 2003; DaMatta, 1995). There has been little work on the ways in which the media can have a role in democratisation processes (i.e. Skidmore, 1993; Lins da Silva, 1990). Thus I aim here to give wider importance to the relationship established between media systems and politics within Latin American Studies. As a research field, it has been still heavily concerned with issues such as cultural and national identity, literature and political economy (i.e. dependency and modernisation theories), and with the history of the impact of European colonialism on the region, thus largely ignoring or relegating to a secondary position the role of the media in democratisation. Exceptions can be made for a few groundbreaking studies, which have nonetheless mainly been produced in the fields of media and communications, journalism, film, political science and anthropology (Skidmore and Smith, 2004; Waisbord, 2000; Fox, 1997; Hallin and Mancini, 2004; Straubhaar, 2001; Shohat and Stam, 2003; Hughes, 2006; Matos, 2008; Porto, 2008). Writing in the 1990s, Waisbord underscores this as a key problem of studies on political democracy in the region: ‘the lack of attention to communication issues has been remarkable in traditional approaches to the study of political democracy in Latin America … both modernisation and dependency approaches ignored the capacity of communication organisations to function as political institutions in the … development of democratic regimes’ (Valenzuela and Valenzuela, 1978, quoted in Waisbord, 1995: 209). According to Waisbord, contemporary analyses have done little to change this predominant picture. He further adds that we still know very little about how the media are transforming politics in Latin America. Since the mid-1990s, however, there has been some growth in international

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studies on the topic in the context of globalisation. Work from and on Brazil and other parts of Latin America, grounded in international perspectives and globalisation theories, has slowly began to emerge (Skidmore and Smith, 2004; Panizza, 2005; Cardoso, 2001). In line with Waisbord’s point, however, few have been concerned with the role of the media in democratization processes (Skidmore, 1993; Fox, 1997; Waisbord, 1995; Straubhaar, 2001; Matos, 2008). I therefore believe that the challenges posed to Latin American research, and its potential role in helping to propose policy solutions to tackle the pressing dilemmas that the region faces, demand the pursuit of more empirical research, which is contextualised historically, locally and globally, and inserted in the debates on cultural globalisation and political and economic development. The European Commission claims that it aims to fortify the Latin American strategy and the challenges Latin America is encountering regarding the consolidation of democracy, including regional integration (for example, the Mercosur project); the promotion of human rights and more equitable wealth distribution; and sustainable development and investment in human capital. The European Commission initiated a partnership with Latin America during the Rio summit in 1992, which was re-established in 1999 to strengthen the links between the nations and to promote further integration of the region into the world economy. The European Union is also Latin America’s main source of development assistance, and is the region’s second largest trade and investment partner. Furthermore, as Gwynne notes (1999: 69), the development of Mercosur around Argentina and Brazil has created a counter-weight to the USA and NAFTA, as the former is considered to be the third most significant ‘trading block in terms of production and population after the European Union and NAFTA’. Thus any contemporary political communication study on the region needs to take into consideration the changing political, as well as global economic position of Latin America. Recent research (Matos, 2008; Hughes, 2006) has highlighted the complexity of the role of the market in the democratisation process, how journalism itself changed and how politicians and other civil society representatives can exercise pressure on media systems, and how the push for change is a contradictory process. These new studies are not grounded on purely economic positions but assess the relationship between political institutions and the ways in which media actors can assist in the development of democracy. As Voltmer (2006) points out, much of the literature in the comparative research tradition on media systems has deliberated on how information quality standards have been reworked in communication

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media after the dictatorships. They have further looked at how political and economic conditions can foster or inhibit the media’s capacity to fulfil their democratic role (Curran and Park, 2000). In order to understand media systems in Latin America it is necessary to consider both global and local specifications. Any attempt to examine the role of the media in the deepening of the democratisation project must take into account the changing political and economic scenario that the region currently faces, the expanding media globalisation and insertion of their core media organisations in the global market, technological innovations, and the attempt by civil society players, politicians and other progressives to construct public communication policies best suited to the public interest. As Lugo-Ocando (2008: 2) points out, the attempt to unify the goals, aims and aspirations of the entire region becomes complicated by ignoring the sociopolitical, economic, historical and cultural disparities that exist within the countries of the region. The intellectual framework established in this book for the purpose of comparing the British PSB experience with that of Brazil and other Latin American countries is thus supported by the fact that concern about the future state of PSB is first of all a global concern (Banerjee and Senevirante, 2006). However, the British case has a particular usefulness, since it stands out within Europe and elsewhere as an example of a relatively successful implementation of a public media service with democratic goals. It has established a complex regulation system and public service remits which can be a source of inspiration for other countries. In its ideal, it can be seen as a universal and successful model for PSB (Raboy, 1996: 6), as we shall see. Esser and Pfetsch note (2004: 11) that comparative research should be understood not just as a methodological subdiscipline of Communication Studies but instead ‘as an indispensable cornerstone of the analysis of postmodern society’. The increasing globalisation of the world’s media, and the ways in which media regulation today becomes a practice that depends on wider exchange of information between countries, attest to the importance of contrasting case studies from more advanced capitalist societies to less developed ones. In order to re-evaluate the role that the public media can have in the near future in a current context where free market solutions impose their limits on products worldwide, it is of paramount importance to assess the relationship between the public media platform and a global view of citizenship from a comparative perspective. Latin American nations start from the position of having only a weak public sector’ and are seeking to fortify existing

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public spaces of debate in order to expand citizens’ information rights as well as to create the means for wider cultural emancipation. As Banerjee and Senevirante (2006) stress, it is precisely when PSBs are most vulnerable in Europe that they begin to be seen as being quite relevant for other parts of the world. Finally, any examination of the potentialities of the public media should not necessarily be understood as an attempt to celebrate either the public service media as the only ideal form of mediated public sphere, or the ‘golden years’ of public service media prior to the 1980s. Rather, this research aims to thoroughly evaluate the potential of PSB for the advancement of educational and cultural levels in Latin American nation-states in the context of ongoing debates in the UK and Europe concerning the future of public service broadcasting. A major concern has to be an assessment of the relationship between media and politics which examines both its historical evolution and also the current problems faced by commercial and public broadcasters in Latin America, and specifically in Brazil, including their relations to foreign powers as well as to national audiences, public opinion and the democratisation project. Many of the dependency and cultural imperialism theories articulated by Latin American scholars and others in the 1960s and 1970s (Mattelart, 1979; Schramm, 1964) need to be redefined and adapted to the contemporary reality. They are no longer fully appropriate to explain the complexities of the problems encountered in many of these countries, and should be revisited in the light of the changing Latin American media landscape, and in the context of expanding globalisation and the wider insertion of the region in the global economic order.

Latin America: From Underdevelopment to Globalisation

Latin America and Global Inequality The wide literature on globalisation offers many definitions of the term, among which the following are particularly useful. According to theorists such as Giddens (1990) and Harvey (1990 and 1989 respectively, both cited in Held et al., 1999: 67), globalisation refers to the widening, deepening and speeding up of global interconnectedness. It has been defined, among others, as ‘accelerating inter-dependence’, ‘action at a distance’ and ‘time– space compression’. Authors writing critically about globalisation like Petras (1999: 184) have argued that ‘the current expansion of capital, goods and technology (CGT) via unequal relations in the contemporary period is a continuation of the imperialist relations of the past’. Petras further states that globalisation can be understood as a deepening and extension of past exploitative class relations into areas previously outside capitalist production.

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Taking these definitions as a starting point, one can begin to articulate alternative conceptions of globalisation that are of benefit to all parties involved and result in more equitable power relations, and less global inequality and exploitation of various groups at either the national or global level. It would thus make more sense to envision an alternative conception of globalisation, rooted on socioeconomic development for Third World countries and based on more equal power relations between advanced and emerging societies, wider political participation of developing nations on the international stage and the building of a stronger internal industrial market. These issues will be developed throughout this book. The relationship between democracy, the public sphere and the public interest is the subject matter of Part II. In this chapter, I want to define a broader theoretical framework of analysis of the relationship between democracy, Latin American and globalisation as rooted in what some scholars have called ‘participatory’ or ‘cosmopolitan’ democracy (Young, 2000; Held, 1995). In my previous research, I underscored how ‘democracy’, a term which comes from the Greek demos (people) and kratos (rule), from its very definition presupposes a link between political equality, government and its citizens. It can be understood as a form of belonging to a particular community (Matos, 2008: 6; Dahlgren, 1995). I shall critically examine here the concepts of ‘cosmopolitan democracy’, ‘inclusive political communications’ and the critique of the universal understanding of ‘citizenship’, before moving on to the debates on what I understand as ‘development’ and the critiques of cultural imperialism and modernisation. Globalisation thus has consequences for the distribution of power and wealth both within and between countries. Imperialism theses and perspectives which predominated during the 1970s underlined how developing countries had established in the contemporary period a relationship of subordination in relation to the First World countries that had its historical roots in European colonialism. The increasing insertion of many Latin America countries in globalisation from the 1990s onwards following the end of the dictatorships, and the gradual adoption of neoliberal policies and the philosophy of dismantling the state, nonetheless began slowly to expose the contradictions of the whole Western globalisation process. By the mid-1990s worldwide inequalities had generally increased very much as a result of neoliberal and Third Way policies (Burity, 2009: 161). However, Brazil began to see a slight reduction in poverty levels between 1996 and 2006 (IPEA/UN, 2008) during the governments of presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Lula due to social policy reforms and

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wealth distribution projects, such as the Bolsa Familia. Recent social and economic indicators in Brazil have pointed to a decline in inequality levels cutting across groups, women, blacks and white men in all of the regions in the country (IPEA/UN, 2008). Between 1996 and 2006, the proportion of poor whites declined from 21.5 per cent to 14.5 per cent, representing a reduction of 33 per cent, with a reduction of 29 per cent for the black population. There are also differences between regions: while 44.3 per cent of blacks in the north were poor, in the south this number fell to 12.6 per cent.2 Burity (2009) highlights Brazil’s problem of how to reverse its historical legacy of being one of the most unequal societies in the world, which has established an impersonal modern capitalist order and has naturalised inequality, excluding millions of its citizens. He also notes that increasing globalisation and neoliberal policies have not managed to fulfil their promises of greater wellbeing for all. However, the Brazilian Monitoring Report of the Millennium Development Goals pointed out that between 1992 and 2002, the share of the national income of the poorest 20 per cent rose from 3 per cent to 4.2 per cent, whereas the wealthiest 20 per cent in 1992 had 55.7 per cent and in 2002, they had 56.8 per cent (Burity, 2009: 171). This indicates a small rise in income for the wealthiest segment of the population. The social indicators also reveal that women and blacks register higher levels of unemployment in the south of the country, at 11 per cent and 7.1 per cent respectively, against 6.4 per cent for men and 5.7 per cent for whites (IPEA/UN, 2008: 9). Taking into consideration the different levels of economic prosperity, GDP and educational qualification between richer countries and those of the ‘Third World’, it is important to stress that when speaking of ‘development’ it should not be automatically assumed that this applies only to poor countries. Critical globalisation theorists and postcolonial perspectives have shown how today the ‘First’ World is in the ‘Third’, and vice versa (Petras, 1999; Hall, 1999). Notably, it can be argued that the inequality levels and the rejection of afro-descendants in countries like Brazil runs parallel to the economic deprivations, social exclusions and hostility suffered by large sectors of the working classes, immigrants and ethnic minorities in developed countries, in Europe and the USA. This new environment can be seen as a consequence of the implementation of rightwing policies since the years of Thatcherism, combined with the increase in racial and cultural prejudice and the antiimmigration backlash attributable to expanding international migration since the 1990s (Van Dijk, 1993).

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The economic indicators of countries like the USA and the UK, for instance, reveal rising levels of inequality between the richer and poorer sectors of the population. According to the 2005 UN Human Development Report, which is sceptical about the ameliorating affects of globalisation on inequality, the world’s richest 500 individuals have a combined income greater than that of the poorest 416 million. As Burity (2009: 173) affirms, almost all the richest 10 per cent live in the high-income countries (UNDP, 2005: 4; Sen, 2002, cited in Burity, 2009). Contemporary studies on globalisation and work on international relations with the South increasingly draw attention to poor countries’ lack of a voice on the world stage, and to the democratic deficit apparent in international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank (Young, 2000: 265–75). Young (2000) contends that global governance should be organised democratically, that greater global regulation should be followed by regional and local autonomy. This is similar to Held’s model of global democracy which envisions a global regulatory institution with devolved local autonomy. Such global regulatory institutions should be democratic, minimising the domination that economic forces can exercise over minorities and the poor, and be designed to encourage inclusive political communications, although governance, participation and citizenship should be enacted at the local level as well (Young, 2000: 267–71). Held (1995) also defends what he calls a cosmopolitan model of democracy, one which is based on the construction of broad avenues of civic participation in decision-making at both regional and global levels, including the creation of regional parliaments and the fortification of bodies like the European Parliament. As Held (1995: 3) states, democracy is associated with values not only of political equality but also liberty, common interest, self-development and social mobility, and the means to legitimise the decisions of those voted into power. Democracy, says Held, needs to be deepened and extended both within and between countries, something essential if democracy is to claim its relevance in the centuries ahead. Furthermore, it is highly likely that there will be a wider role in the future for articulating democracy in the international or global domain (Held, 1995: 356). Developing countries must have a greater and more significant voice and a more effective decision-making capacity. In other words, liberal democracies must move beyond their double standards and rigid restrictions on the participation of developing countries in the global public sphere, and give substance to their claims to be ‘fair’ and ‘tolerant’ and interested in combating global poverty.

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Young (2002: 53) notes that attention to structural inequalities should receive expression at a global as well as at a local and regional level, and there should be a means of differentiating between external as well as internal exclusion. She comments that ‘forms of exclusion are those that keep some individuals or groups out of debate or processes of decision-making, or which allow some groups dominative control over what happens to them’. Internal exclusion is when citizens who have finally managed to obtain a presence in a public forum find that the more powerful exercise a new form of exclusion (Young, 2002: 56–70). Others ignore, dismiss or patronise their statements because they do not express themselves in the ‘proper’ accent, or have a particular emotional style or make use of passionate rhetoric. Writing about ‘new’ forms of racism, Young (1990) points out how contemporary Western societies have seen a shift away from conscious racism towards racism at the level of the unconscious. These ‘new’ forms of racism are thus manifested in the type of body language, gestures of aversion and repulsion expressed by members of the dominant culture in Europe and the USA in their daily interactions with ‘subordinated’ groups, be they women, blacks or Latinos, thus reinforcing their oppression. Young (2000: 80) claims that democratic communication is very much about the struggle among society’s members to have their interests, experiences and opinions recognised by others, and a struggle to persuade others of the justice of their claims. At the same time, people often come to a situation of political negotiation with biased assumptions about the needs and aspirations of others with and about whom they communicate (2000: 76). In this sense, if we consider the changing role that Brazil has played in recent years, following the democratisation process, including its entry into the G20 coalition and its defence of the reform of the Security Council, and add to this the entry of South Africa into the coalition of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and also the changing political situation in the Middle East, it is clear that some among the poor and developing countries are slowly acquiring a greater presence on the international stage. The tackling of global social and economic inequality – not just the emancipation of the working classes at a national level, on which some leftwing academics still seem to focus – can only be achieved through cooperation, global social justice and the granting of wider voice and (global) political participation to developing countries. Moreover, the history of countries in different parts of the world is marked by various experiences of immigration and colonisation, which have shaped the political and economic development of given regions, and the

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hierarchical or subordinated roles that nations have taken up in globalisation and international relations. The complex interplay between economic underdevelopment, growing political liberalisation, a nation’s own cultural and social problems and the historical legacy of colonialism poses serious and overwhelming dilemmas for much of the region.

From Underdevelopment and Colonisation to Globalisation

The dependency perspective of the 1960s focused on how the economies and societies of Latin America were dependent upon the advanced capitalist states for capital, technology and industrial goods. This had a particular consequence on the formation of the class structures in Latin American societies, which were seen as inhibiting progressive political change and creating internal obstacles reinforced by foreign ties. Liberal democracy was fragile and dominant in the region mainly from the 1930s until the 1980s. In Brazil, a significant period of the dictatorship (1964–85) was characterised as the years of the ‘economic miracle’, another factor which points to the fact that the relationship between economic growth and political development is not straightforward. Amid the decline of export-oriented development in the region from the 1980s onwards in the context of expanding free trade, fierce political debate emerged in each country regarding the best policies of national development and economic growth. The shift of Latin America towards global capitalism has paralleled the move from British to US ascendancy, as well as the transfer of foreign capital from primary export production and manufacturing to finance since the 1970s (Cammack, 1997: 159). While in 1980 only a handful of countries in Latin America were liberal democracies, by 1995 at least half of the region had become part of the ‘third wave’ of democratisation which was taking place in other parts of the world (Little, 1997: 174). It has been suggested that a key impediment to the full realisation of democracy in the region was the very fact of Latin America’s subordinated integration into the capitalist global market, including the combination of landed power, strong state and a relatively weak national bourgeoisie. In regard to the struggle for liberal democracy in Latin America, Cammack (1997: 153) points out that the connection between development and dictatorship is not as clear-cut as it seems, and that any comparative analysis must take into consideration the degree of variety in the experience of each of the countries. During the Cold War period, much research in the communications field discussed the possible role that the media might play in assisting the development of Third World countries.

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These ‘modernisation’ or ‘development’ theories were based on the belief that the mass media would help transform traditional societies. Modernisation theory was thus based on the notion that international mass communication would be used to spread the message of modernity, transferring the economic and political models of the West to the newly independent countries of the South. The idea was that exposure to the media made traditional societies less dependent on traditions, and made them aspire to a new and modern way of life. As Thussu (2000) asserts, the mass media were assumed to be a neutral force in the process of development, and it was not taken into account that the media themselves are the product of social, political, economic and cultural conditions. Cultural imperialism theories of the 1970s and 1980s argued that the media in developing countries imported not only foreign news and cultural formats but also values of consumption. These theories were critical of modernisation arguments which claimed that Anglo-American media were capable of promoting the ‘modernisation’ of developing countries (Mattelart, 1979; Thussu, 2000). Moreover, this dominant paradigm of the development of emerging societies was at best patronising in its argument that the development of Third World countries was dependent on them changing their individual character to emulate European countries (Melkote, 2009: 107). Melkote (2009: 113) points out that the field of development communications in the 1970s broadened the definitions to include ‘growth with equity, employment and varied interpersonal relationships’. It thus advocated a model of participatory communication research committed to liberating the oppressed. Regarding the concept of ‘empowerment’, I follow Melkote’s (2009) discussion of Rappaport’s (1987: 117–19) definition of empowerment as being a psychological sense of personal control, a concern with actual social influence, political power and rights involving critical reflection and a greater group participation of people who lack an equal share of resources. Empowerment thus requires grassroots organisation and communicative social action on the part of marginalised groups who push for social change. Thus my understanding of ‘development’ rejects the standard Eurocentric view which equates development thinking with ‘Third World’ countries ‘imitating’ advanced democracies. It instead favours conceptualising development as a dialogical and liberating process (Munck and O’Hearn, 1999, cited in Hettne, 2008: 10), rooted in giving value to different cultures and highly sensitive to context-specific factors as well as to the impact of global flows in local environments. In this sense it is grounded on mutual respect

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between cultures and countries (Gilroy, 2004), and argues for a more even distribution of rewards and resources between countries. Notably, the modernisation, development and cultural imperialism theories of the 1960s and 1970s lost much of their force with the end of the Cold War and the decline of the modernist project and of socialism in Europe as well as the shift towards neoliberalism in the West. In its place, ‘postmodernism’ became the latest fashion, with the former debates and concepts being substituted for ‘globalisation’, ‘cultural globalisation’ and hybridity theories, which will be investigated further in Part III. In this chapter I want to endorse Nederveen Pieterse’s (2009: 60) view that globalisation is something more complex than the history of the development of the West. Nederveen Pieterse (2009) conceives of ‘globalisation’ in the plural, underlining that there are many models of globalisation, as there are of globalising dynamics. Nederveen Pieterse (2009: 56) criticises what he sees as a conservative view of globalisation, which reinforces Eurocentric thinking, the adoption of a narrow window to look at the contemporary world and the marginalisation of the role of power relationships in understanding global inequalities. He calls this dominant perspective cultural differentialism, and sees this as a process based on a policy of closure, with outsiders being semi-included and communities mixing in the marketplace. Cultural convergence is understood as assimilation with the dominant group and cultural mixing, which is what Nederveen Pieterse (2009) defends, refers to the politics of integration without losing one’s cultural identity. This is similar to Young’s (1990) emphasis on positive group difference instead of suppression. Thus according to these views, there are multiple paths of modernisation, and globalisation is as much a process of Easternisation as it is of Westernisation. In this sense, it is possible to understand the growing modernisation of emerging societies in the Third World as being part of a more interconnected and complex strategy, one which is not simply about ‘catching up’ with the West, but about developing nations pursing their own models of development, and I would add in interaction also with the North and the South. It is possible to find parallels between defending a wider national participatory democracy and a greater role for developing countries in the global sphere, including Latin American countries, on the one hand, with debates concerning the perspectives which privilege and give recognition to national cultures as largely composed of hybrid identities, on the other. These theories on cultural identity and hybridity have been developed by various scholars in the fields of cultural studies, anthropology, sociology and development and postcolonial studies (Hoogvelt, 1997; Hall, 1999; Gilroy, 2004; Nederveen Pieterse, 2009). They will be explored further in Part III

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in the context of the examination of how Brazilian commercial television depicts Brazilian national identity.

Methodological Issues

Comparative political communication research in the globalisation age is still confronted by obstacles that prevent it from reaching full maturity and moving beyond the tendency of researchers to carry out comparative analysis that uses the American model as the one against which all other media and political systems should be contrasted. In an article on the state of international comparative research Norris (2009: 2) contends that, in contrast to comparative politics, the field of comparative political communications still needs to develop an extensive body of literature capable of exploring theoretically sophisticated analytical frameworks, common concepts and standardised instruments which can be used across varied contexts. In their discussion on the state of comparative political communication research, Gurevitch and Blumler (2004: 333) select six criteria as measures of maturity. Among others, these include immersion in a theoretical perspective; a focus on features and trends of political communication; and the provision of ‘double value’, which means that the analysis not only sheds light on a ‘particular phenomena but also on the different systems in which they are being examined’. This is not to mention the expectations of what might emerge from empirical comparisons. As Gurevitch and Blumler (2004: 335) further assert, good comparative political communication research can be characterised as being an investigation of the impact of political cultures on political communications in different societies. This is what I have tried to achieve in this work. The examination here aims not only to shed light on a particular case but is highly ‘system sensitive’. It is concerned with how political communications works in the UK and in Brazil particularly, and in certain European countries and in Latin America more generally. I have proposed hypotheses concerning the state of the public media platform in Brazil, having carried out a small scale survey with members of the Brazilian audience to investigate how audiences understand and consume media. I have avoided a fixation with the so-called ‘middle-range theories’, such as agenda-setting, framing and news values (Esser and Pfetsch, 2004: 394), and my main theoretical frameworks have drawn from a range of fields, including classic and contemporary political theory, cultural studies and political economy of the media. Kleinsteuber (2004: 79) states that sound comparative research can only be achieved through ‘great multicultural sensitivity’. Thus I have related the political cultures of societies like Brazil and the UK to the forms of

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interaction between citizens, politicians and the media that take place in such societies. I consider this to be the key to truly solid work which is capable of respecting and appreciating various cultures, and the ways in which the exchange between them can be empowering and meaningful for all the parties involved. To focus on single or particular nations results in various limitations, including a lack of a broader range of information about the issues that are being studied (Manheim et al., 2006: 206), as well as the (unconscious) tendency of reinforcing the cultural superiority of particular countries. As Esser and Pfetsch (2004: 385) correctly assert, comparative political communication research involves strategies to gain insight of an international nature, with conclusions covering more than one system. It also contributes to theory-building in the sense that it assesses the general validity of a theory by testing it in a different sociocultural setting. Thus cross-national research and the experiences of more advanced societies can be a valuable tool for those seeking political reform at home (Manheim et al., 2006), or it can refer to the way in which events in one country can affect the life of another, something understand as diffusion. After listing key books in the comparative political communications field (Stromback and Lee Kaid, 2008; Voltmer, 2006; Esser and Pfetsch, 2004), Norris (2009) stressed that the key problems of the field include methodological and empirical shortcomings, such as the tendency to examine separate national case studies that are loosely integrated, or are not fully representative of the the world’s major younger democracies. This also includes a fixation with the search for what she calls ‘fuzzy’ phenomena, such as the ‘personalisation’ of political campaigns. Norris (2009) contends that studies should focus instead on articulating imaginative hypotheses, thus generating interesting observations for comparisons. In spite of its merits and contributions to the field, Voltmer’s first book (2006) is largely devoted to Russia, with some comparative analyses of Uruguay, Chile, Hungary and Bulgaria, but not including important nations like Brazil and South Africa in the analysis. Thus the main challenge to the consolidation of comparative political research in an age of globalisation, Norris notes, lies in ‘resolving complex conceptual, data and methodological issues’, all of which are seen as a barrier to theoretical and empirical progress. She defends improvements in research design, clarity in the selection of cases and sample of nations, sharper theoretical frameworks and standardised measures that can be used across a wide range of contexts. Taking on board some of these observations, this research aims to contribute to the comparative political communication field by

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expanding the available knowledge on the media and political systems of Latin America and Brazil, and by providing interesting comparative observations of the region and more advanced democracies. This work also hopes to contribute to the narrowing of the gap between the North and the South, intensifying the exchange of culture and information. The chapters are not divided into particular case studies of nationstates but instead explore crucial themes that affect both regions – Europe and Latin America – in the areas of politics, economics, culture and the media. This includes the state of the public media and its relationship to nation-building and to globalisation. This leads us to the key hypotheses mentioned in the Introduction and to details of how the empirical work was conducted, which are explored in the next section.

Empirical Work and Theoretical Frameworks

In spite of the growth of commercial television and the continuous expansion of the current multi-channel media environment, the hypothesis tested in this research is that the public media still differ from the private sector at various points, such as quality programming, more space dedicated to political debate and information, and wider investment in innovative programming. If there are differences, in what way can the public media platform contribute to advancing democratisation? How can it enhance the democratisation project, increasing educational and cultural levels and offering wider avenues for the articulation of citizenship rationales? To start with, this current work is much less historically specific and determinant than my previous one, which explored the relationship between the media and democratisation from 1985 to 2002 (Matos, 2008). It deals mainly with contemporary events of the last ten years. Newspapers were chosen in my previous research because they have functioned as important tools for mediating debate between competing elite groups with different interests. In this book my concern is with the electronic media, mainly television and the internet, and their relationship to the public interest. The research carried out for this book has been highly multidisciplinary. I have made use of a theoretical triangulation methodology, including diverse theories and concepts from different disciplines across the social sciences, ranging from media and communications to political science, contemporary Latin American, cultural and development studies. I have been mainly interested in how governments, political parties and citizens are responding to the changing media landscape and political and economic environment in Latin America in general, and in Brazil in particular, as well as the ways

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in which these factors are affecting the deepening of media democracy and the strengthening of the public media. The triangulation methodology that I have adopted here includes conducting in-depth interviews with journalists and academics, and a small survey with university students, which explores what a particular segment of the elite population expects from the public media, and how it differs from the private. This is combined with the examination of journalistic television programmes from TV Brasil (see appendices for programmes and survey). Part of the research includes a brief critical analysis of political party blogs and the impact of the politicisation of the Brazilian blogosphere during the 2010 Brazilian presidential election campaign. Key intellectual concerns here include the ways in which the internet is functioning to reinvigorate the mediated public sphere in the country, with a particular look at how Brazil’s emerging blogosphere and independent journalism is either contributing to boost political mobilisation, political diversity or helping to provide citizens with more in depth information and different (ideological) viewpoints of situations and events. It also looks at how it can serve as a counterweight to the partisanship stance still encountered in sectors of the commercial media. The 2010 presidential elections were chosen also for their exceptional character, in which two strong women candidates representing the centre-left were the main contenders – Marina Silva, from the Green Party, and Dilma Rousseff, who won the presidency, not to mention the fact that the web was widely used for political mobilisation. Thus the relationship between media usage, gender politics and the political debate on the empowerment of women leaders in Brazil and Latin America is the intellectual cornerstone of this last section of Part IV. The core empirical work has concentrated mainly on Brazil. The fieldwork period consisted of a two months stay in the country conducted during the summer of 2010 and December–January 2011. I combined the interpretation of a small-scale survey with students from the Communication Department of the Rio Federal University (UFRJ) with critical analyses and discussions of television programmes from TV Brasil. I have also conducted in-depth interviews with journalists and academics from Britain and Brazil on issues ranging across media regulation, television and Brazilian and British politics. The main programmes discussed here were selected from the archives of TV Brasil and from TV Globo. In regard to TV Brasil, the programmes that were analysed were chiefly the debate talk show Brasilianas.org, the news broadcast Reporter Brasil and the political and cultural interview programme De La Pra Ca, which will be discussed in Part III.3 When I was conducting

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research in Brazil, I also skipped daily through these two television stations, watching the programmes mainly during the peak-time evening slots, when Jornal Nacional and three soap operas are broadcast on TV Globo. I watched randomly Jornal Nacional to contrast it to Reporter Brasil, and also looked at the tapes of the TV Globo coverage of the 2006 presidential election. My main purpose was to evaluate the type of content and discourse predominant in public television, in news, talk shows and interview programmes, in contrast to the predominantly entertainment aesthetic of commercial TV, with its reliance on telenovelas to fill up the main daily evening slots. I contrasted my imposed TV research schedule with the responses collected from the audience survey, and have fed this into the interpretations that I make in the later discussion. I contrast the type of programmes offered during peak time on TV Brasil with those offered on TV Globo, looking at the subtle differences between the themes and topics explored and the choice of programmes for particular slots, thus examining how certain genre formats have been privileged over others. A superficial evaluation would suggest that the discourses and programming of the private media emphasise entertainment, escapist material and blockbusters, and appear to provide a sharp dichotomy with the type of programmes shown on the public station, such as documentaries, in-depth debate and reporting. However, as we shall see, the reality is not so simple, and the programmes and genres (i.e. news and popular entertainment) have become increasingly blurred and are shown on both. Nonetheless, it can be argued that the core essence of the argument points to attempts to control or negotiate types of public discourse by the different groups which control the media (private or public). Thus they would be interested in addressing audiences either as consumers or citizens. It is members of powerful social institutions or elites who have the more exclusive access to the various types of discourse available in the public domain. And those who have more control are by definition more powerful (Van Dijk, 2001: 356). The crux of argument concerning the struggle to strengthen public media committed to the public interest lies then precisely in the ideological realm. It concerns the ways particular groups from across the political spectrum gain access to the media and use them to suit their own particular needs. As Van Dijk (2001: 356) argues, one feature of the exercise of group power is control not only over content but also over the structures of text and talk. Should television discourse then privilege an excessive entertainment diet above more public interest genres that demand more from the viewer, stimulating wider aesthetic sensibility, knowledge, appreciation for culture and for public debate? This is what we will discuss in Part III.

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Survey Methods

Given the limited amount of empirical research data on audience viewing beyond television market research, I decided to conduct a small online survey, ‘Audiences uses of commercial and public media’ (see Appendices). The online questionnaire was applied at the Journalism Department of UFRJ with the assistance of the journalism trainee and student Manuela Andreoni, who was also responsible for interpreting the core data and some of the key findings. It was answered by 149 students from various socioeconomic backgrounds. The questionnaire was put online during the holiday and initial start-of-term period, with the students providing the main answers from mid July to the beginning of September 2010. The majority of respondents are university students or young journalists between 18 and 25 years of age (92 per cent, of 149), are members of the low, middle and upper classes of Brazilian society, and live in Rio de Janeiro. Seventy-five see themselves as communication students.The largest proportion (32 per cent, or 47) considered themselves to be on the monthly income of 1,000–4,000 reais (approximately 380–1,800 pounds), the average middleclass income; 27 per cent (40) chose the option between 500–1,000 reais, with 13 per cent (20) saying above 4,000 reais, and 26 per cent (39) below 500. However, they did not indicate if they were including their parents or talking solely about themselves. Most students, nonetheless, are on low budgets and are starting off their professional careers. The survey responses also indicated that the students are quite media-savvy and can make use of various different type of media, including newspapers, public and commercial television (open and subscribed TV), radio, magazines and the internet. My main concern in constructing the survey was to discover how sectors of the Brazilian audience make use of the media, what they understand about the public media, and their opinions and attitudes in relation to entertainment genres and to factual programming from both private and public broadcasting. A dominant pattern that emerged from the answers was that the penetration of public television is still very small, given the limited attention it receives from the respondents, who mainly watch Globo TV and cable and satellite television. The confirmation of this fact serves to prove the already well-known dominance of commercial television in the everyday life not only of Brazilian students but of most sectors of the population. Although there is still a lack of knowledge and understanding of the purposes of the public media, a significant 71 per cent are defenders of it, however, and recognise its importance. They also envision a role for the public media in correcting market failure and in complementing commercial communications.

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The uses and gratification audience research approach has been largely concerned with exploring how audiences ascribe value to the media that they consume. Surveys have turned into an important element of quantitative social science research. They have been a key method in the social sciences since the 1950s. Despite the challenge posed to quantitative research in the communications tradition from the 1970s onwards (Blumler, 1954; Denis, 1988 in Jankowski and Wester, 1991), there has nonetheless been a growth in research that defends the applicability of both. However, it should not be taken for granted that surveys are the best method for understanding people’s behaviour. Survey research has the advantage of flexibility and is high in reliability. Its greatest weakness, however, is the gap that exists between what people say and what they do. Large-scale surveys are also often expensive, and can in many ways simply reinforce dominant perceptions (Schroeder et al., 2003: 226). Surveys are important to map and analyse audience trends, however. This is not to say that standardisation does not have its limits. It cannot explain for instance more complex issues regarding media use, including the ways in which we can attempt to define this practice and relate media consumption to everyday life. Thus I understand that the selection of media material by audiences is circumstantial, that there can often be a lack of connection between what audiences say they like and what they actually do, and that the uses and gratification perspective envisions a self-interested consumer who mainly uses the media on the grounds of a rational choice. This is not to dismiss the validity and strength of the uses and gratification approach and the application of surveys, in combination with a series of other research methods, as an attempt to comprehend more about audience’s perceptions of the type of programming and content offered by the commercial and public media. This is especially relevant at a time when the academic research available in Brazil concerning audiences and reception studies is still growing, being largely represented by the Ibope market studies and the audience research material that is archived at Unicamp. I have used the survey here as a key method to detect the audience’s patterns of viewing in a key state in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. This has been combined with secondary official data from organisations such as the UK’s Ofcom and the BBC Trust with the intention of contrasting patterns of contemporary television viewing and media consumption habits in a different country and region. I also placed both open and closedended questions in the questionnaire, including some pertaining to key academic debates and perceptions regarding the public and commercial media, to capture how audiences understand this and what their position is on such issues.

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Arguments in favour of particular positions, as well as counter-arguments in order to secure balance and to reduce the possibility of research bias or of loaded questions, have also been used. Thus the order of the questions has been carefully chosen to begin with more general inquiries on media usage and then move towards more detailed questions which contain multiple opinions. The questionnaire ends with a space for the interviewee to provide general information about themselves, with the possibility of future personal contact with the interviewer. I have thus attempted to collect findings for this study which have the potential to contribute to valuable insights into the complex relationship between the media, politics and democratisation and the specific role of the public media in this, thus providing further an initial debate about what Brazilian audiences understand this to be, and what they want from public communication platforms. The attempt here is also to articulate and develop insights into the topic from both a national as well as an international perspective. Although it has received criticisms, the triangulation approach is considered to largely avoid the biases of a single method, and to work towards providing a ‘thick description’ (Jick, 1979: 608–9 in Jankowski and Wester, 1991), which is precisely what I have tried to achieve in this book. Jankowski and Wester (1991: 57) note that there are clear affinities between feminist scholarship and the qualitative tradition regarding the objectives of emancipation and commitment to action, especially researchers who wish to document the everyday life of women, including interpretative forms of inquiry and life histories. As they emphasise, participatory research has been associated with communication development projects as well as to studies regarding local radio stations in Latin America. Finally, this research has both a feminist undertone and participatory dimension due to the fact that it is interested in the ways in which the media can have a role in politics, can contribute to national development and change, to political participation and mainly how it can be empowering to citizens and various other groups on both an international and national level. As George Orwell (1946) stated in Why I Write, one reason is ‘political purpose’ and the desire to contribute to direct people towards the kind of society that they should strive for, which perhaps is the essence, and what characterises most good research in the social sciences.

2

PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS AND REGULATION IN LATIN AMERICA Although Latin America has also been heavily influenced by ‘Third Way’ policies and neoliberal thinking, the media landscape in Brazil and across much of Latin America is in many ways different from the situation in European countries. Latin American nations to start with are being confronted with the novelty of an expanding media environment and wider freedom of expression, as well as with further possibilities being offered to the population of consuming more cultural products and having wider access to internationalisation and to global texts. This has been happening in contrast to the rapid growth in audience segmentation in Europe due to increasing media commercialisation and decline of the PSB tradition. As Fox and Waisbord (2002: ix) correctly note, both local politics and media globalisation have significantly shaped the development of the Latin American media in the 1990s. In the case of Argentina, the situation of limited competition and TV networks controlled by the state gave way to an internationalised market environment. In Brazil, as my last work (Matos, 2008) has shown, market expansionism from the 1990s onwards occurred in parallel with the growth of political liberalisation and a widening of public debate, very much a consequence of the pressure from civil society, journalists and academics calling for wider social and political change, economic stability and a better, more professional and more robust mainstream media. In such a scenario, calls for the strengthening of the public media grounded on public interest purposes became ever more feverish. The intellectual framework that guides Part II is thus largely concerned with the ways in which the state still has a role in communications. A key

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question here concerns the state’s relationship to the public media. A further question concerns the nature of the historical relationship of the public media to the state, and to governments, in both advanced democracies and in Latin America. (These questions are explored in the next chapter.) As we shall see, the state continues to matter because it can still play a role in shaping national media policy (Morris and Waisbord, 2001; Straubhaar, 2001). Also, in an increasingly globalised world, it can be said that the public media is a space for the fortification of national culture. However, as I will contend, this should not be in opposition to globalisation, or as a reaction to ‘Americanisation’, but rather because the public media are a vehicle that can reinforce local and national identities, and at the same negotiate them with global cultures. This chapter attempts to give an overview of the development of media systems in Latin America from a comparative perspective. It places a particular focus on the ways in which private interests have shaped the evolution of the current commercial broadcasting environment in the region. It also looks at the lack of a proper definition of media policy initiatives that serve the public interest, and examines how current debates put forward by governments in South America are striving to reverse this historical deficiency. The first chapter of Part II moves on to discuss the development of European public service broadcasting, placing a particular emphasis on the case of the evolution and history of the BBC. Here I want to look at the key historical reasons for the lack of public communication policy in Brazil in contrast to other countries in the region, as well as in comparison with the UK and the USA. This is done by focusing on the UK’s regulator Ofcom and the USA’s Federal Communication Commission. A key question that I investigate is how expanding political democratisation in the region might contribute to wider democratisation of communications. What lessons can be learned from the UK and US regulation systems? Firstly, it is appropriate to examine the role of the state in communications in European democracies, and particularly in the UK.

The Role of the State and Broadcasting in the USA and the UK

Debates on the declining role of the state have been largely addressed by globalisation theorists in a context of expansion of global media beyond the nation-state, the blurring of the boundaries of audience nationalities and the exchange of cultural flows and information between countries (Sparks, 2007; Petras, 1999). The expansion of global media as a consequence of increasing cultural, political and economic globalisation is seen

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to have transformed the nature of the previously strong relationship that existed between the media and the state. Nonetheless, as academics like Garnham (1986 in Morris and Waisbord, 2001) state, globalisation has not managed to eliminate altogether the continuing relevance of the state. Some critical theorists of globalisation would even argue that in fact the state continues to have power, since it has been the main force that has sanctioned current neoliberal policies (Petras, 1999), as well as still being behind media reform. Nonetheless, because of the development of cable and satellite technologies across borders, the expansion of telecommunication companies and the increase in the power of multinational media conglomerates, facilitated by the privatisation and liberalisation of media systems, the state has lost some of its previous exclusive regulatory powers. Notably, the state’s participation in the ownership or regulation of the broadcast media in liberal democracies has been largely based upon the need to guarantee standards of ‘neutrality’, minimising political bias. According to Baldwin and Cave (1999: 9–13), many of the rationales for regulation can be described as ‘market failure’. They are thus attempts to produce results in accordance with the public interest. These can also be conceived as being ‘positive’ examples of regulation. States thus remain important in shaping the very structure of media markets, and continue to be able to put through legislation that affects national media industries. Attempts at regulation in favour of the public interest nonetheless need to be differentiated from the censorship associated with the practices of authoritarian regimes. Hardy (2008: 239) argues that it is through comparative analysis that one can overcome the simplistic evaluation of the merits of the ‘state’ versus the ‘market’ in media regulation. It can also be seen as worthwhile in assisting in the construction of agendas for democratic media reform at both national and transnational levels. The state can thus have a role in assisting in the extension of the public sphere through regulation and subsidy (Hardy, 2008). As various authors have asserted, including myself (Matos, 2008), the search for emancipation through regulation is a delicate issue which must be rethought in the current context of multiple channels, increasing media commercialisation and concentration and legitimacy of a market-based understanding of the ‘public’ interest. Damian Tambini, senior lecturer at the Media Department at the LSE,1 describes how the UK’s media regulator Ofcom, which will be discussed shortly, has in general managed to perform its regulatory function satisfactorily. It has not been immune though from governmental pressures:

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Media and Politics in Latin America Regarding Ofcom I think that we historically have done broadcasting regulation quite well … One big mistake of the last government (New Labour) was to make political appointments at the top of the organisation. There was always going to be a problem when there was a change of government … The (Conservative) government want to take the ‘policymaking function’ from Ofcom and return it to government. The problem is that there are certain functions – such as those dealing with media plurality … – where an independent media is best served by having less not more government intervention. The government says they want to improve accountability … but this would be best done by Parliament, not the government of the day. There are of course degrees of independence. I think in many ways Hutton showed that the BBC were independent of the last government … I recall a time when the BBC ran an investigation into the then husband of Tessa Jowell, secretary of state for culture (in relation to his business dealings with Berlusconi), at the very time when she was considering the BBC charter and licence fee. Thus ‘true independence’ is unattainable, but with some safeguards, we can hope that the broadcasters have some independence …

As Dunleavy and O’Leary (1987) also argue, public service broadcasting regulation in the UK has managed to act as a counterweight to the press, neutralising or balancing the biases of the partisan British newspapers and tabloids by offering more ‘trustworthy’ information. Thus its role in broadcasting is seen as one which is tightly connected to the public interest and to the uses of public media for educational and cultural services (Santos and Silveira, 2007), securing political coverage that is impartial between parties and in favour of the collective good. A similar point has been made by Tambini in his assessment of the performance of Ofcom in the UK. In the USA, the Jeffersonian tradition and the philosophy of minimum government has very much overwhelmed the American psyche (Dunleavy and O’Leary, 1987). It has also had a role in the type of broadcasting environment that was constructed in the country in opposition to Europe. As Kelley and Donway (1990) assert, the control of broadcasting was only relevant to a particular period in time. According to this argument, the narrowness of the broadcasting spectrum and consequent scarcity of available radio channels demanded that the state organised and conceded the licences, selecting the trustees under the limited number of concessions that the state could offer (Santos and Silveira, 2007: 57). Thus according to the conservative or more pro-market perspective, free competition with limited regulation would guarantee communication services.

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Until the 1970s in Europe and in many parts of the world, the state exercised the role of property owner of the electronic spectrum. It was also its main regulator. As Dunleavy and O’Leary (1987: 47) note, the state has traditionally been designed to act as a balance of interests between competing groups in society. This role of the state as a mediator of diverse and competing interests is associated with the pluralist conception of the state as being politically ‘neutral’, as we shall see more in Part II. In the case of Latin America, it is clear that the state is still highly politicised, more than three decades after the fall of dictatorships in the region. The state is also seen as having grown in the post-war era in Europe in response to the demands of pressures groups, citizens and political parties. State organisations are thus biased towards and colonised by the strongest pressure groups and their vested interests in maintaining the status quo, with the current governing party using the state to suit its purposes. The topic of our next discussion is the specific case of key media regulators and other regulation policies in the name of the public interest in the USA and the UK, and the nature of the influence that the state has had there.

Regulation in the USA and UK: From FCC to Ofcom

British television with its mixture of a public service broadcasting tradition and commercial channels has been considered to lie somewhere between the USA and the European model. In regard to broadcasting regulation, the UK has established a sophisticated system of PSB funding which has made it easier for broadcasters to be less obsessed with audience numbers. The UK’s broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, established under the 2003 Communications Bill, has provided a reference point for media regulation in Europe, having defined a solid framework of regulation for British PSB.2 According further to Forgan and Tambini (2000: 3, cited in Santos and Silveira, 2007: 73), regulation in the UK developed through time. Rules began to be created to attend more to the expectations of consumers. With technological expansion, a system based on complaints post-transmission began to emerge while self-regulation by the sector increased. Regulation in the UK is also supported by regulatory bodies who have established codes of conduct. Ofcom states on its website that its main duties consist in furthering the interests of citizens and consumers, and that it is not swayed by party politics and wants to ensure fair competition.3 Ofcom is responsible for limiting publicity, establishing gender quotas, independent production, protection of privacy and combating of offensive content as well as the establishment of impartiality criteria. It gets together

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with audiences to analyse content, thus permitting the population to express a critical view of the media.4 In 2000 the British government published the Communications White Paper A New Future for Communications, which included a proposal to unify the regulation sector. This resulted in the creation of Ofcom in 2003, which united the functions of five bodies, including BSC, Oftel, ITC, the Radio Authority and the Radio Communications agency. As Tambini has since commented, some of the merits of Ofcom have been that ‘it is robust and independent of broadcasters, basing its decision on evidence and research. It is also quite open and non-ideological, particularly when dealing with the core problem of balancing regulation through competition with public interest regulation.’ The Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC)5 used to ensure the application of the Broadcasting Acts, monitoring and negotiating with channel viewers’ complaints. The Independent Television Commission (ITC) also regulated and controlled the licences of all the UK television channels. It used to elaborate a code of conduct about the programming and had sanctioning powers, including the removal of licences. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) ensured the smooth functioning of the market; the Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) monitored telecommunication licences and the technical quality of distribution of the services; and the Radio Communications Agency, of the Department of Industry and Commerce, was responsible for formulating public policy rules for the electromagnetic spectrum (Santos and Silveira, 2007: 74–5). As Petley (1999: 143) states, William Waldegrave’s 1992 White Paper, Open Government, listed 251 statutory measures limiting the media’s ability to report on government business. Another 50 pieces of legislation also restricted the media’s freedom, including the Obscene Publications Act and the Broadcasting Act of 1999, which applied to radio and television. The Act established a new ITV system, with franchises being awarded on the basis of the highest bidder. It further created a new Independent Television Commission (ITC), which was given powers to maintain a public service broadcasting regime that ensured that ‘high quality news and current affairs’ was broadcast (Collins, 1999: 46–7). Petley (1999: 149) further points out that the BBC and independent television stations, such as ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and cable and satellite channels, are all self-regulated by various codes and interpreted by government-appointed bodies. The USA and the UK have built different broadcasting models that reveal different understandings of the concept of the public interest. In the USA, the initial years of broadcasting in the 1920s were known for a de-centralised

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model and emphasis on localism, which resulted in an explosion of radio stations and culminated in chaos on the airwaves. British regulators did not want to repeat such a scenario on the other side of the Atlantic. The American model was attacked by many critics because of what was perceived as a twisted understanding of the public interest, in which the ‘plurality of voices’ was considered to mainly serve private enterprises. From its birth in the 1920s until 1955, broadcasting in Britain was thus a state monopoly conducted by a quasi-state body, the BBC (Goodwin, 1999: 130). It was also largely supported by arguments in favour of licensing and wider state control of broadcasting because of ‘spectrum scarcity’. British television in the 1970s was thus perceived as a highly state-regulated activity. Television was seen as a natural monopoly that needed to be regulated. The BBC operates under a self-regulatory framework with a Board of Governors responsible for ensuring that it acts within the terms of its Royal Charter. This obliges the corporation among other things to produce a diverse output (Collins, 1999). Furthermore, the BBC Governors serve as trustees, setting standards for the BBC, which include ethical principles underpinning programs. This ideology towards television changed from the 1980s onwards with the governments of Thatcher and Reagan, which paved the way for the expansion of deregulation trends and the commercialisation of television with the growth of cable and satellite TV. Nonetheless, the deregulation trends that occurred in the UK did not necessarily mean relaxing controls over programme content. The commercial broadcasters in the UK also have onerous PSB obligations, with the public service remits of the commercial broadcasters, for instance, having been set out in their licences with the ITC. As Mughan and Gunter (2000) affirm, TV deregulation has gone further in the USA than in the UK. The proliferation of cable and satellite was largely encouraged in the former country. The Reagan government in 1987 rejected the Fairness Doctrine on the grounds that spectrum scarcity did not justify it any more. The American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), considered to be the main US public service broadcasters, finally responded by downsizing service programmes. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocation of the spectrum and assignment of TV licences in the early 1950s had been initially intended to promote localism. The Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasting to devote a ‘reasonable percentage’ of broadcast time to public issues in a way that presented contrasting viewpoints, was relaxed by the

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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from the 1990s onwards. Various academics have noted also how the FCC exists to guarantee the effective functioning of the market in the communication sector more than anything else. It had never been applied to the print media, which grew out of the tradition of the free press. Thus the history of broadcasting regulation in the USA has been a very different one from that of the UK largely due to a suspicion of governmental powers, something which has very much characterised the US mentality since the foundation of the state. Nevertheless, the objective of state regulation in broadcasting has been generally defended with a view to favouring the public interest and securing an independent media. The Fairness Doctrine in the USA and the public service obligations imposed on the BBC and on other commercial (PSB) broadcasters are thus archetypal examples of the public service ethos and principles. Conservative theorists like Kelley and Donway (1990: 71) have criticised liberals and the tradition of regulation of broadcasting in the USA as well as the Fairness Doctrine, claiming that the media is owned by private persons who should be able to do as they see fit. According to them, the First Amendment tradition has guaranteed that the printed press should not be regulated by government, except in the cases of national security and obscenity. The electromagnetic spectrum for them is owned not by the public but by private owners. The authors thus believe that the American media have become more diverse in the last years due to the expansion of cable and satellite. For Kelley and Donway (1990: 87), cable and satellite television also offer channels devoted to black and Hispanic programming. Lichtenberg (1990: 104) updates further the debate on freedom of expression and free speech and situates it in the more contemporary context of increasing media concentration. She lists various factors which can function as restraints on free speech due to economic pressures, including the fact that news organisations belong to large corporations where vested interests influence what gets said. These organisations are also pressured to reach large audiences and to avoid demanding coverage. Many maintain close ties with governmental officials, resulting in a dependence on official sources. As Lichtenberg further contends (1990: 104), the press in modern societies can either enhance the flow of ideas or inhibit them, with non-establishment views being excluded from public debate or struggling to have a place. Government regulation is thus deemed necessary by many liberals and democratic theorists to ensure that the media provide the kind of information and debate required for an informed electorate (Lichtenberg, 1990). According to the argument, robust debate can be achieved more fairly

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through government regulation, with the state being sometimes required to interfere and install measures so as to enrich public discussion and guarantee pluralism. Nevertheless, this is not to say that broadcasting regulation does not have its limits. Iyer (2006: 140) makes the case for defining regulation as being either ‘negative’ or ‘positive’, with the former involving the restriction of certain types of content. Moreover, Ofcom on its website highlights that it has a ‘bias’ against intervention. This serves as an alert to media markets, and to reinforce its position that it regulates only to enable citizens to receive high quality information as well as to ensure fairer competition. Thus broadcasting regulation has managed to be largely successful because it has been attentive to citizens and consumers’ needs, responding to the public’s desire for regulation around issues such as diversity, plurality, political balance and educational purposes (Petley, 1999). It is to the reasons for the absence of a strong public media in Latin America and Brazil, or a sophisticated regulatory framework for broadcasting and media regulation, that we look next.

Latin America Media Systems: A History of Neglect of Public Communications

Latin America is a site of multiple cultures and hybrid identities which historically are deeply tied in with European culture and the colonisation process. In spite of the cultural diversity of the countries in the region and their historical, political and economic differences, Latin America is currently seeking wider integration and formation of a common public sphere through cultural and educational exchange programmes, political cooperation, the fortification of its economic zone and the strengthening and democratisation of its media. The media environment in most Latin American countries has changed significantly since the 1990s due to the entrance and competition from foreign companies, the expansion of cable and satellite services and the introduction of new technologies, from the internet to current television digitalisation. The broadcasting model that developed in Latin American countries was very similar to that of the commercial-inspired, entertainment style of the USA (Sinclair, 1999; Straubhaar, 2001). It consisted of privately owned television and radio stations and private newspapers financed by both private and public (state) advertising. Few companies controlled wider shares of the market, and there were very few under-funded public (state) television channels dedicated to educational interests. In countries like Brazil and Chile, public television has a historical record of failures, as we shall see. Various efforts have been made to strengthen a

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public media system since the return to democracy. As Fox and Waisbord (2002: xxii) point out, the whole Latin American region has had a weak anti-trust tradition of legislation and a culture of promiscuous relationships established between governmental officials and the media (Matos, 2008). These have undermined or made aspirations for democratic media change highly problematic. From the 1990s onwards, Latin American media systems were influenced by international trends, such as media commercialisation, the entry of cable and satellite, the formation of multimedia corporations and mergers between companies as well as the decline of family-owned businesses. Political liberalisation and the growth of multiple public spheres was followed by the ascent of the market forces, the implementation of neoliberal state reform programmes by governments and the reinforcement of deregulation policies. These served to shake up significantly the previous more static, nationalistic and family-owned media industries, paving the way for media globalisation in the region. The globalisation of communications has imposed competitive threats to media owners in the continent. The second generation of the Marinho family, owners of Brazil’s TV Globo, has had to adapt to the competition from international media in the cable market by forging alliances with Murdoch’s News Corporation for satellite television as well as deals with AT&T for cellular phones (Matos, 2008; Fox and Waisbord, 2002). The 1995 Cable Law also created the means for the start of the internationalisation process, initiating a break with Brazil’s tradition of media protectionism and accelerating the entry of global media companies. Certain countries in Latin America, however, have been more affected than others. Brazil and Mexico, who have stronger national production markets and audiences, have registered lower levels of media concentration and higher diversity compared to the other smaller countries in the region. The downside of media globalisation is its effect on the production of inequalities within the continent. Liberalisation policies in the region have facilitated the creation of giant media conglomerates in Latin America, including the duopolies of Grupo Clarin and Telefonica in Argentina, Grupo Santo Domingo and Grupo Ardilla in Colombia, and Grupo Phillips and Cisneros in Venezuela. As Fox and Waisbord (2002: 18) stress, globalisation has contributed to the consolidation of a three tier structure formed by large producers and exporters of audiovisual content in Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela; medium-size producers and exporters in Argentina, Chile, Colombia

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and Peru and modest-size producers with virtually no exports in Bolivia, Central America, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay. Media systems in the region have thus seen a transition away from familyowned to more internationalised corporations. In the case of Argentina, a 1989 reform law demanded the privatisation of state-owned commercial television stations, eliminating further cross-media ownership limitations (Fox and Waisbord, 2002). As Sinclair (1999: 84) points out in regard to Argentina, the history of military intervention and populism has ‘prevented the development of a supportive relationship between the state and private TV owners’, similar to what has happened in countries like Mexico and Brazil (1999: 84). Only after the 1980s did Argentine TV become free from direct government control. The governments of Alfonsin in 1983 and Menem in 1989 turned TV over to private ownership, creating avenues for the expansion of cable TV in the country. The progressive centre-left and left governments that have come to power since the late 1990s in most Latin American nations, including Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile, have adopted a new approach to media policy. To start with, they see communications as having a role in social and economic development (Moraes, 2009), and envision democratic strategies capable of reverting from the region’s traditional high media concentration. It is possible to affirm that, to some extent, the 1990s debates on media reform and democratisation in the continent are a followup to and revival of the Unesco discussions which took place in the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) in the 1960s and 1970s. These favoured a new global media order, more balanced flows between countries, more accurate and less biased international coverage done by the news agencies of developing countries and the strengthening of public and community media in Third World countries, among others. As Fox (1997: 7) reminds us, Latin America emerged as the first Third World region that identified problems in its communication system, proposing policies and attempting to carry out broadcasting and press reforms. Critics in the San Jose meetings, which were sponsored by Unesco and held in Costa Rica to discuss national communication policies, attacked the large amount of US imports, the lack of regional exchange and the absence of public services and channels of popular participation. There were concerns here both with the reform of national media and with the changes in international flows, with suggestions to establish National Communication Policy Councils composed of representatives of different groups.6

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The Unesco meetings of the 1960s and 1970s were eventually abandoned a decade later, after the withdrawal of the USA and UK representatives in the years 1984 and 1985, and again in 1994 and 2003 at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva. The meetings of the 1970s nonetheless occurred in a very specific historical context. This was mainly in a situation of military oppression, destruction of forms of democratic participation in government and suspicion towards forms of regulation for the public interest (Fox, 1997: 8). Thus the history of PSB in the whole of the region has had a troubled life. However, there have been attempts to construct such a platform. These have been pursued by various governments since the 1920s. Given its political stability in the 1930s, Uruguay managed to finance culture and its public service media (Fox, 1997). In most Latin American countries, however, the regulation of broadcasting clashed with national and international forces standing behind commercial broadcasting. Furthermore, politicians have also traditionally maintained an interest in using the state (public) media to reach out to voters and to gain political support, starting from the Vargas period in Brazil in the 1940s to the Peron years in Argentina (Fox, 1997: 13). Countries like Peru, Chile, Venezuela and Mexico at the time shared a common concern in applying public service ideals to their media. This was met with opposition from Latin American media owners, who saw this as an attempt at limiting free expression. From the late 1970s onwards, governmental attempts at media reform were largely abandoned or shifted to other avenues, such as the United Nations. Moreover, as we have seen, the tradition of censorship and political authoritarianism that marked the region during much of the course of the twentieth century meant that a culture of growing hostility towards democratic political participation and use of public services for the collective good pervaded the psyche of much of the conservative Latin American elite, impeding or making change difficult to implement. It can be said that concerns regarding media reform and channels of media participation still continue, although the political, economic, cultural and social context needs updating and re-defining. It is possible to assert that the timing is a much better one, although political tensions have not disappeared. In Latin America, undoubtedly, political liberalisation has created opportunities for the continent to revisit these debates in a very changed atmosphere. In Brazil, as we shall see, there is pressure for the formulation of a media regulatory framework capable of providing wider access to citizens to the means of media production, among others.

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Debates on the necessity for broadcasting and media reform and regulation in Brazil culminated in the first realisation of a conference on the theme in December 2009, the so-called Confecom (National Communication Conference) debates, which will be discussed throughout this book. Notably, the formation of a sharply divisive, black-and-white scenario of ‘big business and media barons’ on one side and ‘trade unions’ on the other during the Confecom debates exacerbated the ideological tensions between the camps, making much needed negotiations on media reform problematic. New media policy measures aimed at stimulating diversity and the public sphere have thus begun to be slowly implemented throughout the region or have reached centre stage of the public agenda. In Argentina, the Law of Audiovisual Communication Services, which was presented by President Cristina Kirchner and approved on 17 September 2009 by the Chamber of Deputies, proposed limits on the power of media conglomerates. The law prevents any private television company from owning more than 35 per cent of the media, requires official publicity to be regulated, and schedules licences to be renewed every 10 years instead of after 20 years. No firm alone can have more than 10 radio and television concessions. The law also allocates a third of the electronic radio spectrum to non-profit organisations. Furthermore, it prohibits horizontal and vertical concentration, establishing minimum quotas for national productions. The law is seen by experts as being groundbreaking, and as a sign that the whole region might soon follow this example (Moraes, 2009). The measure has, however, angered the Clarin group, which retains around 80 per cent of the cable TV concessions in Buenos Aires, as well as other media owners in Brazil and elsewhere.7 In Chile, a further advance noted by critics has been the inclusion in the current legislation of measures to guarantee programme diversity and financial autonomy. A new cable channel from the Chilean public television station (TVN), called 24 Hours, was launched in March 2010 amid governmental hype. It was seen as a strong competitor to CNN Chile, the first national channel of Latin America. TVN has also sought credibility since the return to democracy in the country in the last twenty years. Today it is leading the audience ratings. The new legislation on community radio broadcasting in Uruguay is considered to be among the most advanced in the world. The new constitutions of Ecuador and Bolivia are also guaranteeing protection of the right to correct information and plurality, establishing also mechanisms of concentration control as well as giving social groups participation in the communication area, including access to the public concessions of radio broadcasting. Other innovative media reform initiatives that have exercised an impact in

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the region include Brazil’s audiovisual independent support programme as well as the attempts at integration of the region through the public service channels like TV Brasil (Moraes, 2009), which will be analysed in greater detail in Part III. As Moraes (2009) argues, the debates taking place in Brazil in the last years concerning the communication field and the role of the state can actually contribute to revitalise the public sphere and the regulatory capacity of the state in socioeconomic and cultural life. It can reinforce in the state a social-democratic ethos. Moreover, when one looks at the series of communication policy measures in the country, one is dazzled by the complexity and the number of laws and regulations which change in accordance to political mood and pressures from the market (Santos and Silveira, 2007: 50). All of these factors make demands for a new and updated media regulatory framework all the more necessary.

Broadcasting Policy and the Public Media in Brazil

Since its origins in the 1920s, Latin American broadcasting has not managed to have a role in social and economic development (Waisbord, 1995). Due largely to state sponsorship, countries like Mexico and Brazil were capable of developing the largest broadcasting industries in the region. The state in many countries of the region during the dictatorship years was traditionally assigned a role of political control and censorship. In most Latin American countries, the state performed both an arbitrary authoritarian role as well as serving as an investor in the construction of the telecommunication infrastructure and a supporter of the private media. State intervention in South America has thus had the main aim of reinforcing governmental powers rather than promoting democratic forms of communication (Waisbord, 2000; Matos, 2008). Nevertheless, the assumption that the state could have a role in promoting national development and education did exercise some influence. Such a position was mainly predominant during the 1960s and 1970s in the context of wider discussions on development. The contemporary context is nonetheless assigning a new role for the state throughout the region, very much as a result of the changes and political transformations that the region has been experiencing since the 1980s. As we have begun to see, broadcasting in Brazil has been largely built on a combination of political control and limited regulation. Educational and state channels are mainly owned by sectors of the Church and oligarchic politicians. National broadcasting policies in Brazil have also been traditionally closely aligned with political interests and state control. Broadcasting

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regulation has been under the control of the Ministry of Communication, with presidents using the distribution of radio and television licences as a form of political patronage. According to the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, the Executive body has the power over television and radio concessions. Congress has to ratify or reject the decision. Very much because of this, state interventionism in Brazil has been characterised by a mixture of clientelistic practices, political patronage and censorship control and less by concerns for the public interest. In many other Latin American countries also, PSB sectors have established a relationship of political clientelism with local, regional and national governments. Guedes-Bailey and Jambeiro Barbosa (2008: 53) underline how Vargas’ Estado Novo government saw broadcasting as a service which needed to be regulated by the state, as the electromagnetic spectrum was public property. Since 1932, when the first Broadcasting Act was signed, radio and TV licences been subject to federal government approval. According to Guedes-Bailey and Jambeiro Barbosa (2008: 53), the educational purposes of decrees 20.047 and 21.111 served to set the standards for the nationalistic ideologies that influenced policy-making in the country. As Fox (1997: 61) notes, the Brazilian Telecommunications Code of 1962 (Codigo Brasileiro de Telecomunicacoes) combined the authoritarianism of the former Getulio Vargas regime, such as the power of the president to distribute broadcasting licences, with the economic liberalism of the following civil governments. Caparelli (1986 in Fox, 1997) points out that between 1965 and 1978 the code enabled the military government to distribute almost 60 per cent of the television channels in Brazil to its friends. It nonetheless set aside non-commercial educational channels, which began to operate in 1974. Thus the relationship between the public media and the state has always been an uneasy one in the history of broadcasting in Brazil. The president still has the control over radio and television. Former president Jose Sarney has been widely accused of granting radio and television concessions to MPs in exchange for a longer term in office (Guedes Bailey and Jambeiro Barbosa, 2008: 54). Thus the public media sector in Brazil as it stands suffers from various historical deficiencies. Brazil has also always had a weak public media sector, composed mainly of the respected but fundingstarved TV Cultura in Sao Paulo and its counterpart TVE in Rio, as well as other regional outlets controlled by local politicians and by sectors of the evangelical Church.8 Other stations include executive legislative TVs (Senate TV) and community channels and TV stations linked to state and federal governments as well as to universities.

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In their fear that a stronger public media sector would pose a threat to the commercial media, market liberals in Brazil have pointed to the bad state of the structures of the public media. The promiscuous relationships between the weak and partisan state media and politicians stand among the main reasons to condemn the restructuring of the PSB platform. Oligarchic politicians and church interests control many ‘public’ (state) radio and television stations as well as private. Lima (2007) underlines how at least 50 per cent of the more than 2,000 community stations permitted to operate by the Ministry of Communications in Brazil belonged to people linked to politicians. Moreover, according to the journalists Felipe Bachtold and Silvia Freire in a report published in Folha de São Paulo, local stations of the private main television channels, Globo, Record, SBT and Bandeirantes, as well as small radios, are owned by 61 politicians who were elected during the 2010 elections. Of the 61 elected MPs, at least two participate in the Congress Communication Commission. In the state of Maranhao, the four biggest television stations are in the hands of politicians, including the local TV Globo, which belongs to the Sarney family; SBT, which has links to Senator Edson Lobao (PMDB); Record, which belongs to the MP Roberto Rocha (PSDB); and Bandeirantes, connected to Manuel Ribeiro (PTB).9 As Azevedo (2006: 34) claims, although the current legislation limits to five the number of television channels per group, the national television stations explore loopholes of the law. They associate themselves with stations owned by others which merely repeat the channels or the national programme. As Table 2.1 makes clear, in the mid-1990s politicians controlled from 30 to 40 per cent of the total number of radio and television stations in the country. Thus public service media and broadcasting does not have a democratic history or a genuine commitment to the public interest. Rather, the market media and commercial broadcasting have largely taken on this role, mingling citizenship and consumerism rationales and having been allowed to develop somewhat without regulation. As Table 2.2 reveals, Globo Organizations is the main group that owns more radio and television stations, followed closely by the Saad Bandeirantes group and the RBS media organisation run by the Sirotsky family from the south of Brazil. The ties with the state were weakened from the 1990s onwards but still somewhat maintained. The state continued to control and regulate vital legislation concerning the media system, many of which benefitted the private media. The 1988 Federal Brazilian Constitution confirmed the government’s authority as well as Congress’s co-responsibility in licensing

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Table 2.1 Radio and TV stations controlled by politicians in Brazil (1994) Channels

Total Brazil

Current politicians and past

Per cent

TV Radio

 302 2908

  94 1169

31.12 40.19

Source: Lima (2001: 107) (in Azevedo, 2006: 34)

Table 2.2 Family groups in Brazilian broadcasting TV

Radio

National Marinho (Globo) Saad (Bandeirantes) Abravanel (SBT)

32 12 10

20 21 —

Regional Sirotsky (RBS-South) Camara (Centre West) Daou (North) Zahran (Mato-Grosso) Jereissati (North East)

20 08 05 04 01

20 13 04 02 05

Source: Lima (2001:106) (in Azevedo, 2006: 34)

radio and TV broadcasting services, as stipulated in article 223 (Guedes Bailey and Jambeiro Barbosa, 2008: 99). Certain legislation that was of interest for the media market was approved in the last few years by federal governments, including the privatisation of the telecommunications system and the permission for the participation of foreign capital in the national market (Matos, 2008) after the revision of articles in the Constitution. As Saravia (2008: 72) reminds us, the whole notion of communication rights is in itself a relatively new phenomenon in Brazil – the first investigations of the concept occurred in the 1960s. The rights to communications were established in the 1988 Constitution, mainly in article 220, which prohibits restrictions on freedom of expression. Although the Brazilian Constitution contains some advances in the field, critics argue that not much has been done to actually make these rights effective and legitimate (Saravia, 2008: 75). To start with, the constitutional articles that deal with

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social communications have not all been officially regulated. Civil society groups are currently defending the ratification of the articles of the 1988 Constitution which deal with regional programming, and which suggest a preference for cultural and educational television outputs. According to Lima (2007), a project that requires the regulation of the article on the regionalisation of cultural and artistic production has circulated in the Congress for 17 years. However, article 222 of the Constitution was altered by amendment in 2002 to permit the entry of foreign capital into the sector. Furthermore, the Communication Council, created in 1988 by article 224 of the Constitution, was only officially installed in 2002, and is today practically obsolete (Lima, 2007). It is to some of the key governmental initiatives that have encountered some level of success, and to other proposals which are striving to further democratise communications amid a cultural legacy of authoritarianism, conservatism and misuse of ‘public’ communication structures for political interests, which are explored next.

Government’s Policies for the Communication Sector: A Debate

The former government of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (2002–10) has been accused by critics as not having done enough to change more sharply the concentrated media environment in Brazil (Moraes, 2009; Lugo-Ocando, 2008), apart from the staging of the Confecom debates in the end of 2009 and the creation of TV Brasil in 2008. Political commitments in the area of democratic communications were announced by the government and defended from the start. The programme for the social communications sector that the Lula candidature presented in 2006 emphasised that the democratisation of communications was a necessary step for strengthening democracy. It underlined knowledge as an important tool in the development of a nation and envisioned two main strategies of action, including modernising the current fragmented legislation through creating a new and more adequate model for the convergence era. It also defended the ratification of measures set forth in the Constitution aimed at guaranteeing a market in which three communication systems (public, private and state) can operate. In the interview given to the National Forum of Communication Democratisation (FNDC), Cesar Bolano, first president of the Latin Union of Political Economy of Information, Communication and Culture (ULEPICC) and professor of the Federal Sergipe University and UnB, emphasised that the public media has still the same space as it had before:

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‘What happened was a restructuring of the public television, but the public TV in Brazil still has the same space as before, in terms of audience share and effective production.’10 According to Bolano (2007), during the first Lula administration there were clashes within the government’s own ranks. The Ministry of Culture supported the democratisation of culture and communications, while the Ministry of Communications took a more right-wing stance. Interviewed for this research, Bolano emphasised the necessity of approving the Constitutional articles as a first step towards advancing media democratisation: We are well equipped with what we have. The Constitution asserts that the state, public and private systems should be complementary, and that should be regulated. I have written an article where I state that the key issues necessary here are to de-concentrate, de-politicise and democratise … 11 Thus the approval of the proposals on media reform by Confecom delegates and the realisation of an international seminar on media regulation marked the end of the Lula government. In the last six months of its administration, the former Lula government prepared a series of proposals for the communication sector, including the idea of creating a new regulatory agency, the National Agency of Communications (ANC), to regulate the content of radio and TV. The proposals were put together in a study group coordinated by the former Social Communications minister, Franklin Martins. The text stipulates that firms can charge for broadcasting programmes considered offensive, and prohibits politicians with mandates from being owners of radio and television stations. It also wants to improve the current process of new station concessions, making them more transparent by publishing every step on the internet. The following administration of Dilma Rousseff (2011–14) announced in 2011 that it would open up a new public consultation on the topic. This has been criticised by some specialists, and has been seen by some as a sign of either withdrawal from the proposals set out by Confecom, or an unnecessary prolonging of the debates, or even a need to pander more to the interests of market lobbyists. Others, however, view the decision as a commitment to expand the debates to wider sectors of society. Confecom, nonetheless, emerged as an important milestone in the recognition by various sectors of society of the urgency of discussing public policies on communications. The debates resulted in the approval of 672

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proposals put forward by representatives of the former government, social movements and entrepreneurs. The ratification of the constitutional articles on the production of regional, educational and cultural programming, as well as article 220, which prohibits the formation of monopolies, are also deemed essential.12 These initiatives were met with hostility from key media players, with newspapers like O Globo and Estado de São Paulo classifying the measures of Confecom as an attempt to control the press by radical sectors of the government.13 Thus the ideological tensions that existed during the 1970s NWICO debates have not altogether diminished. A key novelty of the debates was the significant presence of both progressive bloggers and entrepreneurs. The outcome of the proposals ranged from solid propositions, such as the necessity for more technical rigour in the system for granting concessions to radio and television stations, and legislation on media concentration, to other more controversial suggestions that many would deem less realistic, and which could either open loopholes for censorship or raise tensions with the already reluctant market media. These include proposals that argue for wider systems of ‘control’ of the media and punishment for journalists. Also worth highlighting are suggestions for the non-renewal of TV and radio concessions, if these stations ignore public service commitments, such as the broadcasting of educational and cultural programmes. Various scholars (Saravia, 2008) also defended the strengthening of community media as a means of democratisation further social relations in Brazil, the registration of all concessions in order to confirm whether those given to particular entities are operating within the law, and the implementing of internet regulation and ratification of article 221 of the Constitution, which obliges TVs to prioritise national content. One idea is that the Journalism Federal Council should function like a corporate organism similar to OAB (Order of Lawyers of Brazil). This is feared by some media sectors, and is seen as an attempt to censor the press. Other proposals include the creation of digital television channels for the ministries of Culture, Education and of Communications; the distribution of stations to social movements; the introduction of legislation to restrict crossmedia ownership and the requirement for television stations to transmit programmes produced by independent companies. In regard to the current project of strengthening PSB, concern has been further raised in relation to the political links it has maintained with the Federal state, and in particular the role of the government in implementing the public media platform and the consequent fears of pro-establishment bias. Similarly to the way that many Americans oppose an active regulatory role for the state in the fear that state intervention will encourage partisan

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manipulation, worries were expressed in Brazil at the time of the emergence of the Empresa Brasileira de Comunicacao (EBC), responsible for TV Brasil, as well as with the creation of a new regulatory framework for the media. Controversies were raised at the time by sectors of the opposition, and also during the 2010 presidential elections concerning TV Brasil’s political coverage. The worry was that the intentions of the government were to use the channel, and restructure the public media for its own political purposes. Market lobbyists regard the fortification of the public media platform as a reaction of the Worker’s Party (PT) to the years of their stigmatisation by the media. Elsewhere, some academics point out that the public media is still too much inserted within a historical tradition of political patronage, which has traditionally characterised public communications and broadcasting regulation in Brazil. Consequently, attempts to re-direct to the public interest a station like TV Cultura, seen as being under the influence of the government of São Paulo, or even TV Brasil, linked to the federal administration, are seen as highly problematic. The initial official commitment towards adopting a new regulatory framework for media and telecommunications committed to the public interest, intended to replace the outdated laws created during the dictatorship, was taken on by sectors of the government during the First National TV Forum debates held in 2007. Shortly afterwards, the 1st National Conference on Communications (Confecom) was held in the first week of December 2009 in Brasília, uniting members of opposite sides, such as civil society players and a small group of media entrepreneurs, who had been debating media policy reform at least for seven years. Civil society players and officials linked to the government and organised groups have underscored the necessity of building a solid regulation framework for the country to replace outdated laws such as the Codigo Brasileiro de Telecomunicacoes (1962) and follow up initiatives of the 1990s, including the creation of the Cable Law (1995) and the Lei Geral de Telecommunicacoes (LGT, 1997). The latter two were seen mainly to have benefited commercial groups. According to Bolano (2007), the public policy laws for the communication sector mainly consist of the Codigo de Telecommunicaoes and the 1997 LGT. Broadcasting is still controlled by the old law, whereas cable TV and other forms of paid TV are linked to the telecommunications sector. The LGT law was created during the presidency of Fernando Henrique Cardoso. According to Bolano (2007: 41), the then Minister of Communications, Sergio Motta, implemented a broadcasting concession decree (Law 8.666) which altered the procedures with the intention of

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moralising and modernising them. This did not prevent the Cardoso government from making political use of the radio and television concessions. The separation between radio and television regulation from telecommunications was also attempted in vain by the former Minister of Communications, Pimenta da Veiga, in 2001. Proposals were put forward which favoured the de-politicisation of the process and the adoption of more technical criteria, such as those carried out by Anatel (National Agency of Telecommunications). These however were also defeated (Bolano, 2007: 47–93).14 As Bolano further contended in the interview with the FNDC in 2010,15 a new regulatory framework is deemed necessary because it would both attend to the technological changes that have occurred since the 1960s as well as contemplate the media’s social function. He further underlined that the political debates on the democratisation of the communication sector that have taken place since the 1990s can be divided into three main group interests. There is the Conservative stance, which defends the interests of broadcasters; the Progressives, who are united in movements in favour of media democratisation; and the Liberal strand, composed of those who mainly support the interests of the telecommunication sector. According to Bolano (2007: 90–2), the Cardoso years saw the passing mainly of liberal reforms in the area of telecommunications, such as the LGT. Some of the proposals on the strengthening of competition have come close to the progressive stance and their defence of cultural diversity. A proximity between the two camps occurred during the end of the Cardoso government around the defence of Anatel. Another measure included the creation of the General Communication Mass Broadcasting Law, announced in 1998 but eventually dropped (Bolano, 2007). Bolano defends nonetheless a negotiation between the two camps, with the left accepting a more market-led regulation in exchange for the ratification of the articles on the media included in the Constitution. Conservative forces in Congress nonetheless have managed to impede further advancements during the Cardoso administrations (1994–2002). As Lalo Leal Filho (2006: 28) asserts, during the course of the 1990s the executive powers began to slowly abandon their regulatory function. The market increasingly began to call the shots. Writing at the end of the 1990s, Lalo Leal Filho underscored how the government was in the process of elaborating a new Broadcasting Mass Communication Law to substitute the Brazilian Code of Radio Broadcasting. This had prevailed since 1962. These efforts nonetheless were frustrated: ‘The culture of the country and the lack of resources impeded … the implementation … of a model similar to the English one’ (2006: 28). There have thus been reform projects which circulated in Congress, but with little success.

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There are differences, however, between a democratic public service model and one of direct government control and interference, which is more associated with authoritarian regimes or countries with a strong historical legacy of authoritarianism. The former, for instance, requires the placement of regulatory structures that institutionally guarantee balance, fairness and quality in programming and information, safeguarding public communications from both political and economic pressures. From this perspective the project of strengthening the public media platform is the natural consequence of the re-democratisation of Brazilian society since the end of the dictatorship in 1985. This period has seen a gradual democratisation of the country’s social and political institutions, with a rapid increase in the democratic demands made by the middle and lower sectors of Brazilian society for a better media system which is neither ‘state controlled’ or manipulated by commercial interests and/or political ones. The question that perhaps should be asked here is why, in our current multi-channel environment and increasingly fragmented media landscape, communications should still be understood as part of a public service ideal. This question is largely tackled in the following chapters. Firstly, though, one need only look at the history of broadcasting in Brazil to see that the pendulum has been largely balanced towards the market, which has encountered difficulties in permitting the construction of a journalism more genuinely preoccupied with the public due to political and economic constraints. It has also tried to attend to the public firstly as a citizen and then largely as a consumer (Matos, 2008). How then should public policy be developed in a way which guarantees commitment to the public interest and boosts diversity while not ‘suffocating’ but complementing the market? As Santos and Silveira (2007: 76) note, the reasons why the state should still have a role include its capacity to organise the use of limited resources, to stimulate technical advancements, to guarantee fair competition and to favour national development. I will discuss also other reasons for the relevance of the state, making reference to classic political theory and philosophy to underline the roots of the idea of a system that can mediate disputes between men. I would also add the importance of the creation of a really multiple and complex media system, one not only dominated by the market but capable of including various different sectors (i.e. public, alternative and civic sector), thus attempting to serve the country’s multiple identities (Matos, 2008; Curran, 2000). I thus believe that the debate regarding public communications in Latin America needs to move beyond such issues as ‘to regulate’ or ‘not to regulate’ or regulation as a form of censorship to considering how to design a

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model of regulation that can be capable of favouring the public interest. Thus it should be a model that does not privilege small private, political or other groups that have monopolised the structures of the state to suit their own needs.

Conclusion

Part I has provided an intellectual comparative framework of analysis for looking at media systems in Latin America, having examined the historical broadcasting tradition in the continent and the key debates in the arena of media policy and broadcasting in Brazil. It paid particular attention to the challenges and dilemmas that media systems and public communication structures have been facing in the continent since the 1990s. It seems to me that the core question now concerns where exactly Latin American media systems are heading towards, in a context of increasing economic globalisation, political liberalism and demands of civil society players and citizens for a diverse communication platform that can serve multiple public spheres. As Fox (1997: 30) notes in her discussion of the reasons why media reforms were abandoned in the 1970s in Latin America, many of the countries had more serious problems to discuss during the first years of re-democratisation. These ranged from trials on human rights abuses to strengthening political diversity and structuring economic growth. As I have also highlighted in Chapter 1, similarly to some Eastern European countries, Brazil in the aftermath of the dictatorship encountered difficulties in designing a public media platform that could be fully separated from both political and economic interests. It is still struggling to come to terms with who the public media audience actually is, what they expect from these services and the new relationship that should be developed between public communications and the public, deliberations examined further in parts II and III. Furthermore, the media landscape in Latin America is very different than it was back in the 1970s. Media conglomerates have expanded in the region, and are interconnected both nationally and internationally as a result of the growth of cable and satellite as well as to increasing economic globalisation. This has made these media industries become much more complex, difficult to regulate and with more blurred ownership patterns. Different types of audiences thus cut across nation-states. Brazil with TV Globo and Mexico with Televisa, for instance, have built largely complex and economically profitable media industries, as we shall see. Part II explores these debates further by shifting the focus to the role that public service broadcasting has had in fortifying democracy in European countries, and how this compares and contrasts with the Latin American case.

3

EUROPEAN PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING REVISITED Public service broadcasting (PSB) has been under threat in Europe for both ideological and technical reasons since the 1980s. In Part II I look at the political and ideological motives behind these critiques. In Chapter 4 I assess the different roles given to media systems by the radical, liberal and conservative perspectives on the media. To kickstart the discussion, in Chapter 3 I examine the economic implications and the challenges for public service broadcasters and the public media brought about by media commercialisation and new technologies, the proliferation of deregulation trends throughout the USA and Europe, the expansion of cable and satellite television and the consequent fragmentation of audiences into niche publics. Part II engages with the debates on what is understood by the public interest, and the role that European PSBs have played in the construction of democracy. In Chapter 3 there is a particular focus on the case of the future of the BBC and a more general focus on public service broadcasting in the UK and in Europe. The key intellectual concern of this chapter thus consists in the evaluation of the relationship that has been established between media systems, democratic politics and the public interest in European countries, and mainly in the UK, from the 1960s until today. This chapter thus provides continuity with the investigations developed in Part I on Ofcom, while serving at the same time to initiate a discussion on what constitutes quality programming and journalism, issues which are further examined in Chapter 4. The three models of media systems developed by Hallin and Mancini (2004b) in their analysis of the relationship between the media and politics in North America and Europe are also used here as an intellectual framework

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for comparison, in my attempt to outline the general characteristics of Latin American communication systems. Thus the crux of this chapter endorses a question posed previously by Raboy (1996), which asks what exactly the public function of broadcasting should be in a democracy. In order to answer this question, we need to define better what we mean by ‘the public interest’, and to assess the actual merits of PSB in European countries, before we may consider how they might benefit the strengthening of the democratisation project in Latin America. Furthermore, to pick up a point emphasized by Jakubowicz (2006), it seems to me that a key future role for PSBs anywhere is one of assisting globalisation and contributing to wider international dialogue and understanding between countries, as well as functioning as a national public sphere, giving space for nations to debate their own problems. This first chapter of Part II thus starts by investigating the definitions and the problems around the concept of the ‘public interest’, and how this is related to public service broadcasting and to a whole tradition of quality media and press, which is further developed throughout this book. I thus explore here some of the key trends in the European PSB tradition, including its relationship with democratic processes, and the role of PSB in everyday life in the UK (Scannell, 1989), before finalising with the growth of media commercialisation and the explosion of multi-television channels from the 1990s onwards. In Chapter 4 I move on to the different (ideological) understandings concerning the role of the public media and the public interest in democratic processes in North America and Europe. I finish by looking at the ‘crisis’ of civic communications and political journalism in advanced democracies in contrast to the proliferation of multiple journalism cultures in Latin America as well as the rising crisis of the journalism identity in countries like Brazil.

Defining Public Service Broadcasting and the Public Interest

There is no standard and precise definition of ‘public service broadcasting’, but many theories and debates on what PSB should represent in a democratic society, and the relationship it should have with the public interest, have been extensively developed by British academics (Schlesinger, 2001; Keane, 1995; Scannell, 1989; Curran, 1991). The classic arguments have been mainly grounded on the assumption, as correctly highlighted by Keane (1995: 59), that the public service model is the main forum which permits the whole nation to talk to itself. This view has also been influenced by the Habermasian concept of the public sphere.

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Writing in the context of the 1980s, academics like Scannell (1989: 85) emphasised how public broadcasting and its programming served as a public good, contributing to the democratisation of everyday life in the UK. Scannell (1989) further stated in his examination of the BBC that the UK’s PSB has helped voice the opinions of all members of society regardless of class and socioeconomic status. As we shall see throughout this book, this is still precisely the role that is required of the public media in democratic societies, and the one that it is destined to have in developing countries. Habermas (1962, 1997) is credited with having offered undoubtedly the most elaborated version of the public sphere in his phenomenal study The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, which traced the emergence of a ‘bourgeois’ public sphere in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Europe followed by its subsequent decline in the twentieth century due to the formation of a mass culture society. Various scholars have criticised Habermas’s ‘utopian’ vision of the public sphere and his ‘celebration’ of a rational and debating public that presumably treated everyone on equal grounds, and was open to all (Hallin, 1994; Fraser, 1997; Calhoun, 1997). They have underlined the public sphere’s largely undemocratic character, and its restriction to a small segment of the population in a time when papers were mainly read by commercial and political elites. Nonetheless, other more critical voices have pointed out that the initial motivation behind establishing PSBs in Western Europe has been one more closely aligned with a paternalistic stance and view of broadcasting. As the critical argument goes, the necessity of PSBs comes from an elitist (bourgeois public sphere) conception or desire to see the media function in a specific way in our democratic societies, thus establishing a particular type of relationship with the public and audiences deemed as patronising at best. This more paternalistic stance claims that the intellectual intelligentsia knows best and is better equipped to feed ‘high-brow’ programmes onto unwilling audiences. Some of these critiques have been made by sectors of the left also in the context of the debates on the ‘crisis’ of PSBs in the UK, and their need to rapidly adapt to a digital environment and to the changing needs and tastes of contemporary global as well as national audiences. Criticising academics (Curran, 2002; Garnham, 1997; Scannell, 1989) and their understanding of public service broadcasting as being close to an ideal Habermasian space where rational critical debate can occur, Keane (1995) has gone as far as deeming the public sphere and its relationship to PSB as ‘obsolete’ in the context of the twenty-first century. For Keane the attempt to equate the public sphere to PSB has failed on normative grounds

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(1995: 60). For instance, in our current multi-media age the concept cannot be brought to explain phenomena as diverse as computer networking. Thus, for Keane the association that some academics have made between public service broadcasting and the Habermasian concept of the public sphere has tended to place the philosophical debate concerning the liberty of the press too much in the context of the struggles of the nineteenth century against oppressive monarchs and state power. Although Keane acknowledges the achievements of PSB, he argues that the debate on ‘the public interest’ does not apply to the current fragmented reality of ‘multiple public spheres’ (macro-, meso- and micro-public), 24-hour news channels and diverse media outlets, in other words, to a reality where public spheres are not connected any more to physical territory, and where public life has suffered a process of de-territorialisation (1995: 71). Quoting Nowak (1991) and Blumler (1985), Keane (1995: 57–58) comments that increases in the PSB license fee income reached its peak in the 1970s. From then onwards, with the increasing saturation of households with televisions and radios and the rise in programme cuts, the licence fee revenue began to decline. Thus public service media and broadcasting have dived into a profound identity crisis (Keane, 1995: 57), suffering from financial insecurity and anxiety in relation to their position in a post-industrial world in which there has been a fall in support for party politics and public forms of communication (Blumler and Gurevitch, 1995; Hallin and Mancini, 2004a). In this way for Keane (1995: 58), the development in the twenty-first century of a ‘multiplicity of networked spaces of communication’, not tied to the nation-state, and the fact that the language of the ‘public interest’ and ‘public good’ were terms which were used in the eighteenth century as weapons to pressure for the ‘liberty of the press’, indicates that the notion of the ‘public sphere’ is taken from a different historical context and mistakenly applied to our contemporary context. This critique offers powerful insights. Firstly, it is true that the full realisation of the ideals of PSB is becoming a hard task to pursue due to various reasons, ranging from the limits of democratic politics, to economic pressures and technological innovations – correctly signalled by Keane (1995) – as well as the changing needs of audiences. Having said that, the critiques made in regard to the association of the public media with the public sphere (Keane, 1995) should not lead one to dismiss the arguments put forward by various academics (Tambini and Cowling, 2004), who have acknowledged the potentialities of the market as being capable of offering an important contribution in providing various citizens/consumers with multiple media products and facilitating media expression. Tambini and Cowling also

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believe, however, that this point in itself does not disguise the fact that the market media are constructed for profit-making, in much the same way that the state cannot resolve all the disputes in society. Thus access to various forms of communication technologies cannot be provided for everyone if segments of the population do not have consumer spending power. Keane’s (1995) argument may therefore strike a wider chord with critics from more advanced democracies which are currently experiencing a situation of media-saturation; but even here such statements, which seem to dismiss the possibility of the existence of a sphere of public debate in the mainstream media, are problematic, as well as the argument that press struggles are a thing of the past. Notably, surveys from Freedom House (www. freedomhouse.org) and others conducted by academics (Norris, 2004; Curran et al., 2009; Matos, 2008) have provided a more intriguing picture, one which underlines how the press is subject to multiple societal, economic and political pressures. Comparative analyses and data taken from different European countries also reveals variations among PSB and public service media which differ according to nation and to specific historical factors and types of pressures. It is thus one thing to criticise arguments that point to commoditystructured economies as inherently encouraging selfishness on the basis of a simplistic understanding of market dynamics, and another to presuppose that they alone can attend to the needs of citizens in increasingly complex global societies. In an age of excessive commercialisation of the media, rising competitive individualism and, above all, growing global economic and social inequality, as discussed in Part I, it would be a fatal error to abandon the ideal of a media system that can carry within it elements which cater to the public interest, be socially inclusive, boosting educational and cultural levels and helping a society discuss its problems. As Seneviratne (2006: 22) affirms, the audiovisual techniques, multimedia formats and the possibilities of interactivity that PSB can offer – the BBC’s investment in online platforms and other forms of interactivity is a good example – stress the continuing centrality of its role as an educational force alongside libraries and other information resource centres. It also signals the fact that public communication systems can adapt to digital technologies and new audience consumption habits, and thus are not merely old dinosaurs which must suffer a slow death. Before looking at what is meant by ‘the public interest’, it is worth discussing the critiques made by theorists such as Mouffe (1993) and Young (1990b) concerning the limits of political liberalism in its definition of a universal view of citizenship and its links with ‘the public’. As Mouffe states,

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liberalism has been criticised for having constructed modern citizenship as the realm of the public, equating this to men, and excluding women by relegating them to the private. Thus Mouffe defends a view of citizenship which rejects a universalist definition of ‘the public’. According to her, the notion of the opposite, ‘the private’, has played a role in women’s own subordination. Young also argues that modern citizenship has been constructed on this separation between the public and the private. She thus defends the creation of a ‘heterogeneous public’ capable of guaranteeing mechanisms for the representation of diverse as well as oppressed voices. As Young (1990b: 125) states, no one can ‘claim to speak in the general interest’. Thus the only way to have these perspectives heard is to have them fully represented in ‘the public’. It is important then first to distinguish between ‘the public’ and ‘the mass’, which is done by social theory, before expanding this debate further. In their discussion of ‘the public’, Livingstone and Lunt (1994: 19) refer to Robins (1990b), and his affirmation that ‘the public’ can be viewed as opposed to the market. It can also be viewed as in contrast to the elite, carrying an egalitarian dimension. To return to Habermas’s idealised notion of a unified public engaged in rational debate, it is clear from the critiques put forward by various scholars here that no one could speak for a unified public voice and abstain from their own class position. It is better, then, to understand ‘the public’, as Livingstone and Lunt (1994: 23) assert, as being ‘fragmented into a mass of competing interest groups (Fraser, 1990: 59) who may or may not represent fairly all sections of the general public’. Exploring further Fraser’s (1990:66) work, Livingstone and Lunt (1994: 26) assert that ‘competing publics better promote the ideal of participatory parity … than a single … public’, for the ‘bourgeois’ public sphere requires power inequalities to be transcended in the search for a consensus around the public good, whereas the pluralist public sphere demands the balancing of differences, facilitating the representation of the less powerful in order to arrive at a fairer compromise (Livingston and Lunt, 1994). Thus we can understand the ‘public interest’ here as being multiple publics, or multiple public spheres (Fraser, 1997; Keane, 1995), whose diverse interests and needs often clash with each other. The public media must thus be able to cater and respond to these needs. Jakubowicz (2006: 95) agrees that the debate on the role of PSB in the democratic polity is a discussion about the ‘values and principles governing society and social life’. It is above all an ‘ideological and a sociological discussion about the kind [my emphasis] of society we want to live in’. It is precisely the contestation of this fact that makes the engagement with the

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different ideological understandings of the role of PSBs so vital a task. In the current digital age context, as Jakubowicz (2006: 101) states, the concept of ‘public service broadcasting’ should be understood by taking on board technological aspects, such as the growing presence of PSBs on all platforms (i.e. online transmissions). Jakubowicz goes on to say that, to keep up with the changes in user behaviour and in the media environment, PSB must be able to offer all types of services, ranging from national, generalised channels to an internet-delivery ‘personalised public service’ (2006: 104). Iyer (2006: 135) also highlights how the word ‘public’ in relation to PSB has begun to be called into question, and how PSB has for years been wrongly synonymous with ‘state-funded’ broadcasting. Iyer (2006: 143) further states that there has been evidence of support for PSB in resolutions such as the Unesco Declaration of Alma Ata (1992). Such resolutions encouraged governments to develop public service broadcasting within their territories. Unesco has also placed PSB systems at the very heart of a society’s democracy. As Unesco states (in Splichal, 2007: 250–1), [PSB] is neither commercial nor state-owned. It is free from political interference and pressure from commercial forces. Through PSB, citizens are informed, educated and also entertained. When guaranteed with pluralism, programming diversity, editorial independence, appropriate funding … public service broadcasting can serve as a cornerstone of democracy. Public forms of communication media undoubtedly have certain characteristics which distinguish them from commercial market media. Despite the limits and challenges faced by democracies in implementing or strengthening public service broadcasting, it will still be understood here in precisely this ideal model, notably as a public media platform which is capable of providing citizens with independent and quality information, is free from both commercial and political pressures, and has its roots in the enlightenment notion of a public space where social and political life unfolds (Habermas, 1989, 1991). Since the mid-1990s, however, many European institutions have become concerned about the future of PSBs, although the acknowledgement of their importance to new democracies has been reinforced in the last years. In a speech given to the World Electronic Media Forum Workshop on PSB in Geneva (2003), Dr Abdul Waheed Khan affirmed that public service broadcasting ‘is most suited to meet the challenges of development faced by the developing countries’ (Seneviratne, 2006: 22).

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According further to Seneviratne (2006: 19), the Council of Europe’s Independent Television has classified PSB channels according to 11 key characteristics. We can highlight the following ones as being especially significant: (1) the existence of a wide range of programming; (2) high quality technical and production standards; (3) the catering for minorities; (4) the reflection of a nation’s identity; (5) the inclusion of significant original productions; (6) the valuing of independence and impartiality; (7) universal coverage; (8) the use of limited amounts of advertising; and (9) being free at the point of delivery or accessible. As Iyer (2006: 140–3) further argues, there is global support for PSB across nations in a current context of increasing media concentration due to convergence. In this new scenario, the need for international regulation will become more pressing in the coming years, with greater cooperation between national policymakers becoming more common. Thus the fact that PSB will need to adapt to the changing digital environment goes without saying. Nonetheless, to expect, as Jakubowicz (2006) seems to suggest, that PSB should deliver personalised online services, as if it were a commercial channel, is to go too far and to misunderstand the uses that PSB can still have in deepening democracies in various countries. PSB should aim not to become more indistinguishable from the market media but to be a complementary force to it or a competitive element that is even capable of setting standards for quality programming. Such a view has even been acknowledged by various segments of the Brazilian audience who were interviewed in the survey, as we shall see in Parts III and IV. As Jakubowicz (2006: 107) also asserts, public service broadcasting programming can ‘provide more in depth information on the situation prevailing on the international scene … for full citizenship requires … effort to understand and become involved in the process of global governance … reflecting the multi-ethnic and multicultural societies’. Thus PSB can contribute to greater rather than reduced international dialogue and promotion of cultural diversity within and between countries, and achieve more than simply unite a country in its national identity. The latter point seems to be the case made by some scholars in their defence of the perseverance of PSBs in the UK, in what could be perceived as a nostalgic sentiment or a wish for PSB to return to its ‘golden years’. Although broadcasting has traditionally been expected to represent the nation this alone does not need to be its prime objective, especially in an age of increasing globalisation, international migration, cultural exchange between countries and multiculturalism.

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In this rapidly changing technological environment, PSB is being obliged to refocus its aims in terms of both the local and the global (Raboy, 1996: 5). Seneviratne (2006: 22) emphasises precisely this capacity of PSBs to equate the national with the global, serving ‘as a purveyor of democratic ideals, helping to broaden horizons and enabling people to better understand themselves by better understanding the world’. It is this role of PSBs, in contributing to globalisation, in fostering mutual understanding between countries and increased cooperation in the fight against global, social and economic injustices, that interests me most. As we shall see, the threats to PSB have not only a technological dimension but also an ideological nature (Tambini and Cowling, 2004: 16). It is thus necessary to highlight some facts concerning the historical development of PSBs in Europe, and the current challenges that they encounter, before looking at the particular case of the BBC.

European Public Service Broadcasting Dilemmas

History and Development of Public Service Broadcasting in Europe Public service broadcasting in Europe has been constructed as part of a whole ‘communication welfare’, realising democratic goals and performing a cultural mission (McQuail, 2000). As we have begun to see, European public service broadcasting since the 1980s has been undergoing a profound identity crisis (Schlesinger, 2001; Keane, 1995). PSB systems emerged in Europe in the second quarter of the twentieth century, with the state-owned broadcasting service committed to the public good being the main model adopted (Fox, 1997). According to Hardy (2008: 57–8), at the beginning of the 1980s PSB still dominated most Western European countries, which together had 41 television and 61 radio channels. The states in Western Europe also licensed and regulated national broadcasting in the post-war period. Although many European countries had strong traditions of public media service, from the 1980s onwards they began to be influenced by US deregulation policies and by the pressure to commercialise television airwaves. As Hardy (2008: 58) summarises, ‘state-owned or public service monopolies existed in all the systems except the UK, Finland and Italy (dual) and Luxembourg (private) … By 1990, Western Europe had 36 commercial terrestrial channels as well as new satellite and cable’. The European media landscape has thus changed profoundly since the 1970s, when a few television channels targeted a largely unified national audience. According to Fox (1997), there were three distinctive phases in the development of PSB in Europe. The first started with the creation of the BBC

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in 1927. The second wave occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, when political changes in Western Europe culminated in the transformation of the then government service broadcasters into public broadcasters. The final, third phase saw transformations in media systems in both Central and Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This was seen as a natural part of the transition of the region to democracy. It is possible to argue that public service broadcasting has entered a fourth phase since the 1980s. Seneviratne (2006: 32) itemises three main sets of developments that have redefined the whole broadcasting scenario. These comprise (1) the explosion in channel capacity made possible by new technologies; (2) the disintegration of the state broadcasting model, in line with the collapse of the socialist European bloc; and (3) the introduction of mixed broadcasting systems in countries with former PSB, such as the UK. The latter model can be seen as being a middle-ground model, or a ‘third way’ negotiation, between the market and the state in the communication sector (Curran, 2000; Matos, 2008). Tambini stresses how the mixed broadcasting system in the UK has resulted in some difficulties. Ofcom has had to reconcile the interests of citizens with those of consumers in communication matters: in a mixed broadcasting system, and a communications system which is not simply left to the market, there will always be difficulties. I think that Ofcom has done pretty well in reconciling the irreconcilable … I think we have seen the high point of competition-based regulation. There is a lot of thought going on about how behavioural economics – in particular relaxing assumptions of rationality in competition models – might lead us to favour a citizen approach … As Hardy (2008: 67) reminds us, newspaper publishers were actually among the most influential actors in shaping government policies towards liberalisation. Italy was the first European broadcasting system to initiate deregulation. Other European countries like France, Germany and Britain were among the nations who created a ‘mixed’ public and private broadcasting system (Tunstall, 2008: 259 in Hardy, 2008: 68).1Nonetheless, media moguls like Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, and Rupert Murdoch and his son in the UK, have been attacking PSBs since the 1990s.2 Tambini and Cowling (2004: 2) have also noted that, although the PSB TV broadcasters’ audience share has remained stable, audiences for the PSB genres have nonetheless declined in both the UK and Germany, especially when viewers were offered more choice. Thus the fragmentation of

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audiences, or the dispersion of ‘multiple public spheres’ into niche groups, has been very much fuelled as a result of the expansion of global media and television commercialisation. This increasing commercialisation of European broadcasting has undoubtedly been an important change since the 1980s. According to Collins (1999; 160), the number of commercial channels in Europe in 1992 was 58, and had jumped to more than 250 by the late 1990s. The shift towards commercialisation in Europe has been influenced by American policy. The USA is seen here as a model of successful commercial media to which all other countries, including European ones, should aspire to. The decline of PSB is seen as a logical consequence of the presence of the market as the main force behind the media (McChesney, 1997). Furthermore, US programmes are still the predominant non-domestic viewing in most European states. Satellite and cable channels, including Sky and MTV, contain large amounts of US programming. Most European systems, however, have managed to retain some forms of controls (Hardy, 2008: 71). As Schlesinger (2001: 112) notes, the ‘European’ reaction to global competition came through the launch of Euronews in January 1993. This was supported by a consortium of European public service broadcasters and the European Parliament, with the aim of addressing a European public.3 Liberalisation policies and the creation of a single market have been at the centre of the European Union’s media and communication policy (Collins, 1999: 161), following the logic of the European Treaty on free trading. Commercial channels have also had to comply with very few regulations concerning their programming (Fox, 1997: 31). On the other hand, protectionist measures also began to emerge in the European audiovisual sector. The 1989 TV Without Frontiers Directive imposed a quota of 50 per cent on European television content, further limiting the quantity of US programming (Collins, 1999). As Hallin and Mancini (2004: 276) affirm, the European Commission produced the TV Without Frontiers Directive in the 1980s, which stressed the goal of creating a common European audiovisual market capable of assisting in the development of transnational media companies to compete with the American media.4 Nonetheless, the European Union still holds a strong belief in the necessity of PSBs. Emphasising its cultural importance, the European Parliament demanded that guidelines be laid out to promote PSB in Europe.5As Schlesinger (2001: 97) points out, the post-Cold War period has produced a crisis of political identity in Europe. There have been rising concerns with the nation as a focus of collective sentiment as well as an increase in xenophobic

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and racists politics in much of Western Europe largely directed towards migrants and ethnic minorities. Given the current contemporary problems that European societies are facing, I believe that defending the preservation of public service broadcasting and media should not be romantically associated with a diehard defence of nationalism, followed by a growing fear of globalisation. This seems to be somewhat the current situation that countries like the UK and Germany are experiencing. Rather, there should be an acknowledgement that good, thorough and quality media directed to the ‘public interest’ should be a space where both national and global politics can meet, and can be negotiated and debated.6 On the other hand, in contrast to European public service broadcasting, PSB in the UK has been largely successful. The BBC and Channel 4 have more than 50 per cent of the share of television viewing (Collins, 1999), posing positive competition to the other commercial broadcasters. There is growing criticism of the BBC, nonetheless, from various studies, as well as journalists and academics, which point out that there has been a decline in the coverage of foreign news and current affairs. The UK’s PSB is accused of reflecting little of the rest of the world beyond Britain, the Commonwealth countries (mainly India), the Middle East and Iraq. As McNair (2007: 156) also underlines, there has been political pressure on public broadcasters to reverse the trend of growing neglect of current affairs. The BBC’s current affairs provision, for instance, even came under attack in 2005 on the grounds that there was not enough of it. Nonetheless, recent figures show that international coverage has remained somewhat stable. Harding (2009: 27), in the LSE Polis-sponsored report on the international coverage provided by British public service broadcasting reveals that the amount of international factual programming on UK television between 2000/1 and 2007 remained consistent in terms of hours on both BBC1 and 2, having declined slightly on Channel 4, and significantly on the two main commercial terrestrial broadcasters, ITV and Channel 5.7 The former dropped by 73 per cent in the last two years, and coverage of the developing world practically disappeared, with only 5 hours registered for the whole year of 2007 in contrast to 52 in 2000/1. These numbers make television’s role as a public broadcaster which aims to stimulate more international dialogue between countries and assist in globalisation a serious cause for concern. In Ofcom’s Annual Report for 2008 on the role of PSB in the UK, the fact that an individual’s viewing of content can have benefits for society as a whole, resulting in his engagement in the democratic process as a more active and educated citizen, was pointed out as a key purpose of PSB.

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Various academic studies have also indicated how the PSB is still vital for deliberative democracy. The BBC is seen as being capable of delivering more election news, producing longer stories of greater substance, and giving more attention to minority parties than commercial television (Curran et al., 2009). Semetko and Scammell (2005) also examined the television coverage of the 1997 and 2001 elections on BBC and ITV and concluded similarly that the former station provided the public with wider coverage on politics than their commercial counter-parts. Moreover, the 2009 cross-national study by Curran et al. comparing media systems in the UK and the USA with those of Scandinavian countries emphasises that in nations with a strong PSB tradition, such as Britain with its dual system or Denmark and Finland with their more traditional public media system, citizens gain more knowledge of politics and international affairs than in the USA, where the commercial media system predominates. Such findings highlight the strong impact on public knowledge perceptions and citizenship ideals of the type of relationship that has been established between media systems, the market and the state in different countries. These are some of the core debates examined in the following sections.

Towards a Framework for Looking at PSBs

Hallin and Mancini (2004b) have elaborated an undoubtedly influential intellectual framework of analysis, which is capable of offering both students and researchers various tools with which to compare and contrast media systems in North America and Northern and Southern Europe. They have underscored some of the core trends that characterise European media systems, stressing among other aspects their growing convergence since the 1980s towards the American Liberal media model. This model can assist us in situating the Latin American media system in a wider international context. As Hardy (2008) correctly points out, Hallin and Mancini’s work provides a well-developed analytical framework for understanding comparatively the relationship between the media and political systems. According to Hardy, the authors identify some key points, including the decline of political parallelism in Northern European nations, which persists in Southern Europe, however, in spite of the shift towards ‘Anglo-American’ practices. As Mughan and Gunther (2000) have asserted, in contrast to European PSBs, public broadcasting in America has remained a ‘poor relative’ of commercial stations, attracting a small audience and not allowed to air ads. Discussing the differences between the public media in the USA and the UK, scholars like Schudson (2010: 5) point to the importance of the public service broadcasting tradition that Europe has enjoyed in contrast to the

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USA. The UK is seen as having a significant audience size and government subsidies that Americans would not be able to comprehend. As Schudson highlights, in the article ‘“The reconstruction of American journalism” and beyond’, The BBC receives some 3.5 billion pounds from license fees and additional direct government grants – about $6 billion. The US government provides $400 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to support public television and radio in the United States. So government support of the BBC is 15 times what the US provides … the UK outspends the US about 75 to 1. The sharp difference in funding of PSB between the UK and the USA thus clearly testifies to the importance that public service broadcasting has had in democratic and cultural life in the UK. As Schudson (2010: 3) further adds, many Americans equate governmental support with the destruction of the institutions of press freedom. According to him, one cannot ignore that ‘the National Public Radio and PSB have operated for 40 years without turning America into a slave state’, not to mention the fact that ‘postal subsidies to newspapers were instrumental from 1792 onwards in promoting’ the newspaper industry. Other counter-trends which have emerged during the last decades, also identified by the Hallin and Mancini model, as Hardy (2008) states, include the rise of advocacy journalism in the USA with TV talk shows. ‘Neutral’ journalism here began to co-exist with political partisanship. Hallin and Mancini (2004b) made explicit in their model that the type of configuration of communication media in a given country has certain political consequences, and that minimal government regulation does not necessarily equate with a healthier democracy. Drawing from Blumler and Gurevitch’s (1975) four proposed theories of comparative analysis – state control, mass media partnership, media-political integration and creed of media institutions – Hallin and Mancini (2004b: 21) propose four major dimensions according to which media systems in Western Europe and North America can be compared. These include: 1 2

the development of media markets, such as the circulation press, which can be either strong or weak; political parallelism, which concerns the nature of the links established between the media and political parties, or how the media reflects society’s divisions;

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the development of journalistic professionalism, which focuses basically on assessing the degree of professionalism in newsrooms; the degree of state intervention in the media system, which consists in evaluating the relationship between media and governments.

Developing further from these four dimensions, Hallin and Mancini (2004b) also outline three key models of analysis of media systems. These are: 1 the Mediterranean/Polarised Pluralist, which is identified as being predominant in Southern Europe and characterised by a high degree of political parallelism and low journalistic professionalism; 2 the Democratic Corporatist, present in Northern Europe; 3 the Liberal (North Atlantic or USA) model. As Hallin and Mancini also note, the Anglo-American media – the Liberal model – is taken as the norm against which other media systems are measured. According to the authors (2004b: 282), it can be said that commercialisation has weakened the ties between the media and political actors that distinguished the Democratic Corporatist and Polarised Pluralist models from the Liberal system, encouraging the development of a global media culture that has undermined national differences between communication systems. Hallin and Mancini also underline the trend of media convergence towards the American model (i.e. ‘Americanisation’), or the development of a global culture of journalism. This, however, does not fully explain the whole process. As we have seen, the impact of American journalism and of US styles of reporting has been alluded to since the cultural imperialism debates of the 1970s (Schiller, 1969; Tunstall, 1977), which also had a wide influence on Latin American broadcasting and journalism. Another key trend that Hallin and Mancini identify is the decline in the link to political systems of both the Democratic Corporatist and Polarised Pluralist models. This is a result of the shift of power towards the media, which have come to play a central role in the political process. The media have thus become more independent of parties and political actors (Hallin and Mancini, 2004b: 253).8 Thus the changes in European countries can be summarised as a shift away from state intervention and forms of collective allegiance (Hardy, 2008) towards market forces and so-called ‘post-materialist’ values. This process has been described also as the ‘secularisation’ or the ‘modernisation’

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of these societies, such as the separation of citizens from religious faiths and the decline of social affiliations. It has consisted basically of the ‘lifting out’ of social relations from local contexts, with their restructuring across time and space (Giddens, 1990: 21). This has culminated further in the fall of party politics and of the influences provided from community institutions (Hallin and Mancini, 2004b). Hallin and Papathanassopoulos (2002; 3) underscore the similarities between the Latin American media and Southern European systems, having compared and contrasted Brazil, Colombia and Mexico with Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The following common characteristics have been identified by the authors in their contrast of the Latin American media with Southern European communication systems: 1

the low circulation of newspapers: for instance, Unesco circulation figures for Latin America in 1996 showed 97 per thousand population in Mexico, 49 per thousand in Colombia and 40 per thousand in Brazil (Hallin and Papathanassopoulos (2002: 3); 2 a tradition of advocacy reporting, with countries like Brazil having experienced clashes of multiple journalism identities in the newsroom in the post-dictatorship phase (Matos, 2008); 3 instrumentalisation (political use) of privately-owned media; 4 the politicisation of broadcasting and regulation; 5 the limited development of journalistic autonomy. The latter point I will be examining in the next chapter. Points 3 and 4, namely the instrumentalisation of privately-owned media and the politicisation of broadcasting, are important characteristics of media systems in Latin American. They are also an indication of how the fight in countries like Brazil for a more independent media system that includes a strong publicoriented PSB is all the more necessary (Matos, 2008). Nonetheless, in spite of these similarities, the USA liberal model has gained considerable influence in Latin America and in Brazilian media systems since the post-war period (Lins da Silva, 1990; Straubhaar, 2001). Newspapers in Southern Europe have traditionally addressed a small, elite, mainly urban, well-educated and politically active public, a situation that also exists in Latin America. They are politicised and can be sophisticated in their content. Latin American newspapers, however, address a mainly low and elite readership, although there are variations between countries. There has also been a growth of professionalism in newsrooms followed by the expansion of various media outlets, including niche magazines and

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community cable channels. The Northern European and American press on the other hand tend to address a mass public, but one which is not necessarily engaged in the political world. It mediates between political elites and ordinary citizens. Hallin and Papathanassopoulos further identify the existence of clientelistic relationships as central to the social and political organisation of all seven countries, stressing a greater presence of this in Southern as compared to Northern Europe. Because of these factors, the market can actually function to undermine these clientelistic relationships, as the authors note. In the context of our discussions of the limits and merits of the public media, the role of the market here must also be emphasised, including the benefits that it can provide in countries where the reality is of high politicisation of broadcasting, as we have seen in previous chapters in regards to Latin America. Another common characteristic in all seven countries is the ‘politicisation of regulatory bodies’. This co-exists with ‘weak regulation of private broadcasters’ which have ‘few public service obligations’ and few restrictions on commercialism. As Hallin and Papathanassopoulous (2002: 5) note, in Brazil the element of instrumentalisation is most evident in the case of the regional media. Newspapers in Rio and São Paulo, as my last research showed (Matos, 2008), can be seen as an example of a slowly growing independent press in contrast to the high politicisation of the regional media, although they continue to suffer from partisanship, as we shall see. Thus recognition of the low level of readership of most of the Latin American societies, and of the highly partisan nature of newspapers and the media, is all the more reason to defend the strengthening of PSBs. Norris (2009: 9) claims that the authors provide a general overview of media systems, stating that it remains unclear whether the concepts proposed by Hallin and Mancini (2004b) can be clearly related to broader theoretical concerns. She underlines the fact that these frameworks are difficult to measure empirically. The allegedly self-evident partisan character of the British press, for instance, might undermine the association of the UK model with the US liberal one. Following on from Norris’ (2009) critique on the difficulties of measuring these issues empirically, it is a fact that the degree of state intervention in the media is a difficult thing to pin down. Has the state interfered in the media more in Chile than in Brazil? This is obviously a difficult question, and to answer it would require examination of the issue mainly through quantitative methodology, including variations between state intervention in the media through time and across countries. The same could be said of the measurement of journalistic professionalism, another complicated element to assess empirically.

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In this sense, this research has not engaged in comparative analysis of which public media system is more ‘partisan’ – the European or the Latin American, for instance – but has chosen instead to focus on and investigate a set of theoretical debates concerning the public media in both continents. To compare the ‘extent of political parallelism’ between both media systems would require a quantitative research study capable of measuring the degree of ‘partisanship’ and/or ‘objectivity’ of a given communication environment, which would be a tiresome task. As Norris (2009: 10) affirms, such a study would require the collection of content analysis data capable of identifying partisan bias in the media. This would be a harder task to pursue because media partisanship varies both between and within countries, each with different individual histories of media development and degrees of construction of press freedom and regulation. Hallin and Mancini do acknowledge the importance of the role of technologies, mainly stating how these can be seen as another ‘outside’ force leading toward homogenisation (2004b: 259), facilitating cross-national broadcasting and the multiplication of channels. However, this was not included as a unit of analysis in their dominant framework. Neither was the degree of measurement of press freedom between nation states, which according to Norris (2009) was not considered as an essential intellectual framework. Nonetheless, I have decided to use the Hallin and Mancini model of comparative media systems as a general guideline. Their comparative analysis of the difficulties and similarities between media systems in Latin America and Southern Europe is a useful starting point of investigation. It is a means of establishing certain themes that are pertinent to communication media worldwide, such as their degree of professionalism and the role that communications have established with the state, as cornerstones to the debates investigated here. As Raboy (1996: 11) asserts, in emerging democracies the challenge is to overcome the difficulties of creating new public broadcasting institutions while facing the pressures for integration into the global broadcasting market. In this sense the merit of Hallin and Mancini’s study is precisely to offer a general framework of comparison, which also permits enough flexibility for researchers to apply general lines of inquiry to specific nation-stations, choosing to develop further other empirical investigations, as I do here. One could thus focus in depth on journalistic professionalism by extending its investigation to the issue of press freedom and conduct an empirical work that aims to measure this across countries. This framework can serve to assist in the analysis of media systems, and as a flexible starting point for further

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case studies of particular countries, using other units of analysis (e.g. press freedom). European PSBs are seen to be at a crossroads. The BBC nonetheless emerges as an example of a public service broadcaster seeking to rapidly adapt to the signs of the times.

BBC: From a History of Tensions with Government to Funding Challenges

PSB and its Relationship to Government Various academics (Collins, 1999; Seneviratne, 2006; Raboy, 1996) have described the principles which defined the intentions of PSB in the UK. In its earliest days, John Reith, the first Director General of the BBC until 1937, was responsible for having imprinted the core values of the organisation’s public service broadcasting ethos (‘to inform, educate and entertain’). Reith thought that the scarcity of the wave lengths justified the public service principles of broadcasting (Crisell, 1999: 61). As Collins (1999: 58) reminds us, the scholar Richard Hoggart, member of the Annan Committee of the Broadcasting Research Unit, identified eight key parameters of public service broadcasting, which included among others that programmes should be made available to the whole population and to cater for all tastes. These core principles are alluded to in some of the key PSB obligations listed in the BBC Charter, which have basically assigned a democratic role for the UK’s PSB. In the previous chapter, I discussed the role that the BBC has had in democratisation and in cultural life in the UK. It is clear that the BBC has enjoyed a relatively good degree of editorial independence and, as we shall see in the next chapter, its commitment to balanced reporting and quality journalism and programming has been highly beneficial to democratic politics in the country. It served to set quality standards for the production of content which is both informative and entertaining. Having said this, political pressure from the party of the day has regularly sought to influence the organisation. The BBC has not been immune from attacks coming from across the political spectrum, covering a wide range of criticisms –the limits of its independence, the license fee, the pay of top executives, redundancies of journalists, and the lowering of standards to reach larger audiences.9 Clashes between the government and the BBC have characterised the development of PSB in the UK in spite of its public service obligations. A crucial moment in the history of the BBC was the reporting of the General Strike of 1926, when the values put forward by John Reith in regards to impartiality were put to the test by accusations made by the Labour Party of having been refused equal airtime. In January 2004 the Hutton inquiry

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culminated in the resignation of the then Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke. He was replaced by Mark Thompson, whose reign has been immersed in controversies about redundancies, high executive salaries and an intellectual debate on the very future of the organisation. Since its emergence, the BBC has posed a threat to the market media at the same time that it has been placed under pressure by the governments of the day. Tensions between the BBC and the government were rife during the reporting of the Northern Ireland conflict. The first major clash came in 1971, when the BBC resisted government pressure to block a discussion programme, A Question of Ulster. As Hardy (2008: 69) points out, from 1984 onwards the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher, supported by her political ally Rupert Murdoch, led attacks on the BBC’s content, editorial decisions and management. Mughan and Gunther (2000: 11) comment that since the birth of radio in the 1920s every government from whatever party has regarded broadcasting media as a public utility that the state should control for the collective good. In its early stages broadcasting was shaped by government policy directed at establishing a national monopoly tied to notions of the public service. By 1927 the number of license fees issued had increased to 2 million. There was concern from newspaper owners and producers that this new source of news and information might affect their sales and profits. The BBC eventually became an independent national organisation. In 1925 the government concluded that, although radio was too important to be left in the hands of a commercial company, it was inappropriate in a democracy for broadcasting to be under direct state control. Several ministers, including Winston Churchill, wanted to take control of the corporation to ensure that it toed the government line on news reporting. Eventually the government introduced the Television Act of 1954 to guarantee competition between public and private broadcasters, followed by the birth of ITV in 1955, giving rise to the first duopoly, which would last 35 years (Santos and Silveira, 2007: 70–1). Thus there was a need to maintain some kind of regulation on who provided what types of radio service. The idea was to safeguard the political independence of the BBC, and the fact that it would not be dependent upon the state for its finance would be guaranteed through an income provided by the licence fee. There was criticism in later years regarding the BBC and ITV duopoly. It was seen as not sufficiently reflecting the pluralism of British society, which had become increasingly multicultural. Youth culture had become more important after the explosion of popular music. BBC2 was launched in

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1964, and a second ITV channel, Channel 4, emerged in 1982. According to Crisell (1999), Channel 4, launched in November 1982, was intended to commission and buy programmes from independents, not to make them itself. News was supplied by ITN, and finance was provided by the ITV companies as a ‘subscription’, which companies raised by selling advertising time on Channel 4 in their own regions. Channel 4 thus acquired financial security without the need to bow to ratings.10 With the crisis brought about by the outbreak of the war in 1939, the BBC’s role had to change. The BBC always seemed to support the state and the national interest, an ambiguity that still exists in the relationship that the organisation has established with governments. As a result of this ambiguity, there continues to be tension between the BBC and governments of the day because of a government’s expectations, be it Conservative or Labour, that the BBC as a national organisation should uncritically support government policy. As Garnham argues (1973), the BBC has never been independently financed due to the licence fee but rather through the government deciding how much the license fee should be. This makes the BBC dependent upon the ‘good will’ of the current government. In this way, the BBC is dependent on the ideological commitments of whatever party is in power, something which proves the limits of the BBC’s independence. Despite these limits, and in contrast to the USA, the dual system in the UK is regarded by critics as working relatively well, as we have seen. PSB commands 61.6 per cent of the total audience in multi-channel homes (Iyer, 2006: 137). Crisell (1999: 63–4) contends that the development of cable did pose a threat to the BBC and ITV duopoly, given that it had the potential not only to offer telecoms and informatics services but also to transform broadcasting into an interactive process. By the mid-1990s, however, BSkyB, which had prospered after having bought the rights to blockbuster movies and sporting events, developed a lead in conditional access technology, posing a threat to ‘free to air’ broadcasters like BBC, issues which we examine next.11

Public Service Broadcasting at a Crossroads: Challenges in the Digital Age

Deliberations on the role of public service broadcasting in the UK have been a part of various intellectual traditions, as we have seen. There has been discussion on the very nature of the concept of PSB and its role in everyday life (Keane, 1995; Scannell, 1989); the influence of politics on the daily performance of public service broadcasting; the necessity of a license fee and the re-visiting of forms of funding for the British PSB public and

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commercial channels in the future digital age (Tambini, 2004). As Tambini and Cowling (2004: 170) assert, the question that is currently being posed regarding PSB in the UK is how precisely can progressives respond, as new channels and services take audiences and revenue from traditional public service broadcasters? Tambini and Cowling (2004: 172) argue that ‘technical and social change have altered the conditions for the reception and funding of PSB’, with audience choice weakening the traditional methods of delivery. The licence fee has also come under heavy fire, although a special protocol on PSB, part of the Amsterdam Treaty, states that the license fee is justified because public broadcasting is grounded on ‘democratic, social and cultural needs of each society’ (Fox, 1997: 28). In 1992 the Conservative government under John Major published a new White Paper on the future of the BBC. The decisions of the Peacock Committee on Financing the BBC (1986) had guaranteed the survival of the BBC on the basis that public service should address ‘market failure’, providing the type of programmes that the market would neglect. It also gave support for the licence fee (Hardy, 2008: 69). More importantly, however, as Crisell (1999: 68) asserts, with the future of television broadcasting being one of hundreds of themed channels, the old Reithian concept of PSB will no longer be viable. The BBC will not be able to control a handful of channels, gaining a small fraction of the audience, and still claim a licence fee funded by all viewers – who are also paying subscriptions to other broadcasters.12 Nonetheless, Ofcom pointed out in 2004 that the annual amount of public funds destined to public service broadcasting was about £3 billion a year. The BBC received £2.5 billion, ITV £0.3 billion, and Channel 4 £0.2 billion (Giles, 2008). This indicates that the UK’s PSB is still widely viewed as an important public good, by both government and the public. Britain is currently in the process of switching to digital TV between 2008 and 2012. The BBC’s current charter runs until 2016. Hardy (2008: 236) points out that the BBC has received a below-inflation licence fee settlement for the 2007–12 period. Although cable and satellite channels offer more channels, including sophisticated subscription services, Crisell (1999: 64) argues that it will be digitisation ‘that will give the coup de grace to the old broadcasting dispensation’. Crisell adds that the future for television in an age of digitalisation might be one in which viewers will subscribe to individual programmes rather than channels, being less worried about who is ‘publishing’ or ‘broadcasting’ the material (1999: 72). Programmes could thus be offered by different broadcasting organisations, culminating in the brand image of organisations like the BBC slowly fading.

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As one Council of Europe report argues (COE, 2003: 4): ‘The development of digital technology poses new challenges to pluralism … This trend towards media concentration is strengthened with digital convergence’. The BBC and other European public service broadcasters are urgently seeking to adapt to this new digital environment and to the changes in audiences’ consumption habits. Hardy (2008: 235) points out how publiclyfunded broadcasters like France Television, RTVE (Spain), IDF and ARD (Germany) and the BBC have each diversified into new digital initiatives, developing various types of online activities. In the UK, the BBC News 24 channel went on air as the corporation’s first digital channel, being re-launched as a more conventional news service in 1999. It is now, however, the nation’s most popular news channel. The future for the BBC might be one in which the organisation finds itself competing with other broadcasters for funds. As competition in the television market in the UK and in other parts of Europe slowly begins to increase, PSB as a normative ideal faces an uncertain future. A key question is what exactly distinguishes the BBC from other broadcasters. This will be the central topic of Part III.

Conclusion

This chapter has investigated some of the core arguments concerning the crisis that European public service broadcasting has been experiencing since the 1980s. A key intellectual preoccupation of mine in this chapter has been with the evaluation of the relationship established between communication media, democracy and the public interest in European democracies. The deliberations which I pursued here were intend on beginning to address the question on what the function of public service broadcasting should be in a democracy. As we have begun to see in the assessment of the merits of PSBs in contributing to democratic life in the UK and Europe (Jakubowicz, 2006: 96; Scannell, 1989), independent PSBs can contribute to promote intercultural dialogue, reflecting multicultural societies more and assisting in providing quality information on both international and national affairs. Fully informed (global) citizenship and global governance requires thorough understanding of the main political and economic dilemmas facing the world today. Chapter 4 develops these points further by assessing various theories on the role that the media should have in society, and what is reserved for the public media, political journalism and other forms of journalism committed to serving the public. This is done through a critical assessment of the

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different ideological understandings – the conservative, the public sphere pluralism and the radical – of the role the media have and should have in society, as well as the relationship of the media to the democratic process and to public opinion. The chapter moves on to examine the ‘crisis’ of civic communications in advanced democracies, before looking at the particular case of Latin American journalism. Evaluating the major characteristics of European PSBs, their evolution in Western Europe and their current challenges is a crucial part of identifying the positive benefits of these systems, and how their strategies can be applied to media reform in Latin America. I have also examined here the discussions concerning the increasing commercialisation of European PSBs systems, and their declining role as a forum of public debate and as a cultural and educational vehicle capable of unifying a nation and assisting in national development. Such deliberations are investigated further in the next chapter, which looks at some BBC journalism programmes and moves the discussion on to the examination of the multiple journalism cultures in Latin America, as well as to the ‘crisis’ of public forms of journalism in Brazil in spite of the growth of professionalism and of the objectivity regime (Matos, 2008).

4

JOURNALISM FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST The Crisis of Civic Communications and Journalism Cultures in Latin America This chapter investigates the debate on the state of contemporary international journalism cultures, and looks specifically at the forms of journalism which are committed to the public interest. In the previous chapter, I discussed the evolution of public service broadcasting, and its relationship to democracy and to the public interest in European societies, examining some of the key dilemmas that have confronted these systems in recent years from a comparative perspective which considers also the lack of a public communications tradition in Latin American countries. As we have seen, this latter situation has been largely due to a culture of authoritarianism and misuse of state structures by various politicians for their own personal interests. The main focus here will be to analyse the controversies concerning the ‘crisis’ of political journalism and of other forms of public communications in societies like the USA and UK (McNair, 2007; Barnett and Gaber, 2001). I will also look at the changes in the journalism profession and in journalism more generally in Latin America and in Brazil in a context of heated discussions concerning media reform, and in a political climate of increasing press liberty on one side and alleged growing restrictions on market freedom made by conservative sectors on another. Thus I ask here where journalism stands today, and why we need to preserve quality journalism and other forms of journalism for the public interest. What is the exact nature of journalism’s relationship to PSBs and why has it been important to this tradition? I begin by providing a brief critical summary of the different ideological understandings on the role of the media in democratic societies, before

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shifting the focus to the deliberations on the current ‘crisis’ of public communications worldwide. I am also concerned here with examining critically the political interests and motives that lie at the core of the different arguments made in relation to the position that public media systems have occupied in Europe and North America. This includes the analysis of the political and civic functions of the media in democratic societies, and the space that has been reserved for public communications. This is done by a critical engagement with the debates summarised eloquently by Hackett’s (2005) and Curran’s (2000) discussions of the conservative, liberal and radical frameworks on the media. These perspectives can help us understand better how the press has been conceptualised in Western democracies, and what is expected of its relationship to the public interest. Studies on Latin American countries like Brazil and Mexico (Matos, 2008; Hughes, 2006; Waisbord, 2000a, 2000b) have shown how the years following the collapse of dictatorships in the mid-1980s have been marked by the existence of competing forms of journalism in newsrooms. As we shall see, in Brazil journalism is confronted by a series of challenges, including pressures for media reform, criticism of quality standards of the mainstream press and its commitment to balance, as well as the extinction of the old press law created during the years of the dictatorship (Meditsch et al., 2005). My investigation of the state of journalism in Latin America also covers the struggle for press freedom in the continent, and examines the debate on the decline in the tradition of the watchdog function and of investigative journalism. This is a reversal of its earlier rise in the 1990s (Waisbord, 2000) as a result of political liberalisation and demands of civil society for more governmental transparency and scrutiny from the media (Matos, 2008). Having developed in-depth insights provided by comparative research, my goal is to construct an intellectual working agenda on the ways in which both continents, Europe and Latin America, can develop more democratic communications to suit their own needs.

The Role of the Media and the Public Interest

Classic Liberal Media Theory Hackett (2005) provides a well-defined synthesis of how the relationship between media systems and democratic process in the USA, UK and Canada can be comprehended from three distinctive and clearly defined ideological positions, those of the conservative or market liberal, the public sphere liberal and the radical democrat respectively. As we shall see, this critical analysis of different ideological understandings of the role of the

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media in advanced democratic societies is concerned with how communications systems should relate with public opinion and with the public interest. Curran (1991: 28) points to alternative perspectives on understanding the media, including the liberal, the Marxist, the communist and the radical democratic. I concentrate mainly on Hackett’s synthesis, which provides clear insights into how the relationship between the media and the public interest is understood through different ideological viewpoints, but will nonetheless mingle these discussions with key perspectives provided by Curran (1991). Classic liberal media theory states mainly that the media are essential for informing and educating citizens, that they are crucial for the representation of competing opinion and should serve as a watchdog to scrutinise state activities. As Norris (2004: 4) notes, these theories suggest that the media serve to fortify the democratic process through their watchdog and civic forum role, promoting government transparency and highlighting policy failures. They can thus mediate between citizens and the state, reflecting the cultural and political diversity of the society in question through fair and balanced media coverage. Most certainly, classic media theory has influenced the media systems of the USA, Britain and much of Europe with its core idea of a free market media which serves the public. When it comes to the case of the US media and journalism however, classic liberal media theory is largely suspicious of governmental wrongdoing. It rapidly assumes a confrontational role with the state (Curran, 2000).1 Nevertheless, arguments in favour of press freedom and free speech, and against despotism and for the achievement of truth through unrestricted public discussion (Mill,1991/1859) became the established norm in practically all Western societies. Scammell (2000: xii) argues that emerging Western democracies enshrined these principles in their constitution during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.2 In the light of the deregulation trends that affected much of Europe and the USA from the 1980s, arguments began to be revisited about the media and its relation with the state and the market, and the potential pressure that either sphere might exert on press freedom. Should the state interfere to ensure quality programming and plurality? Does media regulation function to guarantee press freedom, or can it be a force of constraint? These are some of the questions that are pertinent in any deliberation on the necessity or not for media regulation, as we began to see in Part I. Thus debates on free speech and the liberty of the press have been very much interwoven with concerns over regulation. The classic position of free

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speech and no regulation has been pushed forward by market liberals against the desire of liberals for forms of regulation to guarantee media diversity and boost pluralism (Lichtenberg, 1990; Kelly and Donway, 1990; O’Neill, 2002). The former perspective summarises the core conservative view on the role of the media in societies, as we see next. The Conservative Critique The conservative critique of the media and of the necessity for regulation, which resulted in the relaxation of the Fairness Doctrine in the USA and the expanding commercialisation of the media worldwide, became part of the political hegemony first in America and then in Britain. As we saw in the last chapter, such conservative arguments, including invoking the principles of press liberty and total freedom of the press, have been used by media organisations to defend themselves from any form of regulation, or other ways of making them more accountable to wider society (Seaton, 1998; O’Neill, 2002). Criticisms of public service broadcasting have been made by both the left and the right. In the UK in the early 1980s new governments of the right (UK, Germany) and the left (France) wanted to marketise PSB systems (Hardy, 2008: 66). Drawing from Humphreys (1996: 176), Hardy (2008: 66) divides the assortment of actors associated with public service broadcasting into ‘pro-market’ and ‘public service’ supporters. The parties of the right and newspaper publishers are mainly situated in the faction in favour of deregulation and exploring new technologies of cable and satellite, whereas those on the left and trade unions appeared mainly to support public service broadcasting, along with other public service content. I believe, however, that this is not a clear-cut division and that it can include ideological overlaps, as will become clear after examining Hackett’s (2005) analysis. To start with, the core theories behind the conservative strand can perhaps be summarised as grounded mainly in the free market view of the media and the freedom of the marketplace of ideas, which tends to privilege private consumption over public virtue. It thus sees the media as mainly satisfying consumers’ needs. The main threat here is the way in which the state can inhibit individual freedom. The media are seen as being at their best when they do not raise questions about the social order or promote intelligent debate but focus instead on providing the public with ‘objective’ information, and thus the media should have little concern with the public interest. Although the conservative stance does recognise the civic forum role of the media it places more value on the watchdog and informational role of the press as being the prime democratic or public interest functions. The

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news media as civic forum has as its ideal the Habermasian conception of the public sphere, and, as we shall see in my discussion of public sphere liberalism, this understanding of the press as a civic forum for pluralist debate continues today to be largely influential within liberal thought about the media. It still defines the essence of PSB in its most classic sense. The role of the watchdog function as the ultimate democratic purpose of the media is highly emphasised. Curran (2000: 219), however, is critical of the watchdog argument and of its focus on attacking the state. This is seen as the main cause of threat to media freedom due to the regulations and the restrictions on media concentration that it can impose. According to this argument, the suspicion of the state has its roots in the struggles for press freedom in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and in the premise that the state is capable of resorting to violence against its own people. In this way, the watchdog tradition assumes a defensive stance in regard to the state. It is seen to be not as vigilant against corporate abuse and the exercise of economic power by shareholders as it is against the state (Curran, 2000: 220). Beyond the capacity of the state to legislate in favour of media regulation laws and to create anti-monopoly mechanisms, there is the fear that the state might resort to censorship, in the case of the press. The state may also undermine the independence of public service broadcasting institutions, restricting debate and interfering in editorial matters. According to Hackett (2005), the market liberal model ignores the power of concentrated wealth in the policy-making process, downplaying social inequalities. The conservative stance also mistakenly sees a ‘left-wing bias’ present in the media. It wrongly assumes that journalists’ liberal attitudes can influence news content, ignoring the journalistic codes of the profession and the distance that exists between the average journalist and the media organisation he or she works for. The other argument, that the media ‘should give the public what they want’ (or the famous ‘consumers are sovereign’), is also seen as flawed. It wrongly supposes that consumers and citizens have more power over the media than they actually possess, and are ‘barking’ orders to media companies instead of being offered products already decided by these organisations (Curran, 2000: 129–33; Hackett and Zhao, 1998: 185–8). The conservative position is thus criticised by Hackett (2005) as simplistically equating diversity with market competition and different media outlets. It minimises the impact of media concentration on pluralism and corporate abuse, and tends to naturalise social and economic inequalities or take them for granted. Thus it does not assign a strong public service role for the media beyond the informational and watchdog function, and sees little

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room for the media in assisting in social and/or political change, which is defended by the other two perspectives in different ways. The Public Sphere Liberalism Model The public sphere liberalism concept of the media has its roots in the Habermasian concept of the public sphere. The public sphere liberalism model, as Hackett (2005) points out, accepts the elitist democrat’s support for individual rights and choice as well as the watchdog press. However, it prioritises greater popular participation through established political channels. The media are viewed here as facilitating the formation of a public sphere in society. As Hackett (2005) underscores, Norris (2000: 25–35) lists ‘public sphere’ tasks which include equal coverage of different parties, the use of multiple sources and venues for public debate and journalism’s encouragement for civic engagement and public participation. Journalism thus has a central role in society, and its core aim is to serve the public interest. Public sphere advocates thus place the formation of critical, rational public opinion at the very centre of the democratic process. As Scammell (2000) underlines, the public sphere conception of the media has been influential, and I would say, largely fashionable within the sphere of media criticism, culminating in a proliferation of literature on the topic since the 1990s (Dahlgren, 1995; Garnham, 1990; Curran, 1996; Scammell, 2000). In short, the core idea here is that the news media as a civic forum should provide extensive political coverage and rich information, supplying a multiplicity of viewpoints which can enable individuals to question the perspectives of the dominant culture (Curran, 2000). As we shall see in Part IV, in the analysis of the rise of political cynicism worldwide, the view among many political scientists and political communication scholars is that the media is failing to provide citizens with democratic duties (Capella and Jamieson, 1997; Putnam, 2000). Norris, in A Virtuous Circle (2000), makes a strong case against the dominance of the ‘media malaise’ theories in the political science literature since the 1970s. These theories are grounded in accounts which claim that common practices in political communications by the news media, and by party campaigns, hinder ‘civic engagement’ rather than promote it. According to Norris, these accounts are flawed. Critics are tending to ‘blame the messenger’ too much for deep-rooted ills embedded in the core institutions of representative democracy. Norris (2000: 17) argues that the media malaise theories are misleading in their assumption that news media discourages interest in politics.

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Far from the media coverage of politics stimulating cynicism, Norris (2000: 318) finds that ‘exposure’ to news media, and trust and participation in the political system, are mutually reinforcing. Citizens who consume political news are likely to increase their knowledge and interest in politics. It is within this line of thinking that a more complex understanding of the role of the media, be they in developed or developing countries, can be articulated, one which envisions a potential for all media systems, regardless of whether or not they are aligned with the market. My own work has examined how at different stages of Brazilian history the state exercised both a repressive and a progressive role, with market forces also having performed a double function. Both acted to expand as well as inhibit debate in different historical moments, as a result of a complex interplay of societal, political and economic pressures (Matos, 2008). Thus such studies within the public sphere liberalism perspective (McNair, 2002; Norris, 2000; Hallin and Mancini, 2004b; Matos, 2008) acknowledge a more complex role for the media in democratisation processes, which covers a variety of functions of the media, for example as a vehicle for education, political or social change or as a reinforcer of elite positions. As Hackett (2005) emphasises, the counter-arguments articulated by public sphere liberals are generally more optimistic regarding the role of the media in democratic processes than some of those presented by the radical democrats. For him, however, it is the radical democratic perspective that is more illuminating, because it assigns a more robust role for the media by emphasising the inequalities existing in society. The radical democratic perspective sees in communication industries a tool that can assist in correcting such inequalities, while nonetheless sharing with public sphere liberalism a concern for the civic forum role of the press. The Radical Democrats’ Critique What then are the public roles required for the media under the radical democratic perspective? Firstly, the radical democratic stance believes that the media can and should have a role in assisting social and political change, and that they should give more voice to various groups in civil society to facilitate their fight against social and economic injustices. The media should thus expand the scope of public awareness and political choice by reporting events and voices which are important but largely outside the field of vision of social and political elites. These theoretical perspectives thus recognise more widely the structural inequalities that exist within societies and, coming from the tradition of critical political economy of the media, they put forward the argument that the media play a major role in

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reinforcing these inequalities, as well as the values of the elites which control such structures. Scammell (2000) comments in her discussion of classic liberal media theory that the Marxist school of thought sees little room for the media to serve as a forum for public debate. It affirms that communication systems function to reinforce the hegemony of the capitalist class (Adorno, 1973; Hall, 1999). Curran (1991: 30) asserts further that the radical democratic tradition claims that the media should redress the imbalances of power in society, broadening access to the public domain as much as possible in societies where the elites have privileged access to it. Hackett (2005: 92) distinguishes between the ‘radical democratic’ and the ‘public sphere’ tradition, stating that the former does not just reinvigorate the public sphere but also prioritises citizen participation. The ‘radical democratic’ stance thus defends further the correction of inequalities between groups, including wealth and social position as well as oppression based on race and gender. As Hackett (2005) also adds, the radical democrats endorse the classic liberal watchdog and public sphere functions of the media, but defend the horizontal communication between social movements and the expansion of non-elite sources in communication systems. Herman and Chomsky’s (2002) propaganda model is perhaps one of the best-known studies in this radical democratic tradition. In short, the propaganda theory argues that the mainstream US media is largely controlled by powerful business and political elites, and ‘manufactures consent’ for its unjust policies. It marginalises ordinary citizens from political debate, feeding the public a diet of entertainment instead of political information that could help them exercise more fully their citizenship rights or unite to fight their own oppression. Other accounts (Curran, 2000; Norris, 2000; Schlesinger, 2001; McNair, 2007), coming mainly from public sphere liberalism, have attempted to combine both radical and liberal approaches to the media, analysing the limits and benefits of each. As well as some of the similarities shared by the radical and public sphere liberal positions, including the value given to the media as a mediator of serious debate in society, and not just a producer of facts and information, it is also possible to see connections between the radical perspective with the tradition of development journalism in the Third World and its defence of a more activist role for the media in it strive to contribute to social change. I have discussed elsewhere the limits of the radical tradition in regard to understanding the complex role of the media in developing countries like Brazil (Matos, 2008). Notwithstanding the pessimistic stance that the radical tradition embodies, and its tendency to wrongly attack the objectivity

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regime and to put all the blame on market forces, it is worth retaining the importance that the radical tradition attaches to structural equalities in society, and how the media, either through political journalism, public media forms and even entertainment outlets (Curran, 1991), can have a role not only in mediating public debate but also in assisting a society’s discussion of its problems and contributing to social change. Thus Hackett (2005) correctly concludes by defending an alliance between ‘honest’ market liberals with the other two groups which share an interest in preserving PSBs in the pursuit of media reform.3 Therefore it can be said that in politicised societies such as those of Latin America, the struggle of different groups to reach consensus regarding media reform and the creation of a new broadcasting regulation more suited for the digital age is not only desirable but vital for democratic politics. Before looking at journalism’s identity crisis in Latin America, however, it is important to assess the nature of the crisis that public forms of communications have been experiencing worldwide.

The Crisis of Public Communications and Quality Journalism in the USA and UK

We saw in the last chapter that one of the main features of European media systems since the late 1980s has been their embrace of commercialisation at the expense in countries like the UK of what can be called a Reithian tradition of public service broadcasting. Scholars like Hallin and Mancini (2004a) note, in their discussion of the secularisation and modernisation of European societies, that the crisis of civic communications can be understood as running deep and as being a consequence of a series of factors. It can be seen as a result of rising individualism and consumerism, the breakdown of community ties and the retreat away from the public sphere towards the private, as well as the increasing fragmentation of the public. Various political scientists have attempted to analyse the reasons for this crisis. Blumler and Gurevitch (1995) argue the crisis is grounded in two main phenomena. These are, first, a decline in the quality of political journalism, driven by what has been described as the process of commercialisation, tabloidisation, ‘Americanisation’ or the ‘dumbing down’ of news; and, second, the ascendancy of what is called ‘infotainment’, the mixture of information with entertainment, followed by the decline in ‘serious’ reportage and in-depth analysis. There seems, therefore, to be a direct link between the decline in civic communications with the difficulties encountered in maintaining the PSB tradition. Blumler (1995: 2, cited in Hardy, 2008: 60) sees the crisis largely

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as a result not only of the break-up of old public service monopolies but also of a loss of consensus over the very purposes of broadcasting. Thus the decline of PSBs in Europe can be perceived to lie at the very heart of the crisis of democratic politics in advanced societies and is interwoven with the weakening of the democratic function of Western media systems. Scammell (2000: xiv) also summarises the main factors that critics claim to have contributed towards the crisis of public communications. Among the significant contemporary trends are the deregulation of media markets across the Atlantic; the expanding influence of market forces; and the impact of the (American) global media. The rise of market forces has been evident also in the strategies adopted by political parties. In her discussion on political marketing and branding of the Labour Party, Scammell (2007: 190) analyses the shift away from citizens towards consumers which has occurred in the UK. Some of the reasons for this have included an increased mismatch between confident consumers and insecure citizens. The former is seen as having taken control over the latter, resulting in what can be termed the undecided or less committed voters at elections, another topic examined in Part IV. Barnett and Gaber (2001: 2) shift the focus of the debate away from the crisis in political communications to that in political journalism. In both Western Europe and the USA in the 1960s and 1970s there was a significant move away from a form of journalism deferential towards established elites and institutions toward a more active and independent journalistic style (Hallin and Mancini, 2004). Journalism has undoubtedly been transformed significantly in advanced democracies due to political and cultural changes as well as technological advancements. The wider commercialisation of the media and of ‘serious’ genres of journalism such as political journalism, current affairs and international news, so the argument goes, is blurring the boundaries between information and entertainment. It is also contributing to the redefinition of the concept of current affairs. This creates a wider gap between the information-rich – those who continue to consume quality in-depth news – and the majority who are ‘fed’ a largely entertainment diet. In such an environment, journalists are forced to succumb to economic and technological pressures, adopting a fast-paced style which leaves them little time to analyse political facts. Political journalism in advanced democracies is thus said to be conforming to a process of tabloidisation. The media has increased its fascination with celebrities and the reporting of corruption scandals and sleaze in politics.4 US journalism and current affairs has also been undergoing a serious crisis since the late 1980s. There has been under-investment in

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journalism services, as well as a fall in the number of professional journalists, from 60,000 to 40,000 (Schudson, 2010). McNair (2007) has nonetheless attempted to examine the role that political journalism plays in British society by rejecting the tendency to lament too much the decline of ‘serious journalism’, as if a ‘golden age’ had ever existed. He also repudiates the easy tendency to condemn too quickly entertainment formats. McNair avoids going down the pessimistic road, arguing instead that such theories do not reflect the contradictory nature of the functioning of contemporary political media in our societies. Coming from a journalistic background, Barnett and Gaber’s (2001) critique also provides us with a realistic assessment of the problems currently faced by journalism in the UK, as well as in many other parts of the world, regarding its relationship to the public interest or commitment to serving the public. Having considered the key problems of contemporary journalism, Barnett and Gaber (2001) identify a series of structural constraints placed upon journalists on a daily basis. These include the greater power now exercised by governmental sources; the pressures of media ownership and the impact on political journalism of new media outlets. Finally, the changing nature of the journalism profession due to the impact of new technologies. Making reference to Walter Lippmann and his discussion of people’s lack of interest in politics, Barnett and Gaber (2001: 4) make the important point that even if the media performed fully the public sphere role in its ideal, not everyone would be excited about this. Considering the theses on the collapse of ‘serious’ journalism, McNair (2007) summarises the main arguments as being (1) the tendency of the media to dumb down and opt for ‘infotainment’; (2) the overload of political information; (3) the elitism of politics; (4) the existence of excessive interpretation and commentary at the expense of straight reporting; and (5) the ‘crisis’ of the objectivity regime in the mainstream media. Firstly, the dumbing down thesis claims that the quantity of ‘serious journalism’ circulating in the public sphere has declined, and its political content has diluted to the detriment of the democratic process. This thesis is particularly influenced by the Habermasian (1989) understanding of the public sphere. Thus the pursuit of profit has replaced that of serving the ‘public interest’ as the main driving force of journalism. This is affecting even the public media and PSBs. Much of contemporary media and journalism thus ‘blends’ information with entertainment in response to economic pressures to ‘dumb down’, be entertaining and reach wider audiences, culminating in the production of a new journalistic genre known as infotainment (Thussu, 2000).

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One specific version of the argument that the expansion of the media leads to political change is the hypothesis that a ‘growing availability of political information through the media’ makes individual citizens less dependent on party and group leadership. The opposite criticism is also made that there is too much serious politics in the media, for politics is at the very heart of British and US journalism. Many have argued conversely that the commercialisation of the media creates a powerful counter-trend, pushing political content out of the media. Another set of arguments, as McNair (2007) points out, states that political journalism has become too elitist or insider-oriented in its subject matter – too much focused on the horse race and not enough on policy – and has also become too dependent on official sources. The crux of the critique here is that political journalism is too constrained by the objectivity regime (McNair, 2007). However, critics also argue that objectivity serves as a defence system for journalists and news organisations to repudiate charges of bias (Tuchman, 1999). The main attacks on objectivity, according to Lichtenberg (2000: 238), come from critics who say that the media have misrepresented their views, which implies that fairness can somehow be achieved (Matos, 2008: 216). Some scholars and journalists thus favour the replacement of objectivity by more mobilising journalism formats capable of engaging wider publics, but differ in the ideological ways and practices of doing this (Merritt, 1995; Baker, 2002, in Matos, 2008: 216). One movement that emerged in the USA as a reaction against the objectivity regime and the perceived inability of American journalism to engage with the wider community was public journalism (Rosen, 1999; Merritt, 1995). Glasser (1999: 6) provides an interesting account of the lack of a proper definition of what ‘public journalism’ actually is, stating how the literature is marked by a refusal to define it. Both Merritt and Rosen to start with avoid setting out a list of ‘public journalism’ rules, keeping ‘theory and practice’ open-ended. Too little has been written also on how public journalism differs from other plans (Glasser, 1999: 7), although Merritt does state that the activist role for the press should be non-partisan. As Glasser (1999: 7–8) further contends, public journalism appealed to a republican ideal. It located politics in a discussion open to all citizens, creating a false sense of participation and understanding the public as a one single entity, and not a multiplicity of publics (Fraser, 1995). Thus public journalism faced a series of criticisms from across the political spectrum due to its perceived theoretical deficiencies, and the ways in which it could be appropriated and used by the commercial media as a form of marketing their own organisations.

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For many scholars, like Schudson (1999), the public journalism school was seen as a conservative reform movement. It encountered difficulties in articulating what was meant by ‘democracy’ and ‘public’ (Zelizer, 2004: 166). However, in defence of the validity of public journalism, Carey (in Glasser, 1999: 49–65) questions its supposedly ‘conservative roots’, claiming that in spite of its limits, public journalism emphasises local democracy. It can also be seen as a movement which is resistant to market power. In this sense, the ‘public’ journalism that I am talking about should be understood as related to specific genres which are interested in addressing the ‘public interest’ (i.e. public forms of journalism) and the population as citizens, and not primarily consumers. These extend over a wide range: from political journalism, current affairs, international news and high quality drama to the notion of ‘the public media’, the PSB and the social responsibility ethos. Thus the US public journalism movement of Rosen and Merritt should not be confused with the public media and PSB, or either with political journalism. Much of the strength of the latter, however, is grounded on its news and current affairs programming, while public journalism also receives attention due to its concern with journalism’s political role, in the same way that different forms of development journalism have. This latter concern has been the main reason for public journalism’s popularity. Zelizer (2004) points out that links can be made between public journalism and certain forms of development journalism of developing nations, which have operated outside government press relations, and which seek to engage journalists in more active roles to promote social change. Citing the work of other academics (Vincent et al., 1999), Zelizer (2004: 166) reminds us that in 1999, the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) emphasised certain models of civic action journalism sponsored by civil society players. The 1980 MacBride Report for Unesco, as Zelizer (2004) contends, established a developmental theory of journalism which uncritically called for the media’s active role in national development at a grass-roots level. This, however, depended heavily on the developed world for technologies and skills (Thussu, 2010). The report listed a series of recommendations for the democratisation of communications at both a national and international level, calling for new attitudes to ‘overcome stereotypical thinking’ and proposing a list of 26 points, including the need of developed countries to reduce their dependency. Concerning mainstream political journalism and the reasons for its crisis, McNair (2007) emphasises that the expansion of political blogs, the multiplicity of voices and information on the internet and the proliferation of

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TV channels have all contributed to making political journalism more opinionated. It thus needs to compete for the attention of viewers and become more ‘interesting’. Too much interpretation and commentary has thus arisen at the expense of straight reporting. McNair (2007: 12–13) proposes a model for assessing the political public sphere, which can include a focus not just on quantitative issues, such as the volume of political coverage that is produced by the dailies, but also on the quality of political journalism. This view is along the lines of various studies that have attempted to capture a level of quality and political debate within political journalism coverage. My work on Brazil, and the presidential and campaign elections from the end of the dictatorship until the election of the first centre-leftwing government in 2002, strived to do precisely this (Matos, 2008). In this sense, the debate on ‘quality’ is closely aligned to the ideological understanding of the media and its role in democratic politics. This is the case of the elitist versus populist dilemma in communications. If we have to summarise their differences in a couple of words, it could be said that the conservative perspective emphasises that the public should receive ‘whatever they want’ (i.e. the populist take), whereas the more liberal stance is worried about providing ‘high culture’ to audiences as a means also of educating them (i.e. the elitist position). It is thus precisely the issue of what is understood by ‘quality’ political journalism or information as well as ‘quality’ television or PSB programming that is becoming more problematic to define. As McNair (2007: 151) summarises, ‘debates about the direction of trends in public service broadcasting’ are nothing more than ‘debates about the quantity and quality of current affairs, its form and content’. Public service broadcasters are thus having to revise the very notion of what current affairs should be all about. To a certain extent, a similar discussion is taking place in academic circles in Brazil, immersed nonetheless in a different historical and political scenario, and grounded on assumptions of how best to establish a truly publiccommitted media, capable of offering quality and entertaining programming, and in-depth and balanced political journalism that is capable of attracting and reaching large audiences. In Part III the investigation of what ‘quality’ is becomes a key intellectual framework for the critical analysis of the theories of the Frankfurt School regarding the mass media, the nature of the medium of television and the demands that can be made of PSBs. I also investigate in this chapter the key theories regarding audience behaviour, accompanied by my own survey on a segment of the audiences’ knowledge of what the Brazilian, and the public media, is exactly all about.

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Journalism in Latin America has been shaped and defined by both European and American influences (Marques de Melo, 2009). Although the media and political systems in Latin American can be contrasted to those of Southern Europe in terms of key defining characteristics, as previously examined (Hallin and Mancini, 2004), one should be hesitant in speaking of unifying factors that unite the whole region. As I described in Part I, the Latin American region varies considerably and should not be understood as being solely a backward and poverty-stricken area (Buckman, 1996: 6). Rather, it is a continent marked by diverse political and cultural traditions. It has been formed by a composition of indigenous American, colonial European, African and later Middle Eastern and Asian populations and by distinctive cultural features and different political histories of authoritarianism and democratisation. The nations of Latin America have varying degrees of economic income and poverty indicators, and different sizes of middle classes, with countries like Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Brazil having the biggest. Buckman (1996) notes that the media in Latin America must be examined taking into consideration geographical, ethnical, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences. Countries like Mexico, Brazil and Argentina have capitals which consume more newspapers in a less elite basis than nations like Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (Buckman, 1996: 30). As mentioned before, there is insufficient knowledge about Latin America or international studies on journalism which explore the region from a comparative, in-depth perspective. Marques de Mello and Moreira (2009) have underlined few comparative works about journalism in the continent, with few studies focusing on the Brazilian reality. However, Zelizer (2004: 155) comments that the key studies that do exist on Latin America (Fox, 1988; Skidmore, 1993; Waisbord, 2000) have looked at the impact of the work of journalists on economic and political conditions. Recent comparative political communication research (Matos, 2008; Hughes, 2006) highlights the complex role of the market in the democratisation process, how journalism itself has changed and how politicians and civil society representatives have exercised pressure on media systems and pushed for advancements within a scenario of constraints and expanding media concentration and globalisation. In his investigation of the relationship between public opinion and journalism in Latin American countries, Waisbord (2000: 76) points out how the high levels of trust during the early and mid-1990s were interpreted in terms of the impact that the watchdog journalism function had in the region, including in Brazil

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during the 1990s with the rise of investigative reporting and following the impeachment of former president Fernando Collor in 1989 (Matos, 2008). Zelizer (2004: 155) states that journalists in Latin America developed their own version of watchdog journalism, mainly as a response to the political order. This ended up forcing a new moral agenda on Latin American journalists (Waisbord, 2000). As I discussed in an earlier work (Matos, 2008), urging a free and independent press in the whole region, more committed to serving the public, is not enough. Evidently, freedom of the press depends upon a nation’s political development. We must, however, understand how the various societal spheres function within society, and how they can promote or inhibit change. We must investigate further the ways in which modern forms of communication are actually reshaping Latin American politics (Waisbord, 1995: 209), for the mass media as institutions are tightly connected with the problems faced by the whole continent, including the need to strengthen political accountability and fortify civil society. Moreover, American journalism and ideals of press freedom have had a major influence on the continent following World War II, when the USA became the dominant power (Lins da Silva, 1990). As Hallin and Mancini (2004b: 255) remind us, there were organised efforts led by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) and the US Department of State to promote press freedom and journalistic professionalism worldwide. As they add, the ‘free press crusade’ of the 1940s and 1950s was tied to US political goals of struggling against fascism and the Cold War. Sanger (1990) argues that freedom of the press is precisely one of the institutions of American democracy that is most transferable to other nations, including the (former) Communist bloc and Third World countries. Far from subverting public order in unstable societies, free and robust media can promote conciliation by encouraging discussion of controversial issues (Sanger, 1990: 369). Having said this, there are difficulties in the establishment of a free press in many countries of the Third World. The traditional argument asserts that press freedom is a luxury that developing societies cannot afford. Here I must beg to differ. If we consider the diverse situation of the Latin American region, and the ways in which democracy has flourished in the continent in the last decades, it seems evident that further media democratisation is dependent on and subject to wider improvements in these societies at the social, political and economic levels. But, as we have seen, improvements in regards to wider media accountability and press liberty have been gradually made across the region and in Brazil in the last years.

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Nonetheless, as scholars like Lugo-Ocando (2008: 11) stress, Latin America is among the regions with the worst record in terms of journalists killed and wounded. Various organisations, from the Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa (SIP), also known as the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) to Reporters without Borders,5 have pointed to the persistence of problems of press liberty in the region despite improvements in the standards of political journalism and the growth of the watchdog function and of political liberalisation. Since November 2009, SIP has drawn attention to a slight deterioration of press liberty in the region. Twelve journalists were assassinated. Mexico was singled out as the worst scenario, with six journalists, Honduras with three, and Brazil and Colombia with one each. Other SIP reports underscored problems in Venezuela, with the shutting down of sectors of the mainstream media, and the creation of state vehicles in Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. Media institutions thus continue to be politicised, and (rightwing) partisanship has not been wiped out altogether, or far left radicalism of certain sectors. Furthermore, politicians still maintain a confrontational role with some sectors of the media or with individual journalists. In a report on the global situation of press liberty in 2010, the NGO Reporters without Borders divided 175 countries into colours which went from white (good) to black (serious). Brazil appeared in light orange (sensitive problems or ‘relative liberty’). The country does not reach the strong orange (difficult) of nations like Venezuela and Ecuador, and is a long way from the black given to Saudi Arabia, but nonetheless Brazil is still far from enjoying the full press liberty of countries like Canada and Australia. Among the main reasons for this were judicial decisions to censor reportage, applied mainly by oligarchic politicians trying to impede the publication of press stories about corruption charges, as well as threats posed to the lives of journalists in northeastern Brazil. Some sectors of the market, media executives and owners, have raised concerns regarding supposed threats and the attempts of ‘social control’ of the media by more radical left-wing governmental sectors. However, these accusations need to be placed in proper context. As discussed in previous chapters, there has been a series of controversies regarding the implementation by the state of democratic broadcasting regulation. It is important not to confuse attempts at media regulation and reform, which exist in advanced democracies like the UK (i.e. Ofcom), with placing political pressure on journalists in an attempt to impede the reporting of sensitive issues that can affect political power. On the one hand there are governments in the region that have clashed with the market media and owners over how best to implement democratising media reform. On the other hand particular

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politicians do actually want to restore to the censorship of journalists in retaliation for their investigative journalism. The findings presented in the Freedom House report Freedom of the Press 2008: A Global Survey of Media Independence 6 underline how global press freedom underwent a clear decline in 2007 in authoritarian countries and established democracies alike, albeit for different reasons. This decline continued the six-year negative trend already indicated in previous studies. Out of 195 countries, 72 (37 per cent) were rated ‘Free’, 59 (30 per cent) ‘Partly free’ and 64 (33 per cent) were ‘Not free’, indicating a fall in relation to the 2006 survey. Western Europe continued to have the highest level of press freedom. Declines were also registered in countries like Portugal, Malta and Turkey, and the largest region-wide setback occurred in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In the Americas the scenario was highly mixed: Guyana’s status shifted from ‘Free’ to ‘Partly free’, while Mexico’s deteriorated by a further three points because of increased violence against journalists. Freedom House’s methodology for examining global levels of press freedom (which covers the ability of print, broadcast and internet-based media to operate freely) comprises 23 questions, which fall under three broad categories concerning the legal, the political and the economic environment. These include the assessment of the impact of legal and constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression (the first category); the degree of political control over the content of news media, and editorial independency of both state-owned and privately-owned media (the second category); and economic issues such as the structure of media ownership, and transparency and concentration of ownership (the third category). The reports of these organisations have their limits, however, as Scammell (2000) stresses. They tend to focus too much on state control or on isolated scenarios, like violence towards journalists. As Scammell (2000) further notes in relation to the Freedom House surveys, Freedom House appears to place a particular emphasis on state repression, and less on the (negative) impact of market forces. The Freedom House survey recognises that the decline in press freedom worldwide does not just relate to governmental crackdowns which restrict media freedom. The decline is driven by a complex set of factors, such as authoritarian crack-downs on civil society, political upheaval, violence against the media by both state and non-state actors, and the use of legal mechanisms against journalists. We have seen in Parts I and II that much political science and political communication theorising about the media highlights the difficulties that communication systems worldwide experience

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in living up to their democratic demands and to citizenship values. This has produced among other things the ‘media malaise’ perspectives and a growing cynicism towards politics, issues examined further in Part IV.

Contemporary Brazilian Journalism

Similarly to other Latin American countries, Brazil has been caught up in a reality of pressures for further media democratisation and a strengthening of press liberty. Nevertheless, despite improvements in professionalism in recent years, Brazilian journalism is immersed in controversy regarding its role in the near future. Although Brazil is now considered to have a relatively independent press, key studies have examined the role of the media in democratisation and the nature of the relationship between journalism and government and have underscored how the contemporary reality is still embedded in an authoritarian legacy (Fox, 1997; Waisbord, 2000; Straubhaar, 2001; Skidmore, 1993; Matos, 2008). This reveals itself particularly in the current problems regarding the strengthening of the public media platform. However, there are other features and challenges of the current Brazilian political and social reality, such as the politicisation of media institutions and of broadcasting, hierarchical social relations between Brazil’s different groups based on class, race and regionalism, the exclusion of certain segments of society from the mainstream media’s public sphere, and the existence of multiple journalism identities in the newsroom. Brazilian journalism seems to lie between the liberal North American model and the more partisan tradition of European journalism. It can be characterised as a blending or ‘mixing’ of American with national specifics, which has led some Brazilian scholars to talk about the existence of a ‘hybrid’ form of journalism, one which is capable of combining local and global influences to produce a ‘Brazilian’ way of doing journalism (Marques de Melo, 2009). It is difficult to generalise when we talk about ‘Brazilian journalism’ and ‘journalists’, as there are many types of professionals as well as of journalism cultures (Matos, 2008). Some have adopted a wider social responsibility ethos while others endorse more market or celebrity-driven styles to reach the limelight.7As Marques de Melo (2009: 11) highlights, Brazil has managed to ‘cannibalise foreign cultural models and turn them into hybrid’. It also has some resemblance, as we have seen, to Southern European media systems, while striving however to reflect more sharply US commercial liberal ideology (Hallin and Mancini, 2004b; Hallin and Papathanassopoulos, 2002), mainly from the period following the Cold War (Lins da Silva, 1990).

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European liberal journalism ideals, including press liberty, have influenced Brazilian journalism from its very beginnings (Marques de Melo, 2009: 13). Journalism during the re-democratisation years has thus mingled various different styles and influences, with some sectors of the mainstream media showing a wider commitment to media professionalism, in spite of setbacks and the persistence of partisanship. This was largely achieved, however, because of the personal political interests of media organisations; the need of markets to cater to a wider public; and the demands made by civil society players for a more balanced media. There has been controversy among scholars, nonetheless, regarding the improvements and the quality of the political reporting done by the mainstream media. As various academics have discussed (Travancas, 1993; Lins da Silva, 1990), the image of the Brazilian journalism has been turned on its head. The ‘romantic militant’ journalist declined and gave rise to the market-driven journalistic model. Brazilian newspapers in the 1990s also suffered many transformations: they began to invest in editorial reformulations and in graphic projects, exploring new segments and topics aimed at fragmented publics (Matos, 2008). However, Brazilian journalism has not transformed just in the last three decades. Meditsch et al. (2005) conducted an international comparative study of journalism as part of the Worlds of Journalism Project.8 This consisted of working teams in 17 countries, covering a range of issues from journalism education to regional media and aspects of regulation. Meditsch et al. looked at how the media in Brazil evolved in the first half of the twentieth century from a scenario which the press dominated to one in which the mass broadcasting industry occupied centre stage. Although Brazilian journalism saw some improvements in terms of expanding professionalism, there has also been a reversal of some of these gains, including the emergence of an identity crisis among Brazilian journalists and journalism as a whole. One important factor here has been the anxieties which arose in the aftermath of the removal of the requirement of a university diploma for journalists (Meditsch et al., 2005). According to Decree 83,254, from 1970 during the dictatorship years, only those professionals registered in the Labour Ministry could legally exercise the journalism profession (Moreira and Helal, 2009: 94). In recent years the necessity of the university diploma has been subject to heated debate among scholars and journalists. Media organisations have taken a position in defence of the requirement’s abolition, in opposition to most university sectors and professional associations, who fear the downgrading of the profession and the imposition of lower wages should the law be eventually ratified.9

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The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) affirmed in the 1990s that, despite the fact that the 1988 Constitution prohibited any restrictions on the press, the old press law, which dates back to 1967 and was implemented during the dictatorship years, was and is still being used in Brazil (Buckman, 1996: 15). Certain steps have already been taken to reverse this trend. In 2010, the country engaged in a series of debates concerning the creation of a new press law. The Supreme Court of Justice in Brazil suspended most articles of the old Lei de Imprensa (Press Law) in 2009, including those that established penalties for journalists for crimes of defamation, perjury, the right of censorship of plays and public events and the article which gave government powers to apprehend printed material which offended ‘good’ behaviour. This law contained penalties for journalists which were more severe than the ones created by the Penal Code. These are among the practices that lead organisations like Reporters Without Borders to place Brazil in the ‘sensitive’ category.10 It is true that, because of this new decision, all extant judicial processes against media organisations and journalists were suspended (including the lawsuit introduced by a group of ministers and parishioners of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God against the newspaper Folha de São Paulo because of its report ‘Universal Completes 30 Years as a Business Empire’). Nonetheless, loopholes of the old press law have permitted regional politicians to use it to censor the press and individual journalists. For more than 9 months during 2009 and 2010 the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo was prohibited from publishing information about investigations made by federal police into the businessman Fernando Sarney, son of the oligarch and former president Senator Jose Sarney (PMDB).11 Brazil has managed to be taken off the list of the countries which register impunity in crimes against journalists, according to the Committee on the Protection of Journalists (CPJ). Brazil reached thirteenth place in 2009.12 However, despite wider adherence to the classic prescriptions of liberal media theory and the growth of the media’s role as a Fourth Estate, with journalists assuming a more confrontational stance towards authority following the impeachment of former president Collor in 1989, the fact of the matter is that the Brazilian media are still politicised institutions. In the context of the fall of the old press law, many Brazilian media organisations defended the adoption of self-regulation and a creation of a code of conduct to regulate journalism practices.13 Moreover, investigative journalism in Brazil is said to have had its heyday with the ‘Collorgate’ scandal, when the magazine Veja published the interview with Pedro Collor and one month later Isto E revealed further information

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through the witness Eriberto Franca, the driver of Collor’s secretary, Ana Acioli. It was during the Collor era that methods of investigation began to be organised better in newsrooms. The critiques that were made then about the investigations still persist today, including the overdependence of Brazilian investigative journalism on sources. Usually, sources who approach newsrooms with documents are motivated by political rivalry. Furthermore, because of the promiscuous relationships which exist between government officials and the media it is not possible to take information at face value. Among a key reason why journalists do not dig deeper into claims made by government officials is economic pressure, such as the need to ‘denounce’ corrupt policies and to feed the urges of citizens to see politicians punished (i.e. ‘denuncismo journalism’). Given this crisis that is affecting journalism worldwide, how might it contribute to increasing democratisation worldwide? The role of the political journalist is seen at first as being less central to the public sphere element of democracy, for the process of political reporting, including the gathering, interpreting and accumulation of information, can be seen as a mechanical collecting of facts rather than a discursive stance on politics. Journalists are thus judged on the accuracy and honesty of their reporting and not on whether they are prompting debate in the nation’s interest. That said, the role of key political journalists and commentators in programmes of political debate and their contribution to promoting discussion amongst the audience (public) is not to be ignored. As O Globo columnist Merval Pereira (2010) comments, discussing the role of quality journalism in the publication of the Wikileaks documents, which only really came to public attention after being published by newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian, journalism in whatever platform continues to be a public space for the formation of a consensus around the democratic project.14 Following the Habermasian conception of the press as articulating a public sphere of debate, the undermining of (quality) journalism and the capacity of the press for opinion-formation risks diminishing the democratic state. Journalism committed to the public interest is more faithful to the facts, values the representation of diverse sides of a dispute, is accurate and non-biased, and is capable of scrutinising power at all levels. In this way, if journalism cannot ‘save the world’, to use Beckett’s (2008) expression, be it in the UK, Africa or Brazil, which not only seems to be too much to ask but also places too much expectation on a single field, one could argue that, if the state of political systems and the culture of a country is closely tied to the type of media system that it produces, it must

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be the case that journalism does have a role somehow in assisting democratisation. It can mediate between the public and politicians, contributing to the advancement of citizenship values, to start with. For if journalism’s main raison d’être is the existence of a democratic public sphere, then the expansion of democratic processes throughout media systems are of crucial importance as a means of enhancing the very democratic character of Brazilian society and its wider institutions.

Conclusion

In Part II I have discussed the relationship between the state and the market and the impact that these societal spheres have had in shaping media systems and journalism in Europe, the USA and in Latin America. We have seen how since the 1980s, with the rise of neoliberal policies and expanding new technologies, profound changes have affected European societies. Countries like the UK have seen a decline in the reliance on the state and public service broadcasting, including ties with communities and political parties, shifting towards a resurgence of the market forces in all spheres of social, political, economic and cultural life. I have also assessed the debates on the state of journalism in advanced democracies and the transformations inflicted on the profession in Brazil, amid a scenario of deepening democratisation on one side and clashes between different conservative and liberal perspectives on another regarding media reform and broadcasting regulation. The changes in European societies have had a direct effect on the media. As we have seen, political scientists, journalists and academics have engaged in ideological debates on the role that the media and journalism should have in society and their relationship to the public interest (Hackett, 2005). These have been defined along multiple ideological and political lines, including the concern with how public service broadcasting has ceased to be a unifier of national and cultural identity. As various authors have argued, the crisis of civic communications provoked by growing commercialisation (Blumler and Gurevitch, 1995), economic pressures and shifting consumer habits has occurred in parallel to the development of the ‘crisis’ also of public service broadcasting. I have also discussed the pressures placed on quality journalism at a time when there is a growing decline in the coverage of international coverage news and current affairs by public service broadcasters (McNair, 2007). Regarding Latin American media systems and Brazilian journalism, we have seen how a past authoritarian tradition has affected journalism in various ways. We have seen also how changes in press laws and negotiations between governments and civil society players in Brazil are in many ways concerned

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with improving journalism practices, vital for the further reinvigoration of the country’s mediated public sphere. The contribution of journalists to the democratic process needs to be assessed within a framework that takes into consideration the power (im) balances in a given society, and the impact on journalists of various pressures, ranging from the political and economic to journalism’s own internal cultures. In Part III I examine the debates concerning the role of television in society and the tradition of quality programming and journalism at the BBC, before moving on to deliberate on the role that television has played in politics and in everyday cultural and social life in Latin American and in Brazilian society and politics.

5

AUDIENCE PERCEPTIONS OF QUALITY PROGRAMMING AND THE PUBLIC MEDIA This first chapter of Part III concentrates on analysing key television and audience reception theories. In an age of growing media commercialisation and audience fragmentation, the issue of what counts as ‘quality’ programming and content in both public and commercial broadcasting has become increasingly difficult to define. Thus, following up the discussions in previous chapters, I evaluate here the types of genres associated with the PSB tradition, such as news, current affairs and drama, and begin to problematise the whole debate on what is understood by quality. News and current affairs, for instance, are considered to be ‘quality’ genres, and one could easily claim that their predominance in British PSB has been very much responsible for its general success both home and abroad. The crux of the argument here, which also provides the guidelines for the online audience survey conducted for this research, has already been set out in the introduction: can the public media offer better quality information and debate, contributing to wider cultural emancipation and increased levels of education? Differences in the conception and understanding of what characterises the public and commercial media are explored in the last section amid the interpretations of some of Ofcom’s audience research findings as well as those of the UFRJ survey. I have thus intended here with this survey to explore more the attitudes and understandings of what the public media in Brazil should be about, and how the younger generation are negotiating media messages across both public and private platforms. In the previous chapters, I outlined some of the major changes that have contributed to place European public service broadcasting in a ‘crisis’ of

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identity. I have also looked at the social, political and economic changes which have occurred in Latin America, and the ways in which this has led to new conceptualisations of the role of the media and public communications in a democracy. Before initiating some of these debates, there is a need to look at some of the key theoretical perspectives concerning television and audience theories, including the uses and gratification approach and the shift away from the passive to the active audience research tradition (Morley and Silverstone, 1991; Hall, 1999). I also investigate the relationship of television with the public sphere, political participation and public debate, stressing how the medium of television is being significantly reshaped in the light of digitalisation, commercial pressures and due to changes in audiences’ consumption habits. This last part of this chapter provides a brief critical assessment of key audience reception studies in a comparative perspective, highlighting some of the findings of studies carried out by Ofcom, and presented in The Ownership of the News (House of Lords, 2007/8),1 on what audiences expect of the PSB and their views on ‘quality’. This is followed by the responses provided by the UFRJ survey. I further discuss how ‘quality’ has played an important role even in the international success of the BBC. Similar questions are asked in the survey in an attempt to understand how audiences perceive the emerging public media platform in Brazil, and how they consume commercial media texts as well as their relationship to commercial broadcasting. The state of Latin American commercial and public broadcasting, and the diverse types of relationship that it has constructed with audiences, as well as the position that private broadcasting has occupied in the construction of the Brazilian national identity, are pursued further in the following chapter.

Global and Local TV Cultures

Television and Audience Theories The contemporary television audience experience has become much more interactive and multidimensional than it was during the 1950s. It is much more complex and diverse than the early or classic images of the ‘alienated mass audience’ or the ‘passive couch potato’ stimulated by the cultural industries that were put forward by the Frankfurt School theorists. Active audience research theories and perspectives have played a role in providing a more complex theoretical and empirical framework for understanding audience behaviour, contributing to a depiction of the contradictory ways in which individuals receive and interpret media messages. They have assigned wider powers to viewers, rejecting simplistic assumptions of audiences being

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passively and ideologically manipulated by ‘evil right-wing corporate TV executives and producers’ (Hall, 1999; Livingstone and Lunt, 1994; Morley and Silverstone, 1991; Lull, 2000). The shift to the active audience tradition has occurred in the context of the changing nature of the mass media worldwide since the 1980s, brought about by the proliferation of new technologies, the expanding interactivity of the internet, media commercialisation and the entry of cable and satellite in the television market. This has been accompanied by – and some would say is also a consequence of – the social, political and economic transformations that have affected European societies since the 1960s. As we have seen, these changes have provoked a retreat into the private sphere and an embrace of individualistic lifestyles. These factors have contributed to pose new challenges to the role that television occupies in democracies, encouraging debates on the ways in which people watch television and on how individuals make sense of the media material that is presented to them. Debates have thus arisen that question if this process is determined by the identities and communication repertories that individuals are socialised into as a result of their membership of particular groups (Schroeder et al., 2003: 8), as well as asking how audiences are able to find means of empowering themselves by overcoming their subordination through an active resistance to dominant media messages (Hall, 1999; Fiske in Curran and Gurevitch, 2000). Kellner, in Television and the Crisis of Democracy (1990), has attempted to offer a synthesis of the key television theories and diverse ideological interpretations of the relationship that the medium has with society and the individual. Since its emergence in the 1950s television has provoked heated controversies. It has been viewed from both extreme pessimistic and optimistic perspectives. Adorno and Horkheimer from the Frankfurt School conceptualised the medium of television as being not only part of capitalist societies but also, through its focus on entertainment messages and its tendency to trivialise important political discussions, as reinforcing the ideology of the conservative status quo. The viewer was thus vulnerable to ‘manipulations’ by the media, having no capacity or will to resist its ‘alienated’ messages. The culture industry theories put forward by Adorno and Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School had an enormous impact on the media studies field but have lost ground with the fall of the modernist project and the shift towards postmodernist perspectives as well as the expansion of the audience research tradition. This move towards philosophical relativism, discursive resistance and postmodernism has also been seen as an intellectual consequence of

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the rise in politics and economics across the Atlantic of Thatcherism and of neoliberal politics in the aftermath of the ‘defeat’ of socialism in Europe from 1989. Entertainment was seen in a negative light by Adorno (1950) in The Authoritarian Personality, being seen as mainly a vehicle used by the cultural industries to manipulate the consciences of the population and provide them with escapist and fantasy material that would boost individualistic attitudes and undermine collective action (Curran and Seaton, 1997: 267). It was also closely connected to the idea of the ‘hypodermic needle’ and the injection of particular capitalist values into the mindset of passive audiences. Entertainment was thus constructed in sharp opposition to ‘serious’ news and ‘high’ culture, which was seen as enlightening and authentic art in opposition to mass culture, perceived as a ‘low’ form of cheap and massproduced art for easy consumption and dismissal. We can see how these perspectives have influenced Habermas’ critique of the decline of the public sphere amid the rise of the mass media and of the cultural industries during the course of the twentieth century. Habermas himself was considered one of the last theorists of the Frankfurt School. As Kellner (1990: 6) notes in his synthesis of television theories, television has been defined by radicals across the social sciences as being part of ‘an ideological state apparatus’ (Althusser, 1971), as an instrument that ‘maintains hegemony and legitimates the status quo’ (Tuchman, 1974), and as a propaganda machine that ‘manufactures consent’ to the existing sociopolitical order (Herman and Chomsky, 1988). According to the hegemony model, different groups of the population compete for the power structures of society, attempting to impose their agendas on wider society as a whole through struggle and negotiations. Hegemony is never established but is always subject to negotiation and contestation, with the ruling classes seeking to smooth out class contradictions and incorporate, or co-opt, new groups. Television is nonetheless seen as a site of struggle for various academics like Kellner (1990). Notably, the evolution of cultural studies and of audience research has emphasised the capacity of the individual to ‘resist’ dominant meanings, to ‘negotiate’ their own readings and through this to reject material that endorses the views of the establishment (Hall, 1999; Morley and Silverstone, 1991). However, negative understandings of the role of the media have been applied to television by a wide range of literature coming from US political communication scholars since the 1970s. The ‘media malaise’ theories (Norris, 2000), as we have seen, have tended to assign blame on the medium for the decline of voter turnout. This stance has also been adopted by the right in their criticisms of media violence and sex.

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One could make a link between the critiques made by the Frankfurt School with the more conservative attacks on the role of the media in assisting in the ‘degradation’ of morals and family values. Kellner (1990) argues that conservatives on one side claim that TV is a liberal medium that subverts traditional values, and erodes respect for authorities by exposing scandals and fostering disrespect for the system as a whole. Liberals on the other hand criticise it for its domination by business elites and for its conservative tendencies. Regarding the negative influence of television on society, Norris (2000: 42–3) refers to work by Michael Robinson, who used simple cross-tabulations of the 1968 American NES survey data on internal political efficacy scores and presented evidence based on the differences between those who relied solely on TV for information and those who relied mainly on TV and some other news medium. The author concluded that those who relied ‘solely on TV had less confidence that they could have an effect in the political system’, whereas ‘those who relied more on TV were considered more confused and cynical’. In spite of the critiques concerning the negative effects of television, there has been no real consensus in the literature on the exact nature of the impact of television viewing, or its supposedly ill effects, on audiences. Thus studies have challenged the ‘media malaise’ theories and have been critical of findings that outline a highly negative TV impact, as has the work by Norris (2000).2 Kellner (1990) nonetheless sees television as immersed within the corporate logic. He acknowledges, however, that television has contradictory social functions, sometimes reproducing conservative values and other times promoting liberal change. Assuming a similar position defended by Hallin (1994) in his study on the media coverage of the Vietnam War, Kellner (1990) recognises that elite conflict on specific issues will culminate in this debate being reproduced in the media. Taking into consideration the complexities of the ways different individuals make sense of the media, and how television can contain within itself both progressive and reactionary tendencies, as well as the fact that the media are only one among many sources of influence on an individual’s opinion formation and sense of self, it seems more plausible to see television as being a site of contested struggle. Above all, it is a vehicle which can open spaces and offer access to subordinated groups, or various other even non-political groups, to articulate their positions and ideas. It can thus assist in social and political change, and the whole purpose here is to evaluate how it can be better explored for progressive public service purposes.

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Having said this, our current reality of increasing media commercialisation does give some credibility to the Frankfurt School theories. In spite of their limits, which I have criticised elsewhere (Matos, 2008), these theories should not be easily dismissed but understood in regards to the capacity of certain sectors of the mainstream commercial media to serve only the forces of the status quo, to undermine serious journalism and current affairs in favour of entertainment formats in order to reach large audiences. As Curran (2002: 238) points out, and as Table 5.1 clearly demonstrates in the analysis of the discourses, aesthetics and styles which characterise private and public television, entertainment does not necessarily need to stand in opposition to ‘serious’ journalism, quality programming or politics. For media entertainment can articulate various social values and identities, which can ‘strongly influence political positions’ (Curran, 2002: 238). It is also clear from Table 5.1 that both ‘serious’ and ‘entertainment’ genres (e.g. talk shows, sci-fi) are shown on both private and public television. Thus (especially) quality entertainment can be enlightening. What is deemed problematic is a heavy entertainment diet purposely undermining the media’s democratic civic and encouragement of in-depth analyses and political debate. Such a style is generally associated with a more paternalistic and populist understanding and addressing of the public (Curran, 2002: 239), and is usually defended by more conservative sectors. Taking these factors into consideration, the table below attempts to list

Table 5.1 The ‘private’ versus ‘public’ dichotomy Private

Public

Right/Conservative/Centre/Left – the consumer ‘Objective’ and informational journalism Talk shows/Sit-coms/reality TV – American programming, some content from other countries Advertising/aesthetic of consumerism – self/intimacy/the private sphere (e.g.. sci-fi/horror) Dreamy/fantasy/‘escapism’ texts – occasional ‘serious’ material (e.g.. news)

Centre/Left/Liberal/some conservatives – citizen ‘Objective’/public/‘serious’ journalism Realism in films/documentaries/ reality TV – ‘arty’ and European programming, some US material ‘Quality’ aesthetic/Challenging material – collective/the public sphere Historical material//in-depth analyses – some entertainment (e.g.. soaps, drama, sci-fi, horror)

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some of the core values, beliefs and programming content associated with both commercial and public broadcasting media. These points are developed further in this chapter. As I highlighted in the previous chapter, a pressing issue that emerges with expanding commercialisation in broadcasting is the precise impact that this has on political news and the current affairs genre. Is commercialisation contributing to a reduction in the availability of political information? This is a question that can be explored in a further research project, but some trends can be examined here. To start with, various studies and scholars have demonstrated that there has been a decline in television viewing. This has occurred in response to shifts in media consumption patterns, especially of younger sectors of the audience, many of whom have moved to the internet, as we shall see. The House of Lords Select Committee report The Ownership of the News (2008) indicated a fall in the viewing of television in the UK, mainly among the younger strata of the population. Other research work has produced similar results, underscoring a fall in viewing which includes also socially excluded and ethnic minorities. These groups have begun to turn away from PSB (Tambini and Cowling, 2004: 173). The contestation of such facts has contributed to critiques concerning the supposedly ‘elitist’ nature of PSB, placing further pressures on UK broadcasters to invest in more entertaining programmes capable of catering to younger audiences who are drifting away from public service broadcasting. Television thus competes for the attention of viewers with various other media and leisure activities. This gives the genres associated with entertainment (e.g. talk shows, sit-coms, fantasy, sci-fi; see Table 5.1) an advantage over ‘serious’ television material (e.g. historical narratives, documentaries and in-depth reporting). Table 5.1 mixes some identifiable genres (talk shows, reality TV) with some of the aesthetics, style, discourses and characteristics which can be seen as belonging to either the commercial (private, ‘intimacy’) or public television (i.e. the ‘public’). However, as Table 5.1 reveals, there is much overlap between the types of programmes and genres that are explored by both private and public broadcasters. As we shall see in interpreting the findings of the data provided by Ofcom, as well as the survey, sophisticated viewers in a multi-media age are appreciating more a mixture of both fantasy ‘escapist’ texts (e.g. sci-fi, horror) with historical material or quality drama. As Bignell and Orleber (2005: 59–60) point out, the word ‘genre’ comes from the French genre, meaning ‘type’, and can be defined as the sharing of expectations between audience and programme makers. Genre is thus

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negotiated between texts, institutions and audiences. The latter can identify the conventions that distinguish one kind of work from another, and evaluate this according to the features of the text itself. Moreover, at the end of this chapter, evidence from audience research conducted by Ofcom reveals that genres associated with entertainment, such as drama, still constitute a key part of the television experience for many sectors of the audience. Nonetheless news still plays an important role for both private and public broadcasting or media, in spite of the decline of civic communications or ‘serious’ journalism, as we shall see throughout this book.

TV News and the Public Sphere

In Part II I examined certain studies (Curran et al., 2009) which found a strong connection between public knowledge and citizenship ideals with the type of media offered to the public. As discussed previously, the public sphere liberalism perspective also assigns a public sphere role for the media in Western societies, connecting it to the ways in which the media can not only provide unbiased and accurate information but can also serve as a civic forum. Part II stressed how the Habermasian perspective on the public sphere, which was developed in association with the growth of newspapers from the seventeenth century until the first half of the nineteenth century in Europe, has provided a good model for re-thinking the relationship between the media, democracy and the public interest. It is possible to say that this paved the way in much of Europe for the development of a tradition of rational and public-committed print journalism, aimed at ‘enlightening’ and fostering debate among a (mainly elite) decision-making public. With the emergence of television from the 1950s onwards, the predominance of the visual and the image has taken over the fascination with the printed word. In such a new, visually electrifying, fast-paced reality the argument about the relationship between the media and the public sphere is turned on its head. Commercial television, with its perhaps (natural) inclination towards entertainment due to its privileging of the image, as well as its focus on personalities and politicians who have gradually had to adapt to the television logic in order to win audiences and woo voters (Meyer, 2002), was largely overlooked by intellectuals until the 1980s. It was, and still is, accused of promoting political apathy, contributing further to the decline in civic engagement (Postman, 1990). Another important factor in this debate is that the medium of television has been structured around the living-room space, with the television schedule being designed by commercial broadcasters to suit the needs of the nuclear family (Morley and Silverstone, 1991), which one can claim is a conservative premise.

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Two key points emerge here. First, the medium of television is of a different nature to that of print media. We therefore must discuss its educational, cultural and informational potential taking into consideration the nature of the medium. Second, there is increasing blurring of the boundaries between the private and the public sphere within social and political life and, as shown in Table 5.1, it is not much different on television. Quoting Findahl (1988), Dahlgren and Sparks (1991: 58) have emphasised that it is not the case that television cannot transmit knowledge but that there is difficulty in transmitting in-depth analytical information to a large audience. This evidently puts more pressure on both television and audiences. Researchers have further highlighted how contemporary viewers have been constructing new relationships with television as well as with other media (Tambini and Cowling, 2004), both in developed countries and also in developing ones. It is such issues which need to be addressed before one can quickly ‘blame the messenger’ (i.e. television) for the rise in political cynicism and the social ills present in most societies around the world (Norris, 2000). Writing within the British context, Livingstone and Lunt (1994: 1) argue in the introduction to their book Talk on Television that the broadcast media offer ‘new opportunities for the public to debate … political, social and moral issues on television’. It is these new opportunities upon which we must focus when we think about the interweaving of the medium of television with the public sphere. As Livingstone and Lunt (1994: 15) assert, Habermas has argued for four dimensions of modern social life: these divide into the private versus the public and system-integrated versus socially-integrated. The economy is part of the private domain (i.e. the family) while the state is part of the public. According to Livingstone and Lunt (1994: 18), ‘the mass media … address both the family and public sphere and have complex relations with both economy and state’. Drawing largely on the Habermasian conception of the public sphere, Livingstone and Lunt (1994: 10) describe how Habermas sees the media as helping to create a society of private individuals, making the formation of a public rational-critical opinion a difficult task. For Habermas, they note, the media assist in the creation of a pseudo-public sphere, producing passive spectatorship rather than stimulating genuine public debate. Such a perspective is clearly influenced by the Frankfurt School theories, which have lamented the loss of ‘rationality’ with the expansion of the mass media and consumerist culture. As Dahlgren (1995: 61) further contends, the historical development of ‘publicness’ is part of the core of Habermas’s analysis of the public sphere.

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Regarding the categories of the ‘public’ and ‘private’, it can be said that television has contributed to a blurring of those boundaries in contrast to the print media, as television is a vehicle that tends to demand one’s adaptation to a certain aesthetic and style. Thus a politician will work on his presentational skills to ‘look good’ on television, attempting to summarise complex political issues in a couple of ‘sound-bites’ (Meyer, 2002). Barnett (2003: 43) further stresses how the ‘domestication of media technologies’ and their grounding in everyday life, in both spatial and temporal contexts, changes the relationship between what is considered public and private. Broadcasting has thus been crucial in reshaping the relationship between the public and private, ‘developing new forms of intimate publicity’ (Barnett, 2003: 43). Thompson (1990) has depicted the public/private distinction by stating how the first is anchored in liberal political philosophy, and equates the public with the state, whereas the second is derived from both the legal and political field. The latter is put in practice by the media, and is mainly associated with ‘publicness’, or what is accessible to a larger citizenry (in Dahlgren, 1995: 60). In his discussion of the role of broadcasting in the UK, Barnett (2003: 45) notes how Scannell (1996) argues that ‘broadcasting makes the world of public events available in a regularised way’, acting as a medium where private life and public events are intermingled. Livingstone and Lunt (1994), referring to authors such as Scannell (1991: 10), describe how in the UK there has been a shift from an earlier authoritarian model of broadcasting, which could be classified as more ‘elitist/paternalistic’, perhaps more associated with the Reithian tradition, and closer to the Frankfurt School ideal of what the media should be in a society, towards a more populist and democratic style. One could say that the latter is more similar to both American and Brazilian broadcasting, although it can be considered as being more inclusive in relation to the former. If compared to the North and South American media systems, the UK model can be seen as being still more committed to educational programming and cultural emancipation. The opposition between public and commercial media is grounded, as Livingstone and Lunt (1994: 22–3) stress, on elitist and participatory forms of democracy. According to the authors, it wrongly equates commercialisation with an emancipatory rhetoric and the illusion of involvement. The former however controls who has the authority of speech. As the authors (1994: 22–3) add, neither model permits the full realisation of a critical public sphere. Thus the realistic stance is to defend the co-existence of both models, for both can have complementary objectives (Curran, 2000).

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Television can thus transmit knowledge and information only within the limits of its own ‘essence’ as a medium built on the fleeting image. It can thus summarise complex debates and popularise expert knowledge and target a mass audience (Livingstone and Lunt, 1994). It can make complex information accessible to wider public information, and it can also serve as a space for dialogue between nations. Thus television, with its emphasis on informality, conversational style and stress on a friendly talking approach to discuss hard news and current affairs, is opposed to the more in-depth and impersonal nature of the print media. It can also mingle both the public with the private, enhancing accessibility and modifying the boundary between these two categories (Livingstone and Lunt, 1994; Dahlgren, 1995). In order to construct a progressive potentiality for television, including either the private or the public media platforms, be it on a global or national level, we need to keep in mind the nature of the medium of television. Thus the capability of television to foster international dialogue and national development, or to mediate different conceptions and forms of global citizenship, or to function as a vehicle for cultural emancipation and educational advancement, is subject to and limited also by its very nature. This acknowledgement should not be cause to dismiss the potential of the medium but should instead be a reason to define realistic working agendas for television programming and/or policy. It is thus to the nuances of the relationship between commercial broadcasting and globalisation that I now turn.

Television and Globalisation

Globalisation is seen to have changed the nature of the previously strong relationship that existed between the media and the state. The expansion of new technologies has had a major role in intensifying the globalisation of communications in the late twentieth century, mainly through the deployment of sophisticated cable and satellite systems. We saw in Part II that the dispersion of ‘multiple public spheres’ into wide audience groups has been a consequence of the expansion of global communications. The media are thus undoubtedly an important site of globalisation. However, most media systems still remain largely national in character. Straubhaar (2007: 223) talks about how there are examples of global or media cities in countries like China and Mexico, which produce across transnational cultural-linguistic markets that share their languages and cultures. National television is still the most common experience for most people. Most television exports in countries like the USA, Brazil and Mexico make more money in their national home market than in exports (Straubhaar, 2007: 223). Media institutions are also in their internal regulation policies

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by domestic decisions. The national domain still has importance in shaping the economic policies associated to the media (Schlesinger, 2001: 104), as discussed in previous chapters. The most prominent argument regarding the weakening of the powers of the state has been in regard to broadcasting. Global media are no longer tied to national boundaries but span the world and pursue audiences whose consumption patterns converge. Thus global TV, through programme distribution and technology, cuts across nation states. As Schlesinger (2001: 105) asserts, the European landscape is dominated by Murdoch’s News International, the Luxembourg-based CLT, Germany’s Bertelsmann and Italy’s Mediaset, global media companies. In their discussion of the predominance of global media corporations in a small number of developed countries, Herman and McChesney (2004) developed a three-tier model of global media based on Schiller’s revised understanding of cultural imperialism as being ‘transnational cultural domination’. They indicated a shift away from American hegemony towards transnational capitalism, presenting a picture of globalisation as a process driven ‘from above’ by giant media corporations supported by deregulation policies of various states. According to McChesney (1997), media systems had been primarily national before the 1990s, but a global commercial media market emerged in full force by the twenty-first century.3 As we have seen, the main features of this growing convergence towards the liberal American model are a weakening of government intervention and a decline of the state’s role in communications. There has also been a move towards market regulation and commercialisation, accompanied by the ‘crisis’ of the public service broadcasting tradition in Europe. Thus from the mid-1990s onwards, the global picture has become much more complex, with transnational media co-existing with domestic media and competing for audiences (Sreberny, 2000: 115).4 Critics have argued that a global media system is not replacing national communication media, as there are still distinctive differences between political systems and cultural particularities which prevent complete homogenisation. However, the expansion of cable and satellite television has placed pressure not only on public service broadcasting but on also content and programming due to the economic drive to reduce costs, maximise profits and fund the development of expensive technologies. Nonetheless, one should not confuse the expansion of global media, and the threat that it poses to public (or state) media, with the defence of nationalism and cultural identity. It is also problematic to endorse fears that these organisations are automatically eroding national identities. This stimulates

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sentiments of racism, xenophobia and increased fear of anything ‘foreign’. A reversal of the current global media scenario to return to the predominance of the national public media that characterised much of the 1970s is evidently unsustainable, both economically as well as a result of international flows between First and Third World countries, the growing cultural exchange between countries and international migration, not to mention the development of diverse cultural tastes of audiences and sophisticated consumption habits, which, as we shall see, cut across national borders. What can be realistically pursued is a better and more progressive role for both the public and commercial broadcasting, with both promoting international dialogue between countries at a time of increasing tensions. Thus a progressive role for the global (private) and public media like the BBC is to promote a cosmopolitan disposition or an ethical conduct, what Arendt has labelled as ‘worldliness’ (Chouliaraki, 2006). As Chouliaraki (2006) states, in her discussion of the Arendtian concept, the key towards cultivating a cosmopolitan public culture is to develop what she calls a reflexive distance from the society of intimacy. Evidently, the latter sentiment has more to do with the type of consumerist/individualistic life of the self (i.e. the culture of narcissism, to use Lasch’s 1979 term), which many claim is the dominant identity or personality type that highly commercial television addresses itself to.5 Internationalisation can be a progressive as well as a repressive force (Reeves, 1993). The impact of cultural exchange flows, such as Western models, values and cultures on one hand on less developed nations, as well as the influences of Bollywood films and of the ideas of developing countries on the developed world, can be forces for positive influences on a given country. They can assist either in advancing democratisation, as in the case of Brazil, or in contributing to make a society more open and tolerant, as in the UK. Brazilian journalism and media, for instance, benefited in the contemporary era from, among other things, the influence of American journalistic values, which functioned to slowly contribute to the gradual expansion of professionalism and objectivity in the reporting of politics (Matos, 2008). Writing about democratisation communications in ‘Third World’ countries, Reeves (1993: 106) makes a point that I endorse, which is that, despite the disturbing impact of Western cultures in much of the world during the times of colonialism, the current opposition to outside influences is largely grounded on religious, moral and cultural values and is largely coming from European countries. It is in its essence a conservative critique, and not an effort to undermine new forms of neocolonial exploitation of developing countries.

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In Chapter 6 I explore these issues further in engaging with the relationship that has been established between Latin American commercial broadcasting and Latin American and Brazilian cultural and national identities, and the ways in which this has largely been constructed around consumerist and entertainment aesthetics. This is contrasted with the type of beliefs associated with the public media platform. First, however, it is pertinent to critically assess some of the merits of British PSB, engaging particularly with the intellectual debate on what constitutes ‘quality’ content and programming, and how this it is understood in a more entertainment-driven reality like the Latin American and Brazilian one.

BBC and the Tradition of Quality Journalism

A central issue that must be addressed in any debate on what public service broadcasting should stand for in a democratic society is how to define ‘quality’ programming, and how best to offer this to vast segments of the population in both an informative and entertaining way. In this chapter I have already traced some of the roots of this debate in media studies to the impact of the Frankfurt School’s theories on the mass media, stressing concerns over the decline of authentic forms of art and their substitution for mass-produced cultural formats. As we have seen, our contemporary ‘postmodern’ reality is one which these divisions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture have become increasingly blurred. There are thus difficulties when one wants to establish the boundaries between ‘elite’ and ‘popular’ culture, and much anxiety on how to provide ‘quality culture’ for a mainstream audience without ‘boring’ them. Two questions arise from this debate. First, what exactly constitutes quality, to whom and by what criteria? Second, is it possible for PSBs to encourage public appreciation for ‘quality’ programming that can both enlighten and also contribute to raising cultural levels? As Bignell and Orleber (2005) note, there is much controversy among academics and professionals on how to judge quality. Critics have defined it differently (Brusdon, 1997:134–6), referring either to the public service function, to aesthetic criteria, to professional expertise or even to categories such as ‘experimentation’. As discussed in Part II, diverse ideological and political positions assign specific roles for the media in its relationship with society. This is no different with the issue of ‘quality’. Bignell and Orleber (2005: 119) state that in the television industry ‘quality’ refers to ‘the lavishness of budgets, the skill of programme makers and performers … and seriousness of purpose’. Nonetheless, more conservative right-wing perspectives tend to equate this with programme popularity, market success and competition

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between media outlets, whereas left liberals base a product’s worth on a series of factors. These range from language sophistication to the professionalism of actors and/or journalists, as well as to the value to society of the types of messages that are being articulated in a programme’s discourse (e.g. criticism of forms of oppression). Thus, for conservative market liberals, ‘quality’ is judged by ratings. The popularity of a programme can be seen as already an indication that the programme has quality, whereas public sphere liberals and others understand ‘quality’ as being associated with the impartiality criteria, high production costs of a programme, accurate information, and challenging or original texts. Most importantly, ‘quality’ is strongly connected to issues of class and social position, in other words, to hierarchy and to the position that an individual occupies in a society. Bourdieu (1984) claims that the cultural products regarded as the best are those preferred by the wealthiest segments of the population. These cultural items thus work to validate the ‘superior’ tastes of the elites. As we have seen, the Frankfurt School theorists lamented the decline of authentic art, or ‘elite’ culture, and its commodification and standardisation by the cultural industries. The dichotomy of ‘quality’ versus ‘quantity’– in other words, whether ‘quality’ should be sacrificed in favour of more of the same type of entertainment genres, and/or a wider variety of channels to choose from – has remained central to assessing the role that PSBs have had in the UK. Some British PSB successes have been programmes judged as being of a high quality standard. These have included the export of British comedies, like Monty Python, all around the world, as well as screen adaptations of classic English literature (e.g. Jane Austen and Charles Dickens) and the distribution of high quality documentaries worldwide. Moreover, the BBC World Service and News have played an enormously influential role in British foreign policy abroad. The debate on ‘quality’ programming in the UK was first triggered by the Peacock Report’s advocacy of deregulation in broadcasting in the 1980s. The Communications Act 2003 required Ofcom to ensure that news and current affairs programmes broadcast on the commercial public services were of ‘high quality’. In terms of defining ‘quality’ in television, however, the report on quality by the Broadcasting Research Unit (1989) rejected the association of quality with ‘highbrow programmes’, and attempted to address the complexity of the issue. It argued that a particular programme may be of poor quality, and that each programme should be judged in the first place by criteria peculiar to itself (in Franklin, 1989: 97–9). For the Broadcasting Unit, quality is not a standard that can be codified.

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Because of increasing commercialisation and competition, the understanding of what constitutes ‘quality’ and the role that the media have in promoting it has been ever more questioned. Quality has been insufficiently defined even by the standards of Ofcom. According to the Communications’ report of the House of Lords, ‘Ofcom should develop a mechanism for holding companies responsible if their news falls short of quality thresholds’ (House of Lords, 2008: 91). Further on in this chapter, I discuss the views of segments of the Brazilian audience and of academics and journalists regarding quality, further interpreting some of Ofcom’s audience research findings. McNair (2007) states that a key challenge facing public service broadcasters today in the UK is to define what exactly current affairs – which has always enjoyed an influential and high-status position in British broadcasting – should be all about. Various authors (McNair, 2007; Barnett, 1998) have detected a growth of documentaries and factual programming, but the main cause of concern has been with the quality of the current affairs material. According to McNair (2007: 155), ‘audiences for current affairs programmes on UK PSB have tended to vary from 3–4 million for strands such as Panorama (BBC1)’. Thus what is deemed ‘difficult’ current affairs is being squeezed out of the TV schedule especially at peak time to be replaced by celebrity and reality TV shows. McNair (2007), referring to Winston (2002), adds that the percentage of news items devoted to politics was 21.5 per cent on BBC1 in 1975, falling to 9.6 per cent in 2001, while the percentage of stories on the crime genre increased from 4.5 to 19.1 per cent. Another feature of PSB which is also associated with ‘quality’ is news impartiality. This aspect has helped to differentiate PSB from heavy commercial television channels like Fox. Most certainly, impartiality requirements constitute a core part of the PSB ethos. There is also fear that beyond the digital switchover these regulatory requirements, which have served to guarantee wherever possible fair, accurate, quality and challenging news and reporting, will cease to exist. Ofcom has already opened up the debate on the need or not to preserve impartiality on the grounds that it is likely to become less enforceable in a digital environment, and that it can be a barrier to diversity. Not surprisingly, in June 2007, the BBC Trust produced a report which stated that impartiality is a defining BBC ‘quality’ (2007: 94).6 Thus one common argument in favour of persevering with the educational, cultural and informational role of PSBs is that the commitment of public service broadcasting to produce programmes of high quality is unlikely to be fully endorsed by the market media. This element is perceived

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as an incentive for viewers to get accustomed to more challenging programming, and not always to choose the easier option – the lowest common denominator. As the argument here goes, good quality programmes need to be out there, available for the public to choose if they want to watch them or not. They should be accessible to all, and are more than necessary in the current context of increasing audience fragmentation and undermining of a unified (mediated) public sphere. PSBs thus need to continue to privilege education and information programmes, investing heavily in the coverage of current and international affairs, and offering whenever possible innovative programming, thus balancing both (quality) information and entertainment. Undoubtedly, the decline in international news and the national identity ‘crisis’ in Europe, followed by the economic recession which has engulfed European countries since 2008, and combined with the rise of anti-immigrant feelings, racism and xenophobia, are recipes for the creation of an inward-looking nation. These elements could trigger a retreat from the positive aspects of globalisation and encourage a regression towards naive nationalistic sentiment. The Communications report of the House of Lord (2008: vol. 1, 25), also referred to this when it commented on the decline in the coverage of international news: ‘A reduction in investment in foreign coverage by television and newspapers is of particular concern as it has an impact on democracy’. Thus it is audience perceptions of the commercial and public media in Britain and Brazil that I investigate next.

Audience Responses to the Private/Public Debate in Britain and Brazil

How do audiences make meanings from TV texts? Do audiences read messages similarly across the globe, or are they subject to influence by their social groups, education, locality and the ways in which they relate to cultural products as a result of globalisation? As Livingstone and Lunt (1994) point out, audience reception research theorists (Ang, 1985; Corner, 1991; Liebes and Katz, 1990; Livingstone, 1991) argue that viewers play an active role in the construction of meanings, obtaining various forms of gratification (Liebes and Katz, 1990). Different research traditions emphasised particular approaches to decoding media messages and to viewing television. British cultural studies stressed the resistant consumer-viewer perspective anchored in the private domain (Hall, 1980), while other theories focused on the citizen-viewer as participating in the whole democratic process (Corner, 1991; Curran, 1991).

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We have seen that news remains a highly valued genre in spite of questions over its decline in overall quality and the ‘crisis’ of international news. Nevertheless, drama and soap operas are also genres watched by most audiences worldwide (Schroeder et al., 2003). Schroeder et al. list three key trends in regards to television viewing, mainly the privatisation, individualisation and globalisation of the TV experience (2003: 227). The concept of privatisation refers to the changing practices of consumption; individualisation refers to the transformations in the social viewing of television, such as the trends towards special interests and fragmentation. Meanwhile, globalisation is connected, as we have seen, with international television flows, the impact of foreign influences and the growing imports and exports of TV products. Before examining Latin America and Brazil, I wish briefly to discuss key contemporary trends in television viewing in the UK by looking at some of Ofcom’s audience research findings. These were included as an annex to Ofcom’s PSB Review 2008 Phase.7 The audience research reports which will be discussed here are ‘Television audience perceptions of innovation and distinctiveness’ (December 2007), conducted by Blinc Research, and ‘Audience engagement: public consultation by the BBC Trust, Appendix C: summary of quantitative research’, prepared by BMRB Media, which took place between 14 May and 3 August 2007. Television was identified by members of the UK audiences as the main source in the country for world news and entertainment, according to approximately 70 per cent of viewers. The results showed a decline in viewing of the main PSB television channels, a growing popularity of PSB’s digital-only channels and a focus on entertainment genres by various sectors of the audience, although there was a clear recognition of the value of PSB purposes and attention to factual programming. The industry also broadcast over 2.1 million hours of output in 2007. Channels within the ‘entertainment, factual, children’s, sport, news, leisure and music genres’ registered over one million of those hours. The four key functions of television were perceived to be (1) the provision of entertainment; (2) news and learning; (3) sociable activity; and (4) a tool for societal cohesion. The PSB purposes were also considered important by viewers, with older audiences rating this more important than younger ones (16–24), although the latter recognised the importance of trustworthy news and engaging content. The PSB Deliberative Review also identified that commercial digital channels could provide PSB content from overseas, which could assist in the understanding of different cultures.

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According to the 2008 Ofcom audience findings, daytime output during 2003–7 for news, factual, sport and children’s content accounted for 95 per cent of the hours in 2007, the same as 2003. Entertainment programming was predominant, however, during the peak-time schedules of BBC1, BBC2 and ITV1 in 2007 (2008: 12–15). Audiences for channels in the entertainment genre thus were shown to have expanded, reaching 20 per cent of the viewing share in all homes by 2008. Ofcom also pointed out that 87.6 per cent of television sets were connected to multi-channel television. Total television viewing thus stood at 3 hours and 38 minutes per person per day in 2007 (BARB). However, there was a decline in viewing numbers of the five main PSB channels, which commanded a 64 per cent share in all homes in 2007, down from 88 per cent detected in 2003 and followed by indications of a growing popularity of the PSB digital-only channels (BARB, 35). The Blinc Research on audience perceptions of distinctiveness commissioned by the BBC Trust (December 2007) showed that audiences judge distinctiveness in regards to television by values such as talent, brand and the prominence of programmes. There was however a small perception that there had been a relative lack of distinctive TV on the BBC compared with what there once was. The disengagement with PSBs, according to the Ofcom findings, was higher amongst younger viewers. There was a pronounced drop among those under 44, and the largest was in the category of those between 16 and 24 years. Although public television is much less developed in Brazil than in the UK, and the nature of commercial broadcasting in the country resembles more the heavier entertainment diet of American television, there are some similarities between Ofcom’s results and some of the answers given by the UFRJ students in the survey carried out in Brazil (see appendix for full questionnaire). In regards to the UFRJ online survey, most students who answered the questionnaire claimed that they watched television on a daily basis (76 respondents or 51 per cent) or on average 3 to 4 times a week (17 per cent to 6 per cent respectively). Many respondents said that they seek television for both entertainment and information purposes. The use of the former objective slightly outshone the latter, however; the option ‘leisure’ was marked by 68 per cent (102 students). The other reasons for watching television included to be ‘up to date with information’ (12 per cent, or 18 students); ‘professional reasons’ (10 per cent, or 15); and ‘to know about the situation of the country’ (1 per cent). Most respondents revealed that their preferred programming consisted of news, soap operas, films and series, both national and American. In the question on the preferred television genre, most chose ‘TV series’ (56 respondents, or

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38 per cent) and the general option, ‘Arts and entertainment’ (43, or 29 per cent), with smaller numbers for ‘Documentaries’ (12, or 8 per cent), ‘Soap opera’ (9, or 6 per cent) and ‘Comedy’ (5, or 3 per cent). Curiously enough, the option ‘Soap opera’ did not score highly as one would think at first. This might largely be because TV Globo’s audience is in decline due to the competition from other channels, the internet and also the saturation of some of its programmes with especially more demanding viewers. It might also be the case that many in fact do watch soaps, but given other options of entertainment programming they choose series and documentaries. However, the results showed that most like both entertainment and news and documentaries, with 52 per cent (or 77) saying that they liked both. The balance is tipped slightly more towards entertainment, which received 32 per cent (or 48), whereas news got 13 per cent (or 20). Commercial television appeared as the main source of information for 87 per cent (129 respondents). Only 13 per cent claimed that it was not their prime source. Most students also like to read newspapers (104, or 70 per cent) and online news sites (129, or 87 per cent), with only 11 respondents, or 7 per cent, saying that they also obtain their information from both the public and commercial media. Thus the public media are not seen as a main source of information for sectors of the cultural and intellectual elites in the way that the BBC is seen in the UK. When asked which television station they watch and if they prefer public to commercial TV, most respondents of the UFRJ survey said they watched TV Globo (97 respondents, or 65 per cent) and cable and satellite (99, or 66 per cent). Only 3 per cent (4) chose the public media option and a slightly higher number opted for the Brazilian public station options, TV Brasil (8, or 5 per cent) and TV Cultura (8, or 5 per cent). These received similar percentages to the small open commercial television stations, TV Record (7, or 5 per cent) and Rede TV! (4, or 3 per cent). Channels Bandeirantes and SBT appeared in a middle position, with 25, or 17 per cent, for the former and 18, or 18 per cent, for the latter. The responses for favourite TV programmes were, however, quite varied. A popular TV choice was TV Globo’s Jornal Nacional (38, or 25 per cent). The option of the 8 o’clock soap opera appeared with 13 per cent (20), although in the previous question concerning television genres, only 6 per cent chose soaps. Nonetheless, the quantity of different programming selected is just another confirmation of how contemporary global media audiences have become much more fragmented than before, not only in developed countries, but also in developing ones. Forty-seven per cent chose other programmes which were not included in the list. The

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journalistic programmes which appeared here as options were Roda Viva and Observatorio da Imprensa, which received respectively 1 per cent each (1), as did the programmes Reporter Brasil, which is the main news broadcast from TV Brasil, and Sem Censura, the popular debate programme previously broadcast on TVE, whereas Big Brother scored 3 per cent (or 4 answers). Among the preferred programmes freely listed by the respondents were films, popular national programmes or American series. Seven per cent wrote ‘films’ while others chose the TV Bandeirantes programme CQC (4 per cent);8 Football (3 per cent); Friends (2 per cent) and House (2 per cent). Other Brazilian programmes selected included Jornal das 10 (2 per cent; a TV Globo news programme); Jornal da Globo (1 per cent) and the popular, long-running talk show, Programa do Jo (1 per cent). An interesting issue to observe was that the viewing of American series and programming has not superseded that of the national ones. Programmes such as Jornal Nacional, films, news, soaps and football appeared alongside or above American series. Similarly to Ofcom’s results, the UFRJ survey highlighted how audiences give importance to quality programming. Regarding the question on what attracted their attention to TV, the predominant answer was ‘the quality of a programme’ (58 per cent or 86) and in second place was ‘information’ (22 per cent or 33). Such answers endorse the fact that television, be it in the UK or in Brazil, is expected by viewers to be both entertaining and informative, while at the same time also offering quality programming. These values are strongly associated with the public media ethos, and signal to the fact that any project which aims at the strengthening of the public media would benefit from focusing on precisely these elements. Regarding issues concerning the ‘quality’ of television, many showed a similar understanding to the general outline discussed above. Most chose the options ‘the script and the in-depth information provided’ (53 per cent, or 79) as well as the ‘creativity and originality’ of the programme (27 per cent or 40). The professionalism of the journalists and actors, and the type of language used, received 8 per cent, or 12, and 7 per cent, or 10 answers, respectively. Most also recognised the importance of the role of the public media (71 per cent). Although a majority of the respondents of the survey did show a lack of interest in watching the public television stations, a significant 71 per cent of 149 people defended their necessity. Another 26 per cent, however, preferred the option ‘it depends’. This seems to signal that many in fact do not understand what the public media are actually for, and would like to have more information about them. This interpretation is confirmed by the answers to a later question, about why the respondent is in favour of public

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media. Here the main option selected was ‘I would like to know more about it’ in order to make a better judgement (33 per cent or 49). Most nonetheless do assign a role for the public media, seeing it as being a compliment to the commercial media (38 per cent, or 57) and/or a correction of market failure (20 per cent or 30). Concerning the question of whether the public media can have the capacity of covering more politics in comparison to the commercial, 46 per cent said they needed more information to make up their minds. A significant 22 per cent said that they saw space for public television to cover more politics and elections. Nevertheless, some respondents did not see much difference between the coverage of politics and elections done by the commercial media in contrast to the public or were not sure. Thirteen per cent (20) said that they did not see much difference, while another 22 per cent (33) thought this was a new avenue for the public media to better explore. Contradicting what one might expect, not everyone automatically saw the public media as necessarily more capable of being impartial. There was little consensus here. The responses varied significantly in this category between those who chose newspapers and those who opted for the foreign media, the internet and the public media. Forty-eight per cent saw the internet as having the capacity to be more impartial, with public media coming in second with 15 per cent. Newspapers received 6 per cent (9), commercial TV 5 per cent (8) and foreign media 2 per cent (3). Many chose to include comments in the space provided, with one mentioning the website Transparencia Brasil. Another wrote that it is ‘not the media vehicle, but the integrity of the journalist’; another commented that the public media only ‘engages in spectacles’. Another student claimed that television and radio as media had the potential to be more impartial due to their wider reach. Respondents were divided on the question concerning the functions and purposes of the public media. Most chose answers which can be interpreted as seeing civic communications as having a role in democratisation. Many chose the options ‘stimulating cultural diversity’ (21 per cent); ‘providing cultural and educational programming’ (21 per cent); ‘integrating groups in the national debate’ (18 per cent); and ‘contributing to national development’ (17 per cent). The space thus envisioned for public media in their attempt to provide a more in-depth and detailed coverage of politics can be compared to the enthusiasm for and expectations of the internet regarding its capacity to stimulate debate. In Part II I asked what distinguishes the BBC from other commercial broadcasters. The hypothesis that I have put forward is that the public

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programming offered by public media is still distinctive from what is broadcast on commercial TV. Not only can viewers tell the difference but, as we have seen, they value public service purposes and content and they know how to spot quality programming when they see it. This is in spite of the difficulties in defining precisely what ‘quality’ is. Audience research conducted by Ofcom, as well as the online UFRJ survey, only confirms these premises. In the case of Brazil, the issue of television quality programming has become central to fortifying the public media platform debate. During the re-democratisation period, with growth of educational levels, political liberalisation and a bigger middle class with wider consumption power, civil society began to demand investment in more factual, ‘serious’ and in-depth television programming, as well as more objective and analytical newspaper stories. Sociologist and journalist Laurindo Leal Lalo Filho, professor of the University of São Paolo,9 has emphasised that the main dilemma of television in Brazil is the contrast between its high technical quality and its overall low content. Lalo Filho also sees little debate being explored on television. He defends an equilibrium between so-called ‘mass’ television taste with ‘elite’ aspirations: With the help from the State, a television with high technical quality was created but with low content. The Brazilian in general does not see him/herself on television. Blacks and indigenous populations when they appear are … treated in drama as subordinated or folk figures. Television is largely centred in the Rio-São Paulo axis … Brazil is perhaps the only democracy in the world where there is no political debate on TV. It elaborates its news according to its own interests, gives its own opinion and does not admit debate. There are some interview programmes that explore politics, but there is no debate. What should be sought after is an equilibrium between the mass television taste and the restricted aspirations of small highly elitised groups … Experimentation, innovation and an emphasis on reflection combined with emotion are actions that contribute for the production of less primary work … Journalist and academic Carlos Lins da Silva, former University of São Paolo professor and partner of the international relations think-thank, Patri,10 is an example of those members of the cultural and intellectual elite who are switching off the main commercial television stations. Many

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are also moving away from Brazilian politics altogether, as we shall see in Part IV: Since 2000, I have maintained the habit of not watching open television because … its content did not please me anymore and even irritated me … When we speak of ‘quality’ in television, we mean the programme that stimulates critical thinking in the audience, has technical and refined techniques, looks at themes which are relevant to society, and leads to pleasure as well as reflection in the audience. In regard to the Brazilian public media, I do think that the BBC is a good model that can be implemented in Brazil. I do not think however that there has been much improvement in the regulatory framework for television and radio broadcasting. This is due to the fact that there is lack of transparency and of participation of society in the judgement of the concessions … As Straubhaar (2007: 227) notes, people make sense of the media through a set of cultural identities based on particular spaces and places. Although audiences have a strong sense of local identity, people can identify with multiple cultures and various layers (Straubhaar, 2007: 230). Television viewing is thus subject to the impact of both global and local influences. Examples here are what Straubhaar (2007: 227) refers to as the formation of ‘transnational’, ‘postcolonial’ and ‘culture-linguistic’ audiences, all of which can include viewers located in the Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone worlds. The issue of ‘quality’ in regard to Latin American and Brazilian television needs, however, to be assessed by considering the relationship that has been established between national and cultural identities and commercial broadcasting. It also needs to take into account the ways in which the public media pose a new challenge to understandings of the role of the media in democratic societies, while also helping build a different relationship to audiences, issues developed in the next chapter.

Conclusion

Television since its origins has been a site of multiple functions and understandings. The history of broadcasting in the USA and in Europe has contributed to the development of a system grounded mainly on entertainment and commercial imperatives, focused on maxims such as ‘the consumer is sovereign’ and ‘quality is what is most popular’. This contrasts with a more educational, cultural and informational role, one which privileges the view

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of audiences as composing of citizens, and which has largely defined the ethos of public service broadcasting in most European democracies. Regarding the question of whether the public media can offer better quality information, contributing to expand cultural and educational levels, we can see from the audiences’ responses in both the Ofcom and the UFRJ surveys that various sectors of the public worldwide do value PSB purposes, although there is a slight preference for entertainment viewing during peak slots. They also fully recognise the importance of ‘quality programming’, although many have different understandings of what this precisely is and would like to debate it more. I have examined here some of Ofcom’s key audience research findings, and have compared what audiences in the UK expect from PSBs to the findings carried out by the UFRJ online survey on how segments of the Brazilian public engage with both the commercial and public media and how they watch programmes and negotiate texts. We have seen how audiences in Brazil do also see a role for the public media, either investing in more quality programming or functioning as a ‘corrective’ to the market. Regarding the UK’s PSB, the questions posed at the start of this chapter can be answered positively: yes, it does offer better quality information, especially if we contrast it with the British tabloid tradition. The answer is less positive in the Brazilian case, as we will see in the next chapter when assessing the predominance of Latin American and Brazilian commercial broadcasting over the public media. This chapter has also investigated the current challenges that digital technologies and media convergence pose for traditional broadcasting, by stressing how questions of television ‘quality’, as well as other PSB purposes, including pluralism, diversity and impartiality, have become again issues of concern in an era where increasing commercialisation and proliferation of channels are starting to pose a real challenge to the continued existence of such values. Part III looks at the development of Latin American commercial broadcasting, and the ways in which Brazilian television has assisted in the construction of a particular type of Brazilian national identity. It then engages with the deliberations on the place that the public media can have in the region, functioning as a counterweight to commercial broadcasting. Part III also deliberates on how the public media can pave the way for wider spaces for debate, facilitating the play of multiple, hybrid and complex Brazilian identities.

6

TELEVISION, POPULAR CULTURE AND LATIN AMERICAN AND BRAZILIAN IDENTITY In the previous chapter, I examined the role that television played in Northern Europe and the UK, exploring major television and audience theories, starting from the Frankfurt School perspectives and their pessimistic stance regarding television, to the active audience and uses and gratification research tradition. The latter has gained ground amid the contestation of the complexities involved in the audiences’ experience worldwide of reading media texts. Regarding UK broadcasting, I investigated the debates on what is understood by ‘quality’ in both commercial and public broadcasting, and related this to the different ideological understandings of the diverse functions of the media in their relationship to democratisation. The UFRJ results for instance underlined the audiences’ acknowledgement of the importance and relevance of PSBs, although there is still a lot of uncertainty in Brazil on how precisely the public media can contribute to media pluralism and democratisation. In this chapter I continue to interpret the responses from the online survey, engaging critically further with some examples of programmes produced by the public station TV Brasil. Following on from the debates examined in the previous chapter and the contestation of the blurring of the genres offered in both the private and the public media, I have tried to examine here the extent to which programmes broadcast on the public television station can be considered more demanding for the viewer, stimulating a wider appreciation for culture and public debate. I consider the programming offered during peak time on TV Globo, including soap operas and the news broadcast Jornal Nacional, in relation to the themes

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and topics explored by the public television station in order to spot differences and similarities. This chapter also provides a brief critical debate on the role of telenovelas, which not only have contributed to giving voice to political resistance through particular subtexts at certain historical moments in Brazil but also have helped construct a specific national character and identity. I begin, however, by looking at international patterns of television flows, which increased since the 1970s and 1980s as a consequence of expanding deregulation trends, media commercialisation and the numbers of transnational and cultural-linguistic audiences who are becoming dependent on the cultural products distributed by the global media. I also engage with key theoretical debates on the historical evolution of Latin America and Brazilian commercial broadcasting and the influence of the US model (Straubhaar, 2001; Fox, 1997; Lins da Silva, 1990). A critical investigation of the roots of the ‘Brazilian’ and ‘Latin American’ identity is carried out here through an assessment of core postcolonialism and hybridity theories (Nederveen Pieterse, 2009). This chapter thus problematises the whole formation of the Brazilian national and cultural identity by attempting to analyse its roots in colonialism and in the racial order that has been established in the country, developed largely within a Eurocentric framework (Lesser, 1999; DaMatta, 1995). This is later juxtaposed with the idiosyncrasies of commercial Brazilian broadcasting, and the ways it has shaped particular Brazilian identities by excluding largely the country’s multiple cultural, regional and ethnic compositions and privileging a particular white elite of the Rio–São Paulo axis. I thus search here for an equation between the type of television aesthetic that has been constructed in Brazil over recent years, and in much of the continent, with the problems for social advancement of multiple groups, wider economic inclusion and enhancement of the political democratisation project. I begin this chapter by dissecting the theories on global communications and the exchange of cultural flows between the ‘First’ and ‘Third’ World countries.

International Television Flows: From the Global Media to Latin American Broadcasting

Media scholars have underlined the role played by international news agencies like Reuters, AP, UPI and AFP in contributing to the establishment of a global system of codification. These agencies are seen as central to the globalisation thesis, and as closely tied to the modernisation of the West and the expansion of communication media since the nineteenth century

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(Boyd-Barrett, 1997; Rantanen, 2005). Academics claim that the limited number of agencies and producers of sources for international news has contributed towards the homogenisation of international television news content by privileging Western interests in politics, economics and culture (Boyd-Barrett, 1997; Tomlinson, 1999; Thussu, 2000; Rantanen, 2005; Sparks, 2007). They have also helped shape the relationship between internalisation and local forces, bringing the global to the local and constructing international agendas that influence national governments. Regarding international television flows and the predominance of US entertainment exports to developing countries, empirical studies confirm and give credit to some of the media imperialism theses. More often than not, the plethora of images from and about the West, and the absence of similar images from and about the South, meant that the events and lives in the two spheres took on different values. The overall conclusion from such studies is that the media, far from constituting a key mechanism for the spread of empathy and thus acting as a key agent in development, appear to perpetuate the subordinated status of developing countries. The media are thus increasing economic inequality and impeding most citizens of these countries from ever reaching a decent standard of life. Key media imperialism theses thus affirm that external factors such as the expansion of transnational corporations and the agenda of the US government shaped the historical evolution of broadcasting systems in Latin American countries (Waisbord, 1995: 201). For instance, the first study by Nordenstreng and Varis (1974) shows how most nations were importing their entertainment TV from the USA, confirming the Unesco NWICO debates (Straubhaar, 2007: 220). In the Unesco-sponsored 1983 study on international flows of TV programmes and news,1 a sequel to the 1972–73 research, Varis noted how the entertainment category was prevalent in all of the countries analysed. Half of the transmission time was being devoted to it, with individual differences among nations. The work points out that Mexico at the time had a percentage of imported US material of 74 per cent, whereas in Brazil this figure reached as high as 93 per cent (26–27). The latter country nonetheless was one of the few which did not have wide foreign programming during prime time, having substituted it for national productions. The report also added that in the global context, the average amount of imported programmes was approximately one third of total programming time. As we have seen, entertainment is a key characteristic of commercial television worldwide, and is sought after by audiences. Such an element can be considered inherent to the medium of television, which privileges

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images, close-ups and exploration of human interest stories, selfhood, intimacy and the nuclear family. Thus entertainment media are not necessarily a solemn characteristic of underdeveloped countries, and are actually intrinsic to the whole experience of watching contemporary television. The cultural imperialism and dependency perspectives, which were largely influential during the 1960s and 1970s, came under attack from the 1980s onwards by a series of media theorists (Tracy, 1985; Fejes, 1981, quoted in Reeves, 1993) due to their economic reductionism and exclusive focus on American power. The claims were that these theories did not recognise the ‘multidirectional’ traffic flows between First and Third World countries. A general line of criticism was that it suggested a ‘hypodermic needle’ model of international effects, with American values being ‘injected’ into Third World heads and minds (Boyd-Barrett, 1997). In spite of these limitations there is, nonetheless, still relevance in these theories, especially in a context of growing social, cultural and economic inequalities between and within countries. They were later updated and revisited by various scholars, and in his defence of the continuing relevance of media or cultural imperialism theses, Boyd-Barrett (1997) emphasises that their strength lies in their concern with media inequalities between nations, and with how such inequalities reflected broader problems of dependency between more powerful and less powerful countries. As Boyd-Barrett notes (1997: 173), the metaphors of ‘imperialism’ and ‘colonialism’ were not extended to include intra-national media relations, or the media’s fostering of inequalities between men and women, different ethnicities and between capital and labour. Tomlinson (1999) comments that their importance lies primarily in their underlining of the expansionist character of capitalism as well as the power relations which exist within global communications. With the rise of postmodernist theories and the adoption of neoliberal policies and discourse by USA and UK governments from the 1980s onwards, cultural imperialism arguments suffered a knock-out. With the emergence of strong regional programming and the decline in popularity of US television shows in Latin America, studies questioned the previous idea of one-way flows (Sreberny Mohammadi, 2000; Straubhaar, 2005). Arguments shifted towards the contestation that the ‘Third’ World was not simply dominated by the West. US imports were also said to have become more prominent only in the early stages of broadcasting development in South American countries. Cultural imperialism perspectives thus came under criticism from various fronts (Boyd-Barrett, 1977, 1998; Tomlinson, 1991). As Straubhaar (2007: 227) affirms, global media organisations outside North America

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and Europe, like TVB (Hong Kong), TV Globo (Brazil), Televisa (Mexico) and All-Arab Television (Egypt), who target mainly a national market, can first dominate the local or national domain, and can then export programs and technology as well as shape satellite channels in larger global markets. These patterns of reverse flows between the First and Third World countries have been defined by various scholars (Giddens, cited in Curran, 2000) as being a type of reverse colonisation or reverse cultural imperialism. Examples include the export of Brazilian telenovelas to Portugal, and the success of powerful regional production markets like the Bollywood film industry in India. Thus both the global and national media landscape changed significantly since the 1980s. New media technologies and audiences now cut across borders, and are very much the result of the significant expansion of international television flows. As we have seen from the UFRJ survey results, various sectors of the Brazilian public are becoming increasingly mediasavvy, consuming both national programming and American programming. They are also using the internet, the public and the private media. In this sense, audiences’ exposure to foreign programming has been expanded due to both media commercialisation and globalisation. Cultural, economic and political globalisation have thus contributed to form a more transnational and multi-layered cultural-linguistic audience, one which has become more accustomed to and demanding of foreign programming (Straubhaar, 2007; Kit-Wai Ma, 2003). Although Brazil’s TV Globo has managed to reverse some of the flows from ‘Third’ to ‘First’ World countries through the exportation of successful soap-opera programmes, the fact of the matter is that the station is a large media company that has been heavily influenced by American commercial formats. It has also had a controversial role in the contemporary democratisation process (Bucci, 2001; Conti, 1999; Matos, 2008). Alongside other factors such as the pressing demands being made by sectors of civil society, it can perhaps be said that the power that TV Globo has had in shaping national identity and the political agenda of Brazil stands as one of the key reasons for the governmental initiatives and civil society pressures for investments in the fortification of the public media. However, reverse flows and the concept of the rise of regional production powerhouses have their limits. Globalisation of communications has also been closely connected to the globalisation of markets, finance and governance. One of the characteristics of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation global media empire is that the company has managed to establish large satellite TV systems. By the 1990s Murdoch claimed to have TV networks

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and systems that reached more than 75 per cent of the world’s population, with the launch of satellite systems in Latin America, Japan and India complementing the company’s other activities. The expansion of satellite and cable companies into developing societies has also placed competitive pressures on local production. Writing about Latin America, Fox (1997) highlights the risk that countries which are stronger in local production can be overtaken by international satellite distribution. In spite of their flaws and shortcomings, there are still reasons why cultural imperialism theories provide a perspective through which to conceptualise cultural globalisation. It is difficult, however, to ignore the massive presence of Western cultural goods (e.g. new Hollywood blockbusters) in every area of the world, a fact which makes the case for seeing cultural globalisation as ‘Americanisation’ a persuasive one. As Thussu (2000: 63) states, cultural imperialism theories did not adequately take account of such issues as how global media texts worked in national contexts, tending to ignore local patterns of media consumption. The emergence of new centres of media production such as Bombay for Hindi films and Mexico and Brazil for telenovelas, which produce transnational audiences whose cultural proximity resides in a common language, and the growing complexities of global communications are phenomena which demand a revision of such theses. These new realities, however, do not provide sufficient reason to dismiss completely cultural imperialism perspectives and their core argument about the continuing existence of unequal political and economic power relations between countries which result in a dominant pattern of cultural exchange flows. Cultural imperialism at its best urges us to understand globalisation as a process whereby all global cultures are drawn into the sphere of influence (and not direct imposition) of one single culture. It helps us see how these international flow patterns have been historically rooted and conditioned in the West’s previous imperial system and division of the world between powerful nations and the subordinated (proletarian) developing countries. Nonetheless, it is no longer possible, as Said (1993) notes, to see modernisation or emerging societies as synonymous with Western development, or to take on the outdated, benign, patronising and/or paternalistic (post-imperialist) relationship assumed by most of the developed countries in relation to the rest of the world. Having said this, it seems that Schramm’s (1964) analysis, coming at the height of the development and modernisation theories concerning the crucial role of media systems in national development, still carries in its essence a certain degree of truth. As Mosco and Reddick (1997: 17) argue,

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at the time of the NWICO debates by modernisation theorists (which I discussed in Part I), the media were seen as being capable of stimulating ‘progressive economic, social and cultural modernisation’. In spite of the critiques of modernisation theories and development perspectives on the basis of their Eurocentrism, it can be said that the role of the media in (post)development can still be seen in a similar way. What has changed today is the historical context, the more globalised media environment and the shifting patterns in audiences’ behaviour and attitudes as a result of political, social and economic changes experienced by countries worldwide. One could also underline the wider demands for more equitable relationships based on mutual respect between developed and developing countries. The contemporary debate has now moved towards ways to put into practice a project of media reform that can better serve national development and promote better, more equal and meaningful international dialogue between countries in an age of increasing intolerance, aversive or subtle ‘new’ forms of racism and rise of nationalistic sentiment. The challenge remains to improve the public media in order to make them genuinely committed to the public interest or, rather, to the multiple publics and their needs, political interests and diverse cultural identities. The development of these emerging or transitional societies is a process which is interlinked with many complex global, political, economic and cultural factors. It is to the discussion of the formation and existence of hybrid Latin American identities, and how these have been interwoven with commercial broadcasting and democratic politics, that we turn to next.

Brazilian and Latin American Culture as Hybridity: Cultural Globalisation and the National Identity Controversy

There are two main camps regarding the question of a unified global culture: one is the cultural homogenisation camp and the other is cultural hybridisation. The former equates globalisation with the homogenising of culture, the dismissal of local cultures and the Westernisation of the globe (Schirato and Webb, 2003: 155). Cultural globalisation theorists highlight the need to recognise the blending of local cultures with global foreign influences, seeing global culture as being grounded in a process of hybridisation, not simply as the cultural diffusion of American values or homogenisation. This perspective on hybridity has encountered criticism on the grounds that it reflects a reluctance to look at economic power and the impact of giant media corporations in directing cultural preferences (Curran, 2002). The result of the blending of global with national specificities does not in

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the end constitute ‘authentic’ cultural practice but rather the commodification of the ‘exotic’ by capitalist media corporations who can sell these ‘multicultural’ products around the world. Difference is thus exploited by the global market to make profit, and not because of a genuine appreciation of non-Western cultures. However, the complexities of reverse flows, the blending of foreign and local influences as well as audiences’ diverse forms of interpretation of media texts, according to their own particular cultural contexts and socioeconomic positioning, can contribute to add a progressive dimension to cultural globalisation. As Straubhaar (2007) stresses in his discussion of world television audiences, new multiple layers of cultural identity form as new ideas are incorporated. Norris (in Held et al., 1999: 287) also underlines this capacity of economic, political and cultural globalisation to ‘strengthen a cosmopolitan orientation, broadening identities beyond national boundaries to a world community’. She notes after analysing the statistics that, although local ties have not been destroyed, there are strong indicators to suggest that in the long term public opinion could move towards a more ‘internationalist direction’ (2003: 287). Considered a key theorist of hybridisation, Nederveen Pieterse (2009: 111) argues that the critical take on the notion of hybridity involves a ‘new awareness of and new take on dynamics of group formation and social inequality’. This perspective does not propose an easy ‘celebration’ of elite difference. Nederveen Pieterse (2009: 99) criticises the arguments against hybridity, understood as cultural mixing of diverse cultures to produce a new form, as being rooted in the ‘Marxism versus cultural studies’ clash. This debate is thus seen as aligned with the general attacks on ‘postmodernism’, which see multiculturalism and global culture as a triumph of advanced capitalism, as well as the struggle for inclusion of hybrids or ‘cosmopolitans’, seen as belonging exclusively to ‘elite groups’, as being less important than the fight for working-class emancipation. Nederveen Pieterse (2009) further points out that cultures should be acknowledged as being hybrid. Cultural hybridity should thus be understood as a contemporary reality for both the working and the middle classes. Nederveen Pieterse (2009: 101) makes the point that all nations share a plural heritage: the ‘English identity’ has included a mix of Celts, Anglos, Saxons, Danes, Romans and Normans, with further immigration of the French, Irish, Jews and others from Europe since the Middle Ages and throughout the nineteenth century. Thus the ‘mixing’ of other cultures with Britishness did not start in the 1950s with the first major wave of peoples coming from the former British colonies to the UK.

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Hoogvelt (1997: 158) comments that the concept of hybridity occupies centre stage in postcolonial discourse. It was transformed from a term of abuse during colonial days to being celebrated as a ‘kind of superior cultural intelligence’ owing to the individual having the capacity to negotiate his or her own difference. As she notes, postcolonial discourse is concerned with re-thinking forms of knowledge authorised by western domination. It criticises the practice of ‘development’ as well as the concept of the ‘Third World’ as being part of a ‘Eurocentric discourse of control and subordination’. Its main purpose is thus to encourage the voices of the unheard, assisting in breaking the rigid and static nature of the binary oppositions between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’, or the ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ races, which are seen as a legacy of colonial patterns of thinking which still influence the perceptions of the West about the Rest. In his book Postcolonial Melancholia, Gilroy (2004: 5–16) argues that humanism has not been comfortable with addressing the ‘destructive impact … of racial hierarchy upon their own ways of understanding history and society’, and that a direct confrontation with issues of cultural diversity is more than necessary now. One simple way is to acknowledge our differences but to also highlight our similarities as human beings who behave justly to members of all races (Young, 1990). The concept of hybridity can thus help us break the rigidity of such a false and outdated binary opposition, facilitating dialogue and interaction between cultures while making people more conscious of their ‘multi-layered’ cultural identities. Hybridity can thus be a key intellectual framework which can help us examine the roots of Latin American identities. It can be said that the dominant version of the Latin American identity has largely been constructed in opposition to the European one. As Said (1993: 70) comments, Europe constructed its identity by ‘relegating and confining the non-European to a secondary racial, cultural, ontological status’, on the basis of modernisation and development theories stemming from classic authors of the Enlightenment like Rousseau, Nietzsche and Dickens, which not only placed Western culture as the key to human development but constructed their premises by ignoring the history of colonialism. Tomlinson (1997: 184) states that the central perspective of the old colonial order was established on the basis of unquestioned cultural assumptions, identities and self-images which could only be maintained in binary oppositions preserved by a process of physical as well as geographical distance. So long as the colonised ‘Other’ stayed firmly in their place, both literally and metaphorically, the imaginary geographies (Said, 1993) generated in the West could, by mapping cultural and racial stereotypes on to a

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place, maintain a sense of confidence in a universal order, justifying colonialism and confirming Western (superior) identities. However, as Tomlinson (1997: 184) notes, by bringing the subordinate culture – which has been placed by colonialism into a lower (class) status, having little access to resources, power and voice – in direct proximity to the dominant culture, the cultural distance necessary to sustain the previous myths of a ‘superior’ European identity collapses. Thus it is of little surprise that the classification of ‘Latino’ or ‘Hispanic’ to denote Mexicans or other peoples from Latin America, including Brazil, as used by Northern Americans and Europeans carries negative connotations. These are usually understood in a pejorative sense and are (even unconsciously) associated with ideologically charged negative images, which allude to concepts such as ‘laziness’, ‘corruption’, ‘poverty’, ‘lack of intelligence’ and ‘backwardness.’ As Buckman (1996) states in his discussion of Latin American media systems, the USA’s dominant stereotype of the region is still one in which all of Latin America seems to be inserted within this ‘reality’, with little distinction being made between countries and their cultural differences. Most Latin Americans, and the region as a whole, still suffer from neglect and contempt from the USA and Europe. If we discuss the Hispanic/Latino identity within a global context, it is evident that as an ethnic group it is still little acknowledged by Western elites, remaining largely at the margins in mainstream society even globally. This is despite the fact that Latinos and Brazilians are an increasingly visible minority in European countries, their previous colonisers.2 With some exceptions here and there, the fact of the matter is that Latinos, or Brazilians, as a group are generally oppressed and are an easy target for prejudiced behaviour in employment, being subject to super-exploitation and marginalisation due to their status as a new immigrant group. Brazilians also are largely conscious of their (static) inferior status within the global context. Many suffer from feelings of low self-esteem because of this, being ‘ashamed’ of their Brazilian identity and seeing in the famous jeitinho brasileiro3 a marker of their ‘backward status’ (Barbosa, 1995; DaMatta, 1995). As Marques de Melo (1991: 28–30; 2003) has highlighted, a classic feature of the Latin American identity is that it has been composed of ‘silent citizens’. As he points out, Paulo Freire (1967: 69), although writing in the 1970s, in a different historical and political context, identified the mark of silence in the behaviour of the Brazilian people. The typical Latin American citizen was traditionally an inhibited and repressed individual, both by the colonisers as well as by mestizo Latin American elites who took

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control of these national states from the nineteenth century onwards: ‘He had the necessity of using artificial rhetoric in an attempt to break the block installed by colonial masters and by modern bosses, thus creating a dissimulated politics of resistance’ (Marques de Melo, 2003: 92–3) The fact of the matter is that the authoritarian Latin American legacy consisted in reproducing the Iberian traditions, including the use of political coups and the imposition of media censorship (Ribeiro, 1986: 40, in Marques de Melo, 2003). Moreover, the Brazilian racial order has since the Portuguese colonial days replicated on Brazilian soil the Eurocentric hierarchical classification of races (Daniel, 2006: 27). Reproducing on the global stage in new packaging and colours the historical colonial pattern of dependency, and in spite of the fact that the European Union is strengthening its partnership with Latin America given the historical ties with the region, large sectors of the peoples from the continent are as a group still oppressed economically, politically and culturally, and are far from enjoying the advantages, recognition and acceptance of other model minority groups, such as the Chinese, who are not totally free from prejudice but have managed to upgrade their status in relation to the past. One could argue that the latter have gained status in response to the rise of the Chinese economy, confirming Nederveen Pieterse’s (1990) point about the flexibility of the politique des races and how this is shifting and largely dependent on economic factors.4 Young (1990a: 48–63) writes about aversive racism5, the ways in which the ‘new’ contemporary racism of members of the dominant groups in America, despite equality principles, excludes, devalues and belittles in a subtle manner blacks and Latinos, usually the poorest members of the population in the USA. Young identifies five criteria to assess if a group or individual is oppressed. These include exploitation, marginalisation, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and violence. If we consider these points it is clear that Brazilians as a group can be positioned within globalisation as low status individuals subject to exploitation in the international labour marketplace and marginalisation from mainstream (global) society, who can also be victims of negative stereotyping and other forms of cultural imperialism that largely work to reinforce this (historical) oppression. One may perhaps maintain that such a citizen has only just begun to acquire confidence, to slowly have his/her voice heard at a local, national and international level in the last years. This is very much due to the rise of centre to centre-left wing governments in the region following the collapse of the various dictatorships in the continent since the mid-1980s. These new players and groups have rejected, and ceased to reinforce, the traditional

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passive and subordinated Latin American/Brazilian identity that has been historically encouraged by the Western powers in their dealings with the region. There is thus a need to construct a new and modern relationship with Latin America, something which has already been acknowledged by sectors of the British establishment.7 Notably, questions of national identity have reached the front bench of the world stage mainly in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the escalation of multi-ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslav states and in a context of increasing international migration. As various theorists state, given the decline of Western imperialism and the complexities of the flows between people, trade and culture across the world, what emerges is the image of a multifaceted and contradictory globalisation, one of a decentred network of shifting patterns of power distribution. This has gradually undermined the core–periphery model articulated by cultural imperialism theories, putting in its place new power relationships between the South and the North, as well as the South with the South (Nederveen Pieterse, 2009). As various scholars of multiculturalism and race relations in Britain have signalled (Blackstone et al., 1998; Parekh, 2000), there are complex linkages between contemporary multicultural societies around the world and economic and cultural globalisation processes. This undermines the notion of there being a single and unified national culture that is distinctive to each country, and automatically makes respect and recognition for individual cultures within the dominant culture a principle of equal citizenship (Parekh, 2000: 8). Unfortunately, this is not the current reality of many European societies.8 In Britain the cultural and racial hierarchy that has been established since the Victorian period by the aristocracy has been reproduced over time. Tariq Modood comments that although there have been advances in multiculturalism in Britain, including religious discrimination legislation for Muslims, many reports stress the growing exclusion and deprivation faced by large sectors of minority communities in the UK.9 There has nonetheless been some general improvement of the social and economic mobility experienced by some British Asians and Indians (Blackstone et al., 1998). There are notable variations between the nation states of the USA, Europe and Latin America regarding racism practices and race relations. However, Latin America has managed to include diverse ethnicities within the mainstream. As Skidmore and Smith (2004: 454) confirm, Latin America has made a significant contribution regarding race relations, producing societies in which persons of mixed background have enjoyed considerable mobility: ‘The mestizos of Mexico, Central America and the Andean region represent a

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new social category … The same can be said of the mulatto in Brazil, Cuba, Colombia and the Caribbean nations’. This is not to claim that prejudice has been eliminated, far from it. Governments in Brazil are still tackling the problem through the adoption of affirmative action policies to curb racial discrimination in universities for instance, as stipulated by law in 2001 (Skidmore and Smith, 2004), as well as the establishment of quotas for less advantaged groups. Since its origins, Brazil has been multiracial and has developed through the interplay of cultures and racial miscegenation. Lauerhass Jr. (2006: 6) classifies Brazil as ‘a Creole variant of a European (Portuguese) culture’. Thus cultural mixing and mestizaje, which refers to the racial mixture of African, European and indigenous peoples throughout Latin America, has characterised the whole formation of the continent’s multiple identities. Scholars also note that the Latin American population has reached 38.8 million in the USA, narrowly exceeding the African American population (36.6 million). Estimations are that by 2050 Latinos will be a significant group in America, leading to possible changes in attitude towards the whole continent (Skidmore and Smith, 2004: 455). I have already mentioned the ‘hybrid’ character of Brazilian journalism and its mingling of different local, regional and international (European and US) influences. As we have seen, this hybrid character is not restricted to journalism, and is very much part of the constitution of the whole Brazilian/ Latin American identity. It can also be stated that class is perceived as perhaps being more of an issue than race is in the country. As Straubhaar (2007: 232) comments, the Brazilian social discourse emphasises issues of class over race as a marker of identity, even though Brazilians openly talk, acknowledge and even ‘celebrate’ the mixing factor in the formation of Brazilian identities. In his discussion of immigrants, minorities and the struggle for ethnicity in Brazil, Lesser (1999: 1) quotes from an advertisement for the Brazilian soap opera broadcast by TV Bandeirantes, Os Imigrantes (1981). Here was an attempt to summarise the spirit of this particular telenovela, equating it with a notion of Brazilian-ness, or with what the national Brazilian character is all about: ‘Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, Italians, Arabs – Don’t Miss the Most Brazilian Soap Opera on Television!’, read the advert. Lesser (1999) argues that different ethnic groups in Brazil, such as the Syrians, Lebanese and Japanese, have succeeded in challenging previous elite notions of Brazilian-ness equated with European-ness and ‘whiteness’, thus permitting a more fluid identity. As Lesser (1999: 5) notes, mesticagem became to be understood as a joining rather than mixing of identities, thus

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emphasising ‘the creation of a multiplicity of hyphenated Brazilians rather than a single … one’. Is it thus possible then to speak of a Brazilian character or national identity? As we have seen, Brazil’s cultural identity has been evolving and is in constant need of reappraisal (Lauerhass Jr., 2006: 2). Nonetheless, strategies for cultural integration of the region are already being articulated by Latin American governments, through the celebration of the individual differences of each country and its indigenous and local cultures, although there are persistent problems when it comes to issues of integration, as we shall see next.

Challenges for Latin American Integration and the Media

In spite of the diversity of Brazil’s racial composition there is still a perception among Western politicians and academics that Latin America is a single region with a common culture (Roncagliolo, 2003 in Canizalez and LugoOcando, 2008). Given the complexities of the formation of the Brazilian and Latin American identities, is it viable to strengthen the Latin American project of integration? There are various free trade agreements which take the integration of the region as necessary for wider economic growth. The Mercosur trade union project for instance, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and, recently, Venezuela, serves to balance the activities of the continent with other global economic power blocs, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the European Union (EU). It is another issue when it comes to cultural and historical differences, however. Writing in the 1960s Schramm (1964: 101) pointed out that the fact that Spanish and Portuguese were the region’s main languages permitted the faster development of the Latin American press in contrast to other regions such as Africa or Asia. Most Asian countries have had to deal with several languages; India registers 72 different languages spoken by at least 100,000 persons or more, and encounters difficulties when a national radio system is to be broadcast nationally (Schramm, 1964). The language similarities which exist between Portuguese and Spanish are less of an issue than the more subtle, social, cultural and racial differences that exist in the continent. To unite Argentineans, Bolivians, Brazilians, Cubans and others in a common mediated Latin American public is a highly problematic task, similar perhaps to the wider integration of the diverse countries which compose the European Union. Thus the notion of a common Latin American identity grounded on a unified indigenous language and history is coming to be seen as a distant

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myth (Guedes-Bailey and Jambeiro, 2008). There, are, however common characteristics shared by many of the countries when it comes to the media and political systems (Hallin and Mancini, 2004b), like the existence of military dictatorships throughout the region until the 1980s. Thus the project of strengthening the nation states’ public media platform, besides reflecting civil society’s desires for wider political pluralism and media diversity, is an aspiration shared by many Latin American countries. It is also part of a wider political project of integration and fortification of the region in relation to the rest of the world. Having been compared with other broadcasters such as Al Jazeera and Euronews, the Venezuelan channel Telesur has been seen as an ambitious attempt to facilitate geopolitical Latin American integration while functioning also as a reaction to US cultural imperialism (Canizalez and LugoOcando, 2008) in its articulation of a largely confrontational foreign policy tone. Telesur started its transmissions on July 2005, and arose from a partnership that included not only Venezuela but also Cuba, Argentina and Uruguay. It was modelled on the assumption of being a counterweight to the market media, offering educational programmes in the Spanish language relevant to the country of origin. Although it can also be compared with the Brazilian TV Brasil, Telesur has been constructed to a largely different political agenda than the former, which is striving to model public-committed broadcasters like the UK’s BBC. However, fears and anxieties about the potential of either station to be used as an ideological tool of the state are shared by elites in both countries. Telesur’s emergence has also been seen as a response to the 1970s and 1980s debates on the unevenness in international flows, but it has adopted a more leftist radical rhetoric which has caused countries like Brazil to withdraw their support and concentrate on their own public media (Canizalez and Lugo-Ocando, 2008: 216). TV broadcasting in Venezuela is dominated by two internationally active networks, RCTV and the cable and terrestrial network Venevision, with little state participation (Sinclair, 1999: 80). Promoted as an alternative to USA and UK news, Venezuela’s Telesur is part of the country’s public diplomacy and aims to serve national geopolitical interests. It has included famous intellectuals such as Eduardo Galeano and Tariq Ali as part of the advisory council of the station in an attempt to link the channel to other global resistance movements (Canizalez and Lugo-Ocando, 2008: 212–14). Telesur is however viewed with suspicion by Colombian elites, and is seen as being a vehicle of ideological alliance with Cuba against the USA. Politicians in Brazil have perceived it to be a threat to their own regional hegemony (Canizalez and Lugo-Ocando, 2008: 222)).11

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According to Canizalez and Lugo-Ocando (2008), Telesur is seen by half a million people across Latin America and is identified by its defenders as a vehicle for boosting a common public sphere in the region. In order to fully understand the importance that public service media are acquiring in the region, and its relationship to the deepening of political democracy as well as its role in the construction of a particular kind of Latin American, or rather Brazilian identity, one must assess first the strong tradition of commercial broadcasting in the main country of the continent, Brazil.

Television and Popular Brazilian Culture: The Aesthetic of Consumerism

TV Globo and the History of Brazilian Commercial Television Television in many Latin American countries has developed following the US model of commercial broadcasting. The years after the end of the dictatorship in Brazil in 1985 saw politics gradually return to the domestic living room, to be articulated through irony and subtexts in Brazilian telenovelas (Porto, 2008). To start with, the development of Brazilian television by military planners from the 1960s onwards contributed to the formation of what Straubhaar (2001; 138) has defined as a ‘nationalizing vocation’. In other words, it paved the way for the creation of a consumer culture and for the wider engagement of Brazilians in the market economy. Voltmer and Schmitt-Beck (2006: 231) assert that the excessive commercialisation of the media in Latin America’s new democracies, which has been influenced by the heavy entertainment diet provided by commercial broadcasting, can be seen as having constituted an obstacle to the process of institution-building and successful democratic consolidation in the continent (Skidmore, 1993; Waisbord, 1995, in Voltmer and Schmitt-Beck, 2006). Various studies have dissected the close ties established in its early years between TV Globo and the dictatorship (Straubhaar, 2001; Fox, 1997). The military government is seen to have been interventionist in the media during the dictatorship years, financing microwave, satellite and other aspects of TV infrastructure, and, in particular, favouring TV Globo. After the investments in the country’s infrastructure implemented by the military dictatorship, a national consumer market was created, which further expanded after the 1970s (Guedes-Bailey and Jambeiro, 2008). Writing about the evolution of commercial broadcasting in Mexico and Brazil during the dictatorship, Straubhaar (2001: 134) highlights the important role played by the then strong state in shaping national TV systems.

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Television has undoubtedly had a growing importance in political campaigns in Latin America and in Brazil. TV Globo from Brazil is considered one of the most powerful and dynamic actors in today’s global connections (Waisbord, 1995), alongside Mexico’s Televisa. Both Globo, with an annual revenue of US$ 1.9 billion, and Televisa, with US$ 1.4 billion, come within the range of the ‘Top 25 Media Groups’ of 1997, as they were ranked by the trade journal Broadcasting and Cable (Higgins and McClellan, 1997, quoted in Sinclair, 1999: 74). TV Globo and Televisa have emerged as the two largest broadcasters located outside the developed world, and offer global competition to the established Northern players. As Sinclair (1999: 80) points out, the second generation of TV Globo’s owners, the Marinho family, have had to accept the loss of its near monopoly with the entry of multinationals. It reacted by positioning itself globally, signing deals with Ted Turner for cable and Murdoch’s News Corporation for satellite TV. Sinclair (1999: 77) underlines how Globo and Televisa combine both horizontal and vertical integration and that, in conjunction with the traditional family style of ownership, they have conformed to the ideal type of what can be understood as the ‘Latin American’ model of a media corporation. The history of the Brazilian media, nonetheless, is a quite recent one (Matos, 2008). Television to start with has occupied a central role in political life, in the country’s democratisation process and in the construction of various identities. As Straubhaar (2001) reminds us, the development of the telecommunication system, radio and TV was part of the Brazilian government’s agenda on national security, with broadcasting being perceived as reinforcing a sense of national identity (Mattos, 1982: 84). According to Straubhaar (2001), TV Globo can be considered to be the fourth largest media organisation in the world, and significant research has been done on TV Globo’s role in assisting in identity construction (Porto, 2007; Straubhaar, 2001; Sinclair, 1999). In Brazil the power of the medium of television to set standards of conduct, influence lifestyles, sell products and ideas and shape behaviours and identities should not be underestimated. Having said this, it is crucial to avoid falling into the trap of seeing the vehicle as a mere ‘manipulator of consciousnesses’, a perspective which predominated the 1970s due to the Frankfurt School influence on Latin American scholars. Television became a national medium in the country in 1960. With the development of Brazilian capitalism, a market for cultural products slowly began to emerge. As Guedes-Bailey and Jambeiro Barbosa (2008: 50) point out, it was radio broadcasting, through the success of stations such as Radio

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Nacional, the most important radio station in Latin America for about 15 years, which established crucial patterns for the TV industry in Brazil. This includes current characteristics of the Brazilian commercial television industry, such as the pursuit of a mass audience, the predominance of entertainment over educational or cultural programming, and of private over public ownership, as well as advertising support rather than government funding, public over non-commercial financing (Guedes-Bailey and Jambeiro Barbosa, 2008: 50). The Brazilian military also invested heavily in telecommunication infrastructure, which was among the fastest-growing sectors in the economy. As Reeves (1993: 65) notes, the USA became the principal source for imported programming. Brazilian programmes sought a TV format capable of reaching a large audience, going beyond the initial targeting of a small elite. Straubhaar (2001) describes how the military government supported Globo as a quasi-monopoly until the late 1970s. It was only in 1981 that the government issued license packages to create competitors SBT and TV Manchete (Straubhaar, 2001: 140–3). It was from that year particularly that Brazilian imports of American programming began to decline. Prime-time began to be filled with Brazilian productions. Despite this, the aesthetic of entertainment and the privileging of American programming prevailed. There have also been problems with the importing of television channels into Latin America. Straubhaar (2005: 227) points out that in most houses the capacity to buy satellite dishes and to subscribe to cable TV is limited by income. Nonetheless, fifty US media companies have managed to enter the Latin American market since the 1990s, competing with four Latin American multimedia groups and six local players (Straubhaar, 2005: 227). Possebon (2006) notes that, according to the Pesquisa Nacional de Amostragem de Domicilios of the 2005 IBGE census, 91.4 per cent of Brazilian homes have television. The channels TV Globo and SBT reach more than 95 per cent of the homes, although the former station has lost audiences while channels like TV Record have seen a rise.12 The numbers are quite disproportionate regarding the dominance that TV Globo still exercises over the home market in terms of advertising revenue and audience share in contrast to its competitors. Globo has also more than half of the television stations of the country transmitting its programming (Possebon, 2007: 289). Thus mainstream commercial television has been the main mass medium in Brazil, and has been seen as the vehicle most widely associated with the construction of a common national identity. It has also maintained a dubious and complex relationship with public opinion and political democratisation, issues explored

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next in my examination of Brazilian television’s relationship to national identities and audiences.

Brazilian Television, National Identity and Audience Responses

Commercial television in Brazil has had a major role not only in selling cultural goods and ideas but in shaping lifestyle and consumerism habits and behaviours of large sectors of the population independently of class, ethnicity and race. It has also played a significant role in defining national politics and in obstructing, and conversely also in assisting, the construction of the democratisation project following the end of the dictatorship in 1985 (Matos, 2008; Bucci, 2001; Conti, 1999). TV Globo has the largest percentage of national content production in comparison to its competitors, with an average of 70 per cent, which reaches 100 per cent during peak time (Possebon, 2007: 289). According to the study ‘Os donos da midia’ (Owners of the media) done by the Instituto de Estudos e Pesquisa em Comunicacao (EPCOM) in 2002, Globo Organizations has 32 concessions of commercial TV, 11 in São Paulo, and 113 affiliated stations in the country. It achieves 54 per cent of audience numbers and of national advertising resources (R$ 1.59 billion in 2002), whereas SBT has 10 stations and 100 affiliates. Both commercial television organisations thus obtain 75 per cent of the national audience.13 Competition for audience share has been the characteristic behaviour of television stations in Brazil, many of which are constantly adjusting their programming in accordance with the IBOPE ratings (Mattelart and Mattelart, 1990, quoted in Sinclair, 1999). Brazilian commercial television has thus managed to be praised for the quality of its telenovelas, its miniseries, the professionalism of its actors and its visual imagery while simultaneously being much criticised for its political coverage and its history of lack of balance in the reporting of election campaigns and treatment of left-wing politics (Matos, 2008). TV Globo’s commitment to representing balanced political debate has grown in response to the critiques that it received in relation to its coverage of the key presidential elections of the post-dictatorship phase (Bucci, 2000; Skidmore, 1993; Fox, 1997). From the mid-1990s it came under pressure to improve its journalism and balance criteria, at the same time as it began to suffer from competition posed by other television stations, cable TV and the internet. The station TV Record emerged as a strong competitor, helping to undermine Globo’s monopoly of the largest television audiences.

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Former director of journalism of TV Cultura, Gabriel Priolli, president of the Brazilian Association of University TVs (ABTV), argues that Brazilian commercial television has played a powerful role in the diffusion of the national Brazilian sentiment, largely identified with the white Rio and São Paulo elites. Priolli (1996: 19) argues that the whole of Brazil started to see a particular image of itself after 1985 due to the transmission of programmes through the satellite Brasilsat. Regional affiliated stations broadcast programming acquired from the central stations, with only a few firms – Tupi, Globo, Bandeirantes and Record – providing the material. Thus the lack of representation of the rest of the country helped reinforce social and regional inequalities. Priolli (1996) adds that various public channels emerged as a result of the cable law 8.877/1995, including community, university, educational and legislative channels, which have permitted the gradual construction of other group identities, boosting diversity. TV Globo’s telenovelas have undoubtedly had a large role in the building of this unifying national identity. Many have argued that a highly commercial entertainment and advertising diet has encouraged the development of a particular individualistic and consumerist personality, at the expense of a more knowledgeable and socially sensitive individual more associated with the kind of audience for viewers of European public service broadcasting for instance. Nonetheless, many sectors of the Brazilian audience continue to rate soaps highly, including them among their favourite programming, alongside Jornal Nacional. TV Globo on the other hand has tried to respond better to criticism, and has begun to market itself as producing culture. This is evident in its more recent slogan, ‘Cultura, a gente se ve por ai’ (Culture: we will see each other around). With a daily average of 40 points, Globo’s Jornal Nacional achieves the highest audience rating in Brazilian TV (Meditsch et al., 2005). TV Globo’s popularity is in decline, however. In April 2010 the station registered 16.8 points per day, the lowest average audience rating in a decade. IBOPE also detected a decline of interest in open television in general, attributing this to various reasons including the type of programming, growth of the internet, access to DVDs and competition from other leisure activities.14 As Bignell and Orleber (2005) state, television schedules have been planned on the assumption that the audience is structured domestically around the nuclear family with different gender roles assigned for each member. In Brazil this has not been much different. Watching television has become a social experience, and is very much inserted in the cultural practices of everyday life of Brazilians. As Straubhaar (2007) notes, different Brazilian groups make their own meanings of media texts, based on their

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own cultural, class, racial, economic and social identities (Bignell and Orleber, 2005). There has been much debate on the role played by telenovelas in the formation of the Brazilian identity. Various studies (Hamburger, 2005; Mattelart and Mattelart, 1990; Porto, 2008: 3) have shown how telenovelas have been able to generate a ‘unified national public space’, providing audiences with texts that ‘cut across regional, class and other social boundaries’. However, because of the relationship between TV Globo and the dictatorship regime in its early years, there has been controversy regarding the role that the station’s soap operas played in providing avenues for political liberalisation during the 1980s (Porto, 2008; Straubhaar, 1996). Straubhaar (1996) argues, for instance, that Brazilian soaps contributed to a delay in support for a political opening-up, whereas Porto (2008: 10) points to the ambiguity of the telenovelas’ texts. Porto argues that they helped to shape and give meaning to the political process by incorporating new demands coming from a more organised civil society. He points to the work of authors such as Dias Gomes, and soaps like O Bem Amado (The well-loved, 1973) and Roque Santeiro (1985), as being emblematic of such actions. Applying the concepts of ‘hegemony’ and ‘mediation’ developed by Martin-Barbero (1993), Porto (2008: 5) sees television as playing a part in the ‘building of representations about the nation in Brazil’. It has offered a complex space ‘where meaning is negotiated and cultural hegemony created and re-created in the play of mediations’ (Mattelart & Mattelart, 1990: 149, in Porto). Porto (2008) correctly believes that there is (and has been) a role for television fiction in the process of nation-building. Television undoubtedly created the means for citizens of different social backgrounds to engage in attempts to solve their social and political problems (Carvalho et al., 1980: 56, in Porto, 2008). Not surprisingly, the notion of addressing multiple Brazilian identities has been captured as a core motive by insiders worried about the strengthening of the public media. Academic and journalist Eugenio Bucci stresses that during the era of president Getulio Vargas (1930–45 and 1951–54), through radio, and during the military dictatorship, through television, the Brazilian identity was constructed in the singular, functioning to reinforce authoritarianism.15 The contemporary reality, however, is grounded on the need to serve the country’s multiple public spheres and identities. Journalist Luis Nassif, former FSP columnist and presenter of the TV Brasil debating programme Brasilianas.org, points out the necessity of opening up the television market for the entry of new discourses:

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Open television has been incapable of developing relevant themes or even to use national values, like music, to assist in constructing a national identity. The way in which we can improve the quality of Brazilian television is to oblige them to include a quota for local production … The issue is mainly to make room for wider competition, allowing the entry of new players. It is a market in which the only real competitors are Globo and Record, with the latter trying to imitate Globo’s model. The only way to break this mediocrity pact is to open spaces for new players …16 Although commercial television is still the main source of information for most of the population, many journalists, academics, civil society players and others from the cultural elites have become highly dissatisfied with it since the mid-1990s. This is a consequence of political democratisation and rising educational levels of the population. Television in Brazil has remained largely national nonetheless. Most of the population, especially the poorer sectors of society, receive little global cultural influence (Straubhaar, 2007). However, the media have managed to offer some degree of globalisation to most Brazilians. Referring to Kottak’s (1990) study, Straubhaar (2007: 240) stresses how most of the continental rural and poor people in the country obtained a general sense of what Brazilians had in common through television and radio. It is through television that rural Brazilians gained a layer of national awareness. As working-class Brazilians are mainly focused on local and regional affairs, less focused on the national and hardly familiar at all with global issues, I believe that a better funded public media has the potential to boost regional diversity, and to contribute to inserting these fragmented publics within both the national and global order. Brazilians from all classes could certainly benefit from the wider global cultural capital that can be provided through television, permitting them to insert themselves better within globalisation in order to compete on more equal terms with citizens from Europe, North America, India and China. Thus I examine next the ways in which public media can assist in reflecting the multiplicity of Brazilian identities.

Public Journalism Formats in Brazil: From TV Cultura to TV Brasil

It is realistic to ask whether the public media in Brazil, or in any Latin American country which has built itself on a strong entertainment and commercial aesthetic, has a good chance of being successful. A cynic might

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suggest that, given the harsh reality of a country like Brazil for many of its citizens, television is obliged to offer diversion and entertainment in order to help them get out of their monotonous daily reality and difficult future. Television thus fulfils its function of providing the audience with (light) programming that they want in order to escape from their daily chaos. This is a strong point that can certainly be seen to apply to the role that telenovelas have had in everyday Brazilian life, which explains their high popularity in the country among a vast and diverse public that cuts across class, race and gender. As we have seen from the interpretations of the online survey, various sectors of the public do envisage a stronger role for public television stations like TV Cultura and TV Brasil in nation-building, functioning as a counterweight to the market and providing quality and positive competition to commercial stations like TV Globo. Immersed in media hype and frowned upon by sectors of the market and the opposition, which accused it of being a new ‘TV Lula’, TV Brasil, part of the public media platform Empresa Brasileira de Comunicacao (EBC), was launched by the Ministry of Culture and the Brazilian government in December 2008. The total funding for EBC includes money from the federal government as well as donations. According to the former Minister of Communications, Franklin Martins, the new channel received a budget of R$ 350 million.17 The main programming is provided by Rio’s educational television channel (TVE), with two programmes from Radiobras. The morning slot is largely dedicated to children’s shows as well as distant learning programming. The latter is also broadcast on TV Globo’s cable channel, Canal Futura. TV Brasil’s programming also includes hourly independent and regional programmes, including the famous high-brow talk show Roda Viva and the journalism programme Jornal da Cultura. The latter is the jewel in the crown of TV Cultura, and is being retransmitted by TV Brasil. The current Brazilian TV market, which is funded with public resources, includes the television stations TV Cultura, which has an annual budget of R$ 160 million; Radiobras, with R$ 100 million; and TVE, which had R$ 35 million in 2004, and which has been incorporated into TV Brasil. There are other resources that go to the television stations of the legislative, federal, state and municipal powers, plus TV Justica and university channels (Possebon, 2007: 290), all of which have a low audience rating. Nonetheless, according to ABEPEC (Brazilian Association of Public Educational and Cultural Stations), less than two years after its inauguration TV Brasil was being watched regularly by 10 per cent of the population and receiving 80 per cent audience approval ratings, 22 per cent considering

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the programming ‘excellent’, and 58 per cent classifying it as ‘good’. The research was conducted between 18 and 22 August 2009, with 5,192 people being interviewed throughout Brazil. One of the most popular programmes of the station is Nova Africa (New Africa). As mentioned before, TV Brasil has been criticised because of its links with the federal government, responsible also for the indications to EBC’s council. However, in its concern not to be associated with ‘TV Lula’, Joao Brant argued at the time of TV Brasil’s launch that it created a more conservative council, composed of a lot of businessmen.18 Veteran journalist Alberto Dines also underlined the lack of a proper partnership between São Paulo’s cultural station, TV Cultura, influenced by the tucanos of the PSDB, with TV Brasil. As he notes, this would have helped to create a stronger public non-commercial media platform, disarming the attacks from the right and the opposition who, as Dines highlighted, have never complained about TV Cultura.19 However, various critics suggest that the idea of TV Cultura as a strong public media platform is being slowly undermined by the São Paulo administration. According to Gabriel Priolli, former director of journalism for TV Cultura, the notion of a ‘public television’ in Brazil is still far away from being fully implemented:20 The government of São Paulo was worried about expanding audience numbers at TV Cultura. There is an elitist view of culture … and there was also a sense of having to satisfy the government for the liberation of funds. There are different visions regarding the public media, in São Paulo, in relation to the federal view. TV Brasil has a wider preoccupation with independent programming, but TV Cultura has gone in the opposite direction … The fact of the matter is that the public media does not exist in Brazil. Public TV is more an idea … What exists in Brazil is educational TVs controlled by the state. The administration of Joao Sayad in TV Cultura is turning the TV more into a state media than anything else, contrary to the previous administration of Paulo Markun. All the dependent resources were cut. It consumes 260 million per year, of which 80 million from the state, the rest is obtained in the selling of publicity … All contracts with independent resources have not been renewed, and TV Cultura has become more dependent on the State. Part of the problem is ideological. Why have a public media, they ask themselves? Commercial TV exists and performs that function …

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Former FSP journalist and USP professor, Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva, who has also worked for the station, emphasises TV Cultura’s obsession with audiences: My experience of working at TV Cultura was short but fascinating. There was an excessive preoccupation with ‘having an audience’, which lead it to take programming towards the generalities of commercial television, which I thinks is the opposite of what a public TV should do … History has shown that TV Cultura has managed to get some levels of audience when it invested in quality, like the children’s programme Castelo Ra Tim Bum and others. That should be its aim … According to journalist and academic Eugenio Bucci, Paulo Markun, former president of Fundacao Padre Anchieta, which is responsible for TV Cultura, stated that the station has a modest daily audience of 1.4 per cent in São Paulo, ten times less than TV Globo, which also has 36 times more income.21 Furthermore, according to USP professor Laurindo Leal Lalo Filho (2000), the Foundation adopted the model of a Council of Governors formed by civil society representatives of both public and private São Paulo institutions. This was the main barrier to state influence on the station, however. Leal Lalo Filho (2000) argues that there has been an excessive presence of representatives linked to government administrations on the council. Lalo is currently a member of the EBC council body responsible for TV Brasil, and has pointed out (2000) how, although both TV Cultura and radio went through difficult phases due to government pressure, especially during the dictatorship, the television station can still be seen as being the best ‘pluralist and democratic realisation’ of the Brazilian media. Given the culture of interference by politicians and pressure on Brazilian media, academics like Antonio Brasil are pessimistic, believing there is no room in Latin America for a public communication system inspired on the UK’s BBC.22 Similarly to Lalo, Brasil sees TV Cultura as being the closest example of a public media designed along similar lines: TV Cultura tries to be Brazil’s BBC, but it does not have the resources or the liberty which would be necessary to experiment and innovate. It does what it can, but oscillates a lot depending on the interferences of the paulista governments. It does not have financial independence … to seek its own identity … it can turn into a type of subscription TV …

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When it comes to TV Brasil, however, Lalo Filho emphasises that there have been some advances, including the use of public consultation with audiences to ask about programmes: The council of EBC has not been modelled specifically on the BBC case. It has autonomy in relation to the director of the company to present periodical reports to the members of the council. It is the main channel between the public and the company, and has obtained some successes but also come across obstacles. The positive aspects relate to its role in consulting the public and the negative is more due to the absence of a culture of informing the public of the type of work carried out by the radio and television stations. Some of the directors come from a commercial culture and do not see necessity in giving the public information about its acts … We have seen in the responses to the survey of media consumption habits by sectors of the Brazilian audience that many felt they did not have enough information about the public media to make judgements on its quality and importance. Thus it is clear that there is still insufficient information and debate on the topic, both within and outside the structures of the public media. Luis Nassif, presenter of TV Brasil’s Brasilianas.org programme, emphasises that a key problem in the public media has been the lack of development of a professional culture: TV Cultura turned into an important model during the administration of Roberto Muylaert. From then, it started to be dismantled during many administrations – in none of them was there real interest in putting in the station big experts. One cannot think, like the Padre Anchieta Foundation, that the only form of culture is the erudite one. There is an enormous challenge to seek a balance between erudite culture, the popular and the regional. The same goes to TV Brasil. To put it on air has been an administrative challenge, putting together three different structures from Brasilia, Rio and São Paulo, but little has been actually done to equip it with an adequate strategic vision. This might be the case because it is recent. It is not only an issue of funds. What is necessary is a vision of management for television, which still has not been conquered …

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Another problem is the tradition of misuse of public communication resources for personal and political interests, as we have seen in Part I. This is what makes journalists and scholars like Brasil and Priolli believe the public media do not actually exist in Brazil. As Brasil states: All the channels are stations dressed up as ‘public’ media stations. We cannot even guarantee education and quality public health. This ‘public media’ is nothing more than a vanity affair which consumes millions of reais and guarantees good jobs for the friend of the friend. The public ignores its programming and continues to watch soap operas and football. Television should not be a priority of government. The interests of governments dictate their destiny and the public do not show interest in maintaining these mediums. Thus we adore to speak well and bad of the public media, but then to watch the commercial one … There is no ‘real’ interest of the government or of Brazilian politicians of confronting Globo … Similarly to the discussions on agrarian reform, the deck is stacked against you. There is a lot of talk, but little is actually done … The BBC for instance is excellent for the British, but the model does not apply to Latin America. The governments of the region would not be prepared to live with the power and independence of the BBC … However, Eugenio Bucci, former president of Radiobras, believes the public media in Brazil have in general improved since the launch of TV Brasil. TVE and TV Nacional, which joined to form TV Brasil, have grown as a conseqence. TV Brasil maintains some of the key programming transmitted by TVE, such as the children’s series A Turma do Perere, and also retransmits TV Cultura’s Jornal da Cultura and the debate show Roda Viva. Perhaps the public media differ most from commercial stations regarding their production of distinctive cultural and historical programmes, like TV Brasil’s Almanaque Brasil, Sustentaculos and Brasilianas.org. The first two examine various topics, ranging from stories on famous Brazilian novelists, the historical origins of cooking dishes and the stories of the lives of small businesses and entrepreneurs of north-eastern Brazil. The journalism team at TV Brasil has been brought together largely according to professional norms. It includes professionals who previously worked in the mainstream media, such as Tereza Cruvinel, the current president of EBC and former O Globo columnist. Among the most popular shows broadcast by TV Brasil is the cultural De La Para Ca, an interview programme presented by former O Globo columnist Ancelmo Gois. It

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explores a variety of themes, such as the 30 years of the concession of the Amnesty to politicians who were forced into exile during the dictatorship. There is also the news programme Reporter Brasil, which carries similarities with TV Globo’s Jornal Nacional. It conducts in-depth reporting of national or international news issues. For example, a Reporter Brasil programme on 16 July 2010 focused on the participation of women in Brazilian politics ahead of the general election in October. Among the issues explored by TV Brasil have been the social programmes implemented by the Lula government, including the Bolsa Familia. Programmes like Brasilianas.org and Caminhos de Reportagem (Ways of reporting) aim to investigate issues which are part of the national political agenda. The former programme is structured around interviews with famous experts, while the latter provides in-depth analysis of selected topics, for instance, the lifestyle of the French immigrant community in Brazil, and the emigration of Brazilians to China. Brasilianas.org has covered issues such as the debate over the adoption of affirmative action policies by universities and businesses. TV Globo occasionally produces similar in-depth reporting in its Sunday magazine-format show, Fantastico, as well as in other shows like Brasileiros. The latter examines human interest stories about people who have managed to transcend barriers. One of the differences between the two is Reporter Brasil’s greater emphasis on stories on poverty, the improvement of the lives of the working classes, and wealth distribution programmes, as well as a focus on stories about gender inequality and in the workplace ahead of the 2010 presidential contest, in which Dilma Roussef became Brazil’s first female president. Since its launch there has been a considerable expectation that TV Brasil, with transmissions to 49 of the 53 countries in Africa, will help Brazil occupy a less subordinate position on the international stage. As Lima (2010) argues,23 Brazil wants to achieve something similar to what European countries do with their PSBs, for example, the UK with the BBC, Spain with TVE, and Portugal with RTP, in terms of promoting the national culture and language abroad, so that Brazilian PSB serves comparably as a form of intellectual expression and presentation of Brazil’s foreign policy with other nation states and their global private and public media corporations. In spite of the slow progress of the ‘public’ media in Brazil, the broadcasting of some interesting programmes like Brasilianas.org, and the commitment to quality attributable to professionals like Tereza Cruvinel, Bucci, like Brasil, admits that total autonomy from government is a difficult task for such stations. They are seen as still subject to political constraints:

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… always when a government destined resources to the public TV, it wanted to be compensated by a positive representation … We have not yet fully incorporated the notion that the public television attends to citizenship rights … If we really have a strengthening of the public media – which will only be ‘public’ if it is really independent of governments – we will have advanced historically … In Brazil the idea that the government should interfere in social communications is like a multi-party consensus. We can see that no public television has total autonomy. We can see still the enormous quantity of public money that is invested daily in the buying of advertising space in commercial television for the broadcasting of political propaganda … The average mentality of politicians in that respect is still very backward … Brazilian democracy has not adopted regulatory frameworks in democratic standards, like the USA and UK, which inhibit audience concentration and monopoly; which reserves space for the public television, next to the commercial; which impedes the public television to compete for advertising with the private sector, thus creating an environment for creativity … The idea of a strong public media … totally independent [his emphasis], can be useful if the public body had a better comprehension that communication and information are essential rights … Thus some of the key challenges facing public television stations like TV Cultura and TV Brasil concern precisely the lack of full editorial independence, a consequence of the impact of political influence which exists at both stations. Breaking the tradition of promiscuous relationships between the public media and specific political groups or oligarchic politicians, investment in innovative programming that can create a medium offering positive quality competition to the commercial media, and greater commitment to professionalism and editorial independency are key elements which must be pursued with greater vigour in order to fortify the public media platform in Brazil.

Conclusion

Part III began by examining key theories in television and audience studies, and moved on to an empirical inquiry into what worldwide audiences, mainly those from the UK and Brazil, expect from public service broadcasting. I did this by looking at research findings obtained from Ofcom as well as from my own study conducted with Brazilian university students. The latter investigated the ways in which the media, and television specifically,

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has negotiated the public/private dichotomy. It also examined the changing nature of television worldwide, which has been accompanied by shifts in audience consumption patterns, controversy about of what constitutes ‘quality’ programming, and the increasing blurring of the boundaries between public and private broadcasting and the type of programmes, aesthetics and discourses which are produced and broadcast by both. Chapter 6 shifted the debate to critical discussions of 1970s and 1980s studies on cultural imperialism theories on the existence of a single unified global (American) culture stimulated by the spread of US news and cultural values. I examined critically the perspectives on reverse television flows and cultural globalisation theories, including the presence within global cultural products of a mixture of foreign and local influence, as well as postcolonial perspectives on the importance of recognising cultures as hybrid (Nederveen Pieterse, 2009). I underlined how these can be seen not only as a reactive response to Eurocentric thinking but also as a valid way of comprehending contemporary identities in Latin America. I also explored the ways in which Brazilian commercial television has assisted in the construction of a national character and a particular way of depicting the ‘Brazilian.’ In Part IV I move on to look at the potential of the medium of the internet to serve the public interest and assist in political mobilisation, issues discussed in the context of the Brazilian 2010 presidential elections. Another essential issue to examine is how politicians and political groups relate to and use the internet as a public medium. I examine how the internet, similarly to public broadcasting, can be utilised to advance various causes, assisting in wider civic engagement and debating various controversies and issues on the public agenda, such as gender inequality, poverty and political corruption.

7

MEDIA AND POLITICS IN LATIN AMERICA Political Cynicism and the Digital Divide Part IV shifts the focus from the previous critical analysis of the roles played by both private and public television in contributing to expand political democratisation towards evaluation of theories about the impact of political media messages on the behaviour and attitudes of the public. This chapter critically explores some of the core literature on political media effects, contrasting this to the growth of political cynicism in Latin America and in Brazil in the last decades. Scholars who have written about the relationship between Latin America media and democratisation (Skidmore, 1993; Lins da Silva, 1990) have underlined the importance of assessing the impact of television on democratisation processes, including the ways in which it has contributed to advance or reflect the political problems of the continent, as well as the extent to which it has influenced cultural globalisation. As Skidmore (1993: 2) notes, television is the primary medium for political information in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Similarly to the situation in advanced democracies, it has become the most powerful instrument of communication for politicians during political campaigns. There is no clear consensus, however, on how TV actually influences elections, much in the same way as there is much controversy on how precisely the media in general affect voting behaviour and influence public opinion (Street, 2001). The chapter examines the debates on how new technologies can contribute to a more vibrant and politically active public sphere. In an age of media convergence, the internet should not be perceived as a medium isolated or set apart from other electronic media, such as television. Media systems in contemporary societies are structured around networks which communicate

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with each other through diverse communication technologies and information systems, such as the telephone or radio (Cardoso, 2010). Referring to the work of Fornas (2007), Cardoso (2010: 29) asserts that the isolated study of radios, newspapers and of the internet would limit our understanding of power as an element of social change. As Cardoso (2010: 29) notes, we combine our uses of the media in a network, and do not use only one as a source of information and entertainment. A comparison here is sought between the public media and television broadcasting – and its role as a (democratic) medium complementary to the commercial sector. After (public) television, what role can the internet have in developing countries like Brazil regarding advancing democratisation? Can the internet contribute to reverse the current trend detected in Brazil of rising political cynicism and disillusionment with the political world? In order to address these questions, this chapter engages with some of the core debates in the literature concerning the digital divide and the limits of the possibilities offered by the internet for wider democratisation and reduction of social and economic inequalities between and within countries. In the second chapter of Part IV, I provide a critical discussion of gender politics and the political campaigning that occurred in the Brazilian blogosphere on the candidatures of Dilma Rousseff, of the PT, and Marina Silva of the Green Party (PV), who ran in the dispute. The core intellectual concern of Part IV is thus to evaluate the ways in which the medium of the internet functions to strengthen media democratisation in the continent amid governmental efforts to overcome the digital divide between the rich democracies and developing societies, especially regarding access to information and participation in the global mediated public sphere. Firstly, however, it is necessary to address the political functions which have been assigned to the media by classic liberal media theory, before assessing the potential contributions that the web can have in transitional democracies in Latin America.

Representative Democracy and Core Political Functions of the Media

We have seen in Part II how different perspectives on the media, either conservative, liberal pluralist or radical, have assigned different functions for media systems and diverse roles for either public communications or political journalism depending on different ideological viewpoints. To put it bluntly, classic liberal theory argues that a free and independent press works to fortify democracy, mediating between citizens and the state and providing access to the media to different groups in society. The media

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informs them about the major issues of the day, promoting further government transparency and public scrutiny of those in power (Norris, 2004: 4; Curran, 2000; Scammell, 2000). These dimensions are in line with the pluralist theory, which emphases that the mass media system should reflect the political and cultural diversity within society. Based on the concepts of pluralistic competition, public participation and civil and political rights as developed by Joseph Schumpeter and Robert Dahl, Norris (2000) has identified three core political functions of the news media system during election campaigns. As Norris (2000: 34) asserts, in order to facilitate pluralistic competition, it is assumed that the news media should act as a civic forum for debate. Thus the news media should serve as a conduit providing the government and the governed with opportunities to communicate with each other. The idea here is that the news media should provide extensive political coverage and rich information to its citizens. The civic forum role has in its ideal, as we have seen, the Habermasian conception of the public sphere. Blumler and Gurevitch (1990: 270, cited in McLeod et al., 1994: 126) outline eight main normative standards for media systems in democratic societies, including the agenda-setting function of the media, the provision of platforms for advocacy and the holding of officials to account (in Norris, 2000: 33). There are, however, limits to the full realisation of these ideals in both advanced as well as developing societies, which are closely connected to the particular histories, political structures and cultural systems of these countries. Various media communication scholars (Curran, 2000; Scammell, 2000; Blumler and Gurevitch, 1995) have nonetheless developed on these classic liberal media theories, arguing for the importance of expanding these requirements if media systems are really to have a role in democratisation. For many political scientists and communication academics, the media have failed to live up to these democratic expectations, and are much to blame for the rise of cynicism and the state of apathy that characterises contemporary advanced societies. Clarke and Aufderheide (2009) have underlined how concerns with the state of US democracy, and ways in which the media could assist in strengthening it, resulted in various initiatives, ranging from the adoption of the Hutchins Report of the Commission on the Freedom of the Press (1947) to the Carnegie Commission on Public Broadcasting (1966), the Poynter Institute (1975) and other journalistic bodies. Moreover, studies on the relationship between the media and the democratisation process in developing countries, from Russia to Mexico and Brazil (Voltmer, 2006; Hughes, 2006; Matos, 2008), have shown how external

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factors, such as political and economic constraints, can cause a powerful effect in the direct ways (i.e. censorship) as well as the indirect ways (peer pressure or societal) that the media portray political events and present the conflicting interests of society to the public. In line with this analysis, various scholars (Curran, 2000; Hallin and Mancini, 2004; Matos, 2008) have argued over the importance of understanding the media not as a mere reproducer of the forces of the status quo but as a system influenced by its relationship with various other societal spheres. These include the state, market forces, journalism’s own internal cultures of professionalism and objectivity, and civil society pressures. As Cardoso (2010: 34) points out, the media have been closely connected to democratisation processes throughout the world, from the Eastern European revolutions of 1989 to the rise to power of Yeltsin in Russia (Giddens, 1999; Castells, 2004 in Cardoso, 2010). The contested issue is how precisely this effect takes place, and whether the influence is more indirect and subtle, and less all powerful, than early communication scholars and others more aligned with the Frankfurt School theories would have argued. Blumler and Gurevitch’s (1995) analysis mainly concerns the situation of developed countries. They suggest that among the key obstacles to the realisation of these democratic standards are factors such as the clashes between editorial autonomy and the provision of a platform for advocacy; differences between the needs of news for elite decision-making publics and ordinary citizens; and the wider engagement with politics by some in contrast to the political apathy experienced by the ‘masses.’ The contestation of this fact has stimulated theorists like Baudrillard (1983) to argue provokingly that there is a planned reaction of the popular classes against their exclusion from the political process by the real players, the intellectual, and political and business elites. Many of these tensions are said to lie at the very heart of media systems and their relationship to political processes. In a comparative perspective with Southern European media systems, Hallin and Mancini (2004) observe, as we have seen, that Latin American communication systems have a high degree of political parallelism and politicisation of broadcasting. This influences the communication market regarding its independence from political and economic forces. These factors also work to weaken actions towards democratic progress. Taking into account the various limitations of the media worldwide in contributing to improve the political process, one should ask if it makes sense to realistically evaluate the nature of the relationship established between media and

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political systems in these societies in order to secure a working agenda that can envision how advances can be made in spite of various constraints. Similarly to what Hallin and Mancini (2004) have attempted to do, such as provide a thorough understanding of how these systems function, we can begin to ask ourselves what are the realistic possibilities for media improvement and democratisation in Latin American countries? Given the enormous political and economic impediments, not to mention the fact that these countries still have various other problems to solve – including providing wider economic and social justice to wider sectors of its citizens to implementing deeper welfare reforms; restructuring markets to attend better to citizens’ demands; dealing with the realities of neocolonialism at a global level – what are some of the things that can actually be done? As I have argued previously, it is not simply a question of applying the correct media broadcasting regulation and reform. Swanson (1997), for instance, offers a thorough analysis of the ways in which the media and politics function in contemporary societies. He has argued that the relationship of politics and the news media in the USA can be described as a political-media complex (1997: 1265), with both parties struggling for the control of the public agenda and power oscillating between them depending on the situation. Thus the institutions of politics and journalism, with their different cultures, are dependent on incentives for both cooperation as well as conflict. According to Swanson (1997), it was during the 1960s and 1970s that the ‘modern dynamic of the politicalmedia complex’ began to be consolidated. Politicians became more sophisticated in manipulating journalists for a better coverage. As discussed in Part I, clashes between the political world, politicians and political systems and the mainstream media in many Latin American countries have had a historical tradition of being particularly pronounced. This has changed little during the re-democratisation period, and continues to be heated up to the present. Tensions between social, political and media institutions have reached fever pitch in a context of expanding political democratisation. This has occurred in spite of the crackdown against some media owners in countries like Venezuela, as well as the struggles between the media and more radical sectors of the left in Brazil. Much of the population has been inserted in the middle of the clashes that have occurred between politicians and the media. Many sectors of the population here lost their faith in the political system and are retreating away from politics at a moment when the democratisation process is rapidly taking its course and various controversies – from welfare reform to education policies and media regulation – require urgent participation and wider

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interest from civil society representatives and the general population. It is thus crucial to examine intellectually some of the key theories on the actual effects of political messages on public opinion, and the increase of political cynicism in developing countries in a comparative perspective so as to understand these issues more fully.

Media and Politics: From Media Effects to Political Cynicism

Media Effects Theories The relationship between media systems and democratic politics has been profoundly reshaped since the 1970s as a consequence of societal and political changes as well as a result of the impact of new technologies, increased globalisation and international migration. All these factors have significantly affected contemporary life in post-industrial societies. As the political communication literature on the secularisation of advanced Western societies (Scammell, 2000; Blumler and Gurevitch, 1995; Hallin and Mancini, 2004a) points out, advanced capitalist societies of the West have been suffering from declining voter turnout and increasing voter apathy as well as excessive fragmentation of the public. Following the rise of neoliberal and ‘Third Way’ politics since the 1980s, such societies have witnessed a shift away from citizenship concerns towards an emphasis on lifestyle politics and consumerism, in a process which has been described as ‘secularisation’ or ‘modernisation’ (Hallin and Mancini, 2004a). Politics on both sides of the Atlantic has thus become more an activity reserved for political consultants and elite professionals than one for ordinary citizens. This new contemporary age of ‘mediated politics’ is one in which parties have become more separated from voters. Party loyalty has also been in serious decline. According to critics, this is an age in which the media have emerged as the vehicle which has the closest ties with voters, substituting for the traditional political party. Academics describe this new mediated environment from a variety of perspectives. Some, like Meyer (2002), see the media as assuming an allpowerful role, while others, like Swanson (1992), adopt a more realistic stance and prefer to depict the situation as being one in which politicians and the media are both struggling to control the public agenda. Thus one or the other becomes more powerful depending on the context and moment. Meyer (2002) describes this new scenario as one where politicians are totally subordinated to what he calls ‘the media logic.’ According to this view, politicians adapt their campaigns and political messages to fit

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sound-bites, cultivating a celebrity-style image to attract apathetic voters and others who are cynical or uninterested in politics. Meyer (2002) further argues that politicians have lost some of their previous authority, which one could say was more associated to the ‘modernist’ period. They thus find themselves submitting to the press in order to get media exposure and secure their political position. A question that repeatedly emerges here is about who actually carries the responsibility for the current state of affairs. Agenda-setting theory states that the media does have the power to tell its readers what to think about. McCombs and Shaw (1972), who produced the first empirical study on agenda-setting theory, stressed the media’s power in communicating the salience of issues to the public. As Rogers (1994) notes, although it was known that news seldom had real strong direct effects on audiences, the amount of news coverage accorded to an issue by the media could lead audiences to rate such an issue as more important in relation to another, culminating in the conclusion that the media does have influence. Mughan and Gunther (2000) point out that individuals are exposed to multiple media sources. The influence of television may not change certain political attitudes, but it can exercise a more subtle effect more linked to political persuasion. Mughan and Gunther (2000) highlight a vital question which seems to lie at the heart of this debate: do the media actually change political attitudes or simply reinforce them? As Street (2001) has underlined, one of the most studied questions in political science and communications is precisely whether the media change peoples’ votes or not. The evidence suggests that there is a great deal of uncertainty here. Having said this, the assumption that the media have no influence should also not be made. For voting behavior is only one aspect of the political process. There are other ways in which political messages can have impact, including the shaping of attitudes, perceptions and agendas. As Corner argues (1995: 41), the situation is not one in which a choice exists between ‘influence or no influence’. Rather, it is a matter of assessing the type of influence, or the existence of a more subtle effect, such as political persuasion. According to Street (2001: 84), researchers have distinguished between effects on voting and effects on perceptions, the media having an effect mainly on the latter: ‘It is possible to claim that the media effects the way people think about politics or a politician, without necessarily determining how they vote’. Curtice and Semetko (1994: 15–6, cited in Street, 2001: 46) also provide an account of the dilemmas encountered in any attempt to identify the political effect of the press. Curtice

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and Semetko asked whether the Conservative-dominated British press influenced the result of the 1992 general election. Their results provide a complex picture, detecting longer-term effects in which Labour papers strengthen Labour Party support, and Conservative papers do the same for the Conservative Party. The papers that readers support play some part in influencing perceptions of the parties, with people who regularly read a paper slowly beginning to share its politics (Street, 2001: 46). Curtice and Semetko indicate that people read papers whose prejudices coincide with their own, interpreting the news through their own value systems. A classic example of a study that began to consolidate the minimal effects tradition was Lazarsfeld’s 1940 study The People’s Choice. During those years, party politics was still strong, but this began to decline from the 1980s, with voters becoming more volatile. Politics turned into a more unstable and less predictable activity (Mughan and Gunther, 2000). In contrast to the minimal effects detected by these researchers though, Dunleavy and Husbands (1987) argue that the press has a decisive influence on political action. Their argument proposes that those who support a particular paper do no more than reinforce pre-existing opinions, and that readers select messages according to their prejudices. The authors argue that a right-wing press helps create a Conservative majority: ‘Manual workers who read a right-wing press are much more likely to vote for the Conservatives … the press to which the people are exposed significantly influences their political behavior.’ This has been the case in Brazil, where various studies (Matos, 2008; Lattman-Weltman, 1994) have observed how a more liberal press can contribute to democratisation, influencing people’s views and providing them with means of seeing political and national events in a more complex light. This goes beyond the conservative perspectives on the world, usually articulated by a more partisan media (Matos, 2008). The negative portrayal of Lula’s government by sectors of the mainstream media for instance did not have a strong bearing on the final outcome of the presidential elections in 2006, with Lula being re-elected for a second term (Lalo Leal Filho, 2010; Lima, 2007). Thus there is little consensus on the exact nature of the effect of political messages on voters, and whether negative coverage of a political candidate by the media is enough in itself to provoke a change in a voter’s behaviour. It is to the debate on political cynicism, and the role that the media plays in encouraging pessimistic views of the political world, that I turn to next.

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Political Cynicism or Realism? The State of Politics Worldwide

Given the difficulties in pinpointing the extent of the impact of political messages on audiences, how can we assess the level of political cynicism in the population? Is it also possible to see this as providing more accurate knowledge of the workings of contemporary politics and media systems? As we have seen, communication effects depends as much on the characteristics of the audience, as well as on how they process information and the actual content of a message. Research has also produced evidence in favour of the power of media agenda-setting and of framing, where the salience of certain issues on the media agenda determines an individual’s evaluation of political objects (Iyengar and Kinder, 1987). Thus the processes undertaken by the media of making certain issues more accessible to citizens, and what they take into consideration in doing this, can exercise a direct impact on the outcome of an election. My previous research revealed how this was largely the case regarding mainstream press coverage of the presidential elections which occurred in different periods of Brazilian contemporary history (Matos, 2008). The picture that emerged in most cases was one is which the media can be seen as being one among many sources of influence. Some vehicles also exercised more influence than others. As Barnett and Gaber (2001: 27) stress, various authors pointed out that in the 1997 UK election campaign newspapers had only a limited influence on their readers (Scammell and Harrop, 1992, cited in Norris, 2000: 183). In previous chapters, I investigated how key literature in the political communication and political science fields after the 1970s has tended to blame the media for the lack of civic engagement by the population and the decline of interest in politics, denouncing the tendency of the Western media to report ‘cynically’ on politics (Postman, 1990: Putnam, 2000), or the ‘media malaise’ theories (Norris, 2000), as we have seen. In their discussion of the debates concerning the failure of democracy in developed countries, Blumler and Gurevitch (1995) highlight the tendency for theorists to assign blame to the media, when all the players involved, citizens and politicians, should carry some level of responsibility: If leaders are motivated solely or even by self-interest and if an inherent conflict exists between their self-interest and the public good, then press reports of self-interested political action are not cynical but realistic … cynicism may be grounded in experience with those who are more active and more informed … (20–21)

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This quotation clearly highlights how cynicism is more tied to realism than one would think, and is associated with a more sophisticated understanding of human nature, its flaws and the fragility of institutions in an increasingly uncertain and complex world. The Cappella and Jamieson (1997) study, for instance, is considered to be one of the most important works on the relationship between media coverage and the public’s political cynicism. Cappella and Jamieson conducted experiments involving 350 subjects in six media markets: one group was exposed to news in the print and broadcast media, which was framed in terms of winning and losing, and another group was shown news about health care framed in terms of issues. The key conclusions of the study were that those who saw the strategic frame were more likely to have cynical responses, seeing self-interest as the primary motivation of politicians. The work concluded that American network news was guilty of oversimplifying complex policies like health care, contributing towards a ‘spiral of cynicism’ among the public (Norris, 2000: 40–41). Cappella and Jamieson (1997: 33) affirm that the strategy frame was being generalised by journalists from campaigns to governance and discussions of public policy issues, underlining that, if people’s experience is provided solely by the media, then the public perception of candidates becomes dominated by this particular interpretative frame. Thus message framing, or the practice of thinking about news items within familiar contexts (Lilleker, 2006), can have a powerful impact on people’s way of thinking about an issue (Graber, 2005). Research into news framing endorses the argument that news is in fact a selection of particular events which are presented in a particular way. It is the construction of facts which can influence the public, depending on how they are presented. As we shall see, similarly to the current reality in advanced democracies like the USA and the UK, Brazilian politics has also become more cynical after the 2002 historical presidential elections and the high expectations placed on the Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores  – PT) and other ‘new blood’ politicians from across the political spectrum. The Brazilian media have also been accused of fostering cynicism, of paying excessive attention to political scandals and to political corruption at the expense of policy-making and political debate, especially to the ones practiced by certain sectors of the PT. Lalo Leal Filho believes that both Congress and the legislative powers have suffered from injustices perpetuated by the press: ‘A big problem in Brazil is the attempt by the media to reduce political

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activity to low levels. It exalts negative aspects and generalises, reinforcing the discredit in democratic institutions …’1 Former environmental secretary of the state of Rio de Janeiro, the national coordinator of the 2010 campaign of the defeated presidential candidate Marina Silva of the Green Party, Alfredo Sirkis, believes the Brazilian press is partly to blame for how Brazilian politics is portrayed. Nonetheless, he does not make excuses for politics either: The middle class in its majority rejects politics and politicians in general … The poor tend to have a more instrumental vision of politics, involving itself with the politics of welfare … The political system of personalised vote created our current political culture, which sees politics as an individual career for the politician … The press largely cultivate a hostility towards politicians and discuss problems like corruption under the scandal lens, rarely exploring the issue more deeply, which in my opinion is related to the electoral system. Also some newspapers cultivate the notion that to be balanced is to hit at everyone.2 Former major of Rio Cesar Maia, who ran for the Senate in the 2010 elections, defends the approval of political reform in Congress as a means of giving the voter more options.3 There are differences, however, between this political reform and the changes to the electoral legislation which took place in 2009. The latter included proposals on campaign financing and the use of propaganda in the media, including an initial attempt at regulating campaigning on the web. The new legislation authorised internet financial donations as well as the conduct of web debates with no restrictions. The government, however, has maintained the prohibition against paying for propaganda on the internet. Regarding political reform, the core themes of the proposal have the intention of undermining corruption practices. The topics range from rules on party fidelity to public financing of campaigns, as well as including the end of mandatory voting and the imposition of a performance law for all parties. Moreover, the former minister of Social Communications of the former president Lula, Franklin Martins, who was previously a TV Globo journalist, affirmed that the partisanship character of the mainstream Brazilian press was reinforced during the PT’s second mandate: ‘It began to emerge again in 2005. The newspapers today think that they can conduct the political destiny of the country, but the population has managed to understand the messages of the government …’ 4

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Lalo Leal Filho adds that commercial television played a key role in promoting particular candidates in the 2006 elections: The communication media have always had a biased view in relation to the Lula government. It was the media who managed to take a weak candidate like Geraldo Alckmin to the second round in the 2006 elections, and television here played an important part. The points of conflict have been related to their unconformity with the fact that the government has been successful with the poorer sectors of the population … Nevertheless, there have also been accusations from the other side of the political spectrum that the PT intimidated certain journalists who work for the mainstream media. Thus the question of what political messages are transmitted by the media and what impact these have on the public is a complex issue, which is dependent on the influence on the population of factors such as the health of the economy, interpersonal communications and peer pressure, political orientation and type of media consumption. Moreover, on certain occasions media coverage can actually reinforce particular political positions, attitudes of the public about political parties, and opinions about controversies such as affirmative action or wealth distribution programmes. In previous work (Matos, 2008), I pointed out how the Brazilian media contributed to shaping the agenda of the 1994 presidential elections. The endorsement of the Real plan was translated into votes for the candidacy of Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Singer, 1999), whereas the negative coverage given to the Workers’ Party in the first presidential election after the dictatorship in 1989 contributed to undermine the party’s bid for presidency. This boosted the candidacy of Fernando Collor, who was later impeached for political corruption amid the rise of watchdog journalism in Brazilian newsrooms (Matos, 2008; Waisbord, 2000; Lattman-Weltman, 1994). In spite of the limits to the power of political messages, it is possible to state that the framing of issues by the media can be seen as a powerful element of the political process, as a conscious or unconscious attempt of the media to present an issue from a particular point of view. It can be argued that a combination of factors are relevant in analysing the media’s political effect, including the ways in which media markets are structured in various countries and their relationship to the political system regarding issues such as political parallelism and independency of journalists (Hallin and Mancini, 2004a, b).

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In Latin America, in contrast to more advanced societies, passionate political campaigns and rallies still occur during key national elections. In this sense, the life and blood of politics have not disappeared altogether. The political arena is a space for conflict and competition of ideas, for the battle for the agenda of public opinion, for the predominance of a particular form of thinking over a topic in opposition to another, and for the use of media actors to present a particular political view of the world. As politicians like Sirkis point out, however, vital sectors of the Brazilian public are moving away from the political process altogether, seeing in it a ‘dirty game’ played by self-interested or corrupt career politicians who have little motivation to challenge vested interests, to working for the collective good or to promote greater economic equality. To a certain extent, one could argue that this is a reflection of the continuing fragility of the Brazilian democratic system. It can also be perceived as part of a much more deeprooted international trend associated with the decline in political interest of various sectors of the public in post-industrialised societies as a result of growing individualism perceived in post-industrialised societies and the expanding mistrust in institutions (Thompson, 2000). In Brazil, where voting is mandatory, a key feature of any election has been the registering of a large number of null votes. For Baudrillard (1983), the act of not voting can be interpreted as a sign of resistance, a radical act of dissent, a gesture of defiance against a system in which the voter feels no real stake. According to Baudrillard (1983: 10), the public sphere can be seen as an elitist construct which reflects bourgeois values, such as rationality and truth, and which was largely designed by early modern Europe to provide democratic participation for its own members. Thus mass cynicism about politics may be better understood as a rational response to the fact that people as a whole feel no real involvement in a process which appears to give them power but in reality does not. They therefore resist the intellectual elite’s efforts to be included in democratic life. Although Baudrillard’s analysis can be seen as being highly pessimistic, and more representative of the situation of the popular classes of developed countries, his argument carries a level of universality and also, one could say, a solid and profound understanding of the political process and the difficulties of engaging the disengaged in societies everywhere. Before Baudrillard, classic political theory and philosophy, from Hobbes’s Leviathan to Rousseau’s Discourse of the Origins of Inequality (1755), to philosophers like Schopenhauer (1818) in The World as Will and Representation, not to mention the early teachings of Christianity, Buddhism and Marxism, have explored the roots of inequality, human suffering, injustice and exploitation.

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In common, these perspectives have attributed the existence of cruelty and injustices in the world to the human condition, and to man’s highly egoistic and selfish nature. These authors have further emphasised man’s propensity to inflict suffering and to exploit others as a means of advancing their own interests. These are reasons which are said to lie at the very heart of the establishment of the modern state and the justice system, seen as attempts to correct injustices and resolve power disputes between men in order to secure a more equitable and fairer distribution of resources. In the midst of man’s natural propensity for unfairness, these systems are viewed as attempts to mediate between various groups in society in order to secure wider equality of opportunities between men, thus impeding power abuses by the strongest against the weak, or the classic Hobbesian ‘war of all against all’. These analyses also carry a level of truth for many people of the developing countries, including Latin America, where the complexities of the socioeconomic and political situation of the region since the fall of the dictatorships have occurred in parallel with a proliferation of political scandals in many countries (Waisbord, 2000), such as Collor’s impeachment in 1992 and the mensalao scandals in Brazil during 2005. In countries like Brazil, to be politically aware in the post-2002 scenario has meant for many the endorsement what some would claim as a realistic, or even a cynical stance, one which recognises the various errors of human nature, such as its propensity for corruption and selfishness. This has made many Brazilians adopt the saying, when justifying their vote for a particular suspicious candidate, ‘Ele rouba, mas faz’ (‘He steals, but he gets things done’).5 This type of attitude, or what some chose to call ‘turning a blind eye’, is what made many conscious voters re-elect various politicians, be they from the left or the right, who were either involved in the mensalao corruption denunciations of 2005 or were linked to the previous Fernando Henrique Cardoso administration. The latter government in 1998 was also accused in some sections of the press of having bought the votes of members of Congress to secure their approval of the president’s right to run for another second mandate. Before looking at political campaigning in the next chapter and the role of the internet in stimulating civic participation and mediating the relationship between politicians and voters, it is necessary to discuss the digital divide and the limits of the internet for bringing advances in politics and a reduction of social inequalities both within and between countries.

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The Digital Divide in Latin America and the Challenges for Information Knowledge

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The internet and new communication technologies have been hailed by various scholars and cyber enthusiasts as key elements which can bring development to countries of the South or help lessen inequalities between nations (Cardoso, 2010; Castells, 2000; Silverstone, 2005). As Cardoso (2010: 32) states, if in the nineteenth century the print press had an ‘essential role in the formation of the rational individual inserted in the Habermasian public, creating the conditions for democracy in the twentieth century, new media and … the internet are promoting the multiple individual’ in the contemporary era. Silverstone (2005: 189) notes that the study of mediation has become closely tied to the discussion of the role of technologies in everyday life, including of ‘texts of mass, broadcast and interactive communication’. But what of those who are not inserted in these processes of mediation promised by the latest advocates of global media technologies and gadgets? To start with, the literature in this field is broad, including debates on the role of the internet in society and what it is doing to us and how we interact with the medium (McLuhan, 1997; Silverstone, 2005). The digital divide literature is vast and it is not possible to cover it in full here. I wish simply to highlight some of the dilemmas concerning the digital divide by looking at the work of key authors (Norris, 2004: Castells, 2000; Nederveen Pieterse, 2010; Thussu, 2006), further applying some perspectives to the Brazilian case. Various theories have explored the numerous advantages of the web, including its assistance in globalisation and its capacity to increase interconnectedness, permitting the rapid transmission of global events, the creation of global citizens and the formation of a global civil society united in favour of particular political causes. Some of the key issues raised in the controversy about the digital divide between information-rich and poor countries are concerned mainly with how to include larger sectors of the world population in the ‘information society’, providing the means for further democratisation of interactivity practices. Thus it is possible to say that the digital divide debate is significantly preoccupied with granting wider access to computers and the internet to larger sectors of the population in developing countries. Drawing from a wide range of political theories, Norris (2001: 107) asserts that the type of political organisations found on the internet are closely linked to the process of democratisation of a given country. She states that debates concerning the rise of the information society have been deeply contested, being usually cast in either an optimistic or a pessimistic

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light (2001: 26). The former group sees in the internet the potential for the reduction of the traditional inequalities between developed and developing societies. The latter perspective believes that the web will only reinforce existing disparities. The fact of the matter is that the power structures of the old media, and its tendencies towards concentration, have not disappeared and have actually been reinforced in a context of increasing expansion of new technologies, mergers between companies and other inequalities produced by the global media landscape. Thus developmental and technological accounts of the internet see the virtual political system as affected by structural phenomena. The promotion of transparent information and interactive communications, some of the key functions of websites, and which are closely tied to discussions on their relationship to democracy, can be seen as a means of reflecting precisely these ‘levels of pluralistic competition, political participation and political rights and civil liberties (which exist) within each political system’ that Norris (2001) alludes to. Thus the ways in which much of the blogosphere and the political blogs in Brazil can assist, for instance, in offering a minimum pluralistic competition and reinforcing political participation will be the core intellectual framework of the next chapter. Bennett (2003) offers a more realistic and critical perspective than other theorists like Clark and Aufderheide (2009). The latter tend to adopt a technological determinist view of the internet as a medium, celebrating the interactive potential of the web as creating the means for a wider participatory democracy in contrast to what they see as the ‘audience passivity’ characteristic of the ‘old’ media. In the summary of their report Public Media 2.0: Dynamic, Engaged Publics (2009),6 Clarke and Aufderheide seem to endorse a more utopian approach to the internet, pointing out how digital public media 2.0 will become more of a key component of democratic public life. They see this medium as being directed to the public and produced by it. This has been the case of the grassroots mobilisation around the 2008 Obama electoral campaign, seen as proof of how the medium has opened up new avenues for civic engagement. For Bennett, however, the internet is just another communication medium, its specific features and capacities not necessarily changing who we actually are. Bennett considers that Personal digital media offer capacities for change if people are motivated by the various conditions in the environment … The question if we go shopping or make revolution on the Internet … is more the result of the human contexts in which the communication

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occurs than … communication media themselves …(Agre, 2002, in Bennett, 2003: 19) Such arguments hit at the core of the technological determinism theories and the utopia surrounding the supposedly ‘magical’ powers of the internet, and of social networking sites, to change real life problems, such as reducing poverty as well as combating race and gender oppressions. Thus scholarship worldwide has shown that the hype over new technologies has not resulted in a diminishing of economic and social inequalities between and within countries, although it has assisted in mobilisation and protests such as the Egyptian ones in early 2011. In spite of the spread of new technologies and the internet across the globe since the 1980s, the 1990s nonetheless saw an increasing gap between the information-rich and poor across the developing world (Norris, 2001: 39). Like Nederveen Pieterse (2010), Norris (2001: 103) is also sceptical about the role of the internet in strengthening democracy. In Norris’ book on the digital divide, she makes use of a sophisticated framework which combines both institutional and individual data (2001: 37). She outlines three levels of analysis: (a) the macro-level technological environment, which determines the distribution of internet access within each country; (b) the meso-level context of political institutions, including parties and government departments; and (c) the micro-level individual resources, which affects patterns of online engagement. Norris’s key findings suggest that economic development is an important avenue for understanding internet connectivity and consumption. A pattern that emerges here is one in which most rich nations, where the population already have many radio and television stations are also those with more access to networked computers. Nederveen Pieterse (2010: 166) also points out that there is a close connection between digital capitalism and cyber-utopianism. Furthermore, there should be less emphasis on the internet as a medium that can assist in deepening democratisation, and more on telephone, radio and television, all of which have the capacity of reaching a wider public beyond the world’s middle classes. Similarly to Norris (2001), Nederveen Pieterse (2010: 168) sees the digital divide as being largely rooted in socioeconomic factors and closely tied to the ‘bridging of income gaps’. Both authors see the digital divide debate as being less about providing more computers in schools and libraries in developing countries, and more about creating the means for wider education in IT skills and literacy levels. Education is thus seen as a significant force in social development, and is

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capable of assisting in the creation of the skills that will facilitate a wider use of computers in these societies (Norris, 2001: 59; Nederveen Pieterse, 2010). In Brazil there are approximately 17 million categorically illiterate people and another 30 million functional illiterates. According to the ‘2010 Monitoring Report on Education’ prepared by Unesco, in spite of the improvements detected between the period from 1999 to 2007, the rate of repetition at schools is at 18.7 per cent, considered to be the highest in all of Latin America and above the world average of 2.4 per cent. In Unesco’s evaluation, Brazil could be in a much better situation if it were not for the low quality of its education.7 Similarly, any discussion on the strengthening of the public media platform be it in Brazil or any other Latin American country cannot occur in isolation from other social reforms. This includes improvement in educational indicators of all sectors of the population, from elementary school to university level. Most certainly, it makes little sense for governments to invest taxpayers’ money in public communications if substantial sectors of the population remain oblivious to these media possibilities, and continue to lack the minimal skills necessary to make use of these media resources and to appreciate cultural quality and in depth debate. Thus neither the internet nor the public media (understood as television broadcasting) can currently be considered to be mass media in Brazil in the way that commercial television and, to a certain extent, community radio are. As Leal Lalo Filho states, ‘the Internet cannot yet be considered a powerful tool for social mobilisation in Brazil’, whereas television ‘is the most efficient communication medium in the process of political organisation and orientation’. The development of software technology is also heavily concentrated in the USA, culminating in what Nederveen Pieterse (2010) sees as a tendency of ICT4D (information and communication technologies for development) to reaffirm the dependency of developing societies on these same technologies. Regarding internet connectivity, Thussu (2006: 238–40) points also to the problem of infrastructure faced by countries of the South, and emphasises that the cost of equipment and software makes the internet inaccessible for a vast majority of people who do not have a telephone. Nonetheless, Latin America is rapidly becoming the world’s fastest growing internet market. Access to computers is rapidly expanding in Brazil as is the use of the internet. According to statistics provided by the International Telecommunications Union (ITC), the number of internet hosts in Latin America grew at a rate of 136 per cent, ahead of North America (74) and Europe (30). The numbers vary according to the source,

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the methodology applied and the quantity of participants. As Straubhaar (2001: 140) notes, in Mexico 1.5 million out of 90 million have access to the internet and 18–20 per cent have satellite or cable TV. In Brazil, the internet has grown faster in contrast to cable and satellite, which has remained at 5 to 6 per cent. The 2005 Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicilios (National Household Sample Survey), carried out by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE) reported the existence of 32.1 million internet users. This represents 21 per cent of the Brazilian population of 10 years or over. In the 2008 study this number increased to 55.9 million, or 34.8 per cent of the population, reflecting more accurately the 30 per cent of the population with access to the web. This number is not much different from the 35.5 per cent who use the internet in Chile, although it is much lower than China (49.2 per cent), according to the 2006 World Internet Project (in Cardoso, 2010). According to more recent research conducted by ComScore (May 2010), which includes children over the age of 6, these numbers have increased to 73 million users. This figure is higher than the readership of the mainstream newspapers in Brazil, which varies between 7 and 9 million per day, and which averaged 6.9 million in 2002 (Matos, 2008). They are well below the viewing figures for commercial television, which account for over 90 per cent of the population. The internet is already being seen as playing a major role in achieving public service purposes. However, it should not be seen as a substitute for high quality television. Government efforts to increase internet connectivity have become more emphatic in Latin American countries in recent years. The first mandate of President Lula (2002–2006) included wider digital inclusion and access to new technologies as a national public policy capable of guaranteeing citizenship rights. It launched ambitious programmes such as the project Citizen Connected – Computador para Todos, part of the Programa Brasileiro de Inclusao Digital (Brazilian Programme of Digital Inclusion), equating the use of technology with local development and the deepening of democracy. In spite of the merit of such actions, these efforts have not proved as fruitful as might have been expected. There are also high costs involved in providing the necessary equipment. As Lugo-Ocando (2008) states, ‘many … nations divert resources from areas such as infrastructure, education or agriculture subsidies to acquire digital and interactive technologies in the first world’. Thus governments have not been capable of providing access to all citizens to internet access, and it is necessary for businesses to play a leading role here. In Brazil 50 per cent of internet users obtain their

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services from the five biggest internet providers. These main providers are Brasil Telecom, which provides access via Ibest, IG and BrTurbo, as well as the portals Terra, Pop and UOL. The main providers of paid access to the internet are UOL, AOL and Terra. Lugo-Ocando (2008: 4) comments that ‘the myth that information is now freely available and accessible to all obviates the “huge gaps in the societies” (Norris, 2001: 61), gaps which determine how information is accessed and who accesses it’. Lugo-Ocando also points out that there is not enough evidence to suggest that the massive investment in information and communication technology and telecommunications during the previous ten years has made any difference to the lives of millions of Latin Americans in terms of narrowing the social and economic gap between the richer and poorer citizens, or in providing improvements in teaching IT skills to the greater majority (2008: 5). One key issue in this debate regarding the internet is actually one which is similar to the case of the commercial global media. The latter, as we have seen, are accused by scholars of being heavily skewed towards a few dominant commercial players and economic forces. There is little room for alternative voices or small groups to compete on equal terms. In the case of the internet this makes its use as a medium for the public interest become even more problematic. The UFRJ online survey reveals how the use of the internet is strong among young university students or early career professionals. In response to being asked whether they preferred television to the internet, 83 per cent, or 124 respondents, said that they preferred surfing the internet and obtaining their information through journalistic websites than watching television or reading newspapers. In response to question 5 (see Appendix), 70 per cent said that they read mainly newspapers and 87 per cent preferred websites, while smaller numbers opted for commercial and public television. Thirty-nine per cent affirmed that they watch commercial television; 7 per cent watched public television. This is yet another confirmation of how the web is an expanding medium among the younger generation in particular, not only in Europe and the USA but also in Brazil. The survey also indicates that there is further space for the internet to have a wider role in digital democracy. Many students said that they preferred to follow the political situation of the country online (56 per cent, or 84) rather than through the commercial and/or public media (14 per cent, or 21). At least 79 per cent, or 117 respondents, indicated that they saw a role for the internet as a public medium, with 12 per cent stating that they were not sure.

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The capacity of blogs to stimulate civic engagement and political participation was also positively viewed by the respondents. Eighty-one per cent saw a role for blogs in reinvigorating debate, although a small minority see these as being a complement to newspapers (11 per cent or 16). The investigation of the political potential of the internet is examined in the next chapter in the context of analysing of the different uses of the web during the 2010 Brazilian presidential elections.

Conclusion

This chapter has looked at some of the theories on the political effects of media messages, and has engaged with the debate on the rise in political cynicism and disenchantment with public life detected in both advanced democracies and in Latin America. In the case of the latter, this has occurred amid the rise to power of centre to centre-left-wing groups and the recognition by many disillusioned voters that such groups were elected without a mandate for a more profound social and economic reform, and have been somewhat constrained in their attempts to advance the democratisation process. However, this has not impeded the development of important improvements in the region concerning welfare and media reform and other public policies, as well as the deepening of political liberalisation and boosting of economic growth. The core dilemmas facing various Latin American countries regarding the arguments that equate simplistically wider digital inclusion with improving the lives of less privileged groups of society and narrowing economic gaps (Nederveen Pietersee, 2010) were also examined. This chapter also looked at the debate on the internet’s capacity for making the public more knowledgeable about current affairs and more active in community mobilisation (Norris, 2001: 97). I have emphasised how it is unrealistic to suppose that the internet will totally wipe out social and economic inequalities, but we can argue that it may indirectly offer other benefits, assisting citizens in their campaigns and causes, as it did during the USA presidential campaign of 2008 (Clark and Aufderheide, 2009). These issues are further developed in the next chapter. In Chapter 8, the second part of Part IV, I look more closely at the blogs of particular political candidates, and examine some of the major debates among voters in Brazil’s emerging blogosphere. One of my main perspectives has been the critical analysis of the ways in which the internet can be a vehicle for developing the country’s public sphere. In this sense I investigate the hypothesis regarding the capacity of these media to be further explored and used for the public interest, assisting in broader discussions about the

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major economic, political and social problems faced by Brazilian and Latin American societies. As we have seen, the internet is limited in its capacity by a series of mainly economic but also political factors, ranging from the problem of providing wider access to less privileged sectors of the population to wider structural and international trends of rising political apathy and cynicism with the political world. In my discussion of the online survey, one thing that became clear was how university students, or members predominantly of the cultural elite classes, are still the growing public for the internet and the public media. This means that debates on media policy and media democratisation should focus more on the ways in which television can better assist in this, and less on the unrealistic assumption that the web can ‘revolutionise’ politics and contribute to diminishing economic and social inequalities. Having said this, one should not dismiss the potential of the web to serve as a tool to stimulate debate, and should investigate further how it may serve as a counter-public sphere in developing countries which are more reliant on commercial media and/or conservative vehicles largely influenced by political and economic vested interests, as we have seen. In order to develop this debate, the following chapter provides a critical deliberation on the modern campaigning practices and political scandals that have engulfed Latin America and Brazil in the last years. It ends by analysing the changing nature of gender politics in the region, the uses of the web and the politicisation of the blogosphere during the 2010 presidential elections.

8

MEDIATED POLITICS IN THE 2010 BRAZILIAN ELECTIONS In the last chapter I examined the decline in civic engagement and rise in political apathy that has affected both developed and developing societies alike. As Wring and Horrocks (2001) have noted, cyber-enthusiasts at first equated the proliferating use of new media with a renewal of deliberative democracy at a time of crisis in civic communications and of public disillusionment with politics. Electronic democracy was thus celebrated as a means of increasing participation and reinvigorating public debate and accountability, being also capable of reversing the trend of political cynicism. I also provided a brief critical assessment of some of the core dilemmas concerning the digital divide debate, stressing how utopian perspectives overestimated its capacity to contribute to reduce inequalities. I argue here that, in spite of the difficulties for significant sectors of society in gaining access to the internet in contrast to television services, the internet in developing countries can still have a significant role assisting in shaping social and political change. Similarly to the public media and public service broadcasting (PSB), it can be an important tool not only for civil society members to organise themselves and press for further media democratisation but also in facilitating sustainable development and deepening of democracy. In developed societies like the UK, the internet already plays a public service role. Ofcom’s Second Public Service Broadcasting Review – Preparing for the Digital Future (2008), stresses how the internet is taking on public service functions. The research revealed that 62 per cent of internet users have accessed internet content which matched ‘public service’ purposes. This included both news and current affairs content and information about a usesr’s local area and educational content.

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If the internet is becoming more utilised by networks of alternative social movements and by lobbyists in countries like the USA, France and Sweden, what is its main purpose and use in developing countries like Brazil? Similarly to the case of the public media, can it have a role in expanding debate and stimulating civic engagement? Can it also boost competition and the quality of the whole media system? These are some of the questions that are explored here. I argue that for democracy in Brazil the main benefits of the internet include the provision of broader information for the public, greater transparency of political activities, the scrutiny of politicians, and the opportunity for citizens to directly interact with them without the mediation of journalists. A key question here is whether new patterns of electioneering have weakened or strengthened ties between the electorate and government. The rise of women leaders in Latin America, and the contest between two strong centre-left female politicians in the Brazilian 2010 elections provides a stimulus for this chapter’s examination of the relationship between women and politics in the continent, especially the ways in which women politicians can be a force for social change, undermining corruption practices and reversing political cynicism. The critical revision of the literature on gender politics however is something that I aim to explore in a future research project. This chapter engages in more depth with the debates on the increasing importance of the Brazilian blogosphere in the context of the 2010 presidential campaign, and looks particularly at the two main female presidential candidates, Dilma Rousseff of the PT and Marina Silva, of the PV (Green Party). I start, however, by examining the theories on the adoption or ‘imitation’ of US-style political campaigning and other ‘modernisation’ practices by various countries throughout the world, before moving on to critically synthesise ideas about the key political scandals and trends in Latin America, particularly Brazil, in the contemporary period. Lastly, I look at the role of the internet in improving democratic politics.

Political Campaigning and Modernisation Practices in the UK and Latin America

It goes without saying that if politicians thought political campaigns did not matter, they would not spend thousands of dollars on marketing experts, conducting focus groups, hiring professionals to teach them how to speak in public and with journalists, as well as constantly seeking to adapt and use every medium, be it community radio, television debates or the internet, in order to reach out to voters. In the contemporary political ‘postmodern’ phase, a global trend in political communication has been the growing shift

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of campaigning away from TV (or placing less emphasis on it) and towards the internet – the world-wide web (WWW). Plasser and Plasser (2002) identify three core phases of political communications. These include the pre-modern phase, characterised as a ‘partydominated’ communication system with a partisan press; the second, modern phase, in which the rise of television has been considered as the medium where ‘the core features of the professional model of campaigning’ (Blumler and Kavanagh, 1999: 212, cited in Plasser and Plasser, 2002) have been played out; and the final, contemporary phase, characterised by multiple channels, audience fragmentation and the internet. Television, however, has not lost its importance in political campaigning, especially so in developing countries, and most certainly in Latin America. Skidmore (1993) underlines how television’s growing importance in electoral politics is a reflection of its presence in daily life. Television became a ‘universal political and cultural force in the region’ after its introduction in the 1950s and 1960s (Skidmore, 1993: 213). This has not impeded the development and proliferation of other (new) media technologies. Thus a rigid division between the two media and their association with a particular historical phase of political life should be avoided, as television continues to play an essential role in political campaigning in developing societies (Skidmore, 1993). According to Schmitt-Beck and Farrell (2002: 2), the study of campaign effects has focused on a small number of national contexts, above all the USA and Britain. However, there has been a rise in international research on comparative political campaigning practices. Schmitt-Beck and Farrell (2002) outline three different streams in campaigning research, including studies which are not so much about campaigns but about what happens during campaign periods. There are other studies which discuss the degree to which there is evidence of change, be it in the vote, the inclination to vote or the degree of importance attached to particular issues. The aim of political campaigning is thus to influence the outcome of governance and the political decision-making process by shaping public opinion through various forms of communication strategies, including the use of the internet and other forms of media, preferably low cost to avoid paid advertising. The role of money in political campaigning, and the ways in which campaigns today are much more expensive than they were in the past, is a crucial factor here. As McNair (2000) states, a major trend in the changing world of politics has been the importance of money and the rising costs of campaigning worldwide. In the USA money is a defining component of political campaigning. Politicians pay to broadcast advertisements on radio

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and television. In Brazil politicians have access to free publicity space on radio and television (Lins da Silva, 2002: 25). The state grants free media access and time slots on both government-owned and private stations in Brazil to all competing parties during the weeks preceding the election. Nevertheless, it remains unclear what the exact impact is on the outcome of an election of campaigning practices such as the use of the internet to promote a politician’s image and policies, and the use of sophisticated and expensive political marketing strategies and experts. The lavish amount of money that is spent on political marketing techniques and communications by politicians across the Atlantic, as well as in Brazil, attests to the fact that politicians take the media very seriously. In the UK, the courting by New Labour in 1997 of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, proprietor of the Sun and of News Corporation, was seen as fundamental in Blair’s election in 1997, as was the loss of his support ahead of Labour’s loss and the formation of a ruling coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in May 2010. Although the impact of such decisions has not been fully tested empirically, such contestations confirm politicians’ certainties that the media are all too powerful in deciding the voter’s choice, in spite of research that suggests otherwise, and that the media are one among many factors. Various studies point to the limited role of the media in shaping voting behavior. Paul Lazarsfeld’s early work on elections during the 1930s and 1940s in the USA concluded that radio, cinema and newspapers all exercised a minimum influence on the voting decision of the people interviewed. More contemporary research reveals similar results. Most of the students who answered the online UFRJ survey indicated that they had already decided on their candidates for the 2010 elections. They mentioned that they were going to consult the media anyway. This can be interpreted as being their attempt to seek media sources which would actually reinforce their positions. Two months ahead of the October 2010 Brazilian presidential elections, most affirmed that they had already chosen their candidate (59 per cent, or 88). Many said, however, that they would still follow the media coverage to obtain more information and help in their decision. Twenty-two per cent (or 33) stated that they would use the media to make an informed decision. These numbers, nonetheless, can be used to confirm the thesis of limited media effects, as most respondents had already chosen a candidate. The results can also be interpreted as evidence that party loyalty and partisanship is something that is still relevant in Brazil among key voters, in spite of the rise of political cynicism. It can also be said that it mirrors the

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partisan character that is still present in the Brazilian mainstream press, not to mention the continuous politicisation of many of the country’s institutions. Finally, a small number of respondents said they would not vote (4 per cent, or 6), claiming that they were not interested in following the elections through the media (3 per cent, or 5). Revisions of the Frankfurt School theories and key audience research perspectives (Morley, 2000; Livingstone and Lunt, 1994), as we have seen, have shown the multiplicity of the audience’s understanding of media texts and their capacity to resist dominant messages. It seems that a similar analysis can be applied to the impact of political marketing and communications on voters. Thus a candidate with the support of the status quo will have more advantage over his/her rivals, and will most likely encounter a more favorable treatment in the media. This does not mean, however, that all audiences will opt for the ‘dominant’ or ‘preferred’ reading (to use Hall’s 1999 expression) of the campaign put forward by the media. Their responses will differ according to their own needs and as well as social and economic background. In other words, they will seek to negotiate their own priorities, likes and dislikes with the material presented to them by the press. Writing about Brazilian politics, Lins da Silva (2002: 66) emphasises the lack of real proof that political marketing exercised a major influence on Fernando Collor’s victory over Lula in Brazil’s 1989 election. According to Lins da Silva, ‘what scientific research demonstrates is that the electronic media … function much more to confirm attitudes and opinions previously assumed than to alter them’ (2002: 78). Thus there is much controversy across the world regarding the capacity and power of a country’s press to change the course of government. It is easy to assume that people who read a pro-Conservative newspaper are more likely to vote Conservative, but it is difficult to tell if this arises from the fact that people chose a newspaper because of its politics, or if this is a result of the influence the paper has on its reader (Curtice, cited in Barnett and Gaber, 2001: 27). Much in the same way as there are difficulties in understanding the precise nature of the impact of political messages on readers, the effects of political campaigning strategies on the public are difficult to trace. Various campaign studies point further to the complementary roles played by the media and interpersonal communication in influencing an individual’s political decision (Schmitt-Beck and Farrell, 2002). Campaign practices have also been changing rapidly in order to adapt to the new demands of television news and political journalism. Various scholars have pointed to the growing spread across the world of political campaigning practices that

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are quite similar to US styles of campaigning, which has been considered by some critics to be a new form of ‘cultural imperialism’ or ‘Americanisation’ of politics (Hallin, 1994; Swanson and Mancini, 1996; Scammell, 2000). Swanson and Mancini (1996) identify some political campaigning practices which seem to be common across the world: the use of political commercials; the adoption of marketing techniques by political parties to attract voters (cf. Scammell, 2000); and the selection of political candidates based on their appealing image (i.e. the ‘personalisation of politics’). Other trends include the transference of power from party structures to individual politicians; the use of the technical expertise of media professionals; and the central role occupied by the news media in the political process (Bowler and Farrell, 1992; Wring and Horrocks, 2001). The medium of television has been assigned a key role in the portrayal of contemporary ‘celebrity-style’ politics, and it is argued that the format of TV favours personalisation and triviality over substance for structural reasons (Meyer, 2002; Swanson and Mancini, 1996). Television has been further accused of being an important contributor to the crisis of political parties (Agnanoff, 1972, in Swanson and Mancini, 1996) due to its focus mainly on politicians’ human qualities. Critics see these developments in political communications as failures of parties to address serious national problems (Bennett, 1992; Jamieson, 1992). They argue that the adoption of political marketing techniques by political parties on one side, and the personalisation of politics by the media on the other, is proof of the commercialisation of politics (McNair, 1995: 41). Some of the criticisms here are that political marketing is destroying the very function of leadership. In spite of the attacks on the conservatives that they were ‘selling politics like soap’, marketing practices soon were rapidly adopted by the left, not only in the UK but also in countries like Brazil and Chile. The rise of political consultants is perceived as a major factor in this changed political environment. Many have acquired a celebrity status. This has been the case in the UK with New Labour’s Philip Gould and in Brazil with Duda Mendonca. The latter was a key marketer and strategist behind the change of the PT’s image in the 2002 elections (Matos, 2008; Cotrim-Macieira, 2005). Swanson and Mancini (1996: 6) consider the term ‘modernisation’ perhaps better suited to define the adoption of Americanised campaign methods, for it reflects the more general changes that are occurring in many societies and the ways in which each particular country is adopting certain strategies to suit their own needs. ‘Americanisation’ is thus seen as being

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more problematic, a highly ideological term which falsely gives the impression that the rest of the world is adapting uncritically to US standards of practice. Similarly to the attacks made to the cultural imperialism theses, it assumes too rapidly that there are only one-way flows between the USA (First World) and the rest of the world (Third World). Scammell argues that the spread of ‘Americanisation’ can be seen as a facet of globalisation (1998, cited in Ward et al., 2003: 15), and should be understood more as a process of adaptation and negotiation rather than the ‘injecting’ of particular American campaign styles. It is simplistic to see the use of American-style politics in Latin America as a straightforward case of ‘cultural imperialism’ (Waisbord, 1995: 214). It was only in the 1980s that the conditions were created for the adaptation of an American style of campaigning. By this decade, most of the countries in the continent had already moved away from dictatorship regimes, and were slowly advancing towards political liberalism as well as adopting neoliberal economic policies (Waisbord, 1995). Waisbord notes that the Argentine case offers an interesting example for the discussion of the Americanisation of contemporary campaign practices. Since the return of democracy in Argentina in 1983, some ‘modern’ practices which were adopted included the use of consumer-style advertising, slogans on TV spots and the presence of campaign consultants. Waisbord lists the national conditions that create a good terrain for the adoption of US-style campaigning practices as being mainly the presidential system and the commercially-run media, which privileges personalisation. He concludes that the homogenisation of worldwide electioneering practices under the US model in Latin American countries was possible due to three key developments, including the existence of commercial imperatives which gained currency in European broadcasting, the fact that diplomatic envoys championed US party structures, and because American consultants marketed their skills to various emerging democracies (Waisbord, 1995). In comparison with Argentina however, the PT in Brazil changed in 2002, having suffered three election defeats (Matos, 2008; Cotrim-Maciera, 2005). Political marketing techniques and the adaptation of US-style campaign practices emerged during the first presidential elections following the end of the dictatorship, in the wake of the disputes between Collor and Lula during the 1989 TV Globo presidential debates. Political marketing strategies began to occupy a more important role in Brazilian politics in the 1990s. In 1989, the PT’s campaign was constructed in a very amateurish way, relying heavily on the use of creative slogans, ads and party broadcasts

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done by the TV do Povo (People’s TV), an ironic satire programme and a linguistic contrast to TV Globo. Television from this moment onwards began to occupy a more central role in political campaigning. The Worker’s Party managed to win the historic 2002 elections only after adopting profoundly different communication and campaigning techniques (Cotrim-Macieira, 2005), which included the famous Caravanas, intimate rallies conducted by Lula with voters from many cities of the north-east (Matos, 2008). These rallies can be seen as being characteristic of the new populism and personalistic style of practising politics in Latin America. The dynamics of Brazilian elections during the post-dictatorship phase has consisted precisely in the exaltation of such personal leadership styles, rather than pure ideological competition between parties (Cotrim-Macieira, 2005: 151). Moreover, the 1994 presidential election contest between Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) and Lula (PT) already made use of modern campaign practices. Politicians conducted focus groups and used surveys to assess the needs of voters, with Cardoso’s image being constructed in 1994 in an attempt to adapt a Clinton-Blairite style of doing politics to the Brazilian reality. Lins da Silva (2002: 10) comments that, by the 2002 elections, amounts of money varying from 0.5 to 1 per cent of the GNP (Gross National Product) were being spent on marketing activities. Even before this, the former president Cardoso had spent US$ 41 million on political campaigning, while Bill Clinton in 1992 spent US$ 43 million. Thus, since 2000, various scholars have considered it impossible to imagine elections occurring in any country without the assistance of political marketing and the influence of money (Figueiredo, 2003, cited in Cotrim-Macieira, 2005).1 If the ‘euphoric’ 2002 presidential election campaign was considered a landmark in contemporary Brazilian history, the 2006 election was a great contrast. It was marked by accusations from the press of corrupt practice among certain sections of the government, stimulating political cynicism among the cultural elites and segments of the general public. In order to better understand Brazil’s political system and current political campaign practices, the next section examines key political scandals which have overwhelmed Latin America in the last years.

Political Trends and Scandals in Brazil

One might perhaps say that two important political events persuaded many sectors of Brazilian society, including youngsters as well as elements of the intellectual and cultural elites, that politics is a path for the self-promotion

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and personal enrichment of politicians. These were the impeachment of the politically corrupt and adventurous politician Fernando Collor in 1989, and his return as Senator in Alagoas in 2006, after 14 years out of office, and the revelations of wrongdoing committed by petistas working for the government and the mensalao scandal which overwhelmed the 2006 elections. Moreover, in 2009 both the Senate and the House of Chambers were touched by accusations of misuse of public funds, with the then current president of the Senate, Jose Sarney (PMDB-AP), being the subject of seven different law suits, including the favouring of relatives for employment in Congress.2 After analysing four different approaches to the understanding of what constitutes ‘scandal’ in modern societies, Thompson (2000) has elaborated a social theory of scandal. He states that scandals are ‘struggles over symbolic power in which reputation and trust are at stake’ (2000: 245). Thompson reminds us that trust is a fundamental element in social interactions, from the sphere of personal relationships in everyday life, to cooperation in an increasingly globalised world. Thus trust, the honest character of a politician and his reputation, are closely interwoven with issues of political engagement as well as political cynicism. Thompson further asserts that ‘repeated breaches of trust can generate an attitude of deep distrust … individuals may be inclined to distrust, not just particular leaders, but politicians per se’ (2000: 245). It must be emphasised that there is an acute difference between, on the one hand, the politician’s use of the internet and of the media during election campaigns as a democratic right, and the benefits that this has for citizens, and on the other hand, the very different situation of misuse of state communication structures or public funds, such as the ‘public’ media, for personal gain. This is not to mention the promiscuous relationships between politicians and some commercial media owners, and the effects this can have on the media coverage of politics (Matos, 2008). In this book I have talked about the historic tradition of misuse of public communication structures in Brazil for political interests, and how the project of strengthening these media for the collective good is still subject to these constraints. According to data gathered by the Instituto de Estudos e Pesquisas em Comunicacao (Epcom) in 2008, 271 politicians, including senators, MPs, mayors and governors, are partners or owners of 348 broadcasting radio and television stations. This goes against Article 54, Chapter 1 of the Brazilian Constitution. These numbers include only those who have direct and official links with these vehicles. They exclude other indirect relationships which are maintained between politicians with the media.3

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Some of the key trends and characteristics of the ‘Brazilian style’ of doing politics thus include the buying of votes of less privileged sectors of society by oligarchic politicians of the north-east, like Collor himself; the use of state structures, otherwise known as ‘the machine’; the bribery and intimidation of actors involved in the electoral process; the distribution of personal donations, such as meal bags and T-shirts; the setting up of charity institutions to gain support of citizens; and the use of community radios and state television stations as well as the appeal to religious voters.4 In this sense, the promiscuous relations between journalists and politicians, the politicisation of broadcasting and of regulation, the political parallelism of the press, and the tradition of partnership of the media are all factors sufficient in themselves to undermine claims about the fortification of a public service media committed to the public interest. Before looking at the role of the internet in providing wider avenues for citizens’ political mobilisation, scrutiny of politicians, and efforts to reduce corruption practices, it is worth looking at the uses of the internet during the 2006 presidential campaign, amid debates on the growing politicisation and civic mobilisation of Brazil’s blogosphere.

The Media and the 2006 Presidential Campaign

Various researchers have stressed how the media coverage of the 2006 presidential elections was overwhelmed by press denunciations of corruption in sectors of the Lula government (Jakobsen, 2007; Alde, Mendes and Figueiredo, 2007, cited in Lima, 2007). A story published by O Globo emphasised that the 2006 presidential election had fewer null votes than the 2002 election, the former being 5.68 per cent and the latter 7.36 per cent.5 The story also indicated that the percentage of null votes was more pronounced in the north-east of the country (7.38 per cent), which suffers from more inequality and corruption. The south registered lower numbers (4.14 per cent) and Rio, the fewest null votes (4.33 per cent). The fact of the matter is that the new media reality of wider scrutiny of politicians has made them more vulnerable to media attacks and negative (partisan) campaigning as well as public exposure of both their private lives and political wrongdoings, be it in developed or developing countries. The use of the internet during the 2006 election period in Brazil seems to have little relevance. According to Barros Filho et al. (2006: 98), the participation of citizens during the presidential elections campaign of 2006 tended to reproduce patterns already verified in advanced democracies in Europe and the USA. These include restricted participation and use of the web by mostly political active members of these societies, indicating a tendency to

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reinforce the partisan preferences and behaviours detected in the offline world. This pattern did not significantly change in the 2010 campaign, as we shall see. Barros Filho et al. analysed the role of internet and blogging in the 2006 presidential election campaign in Brazil, pointing out that the main political blogs of journalists Ricardo Noblat, Josias de Souza and Fernando Rodrigues were all attached to mainstream newspapers. They attracted an audience of 340,000 users per month. This reveals a strong tendency to convergence of traditional and ‘new’ media. Barros Filho et al. also highlight the contrast between the online political activism detected during the last week of the 2006 campaign with the low political activity of the population in general (2006: 96). They stress that the presidential candidates, Lula of the PT and Geraldo Alckmin of the PSDB, achieved a daily volume of over 20,000 comments in the last week of the election. The largest anti-Lula community had 204,000 people registered. According to Barros Filho et al. (2006), the internet was used by voters more to declare their support for a candidate than as a ‘forum of debate’ in the Habermasian sense alluded to earlier. The communities functioned as a source of information and confirmation, or rejection of negative campaigning attacks and rumours. Research conducted by the Observatorio Brasileiro de Midia (OBM) (the Brazilian branch of Media Watch Global, created during the World Social Forum in January 2003 and coordinated by Kjeld Jakobsen) showed Lula receiving a negative coverage in the 2006 presidential elections both as a candidate and as president in the main Brazilian mainstream newspapers and magazines. Jakobsen (2007) reminds us that the 2006 elections can only be fully understood by taking into consideration the political scandal of the mensalao and the rise of political cynicism which followed it. The media launched an anti-corruption campaign with a slightly moralistic undertone. One could argue that the media environment at the time can be understood along the lines of Thompson’s (2000) argument concerning the ways in which the publication of political scandals by the press emerge as an act of ‘purification’ above anything else. Nonetheless, when it comes to TV Globo, a brief analysis I conducted of news broadcasts between the first and the second round reveals that there were clear attempts of the organisation of conducting a balanced campaign. Accusations were made about other subtle attempts of manipulation. This includes the wide coverage given to political corruption in governmental sectors as well as the focus on events which were seen as contributing to damage the reputation of the PT. An emblematic episode here was when

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members of the parties were accused of trying to buy documents against Jose Serra, then rival of the petista Aloizio Mercadante for the government of São Paulo. In another article from Lima’s book A Midia nas Eleicoes de 2006 (2007), former special TV Globo reporter Rodrigo Vianna highlights the drive for professionalism and balance within the organisation under the reign of Evandro Carlos de Andrade, director of the newsroom. This point was previously stressed by me and other scholars and journalists (Matos, 2008; Bucci, 2000; Conti, 1999). Vianna, for instance, points out that during the September and October of 2006, the situation at TV Globo became different: ‘there was intervention in our texts, change of words due to bosses’ orders, interviews of candidates in the streets previously chosen … All of that happened. And that was not the worst.’Another former TV Globo journalist and UK correspondent, professor Antonio Brasil underlines how journalism in the organisation has improved a lot in the last years: There are good programmes that attempt to innovate and experiment, like Profissao Reporter with Caco Barcellos. In relation to journalism, Globo is still very pro-officialdom, but it covers the country much more. Journalists from TV Globo are also very qualified professionals. The limits imposed by the political and economic interests of the firm, however, impede a better journalism, but it is still the best in the country … The organisation’s attempts at balance include granting Lula and Alckmin equal airtime on television, following the end of the first round. Lula, however, appeared more defensive and reactive to the PT corruption incident, and eager to highlight the government’s achievements in tackling poverty reduction. TV Globo also conducted interviews with coordinators from both parties on separate incidents on various policy proposals. The fact of the matter is that media organisations in Brazil still cultivate close ties to particular political parties, either directly or indirectly and independently if they are private or public vehicles. According to Gabriel Priolli, the idea to strengthen public media was already subject to political considerations at its birth: In 2005, when the mensalao scandals emerged, that was when they ‘sold’ the idea to Lula to have TV Brasil, of having a strong public network capable of competing with the private, as the government wanted a media which could be more favourable … The government

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wanted an instrument to defend itself, and it convinced itself that it was important. This is a contradiction with the real role that public TV should have … There is actually a lot of idealism and hypocrisy in this whole discussion … People say that all you need is another option to TV Globo for people to change channels, but the reality is that they do not, they do not change to TV Brasil. I believe that this issue has a direct relation to education as well, for a better quality education produces audiences of better quality … more sensitive and … interested in watching the public media … In spite of the growth on one hand of political cynicism due to the mensalao scandal and the high salaries of politicians, there has been a wider optimism about Brazilian politics. The political situation of the 2010 presidential election was very different and much more favorable to Lula than it was in 2006. Most of the candidates of the 2010 elections, from Marina of the PV to the tucano Serra, campaigned in the shadow of Lula’s legacy of having overcome personal poverty and prejudice. The 2010 campaign was thus fought in a much more favorable climate for Lula, and this was reflected in the final year of his presidency. The government’s approval ratings reached 80 per cent. Enthusiastic bloggers campaigned in favour of the PT’s candidature during the 2010 elections. Lima (2007) argues that bloggers were already active during the 2006 elections, with the internet offering a space for the articulation of a discourse capable of going against or challenging the hegemony that had been constructed in the mainstream media. Lima defines the web’s role in political campaigning in Brazil as contributing to the promotion of active niche circles of debate. Nevertheless, one should not romanticise the idea that ‘revolutionary’ bloggers acted against a ‘conservative’ media. For the relationship between the media and politics is much more contradictory and complex than a black-and-white picture would at first suggest. This is not to say that the internet cannot offer benefits for political parties and activists throughout Latin American countries. It can for a start offer opportunities for smaller parties and candidates to get to know voters better, and provide ordinary citizens with a voice and a chance to criticise political and media institutions. It can also be perceived as an extra tool to enable mobilisation, policy discussions and wider proximity with citizens beyond the two existent types of political party programmes broadcast on radio and television. The ways in which the internet was used in the 2010 Brazilian political campaign is investigated next.

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The Role of the Internet and Gender Politics in the 2010 Campaign

The Benefits of Networked Politics A major component of the 2010 presidential elections in Brazil was the massive presence of the internet in political campaigning as a means of promoting candidates and providing varied information about their political personas to voters. Although the internet has featured in the everyday life of middle-class sections of Brazilian society, and in much of Latin America, since the mid-1990s, its adoption by politicians is much more recent. Online democracy started to make its presence more strongly felt in Brazil during and after the 2006 elections. However, it was not until 2010 that new electoral legislation released previous constraints on internet campaigning, including allowing online fundraising and the donation of money through websites, similarly to what happens in the United States. As discussed in the previous chapter, democratic politics currently plays a minor role in cyberspace, which is still heavily dominated by commercial corporations. The internet is seen more as a space to advertise products to consumers and to trade, than as a locus in which to improve the democratic quality of public and civic life (Margolis et al., 2003: 65). More utopian or highly optimistic theories about the internet, however, argue that the web has profoundly shaped contemporary life, from the selling of books to the ways in which politics is being practised worldwide (Clark and Aufderheide, 2009). In Brazil and in most of Latin America the situation is not so different to what occurs in Northern Europe and the USA. Baker (2001) attempts to articulate an alternative conceptualisation of elections, one which sees elections as performing a role which is vital and democratic but which is at the same time institutionally limited. Drawing on Habermas, Baker believes that the crucial but limited democratic function of elections is to serve as one structural filter that helps public opinion to influence the formation of governmental will (Habermas, 1997). Elections are just one among other institutional political activities, which include legislative lobbying, committee hearings and agency hearings. Thus it can be said that real actual politics can take place primarily in the unregulated public spheres of civil society rather than in elections. The space provided by the internet during election campaigns is precisely such a place. Digital politics can thus be understood here in its broader sense, in other words, as the carrying out of political debate between voters, or as non-partisan discussions or forms of civic engagement by sectors of the community who gather online to deliberate on ways of improving their own lives.

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Much of the literature on online politics and cyber-activism has spotted precisely this space for the articulation of debate and for the growth of fringe parties on the internet. High expectations have also been placed by cyberenthusiasts on the capacity of information and communication technologies to benefit minor parties and other political voices which are marginalised from the mainstream, as we have seen. This contributes to the creation of an alternative sphere of debate which could be a counterweight to the dominant status quo discourses which proliferate on the web (Ward et al., 2003; Morris, 1999). Key characteristics of internet campaigning are undoubtedly the use of the web to store more information than traditional media; the interactivity provided by the medium, such as the possibility of voters giving feedback; the decentralisation of campaigning; and the wider and more direct engagement of politicians with voters (i.e. more personalisation). Politicians can still target specific voters and groups through emails (Ward et al., 2003: 15). Political scientists have also hailed the potential of the internet not only to reach out to disaffected or disillusioned voters but also to attract the youth vote. Much before the Obama effect, the British Labour Party made use of the internet to mobilise voters in the 1997 and 2001 elections, as did Al Gore in the 2000 US presidential election campaign (Ward et al., 2003: 18). The fact is that we know little about the actual effect of the internet on the transformation of the formal political process. We know there is a positive correlation between exposure to the media and political participation (Norris, 2000). Research has shown that party websites do not make much difference in terms of changing voting patterns. Focus group studies in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands for instance have revealed mixed reactions (Nixon and Johansson, 1999a; Crabtree, 2001, cited in Ward et al., 2003: 25). Interactivity has its limits. Many surveys have indicated a reluctance of parties to engage in open dialogue with voters. As Gibson and Ward (1999: 364) correctly comment: ‘providing online channels for participation … is not the same as empowering members’. Having said this, Gibson and Ward do recognise that the internet can make more of an impact in emerging democracies, including destabilising one-party regimes and serving as a counterweight to one-sided media discourses. A comparison can be made between the expansion of digital democracy in Brazil in the 2010 elections with uses of the internet in Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. According to data gathered by the Pew Internet and American Life Project survey, some 74 per cent of internet users, or 55 per cent of the adult population, went online in 2008 to get

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news and information about the election. More than half of the population used the internet then to get involved in the political process. Two-thirds of voters between the ages of 18 and 24 also engaged in political activity on these sites in 2008. Similarly to Americans in 2008, allowing for the overall lower levels of internet use in Latin America, many Brazilians went online during the 2010 election to share their views with other citizens and bloggers. Brazilian politicians in the 2010 elections also attempted to copy the 2008 ‘Obama effect’ by actively going on the internet to attract voters. From the earlier discussion of studies of media effects on voters and citizens, it seems clear that the impact of the internet must be understood in relation to other social, economic and political factors, and also the intensity of the activism carried out by citizens in a specific period. Online political activism is said to have played a major part in the overthrow of the Mubarak regime in Egypt in early 2011. However, only further and detailed research would help us begin to answer the nature of the impact of the internet on certain elections and other political campaigns and causes. When it comes to Brazil, the internet offers alternative spaces to play out politics, to scrutinise the activities of politicians and to apply pressure for the approval of particular welfare reforms, especially in a context where the mainstream media are still in the process of fortifying their commitments to professionalism and balance. As I contend elsewhere (Matos, 2008), in spite of the limits of the objectivity regime and the contestation of the fact that most people are not impartial, the balance criteria is especially important and is vital as a means of stimulating the portrayal of various viewpoints in the mainstream media. Its aim should be to represent the country’s political diversity, providing further avenues for the advancement of controversial issues whenever possible. As discussed earlier, the internet undoubtedly has its limits, including a strong investment by corporate power; the political and economic situation of the given country; and the particular historical context of the online campaign. Nevertheless, similarly to the USA and in Europe, the internet emerges as a tool to mobilise what is called the ‘organic voter’, or those who constitute the most engaged sectors of the electorate who have been voting in the same party for various elections (in Lima, 2007: 99). In the UK some sections of the electorate during campaigns could be classified as ‘organic voters’. These voters go online either to support or reject the Conservative or Labour parties. Something similar is beginning to emerge with some force in Brazil, as the clashes between the PT and the PSDB have shown, particularly since the 1994 presidential election.

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It is more correct, however, to say the web is emerging around the world, be it in Egypt, Brazil or the UK, as a valid space for opposition groups, or parties who feel marginalised from the mainstream, from either the Conservative or Progressive side of the political spectrum. These groups can use the web to engage in negative campaigning. The internet can thus function to reinforce prejudices and partisan beliefs and stances, or it can emerge as a space where opposition groups and others supporting diverse causes do not simply attack each other but strive to debate particular issues. From whatever perspective we look at it, though, it seems to be the case that these ‘multiple discourses’ which are being articulated on the internet can assist in the creation of a vibrant public space of debate, especially for transitional or emerging democracies like Brazil. In spite of limits on access and connectivity, during Brazil’s 2010 election the internet functioned as an important tool to counterbalance the discourses articulated by the mainstream press. Blogging contradictorily became a significant force against the partisanship of the mainstream media, at the same time as many bloggers used the web to advocate particular causes or to defend particular candidates. This was the case, for instance, for the group of bloggers who reacted against the perceived bias of newspapers like Folha de São Paulo in their coverage of the presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff, as we shall see. If commercial Brazilian television, as pointed out by a series of scholars (Leal Filho, 2006; Lins da Silva, 2010) and others interviewed here, is still aesthetically frustrating as well as offering little space for political debate, the internet can be perceived as a growing site for the wider circulation of information from different sources. It can provide more details to the public on party policies and biography. In this sense, it can stimulate more engagement, assuming a role that has been envisaged, as we have seen, for the public media. There has been a significant amount of online agitation and cyberactivism in Brazil in the last years. Certain civic Brazilian websites, like TVoto, Repolitica, Eleitor 2010, Transparencia Brasil and Vote na Web, intend both to stimulate public debate and civic engagement as well as to assist citizens with knowledge of the political process. They provide them with information on the biographies of politicians and provide a means to assess the performance of their chosen representatives, as well as to monitor them in an attempt to reduce the possibilities of corruption. The aim of the website Vote na Web (www.votenaweb.com.br), for example, is to enable citizens to follow closely the work of Brazilian MPs, including checking the proposals that they sent to Congress and monitoring

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how they voted on particular issues. Unfortunately, I will not be able to discuss more of these websites here, but there is little need to point out the potential here for future research on digital politics in Brazil, investigating the political impact of such websites. However, I do examine in the next section the Brazilian blogosphere during the 2010 elections, and the use of blogs to put forward policy proposals as well as to articulate discourses on women’s issues.

Gender Politics, Blogging and the Presidential Dispute

The re-democratisation of Latin America’s social and political institutions since the decade of the 1990s has also seen the development of a significant trend, namely, the changing role of women in society and the rise of female leaders throughout the continent and in Brazil. Women have slowly begun to occupy positions of power and influence, which has occurred within a wider context of growth in the feminisation of political activity in many Latin American countries. Buvinic and Roza (2004: 1) point out that Panama elected a woman president in 2003, Mireya Moscoso (1999–2004); soon afterwards Chile and Argentina followed by electing the former president Michelle Bachelet (2006–10) and Cristina Kirchner (2007), wife of the previous president Nestor Kirchner (2003–7), respectively. With increasing levels of education levels, a decline of the machismo culture, shifts in social habits, the greater impact of globalisation on local and national cultures, and pressure from international organisations to eliminate patterns of race and gender discrimination, women have gradually begun to occupy the leadership vacuum left by traditional oligarchic politicians and business elites. This new period following the collapse of dictatorship regimes in Latin America has seen also a rise in political cynicism in parallel with increasing publicisation of corruption scandals in the mainstream press, as we have seen. Such a volatile political environment has created a fertile ground for the emergence of strong women leaders, many of whom are perceived by the public as more trustworthy and less corrupt than their male counterparts. Buvinic and Roza cite a 2000 Gallup poll conducted for the InterAmerican Development Bank, with a random sample of 2,022 voters in six major Latin American cities (Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City; Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil and San Salvador), which revealed that the average voter had positive opinions concerning women’s place in politics (2004: 8). Buvinic and Roza add that, in a 2001 poll conducted in Brazil, the majority of those surveyed believed women in senior positions were more honest than men (2004: 12).

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In 2006 Heloisa Helena of the far left party, the PSOL, emerged as a frontrunner in Brazil’s presidential elections. It was not until 2010, however, that Brazil elected its first women president, Dilma Rouseff, who won the contest in the second round with 55.7 million votes (56.05), against the 43.7 million for her rival, Jose Serra of the PSDB (43.95 per cent). Brazil gave women the right to vote in 1934, although most of Central and South America, as outlined in Desposato and Norrander (2005: 7), gave women suffrage rights only after the Second World War. Women have undoubtedly come a long way in the last 80 years in Brazil. Dilma’s election in 2010 can be seen as a step towards the empowerment of the (Brazilian) women’s voice, on both the national and the international stage. It can also help to undermine the stereotyped and outdated visions of the West regarding the ‘Third World’ Latin American or Brazilian woman (Mohanty, 1990; Lugones and Spelman, 2005), and even of Brazilians in general. Thus the granting of wider space to Latin American women throughout the continent has the potential – symbolically at least – to contribute to create greater acceptability, normalising even more their participation in the region’s politics. It remains to be seen whether these new female voices will have a more direct impact, and help to eliminate or diminish female oppression, including pay inequalities between men and women, domestic violence towards women throughout the continent, the dominance of stereotypical portraits of women in the mainstream media, and the weak participation of women in politics. This is not to mention the continuing dominance of a culture of negativity, hostility and peer pressure from other women towards women who dare to pursue their talents and be taken seriously. There is a considerable lack of promotion of women to positions of greater authority either in the legislative, justice and executive bodies or in the business sector. Nonetheless, theories about the impact of women leadership styles on general improvement to women’s conditions in wider society are contested. Some authors claim that women in power imitate the aggressive, competitive and sometimes ‘corrupt’ behaviour of men or become even worse in their efforts to be taken seriously. Others argue, however, that women can be a force for social change in developing societies, lowering corruption levels due to their honesty and more cooperative and inclusive style. They can contribute to the greater credibility of institutions, and work to reduce oppression. It is too early to tell whether the greater participation of women in ministerial roles – 25 per cent – in Dilma’s government (2011–14) can produce deeper changes in the structural gender inequalities of Brazilian

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society. Most Latin American women certainly still face economic, social, cultural and political barriers not only to full political participation but also to equality in the marketplace and in mainstream society, and they occupy a low status position in the international labour market force.6 As Tereza Cruvinel, president of EBC, has highlighted, a major role of the country’s emerging public media in the country will be to tackle gender inequalities, to help reduce stereotyping, and to promote a more complex representation of the contemporary Brazilian woman.7 Thus the core themes of the Brazilian presidential election campaigns since 2002 have been the shift away from the struggle for economic stability, which marked the decade of the 1990s, to debates on development policies, which include the role of women in society, but are more generally concerned with giving the state a more substantial role in the application of social democratic politics and in the mediation of debates with citizens. This includes the means to boost social inclusion, foster greater income distribution and reduce poverty levels, topics which were placed on the public agenda by progressive politicians after the mid-1990s. Moreover, in 2006 Lula and the PT lost the support of significant sectors of the middle classes due to the mensalao scandal. This paved the way for the emergence of lulismo politics, causing the decline of idealism in politics, and seeing its substitution by political cynicism and excessive pragmatism. Lula’s legacy has thus been marked by controversies and divisions between those who claim that he was a populist president, following the tradition initiated by Vargas in the 1930s, and those who state that he was successful in combining economic heterodoxy with public policies in favour of poverty reduction. Thus if the key themes of the 2006 elections were political corruption and the reduction of inequality, the 2010 presidential Brazilian race was marked by the legacy of the two Lula governments (2002–6, 2006–10) and by the entry in the contest of two strong women candidates, Marina Silva and Dilma Rouseff. Prior to the 2010 elections, however, there was much of debate among academics regarding the likely impact of new technologies on the outcome of the 2010 race. Eduardo Graeff, Communication Secretary of the PSDB, predicted that the 2010 elections would be an election of transition, similar to the Howard Dean one in the USA in 2004 before the 2008 ‘Obama effect.’8 The Rio politician Cesar Maia, interviewed for this research, claimed to have started using the internet in 1996. Maia argued that the adoption of the internet by politicians in the 2006 general elections was still very limited, and did not really expand until 2010. Coordinator of the Marina Silva campaign, Alfredo Sirkis,

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added that the internet began to have influence in 2006, and correctly predicted that its use would be ‘intense’ in the 2010 elections. Only future research which can contrast the use of the internet in the 2006 and 2010 Brazilian presidential elections would be able to confirm this hypothesis. In spite of the presence of high profile female candidates in the 2010 elections, according to the Supreme Electoral Court of Justice (TSE) 79 per cent (15,780) of the candidates for various political positions (governor, Senator and MP) were men, against only 20 per cent (4,058) women candidates.9 Popular themes which dominated the 2010 campaign included greater investment in education, at both the elementary and the university level, improvement the public health system, and expansion of the social and wealth distribution reforms associated with the Lula government, such as the Bolsa Familia, not to mention other programmes which started in the Cardoso administration (1994–2002). One month before the elections, Marina Silva (www.minhamarina.org. br) was pointed out as being the most popular candidate on the social network sites, owing to her influence on the youth vote, according to experts. She held the biggest number of participants in her online profiles in social network sites such as Orkut (46,584) and Facebook (41,977), while Serra dominated in Twitter, with 455,186 followers, ahead of Marina (244,057), Dilma (235,519) and Plinio Sampaio of the PSOL (41,064).10 All the official websites had links to other blogs and social network sites, from YouTube to Flickr and Facebook, as well as requests for online donations, information on campaign events, future policy proposals and a space to answer voters’ questions. Dilma also explored the women’s vote during her campaign, with her website (www.dilma13.com.br) containing links to various other women’s blogs. These included Hip Hop Mulher, Galera da Dilma, PCdoB Mulheres and Viva Mulher, as well as information on the relationship between women and politics in Brazil. Another novelty of the 2010 elections was the greater consolidation of the internet as a space for independent journalism. The Brazilian blogosphere showed a high level of politicisation in 2010. One marked feature of the campaign was the revival of the clashes between sectors of the mainstream media with Dilma’s candidature. During the elections, the newspaper Estado de São Paulo openly declared its support for Serra. The internet was also widely used for attack campaigning and the exchange of accusations between both parties. One of the most talked about events of the presidential campaign was the ironic and humorous reaction of bloggers towards the newspaper Folha

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de São Paulo. Bloggers ironically criticised what they thought was a biased campaign coverage that attempted to assign blame to Dilma to all the errors committed by particular individuals or ministers of the former Lula government. In response to a story published by Folha on how light consumers paid R$ 1 billion reais for an error committed by Dilma,11 a group of activist bloggers created a popular tag on Twitter called DilmaFactsbyFolha. This soon became the third most commented theme on the internet, according to the rankings of Trending Topics Brazil. The bloggers went on the web to question the objectivity and partiality of the newspaper by coming up with fictional headlines that attempted to emphasis the partisan character of the accusations, and by attributing random blame to the candidate for various disconnected and irrational facts. Fictional headlines included ironic sentences like ‘Folha has proof that Dilma was responsible for the collapse of the Roman Empire’, ‘Folha suspects that Dilma was responsible for the fall of other airplanes’, ‘Dilma said to Bush: in six months you will sort out the Iraq business’ and ‘Because she is a masochist, Dilma tortured herself, says general to Folha’. In other Latin American countries the internet has also begun to emerge as a strong political space. In Cuba the blogosphere is being used by activists to criticise the dictatorship in the country, with the blogger Yoani Sanchez gaining notoriety. In Venezuela, both sympathisers and opponents of Hugo Chavez are using the internet to organise political protests and to endorse or reject particular causes. The government also claims to have increased access to the web by 900 per cent: 820,000 people had access to it in 2000 but in 2009 the numbers had increased to 497.5 million users.12 Thus the use of the internet to conduct presidential debates by mainstream media vehicles like the Folha and Globo organisations, the provision of in-depth political information by political parties to voters, the monitoring of Congressional activities, the engagement in attack campaigning by voters, and the realisation of independent and critical journalism as a counterweight to the mainstream press attest to the growing significance of the internet in Brazil and in other Latin American countries. In the last chapter, we saw that Latin America is an expanding market for the internet. It thus seems clear that the internet has the potential to exercise wider influence and a political role in countries like Brazil, especially once access to these new technologies is significantly expanded, with the digital divide decreasing and the medium becoming truly used for the ‘public interest’, in spite of all the complexities and contradictions that this creates.

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Conclusion

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Part IV has attempted to dissect some of the key debates concerning the uses of the internet as a medium for the public interest in Latin America, and especially in Brazil. It has looked also at some of the major debates on the digital divide gap between richer and poorer countries, and the ways in which enabling wider access to the internet can help to reduce social and economic inequalities both within and between countries. The two chapters of Part IV engaged in a critical analysis of the theories and perspectives on the various uses of the web, including the possibilities that it offers for monitoring politicians and their activities, thus providing wider avenues for public transparency and scrutiny of governments. The discussion in these chapters also emphasised the internet’s expanding role as an alternative space for public debate in Brazil in contrast to the partisanship that still prevails in sectors of the media. Chapter 7 also provided a critical evaluation of the literature on the political impact of media messages and the lack of consensus about how exactly communication vehicles affect voting and political attitudes. It moved on to examine the rise in political cynicism, and the ways in which digital online democracy can help to stimulate civic engagement and reverse the negative trends towards politics that exist in both advanced democracies and transitional ones. It seems to go without saying that these latter countries cannot afford to push people away from the political process at a moment when many precisely need wider civic participation on vital themes, including how the expansion of democratisation, reduction of poverty, and reform of the media. Part V moves on to provide a tentative conclusion. It assesses some of the core hypotheses and questions set out in Part I, such as the role of political, economic and cultural globalisation in Latin American societies, and the problems that these countries currently confront at local, national and global levels. It expands on the issues of global inequality and media democratisation in Latin America, examining further debates on cosmopolitanism and the new legislation on broadcasting, which will be negotiated between civil society, members of the public and the government during the Dilma administration (2011–14). It concludes by looking at some of the challenges faced by digital television and the proliferation of new media outlets in Brazil, and the ways in which the public media platform can function as a counterweight to further commercialisation of the media in Latin America.

9

CONCLUSION One of the key purposes of this book has been to examine the state of public service broadcasting and the public media in Latin America, and specifically Brazil, in comparison with Europe and the UK, and to consider the challenges they face at the beginning of the twenty-first century. As stated in the Introduction, a core concern of the public service broadcasting ethos has always been the ways in which ideas, information and debate can contribute to promoting progress, assisting in national development and improving the health of a particular democracy. We have seen here how the Latin American continent has changed significantly since the fall of dictatorship regimes, with democracy flourishing in the continent amid the rise to power of centre to centre-left governments in recent years. This culminated in new approaches to foreign policy, new efforts to restructure the state, the expansion of internal and global markets and the deepening of welfare and income distribution programmes. Other innovations have included the adoption of initiatives aimed at empowering public communications to assist in the democratisation process, thus guaranteeing information rights to vast sections of the population independently of economic income and social status. This last chapter summarises the main points developed in this book, expanding further on some of the issues raised in Part I concerning the ways in which the public media can contribute to democratisation. Among the core issues which have been raised and examined throughout this book has been the necessity to adopt and implement a new regulatory framework for the media and a regulation for broadcasting that is truly committed to the public interest. I have also emphasised the need for the articulation of an international working agenda that privileges a more just social order for Latin America, including its wider inclusion in global decision-making as an equal, not a subordinate, player.

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I also discuss here the future perspectives for the media in Latin America, analysing some of the dilemmas concerning digitalisation and the growth of newspaper readership. As we saw in the last chapter, the internet across the world has been used for political activism and to improve transparency in politics and decision-making, from the Egyptian protests in early 2011 to the release of secret US State Department cables by the website Wikileaks from November 2010. In the case of Latin America, we have seen how making new technologies and the internet more accessible to larger sectors of the population is vital for an increase in civic participation and political engagement, and is also dependent on improvements in educational levels and IT skills. Nonetheless, as I have highlighted, the internet in Latin America and in Brazil is slowly helping to energise the region’s still predominantly conservative mediated public sphere.

General Perspectives

The research carried out in this book has made use of a sophisticated triangulation methodology, which included carrying out an online survey of communication students at UFRJ university in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; conducting in-depth interviews with policy-makers, journalists and politicians; the discussion of programmes from the public TV channel TV Brasil; the critical assessment of the impact and uses of party political websites and blogs during the 2010 Brazilian elections campaigns; and the gathering of data on the history and development of the public media in mainly the UK and Brazil, as well as some other Latin American countries. This book has adopted a highly interdisciplinary approach concerning the subject of the relationship between media and politics in order to articulate its key intellectual frameworks, having drawn from theories from the comparative political communications field, political science, cultural and development studies as well as media and Latin American and Brazilian studies. This multidisciplinary intellectual approach has been adopted here because I understand that no thorough analysis of the relationship between the media and politics is complete without the examination of how these systems relate to cultural, historical, social, political and economic parameters. As I affirmed in Part I, this triangulation methodology, with its emphasis on multiple methods, has been considered the best option because it avoids the biases of a single approach, while also being more capable of capturing the complexities of the theme under investigation by attempting to offer a

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‘thick description’ (Jick, 1979: 608–9, cited in Jankowski and Wester, 1991) of the particularities of the topic. Part I discussed the historical development of public communications in Latin America and its tradition of neglect and misuse by politicians for their own personal interests; Part II explored the relationship between public service broadcasting and the collective good, from the European public service tradition to journalism cultures for the public interest in the light of a decline of civic communications in advanced democracies viewed from the comparative perspective of the perceived crisis in journalism in Brazil; Part III examined the nature of the medium of television as well as the dichotomy of private and public television broadcasting in order to assess the traditional role that public television has performed worldwide. I also conducted empirical work with sectors of the Brazilian audience on media consumption habits, analysing how certain sectors of the population see the role of the public media in the country and its relationship to society and the political process. Part IV further investigated political campaigning and modernisation practices adopted in Latin America and the debate on the adoption of ‘American’ political styles of campaigning by countries across the world. It explored the rise of political cynicism and apathy from a comparative perspective in the context of the similar phenomena which have dominated advanced democracies since the 1980s. The second chapter of Part IV, Chapter 8, looked at the deliberations concerning the potential of the internet to boost the mediated public sphere, reverse the growing trend of political cynicism and serve as a tool for citizens in Brazil to discuss future policies aimed at strengthening democratisation. I also contended that the public media and the internet, beyond being vehicles for social and political inclusion, can play a role in improving educational levels, contributing further to integrate Latin American citizens within globalisation. Such a role, however, has its limits due to the persistence of relatively low levels of internet access in the whole region, as well as the contestation of the existence of small audiences for public television and cultural, educational and more in-depth quality programming and information. First, however, it is necessary to refer back to the four main questions set out in the Introduction: 1 Can the integration of the public media platform contribute to strengthen press freedom and expand political democratisation in the region?

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2

What role can the public media platform perform in the deepening of the democratisation project in countries like Brazil? 3 Can the public media offer better quality information and debate, contributing for wider cultural emancipation and increased levels of education? 4 What lessons can be learned from the tradition of European public service broadcasting, and the relationship that it has established with democracy? The answer to the first question is not clear-cut. To begin with, the public media platform in Latin American countries can contribute to strengthen press freedom if it remains independent from both the public and the private sectors. So, no, it cannot fortify political pluralism and represent the whole of the political spectrum, as class liberal theory on the media would have it, if it continues to reinforce the tradition of use of the communication public structures for the personal interests of politicians or other vested private or commercial interest groups. In Part I, I also examined critically some of the recent changes in communication policy and media reform that is taking place in countries like Argentina. Journalists and academics like Brasil and Leal Filho, as well as Lima and Bolano (2007), have emphasised the much slower progress that Brazil has taken in contrast to the rest of the continent. Difficulties still exist in implementing further media reform in contrast to other social welfare programmes and governmental initiatives. As we have seen, this is rooted in the clashes between the opposing political players in the region, mainly the progressive and conservative forces represented in politics, government and sectors of the media, and the political pressures placed on public communications by politicians from across the political spectrum, be it the PT or the PSDB in Brazil or other parties. As both the interviews and the survey reported here have shown, the public media do provide a space for the proliferation of debate, but this potential remains still relatively unexplored. It is also currently subjected to a series of both political and economic constraints. As we have seen also from some responses to the UFRJ survey, there is still widespread misunderstanding, lack of interest in and inadequate knowledge of what exactly the public media stand for. Many respondents revealed how they mainly watch commercial television, TV Globo, and cable and satellite television, while a growing number are abandoning TV and shifting to the internet instead. A persistent pattern that emerged from the answers was that public television has not penetrated beyond a limited extent into the key viewing of the

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respondents. This serves to confirm the already recognised dominance of commercial television in everyday life in Brazil among most sectors of the population, especially the working classes but also including sectors of the elites. There is also little understanding of what the precise purposes of the public media actually are. Most Brazilian audiences are highly accustomed to commercial television, its formats and genres. That said, a significant 71 per cent of students are defenders of the public media. They recognise its importance and underscore the role that the public media could have in correcting market failure, complementing the commercial media, and contributing to democratisation. Thus a vacuum was detected, and a space for the production of high quality drama and art films as well as music programming. This is still relatively ignored by the commercial media, or receives little financial support or incentive (Bucci, 2010; Leal Filho, 2010), as we have seen. However, as I mentioned in the Methods section, the UFRJ online survey also had its limits. Due to lack of funding, I was not able to conduct a survey that encompassed a greater cross-section of the population, including workingclass Brazilians outside the Rio–São Paulo axis, who largely compose the audience for TV Globo and for popular entertainment programming. Judging from the data collected here, nonetheless, from the interviews to the survey, it seems evident that there is a significant space for the public media in helping to expand debate as well as investing in quality cultural and educational programming. As we have seen, the mainstream media are still highly vulnerable to both internal and external political as well as economic pressures, in spite of the growth of professionalism and other liberal media cultures in the newsroom (Matos, 2008). However, given the continuing political exploitation of public communication structures in Brazil and in many other Latin American countries, the public media also are not immune from partisanship. I have further stressed the important role that the public media can have in representing the diversity of Brazil, investing in both regional and local culture and contributing to improve the general quality of the media by posing positive quality competition. Public media in Brazil also have the potential to serve as a channel for a wider international dialogue between the region and the rest of the world, minimising the prejudices of Europeans and Americans towards Latin Americans, something which has its roots in the former colonial project and which, as we have seen, continues in new packagings up to this day. Thus the public media can further assist in internationalisation and in better inserting Latin Americans in the global order. They can thus play a role in gradually reversing the historical legacy of political, cultural as well as social

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marginalisation imposed on the peoples of this continent by the legacy of European imperialism. In Part II I examined the sophisticated regulatory framework put in place in the UK, which is largely represented by the work carried out by the media regulator Ofcom, responsible for mediating between the public and private broadcasters and the wider audience. The existence of such a sophisticated regulatory framework system in the UK has undoubtedly given the public the opportunity to scrutinise broadcasters, ensuring that their needs are attended to. As we have seen in the theoretical debates put forward by scholars like Lichtenberg (1990), ‘regulation’ has been endorsed by liberals as a means to guarantee political pluralism and balance between competing forces in society. Thus it should be disassociated from the notion of ‘media censorship’. It seems that it is precisely this idea that lies at the very heart of the misunderstandings regarding the core democratic functions of the public media, and the ways in which they relate to the public interest in Latin American societies. Similarly to the arguments put forward by conservative scholars like Kelley and Donway (1990) in the USA, market liberals in Brazil have also made use of similar discourses, appealing to principles of press liberty as a means of undermining the implementation of any form of democratic regulation aimed at guaranteeing the public interest. We have seen also in Parts I and II that public communications need to be defended against the misuse of funds, structures and resources by political groups, and that the tradition of politicisation of broadcasting can only be reversed through a proper creation of a more complex regulatory framework committed to the public good, understood here as being represented by the multiple interests and identities of the Brazilian population. We have seen how public communication policies in Brazil date back to the period of the dictatorship of the 1960s. New laws were put in place in the 1990s to regulate cable TV, although little else was actually done (Bolano, 2007). The broadcasting sector has remained largely unregulated. This has occurred in spite of the fact that the progressive 1988 Brazilian Constitution emphasised in its key articles the need for a complex media system in the country composed of the state, the public and the private sector, introducing various articles concerning the need for regional and independent production in the broadcasting field among others. Thus, in spite of the crisis of PSB in Europe, public service broadcasting is still viewed as a vital tool for democracy (Semetko and Scammell, 2005). Cross-national studies on media systems in the UK and USA in contrast to Scandinavian countries, like Curran and Iyengar’s (2009) research,

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underline how citizens gain more knowledge of politics and international affairs in contrast to the USA through the viewing of the public media. As we have seen also, European public service broadcasting was constructed as part of a whole ‘communication welfare’, achieving relative success in the UK mainly with the BBC. The 2008 Ofcom report highlighted how an individual’s viewing of content can have benefits for society, resulting in his/ her engagement in the democratic process as a more active and educated citizen. European PSB has not been immune from political pressures. Many Eastern European countries have had to struggle to reverse the tradition of politicisation of broadcasting similarly to Latin American nations. Their media systems and political histories, however, are quite different – i.e. the former were socialist countries until the 1990s, whereas the latter were engulfed in right-wing military dictatorships. Thus the examination of European public service broadcasting pursued here was done in the context of the wider debates on the so-called ‘crisis’ of civic communications in Europe and the worldwide state of decline of political journalism. Countries like Brazil are also experiencing a journalism crisis and a return to partisanship at a moment when they are seeking to fortify the professional liberal tradition in newsrooms. The highly politicised nature of the country’s institutions and of the media still, in spite of the gradual growth of professionalism, can be seen as a barrier which impedes the full reversal of the tradition of misuse of public communication structures, in much the same way as it is an impediment to the full realisation of a more balanced and ‘objective’ journalism in the mainstream media (Matos, 2008). That said, it remains to be seen to what extent the growth of a more opinionated journalism on the internet and in the wider mainstream media can offer some assistance in creating a more vibrant public sphere of debate. Moreover, if we have to consider the lessons that Latin American countries can learn from the European tradition of public service broadcasting, as question 4 above asks, it is possible to include the complex model of funding and regulation designed for both the public and commercial UK broadcasters, as well as the successes of the independent regulator Ofcom. One could also add the relative independence of these public communication structures from both government and economic forces, as well as the tradition of impartiality and of attempting to mingle in-depth information with quality entertainment programming. Setting aside the more recent challenges, one could argue that the historical tradition of PSB in the UK has been successful precisely because it has struck a good balance between quality programming, information and

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entertainment. This has included, for instance, the production of dramas based on famous national literature and a series of in-depth reporting or investigative documentaries, as well as solid journalism programmes with relatively good degrees of balance. The latter journalistic programmes also include in-depth examination of debates on key issues of national and international concern. Other standard UK PSB material includes the broadcasting of ‘quality’ popular blockbusters and series, such as English soap operas and American or World Cinema films. However, the political, cultural and historical realities of Latin American countries are different from European nations in spite of some of the similarities between the political and media systems of these countries (Hallin and Mancini, 2004a, 2004b), as well as the region’s historical European roots, Christian tradition and largely ‘Western’ culture. As interviewees have highlighted here, nonetheless, it is essential to develop a public media platform that is adequate for the needs of national citizens. Such contestation casts doubts over the suitability of the application of the BBC model to countries in which the relationship between political actors and the media is marked by fever-pitch tensions and a tradition of misuse of media structures for the personal interests of media owners, or for political enrichment of individual oligarchic politicians. Thus the public media platform in countries like Brazil needs to find its own formula of success, one which can go beyond the commercial fixation with audience numbers, which has tended to be the politics which has prevailed in TV Cultura, for instance, or the dependency on government support or an editorial line following official thinking, as TV Brasil has been accused of doing. In Part III I investigated the nature of the medium of television and the different discourses and the similarities surrounding both the public and private broadcasting ‘style’. I further examined their relationship to ‘quality’ issues, as well as stressing how the latter tends to view this in terms of audience ratings. However, as we have seen, this distinction has become increasingly blurred. Many programmes, genres and discourses are encountered in either one or the other, such as quality drama. Judging from the responses of both audiences interviewed for the online UFRJ survey, as well as the interviews with experts, it seems evident that most audiences see little difference in terms of the type of information broadcast in news programmes on either media. I have also shown here, however, that there are still subtle differences in style, language, approach and discourse between the public and private. This is perhaps manifested more in areas other than news, and can include overall more subtle variations in style, aesthetics, tone and selection of themes that are covered by each station. This is not to mention the type of programmes

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shown during peak time, with the commercial stations privileging soap operas, news or blockbuster entertainment while the public media can include quality drama. The peak slots of TV Brasil for instance were largely dedicated to journalistic, historical, popular culture programmes and/or documentaries. I also looked at the uses of the internet as a medium for the public interest, underlining a small growth in its access for political and civic purposes during the course of the 2010 presidential elections. Thus, regarding question 3, it seems clear after examining the role that both public television broadcasting and the internet are beginning to have in Latin America that the answer to this question is yes. Concerning the latter medium, this is slowly expanding in spite of difficulties of access of certain sectors of the population, mainly in the north-east of Brazil. I have also highlighted how both the public media and the political blogospheres can play a wider role in civic engagement, if both manage to attract and retain larger publics, thus beginning to incorporate these mediums in their media consumption habits. They can thus emerge as media alongside commercial television, which can assist more in the formation of citizenship values, influencing more widely future progressive politics. We have thus seen how Latin America is a growing market for the internet, but that issues of improvement in educational and IT skills need to be better tackled by governments if the internet is to be taken seriously as a tool for proper political participation. It thus needs to move beyond the small number of politically engaged and the media hype during political campaigns. As we have seen, the internet in 2010 was accessed much more by citizens for political reasons, as well as being utilised by politicians, than it was in 2006. It is slowly contributing to make Brazilian politics more transparent and accountable, reinforcing avenues for the reduction of political corruption and also emerging as a tool that can advocate women’s rights and gender equality. One cannot, however, overestimate the capacity of the internet to stimulate discussion and boost the region’s public sphere. It is clear from research on the uses of new media during the 2006 elections in Brazil (Barros Filho et al., 2006) that the web is still used by a largely small politicised segment of the population mainly to engage in negative campaigning against rivals, as well as to reinforce previous partisan stances (as in the election of Dilma in 2010). In spite of the growth of the internet, I have stressed here how it is television which is the main mass medium in Brazil, and how it still plays a major role in political campaigning and democratisation. The internet thus still occupies here largely a complementary role.

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Before concluding on the role and challenges of public television in relation to the Latin American political process, it is worthwhile examining critically the development challenges in the region, as well as the inequalities and unequal power relations which exist between the continent and the developed world. As we have seen, these still work largely to hinder economic, social, cultural and political progress in the region, as well as imposing restraints on bettering the lives of large sections of the population.

Cosmopolitan Democracy and Inequality in Latin America: Towards a Politics of Social Justice and a New Global Order

Global Inequalities and Limits of Liberal Democracy This book has underlined how the challenges to the strengthening of the democratisation project in Brazil and other Latin American countries are closely interlinked with the current political and economic problems faced by the region. Nonetheless, in an era of increasing globalisation the continent’s inequalities are also tightly connected to the injustices of international trade, among other factors rooted in the subordinate position that the region occupies in relation to the West, which has its roots in the legacy of European imperialism. The fact of the matter is that contemporary globalisation has on the whole encouraged inequalities both within and between ‘First’ and ‘Third’ World countries (Petras, 1999; Nederveen Pieterse, 1990), as we have seen here. Other factors which have produced growing inequalities include the deepening gap between the rich and poor in the advanced democracies, which has its roots in the problems caused by the free flow of unregulated capital and the power abuses of financial markets, as well as the political, technological, social and cultural transformations that have engulfed European societies since the 1980s. Such a scenario has been worsened by the prolonged and gradual decline of state systems of security, including the benefits provided by the European welfare state. This is not to mention the continuous growth of giant international media conglomerates and of media commercialisation, with their capacity to ‘suffocate’ smaller players that want to participate in the market or other less privileged voices who want to be heard and exercise their communication rights. Further changes in political and media systems in the post-industrialised states have also included the so-called ‘crisis’ of civic forms of communication, the slow collapse of ‘serious’ journalism and the redundancies of journalists alongside massive rises in unemployment throughout Europe.

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As Blaug and Schwarzmantel (2000: 1) comment, several countries have not achieved the goal of becoming fully democratic states and are encountering various difficulties in putting into practice the core values of democratic theory given the complexities of economic globalisation, national politics, cultural changes and international migration. Blaug and Schwarzmantel further assert that the ideal of democracy has been criticised from across the political spectrum, from Marxism to feminist theorists, and mainly on the grounds that it places too many demands on people and is highly optimistic about human nature. This ideal state of democracy, which is so much aspired to, contradicts, as we have seen, many of the classic philosophical, political and even religious theories about man’s egoistical nature, as Hobbes, Rousseau, Schopenhauer and other writers associated with the Enlightenment and classic Western philosophy argued in the nineteenth century. I stressed in Part I how modern Western liberal democracies have operated on double standards, with their liberal humanist claims falling short of the contemporary reality of structural inequalities which exist between different groups within these societies. Such inequalities are deeply embedded in most European countries, which take for granted the rigid system of race hierarchy and oppression of certain groups against the ‘natural’ privileges granted to others (Young, 1990a; Parekh, 2000; Gilroy, 2005). Many countries, from advanced democracies like the UK to transitional societies like Brazil, also suffer from gender and race oppression, mainly of Afro-Brazilian descendants. They are also running the risk of impoverishing debate, undermining political pluralism and democracy due to their exclusions and economic deprivation of large ethnic minority and working-class sectors, as is the case in the UK for instance. For democratic struggle, as Blaug and Schwarzmantel (2000) note, is above all about expanding the space for the inclusion of a wider citizen body, avoiding exclusions based either on property, gender, race or ethnicity which is a problem, as we have seen, of both developed and developing societies alike. What differs is the degree and the extent of that inequality, with women having acquired a wider space in European societies in contrast to Latin America, for instance. Thus, taking into consideration their historical differences, levels of economic and political development, power and wealth, we can see that democracies across the world in an age of globalisation face similar democratic struggles regarding inequality of income, economic deprivation, social exclusion of certain segments of society and poverty as well as various other forms of taken for granted injustices. They encounter similar problems regarding social and economic exclusion from public debate and

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decision-making of significant sectors of the working classes, ethnic minorities, immigrants and low status women, due largely to racist, class and gender oppression perpetuated by sections of the establishment and by the ‘liberal’ elites, despite their claiming to endorse gender equality and equal opportunities policies (Young, 1990). As examined in Parts I and III, globalisation and internationalism do have the capacity to function as progressive forces that can help to reverse or minimise this situation, especially in an age of increasing racism, worldwide economic recession, and the ‘crisis’ of European multiculturalism and reinforcement of nationalistic sentiment, issues which I will discuss further in the next section. Thus it is to a more participatory or ‘cosmopolitan’ model of democracy that I turn to next, one which envisions democratic participation at the global, national, regional and local levels, and the struggle to reinforce the progressive dimensions of globalisation, or an ‘alternative’ form of globalisation and national development,.

Towards a Participatory Model of National Development and ‘Alternative’ Globalisation

As stressed in Part I, given the current lack of a more significant voice granted to developing countries and the neocolonial relationships that many advanced democracies maintain with the ‘Third World’, a wider adoption of a form of inclusive political communications (Young, 2000) in global democratic politics and decision-making is much needed if democracy is going to survive in the future and have relevance (Held, 1995). As we saw in Part I, Young (2000) advocates a more democratic model of global governance, with greater global regulation being followed by regional and local autonomy. As Blaug and Schwarzmantel (2000) correctly point out, a society, be it in a developed or developing country, which is dominated by the market or by sectional group interests may be on the way to digging democracy’s own grave. Held’s (1995: 354) cosmopolitan model of democracy also depicts forms of civic participation within both the regional and global spheres in order to deepen democratic politics and reverse the current limitations of liberalism and its various forms of exclusion and oppression both within and between countries. Moreover, scholars like Young (1990) and Mouffe (1993) further criticise, from different theoretical viewpoints, the liberal take on universal citizenship, as well as its tendencies to reinforce the exclusion of already disadvantaged groups. As Young (1990: 15–120) notes, the idea that citizenship creates a general will that transcends group differences has in practice excluded groups and has enforced the homogeneity of citizens.

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Thus an adherence to a principle of equal treatment tends to perpetuate oppression, as groups will always be judged by having or lacking values acknowledged and seen by the dominant (Anglo-American) group as constituting the ‘norm’ to which all others must aspire. In this way, in order for groups to discuss their policies, to strive for greater opportunities and to overcome oppression and other barriers to advancement at both a national and global level, it is necessary for all groups to be represented (Young, 1990), and for differences to be recognised in a positive way. For all of us are both similar and different at the same time. There must be conditions for the creation of a heterogeneous and pluralist public, and not an interestgroup pluralism which is after only private gain, thus merely reinforcing individual egoism. Thus in line with the arguments outlined above, this presence of groups should exist both in the national public sphere as well as in the spaces provided by global civil society. Somewhat in line with Held’s cosmopolitan model, Hettne (2008: 11) proposes a version of development where the locus of power lies at the transnational level, with the ‘state being substituted by a regionalised order of political blocs’. This represents a step towards ‘supranational governance either on a regional or global level’ (Nederveen Pieterse, 2000 in Hettne, 2008). Thus a more participatory form of democracy should work from the global to the local level, and it should also pay attention to structural inequalities both between and within countries, especially in an age where social and economic inequality is a worldwide phenomenon. It is undeniable that there is still relevance in the dependency thesis – the recognition that many of the problems of underdevelopment experienced by Latin American countries have their roots in the economic, political and cultural dependency relationships that have prevailed in different (neocolonial) forms since the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, globalisation is a complex process, with both conservative and progressive tendencies, and can be better understood in its plural sense, of ‘many globalisations and paths of development’ (Nederveen Pieterse, 2009). Most certainly, what we term the progressive dimension of globalisation – such as the greater global political role that should be given to developing countries to participate more in the global public sphere and debate the dilemmas and problems of their underdevelopment in order to overcome them – is the most challenging, even ambitious, but undoubtedly the best way forward. Such a perspective presupposes wider global inclusion, support and cooperation, and not competition or intentional acts from the West aimed at inhibiting the development of emerging democracies, in short, of preventing them from reaching full equitable development, or deliberately

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keeping them or their citizens down. Genuine democratic global governance and cooperation between countries in the pursuit of similar aims, and with the intention of tackling similar problems (i.e. economic recession and growing inequality), demands the establishment, creation and fortification of better and more equitable relationships, including a more participatory or cosmopolitan form of global democracy (Held et al., 1999). This needs to function on both a global and national level, and should not benefit only small groups from the advanced democracies. Moreover, this is not a utopian goal, and can be achieved through political will, wider cooperation between advanced and emerging societies and through the granting of equal participation for all countries in global civil society, the public sphere and democratic decision-making. What then are the forms of alternative globalisation and development for the national interest? As I affirm here, the fact of the matter is that Latin America remains a somewhat forgotten region, subjected and subordinate to Western powers and highly constrained and oppressed economically, political and culturally. As discussed in Parts I and III, development studies has suffered from various criticisms, but has redefined itself and continues to be relevant in its core normative concern with the emancipation from inequality and poverty of various underdeveloped countries (Schuurman, 2000, cited in Hettne, 2008). One could add also the social and economic injustices encountered in the developed countries as well. For, as Weedon (1999: 180) asserts, difference as inequality ‘is produced by economic, political, social and cultural factors’. In the global context, this includes the division of the world into economic zones, in the value given to different groups in the international labour scheme, resulting in the reinforcement of oppression through various systems, including ‘class, caste, colonial and racist practices’ (Weedon, 1999: 180). In the case of Brazil there are a series of global, national, regional and local issues to tackle. Although between 2003 and 2010 it did not grow as significantly as the other BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), the future estimations are of a growth of 8 per cent of the GDP. According to the IMF, Brazil in 2010 was the eighth biggest economy in the world, but from 2011 onwards it is forecast to surpass Italy and occupy the seventh place, just behind the UK (6th).1 Burity (2009: 173) asserts that Brazil faces the challenge of confronting social and environmental justice and of matching itself to its global partners, including expanding further its programme of poverty reduction, and wider inclusion of Afro-descendants and other less privileged sectors

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of the population in mainstream politics and society. The 2004 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Democracy in Latin America: Towards a Citizens’ Democracy, talked to political leaders, business elites and entrepreneurs, academics and 41 presidents. It found that among the most cited obstacles to the consolidation of democracy in the region were the tensions which existed between the institutional powers of the countries. The report made three main points. These included the countries’ internal limitations as a consequence of inadequate institutional controls and the multiplication of interest groups which functioned like lobbyists. The report also emphasised the external factors provoked by international markets, such as the threat posed by drug-dealing as well as growing media concentration. In answer to the question on who exercises power in the region, the responses were the financial economic sector (79.8 per cent), and the media (64 per cent). The latter, for instance, were seen as having substituted the traditional role of political parties, something which has occurred in Brazil, as we have seen. Data from the IBGE’s Pesquisa Nacional de Amostra de Domicilios revealed a decline in inequality concerning the distribution of household income in Brazil since 2001. The minimum wage increased in 61 per cent from 1999 to 2008.2 Moreover, according to experts, programmes of wealth distribution such as the Bolsa Familia are having a direct impact on income distribution. Close to the end of its second term, the former Lula government in Brazil claimed that 25 million Brazilians had moved into the middle classes since 2002, while the proportion of extreme poverty had fallen from 12 per cent to 4 per cent between 2003 and 2008.3 Brazil continues to demonstrate, nonetheless, a high degree of income inequality: the United Nations 2007/8 report on Human Development, using data from 2004, gave Brazil a Gini coefficient of 0.570, whereas the USA also continued with a high score. Its index of national income inequality in 2000 was of 0.408. Brazil and Latin America should thus pursue their own path of development, seeking to position themselves within globalisation in a way that undermines growing global inequalities and the dependency of the developing countries on the rich nations. This is very much in line with the signs of the times, for global development, or the formation of a global partnership for development between ‘First’ and ‘Third’ World countries, has been included as one among the eight goals envisioned by UN’s 2000 Millennium Development aims. This is only possible, nonetheless, with serious improvements in the quality of international relations, in the undermining of the embedded cultural imperialism, aversive or ‘new’ forms of

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racism and negative attitudes of many Europeans and Americans towards Latin Americans and Brazilians, as we have seen. Finally, it is to the underlining of specific conclusions on media democratisation in Brazil, and its relationship to other political reforms, both in Brazil and more widely in Latin America, as well as to globalisation, that I turn to next.

Media Democratisation in Latin America and Brazil: From Cultural Imperialism to an Independent Public Media

In spite of the critiques of the cultural imperialism and modernisation theories regarding their historical limitations, and the fact that these theories largely ignored the resistance of audiences and the exchange of flows, they are considered still relevant to understand the roots of the unequal power relationships that have been established between ‘First’ and ‘Third’ World countries. The same goes for the current cultural inequalities that exist between and within countries (Boyd-Barrett, 1997; Tomlinson, 1997). In Part I, I also examined how pioneer political scientists like Wilbur Schramm in the 1970s envisioned an important role for the media in developing countries in assisting in national development. We have seen also how the NWICO debates put forward groundbreaking suggestions on the ways of tackling unequal information flows between countries in a struggle for the creation of a more just global communication order. Thus their core concerns about inequalities in international communication flows, and the role that national media can have in human progress and national development, are issues which continue to be pertinent to this day. As Unesco’s 2010 report, Media Development Indicators: A Framework for Assessing Media Development, stresses in its introduction, there is a close relationship between the health, independence and quality of the media and the development of a country: The assistance to media development is … an indispensable component of the strategies of development, although it still has to conquer more recognition and adequate financing by the international community. (2010: vii)4 Unesco’s Brazil representatives began a series of workshops in January 2010, which were committed to analysing the government’s implementation of a new regulatory framework for the media, part of the project ‘Marco Regulatório das Comunicações no Brasil: análise do sistema à luz da experiência internacional’, funded by the Ford

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Foundation. Its main aim is to encourage a culture of public regulation for the media through comparative analyses of Brazil with other 10 democracies.5 Unesco defends a new regulatory framework for the country in order to keep up with other international initiatives, advocating the need to fortify both public as well as community communication structures.6 The fact of the matter is that there is scope for enormous growth of the media sector in Brazil, and this is already happening. New regional media outlets have been launched throughout the country in the last years, not to mention new segmented magazines, mainstream newspapers, community radio stations and educational cable TV channels. These have grown since the approval of the cable legislation in 1995. Moreover, the political liberalisation of the country of the last years, followed by the gradual increase in catering to a market of multiple groups and diverse interests, has paved the way for the emergence of opinionated journalism on the internet. These new civil society groups, organisations and politically active citizens have become more media-savvy and critical. They are much more aware of the mainstream’s media manipulations and ideological stances, and have begun to speak out and articulate their opinions much more without the fear of censorship. These groups have slowly begun to use more alternative media avenues, such as blogs and community radios in Rio’s favelas and other small towns, to advance their own interests or engage in political campaigning in favour of particular candidates and causes. Thus the wider democratisation of the media is seen as a necessity alongside other reforms aimed at reaching greater economic and social equality. I also believe that it is destined to play a larger role in the deepening of democracy in the country and throughout the whole continent.

Challenges for the Public Media Platform in Brazil and Latin America

Many Brazilian academics have emphasised how Brazil has advanced less in media reform compared with its Latin American counterparts. In the eight years of the Lula government, as some journalists and scholars have stressed, there has been little concrete development in the area of political communications, media reform and broadcasting. The realisation of the Confecom debates and the implementation of TV Brasil, followed by the unification of various state and educational channels, the granting of some funds to support regional players, and the commitment by the government to support the creation of a new regulatory framework for the media have been

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the main achievements.7 However, the Brazilian journalists and academics interviewed in this book have expressed doubts regarding the real intentions of politicians to deepen media democratisation in the near future. After conducting a seminar with regulators and experts from across the world on the topic, in December 2010, one year after the Confecom debates, the Brazilian government announced its intention to implement new, updated media regulation policies, which were put on hold and given to the government of Dilma Rousseff (2011–14) to evaluate. As discussed in Part I, the Ministry of Communications of the Dilma government hinted at the possibility of establishing two communication agencies.8 Anatel would continue monitoring technical aspects, whereas the other agency would be created to ensure that the Articles of the Brazilian Constitution are respected. In an article about the clashes between the Lula government and the media ahead of the 2010 elections, Lima (2010) argues that the eight years of the Lula government did not represent a threat to the media. 9 The only project of public policy, already indicated in Article 223 of the 1988 Constitution, was the implementation of EBC, which can be seen as a complement to the mainstream media. Lima further underlines how the government backed down on various issues, including the creation of the Federal Council of Journalism (in 2004); the rejection of ratification of the new regulation for community radio (2003 and 2005); the project concerning the General Law of Mass Communications; and the withdrawal of proposals on communication rights. According to Leal Filho, the former Lula government did show a commitment to media reform. Nonetheless, Leal Filho echoes some of the points concerning the difficulties of advancing democratic media proposals in Brazil: Argentina has just approved a new law for mass communications that points in that direction. The same occurs in Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. The problem is that these actions are against private interests, which have been consolidated long time ago and suffer strong attacks from those who simply want to maintain the current situation. Brazil follows, but is taking slower steps … The problem is the inflexible defence of privileges by those who have privatised the electromagnetic space, which is a public good. Democracy in Brazil has advanced in many ways, except in the area of broadcasting. There is a fear … of touching on those privileges …

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In Argentina, as we have seen, media reform has advanced considerably, with the passing in October 2009 of the new Audiovisual Communication Services law, which takes the place of legislation from the dictatorship period. The new law limits media concentration, with no firm being able to have more than 10 radio and TV stations. It also authorises the creation of the Federal Council of Communications, establishes quotas for local production and places a limit of 30 per cent on foreign participation in the firms of the sector. This has not occurred without clashes between the biggest media group in the country, Clarin, and the Kirchner government. In Ecuador, the media reform debate has occupied the centre stage since 2009. Discussions have emerged concerning the establishment of a Communication Council to regulate content, whereas in Venezuela, in spite of the creation of the international channel, Telesur, the Hugo Chavez government is being accused of abuse of power. It has denied the renewal of the concession for the most popular and oldest channel in the country, RCTV, accused of supporting Chavez’ coup in 2002. As we have seen, the politicisation of broadcasting, and the relationship established between media sectors and governments, varies from country to country. It is undoubtedly dependent on historical and cultural factors; the degree of partisanship of the media; the size and power of the commercial press; and the extent to which journalists operate within a relative or strong regime of press freedom (Hallin and Mancini, 2004a, 2004b). Nonetheless, Brazil’s reality is very different from the Venezuelan one. It can be considered to be more similar to the Argentine and Chilean case in terms of the existence in the country of a stronger commercial press, media independence and relative press freedom. Nonetheless, in common with these other countries, journalism in Brazil has been engulfed in a history of censorship and struggle for stronger editorial independence. The contemporary reality demands the tackling of new challenges, which for Brazil and for other Latin American countries can be summarised as follows: 1

2

the building of a broadcasting regulatory framework committed to the public interest and independent of political (and economic) control and, according to Unesco’s principles, including regulation to inhibit media concentration; the reinforcement of balance and professionalism in newsrooms, with discussions over the regulation of the journalism profession or the establishment of journalism councils composed of academics, civil society players and journalists to auto-regulate the press;

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3 the fortifying of the public media platform, television, radio and the internet, followed by an engagement with the debate over what constitutes ‘quality’, what is expected of the public media by audiences, and the role that it should have in each country; 4 the strengthening of regional, local and alternative media; 5 greater access by less privileged sectors of the population to the internet throughout Latin America. This needs to be combined with better public policies aimed at improving education and IT literacy skills. It is thus the debate on new media regulation policies, capable of catering to the multiple groups that compose Brazilian society, which is discussed next.

Towards a New Regulatory Framework and a Public Media

Can communication and information be understood as human rights in the same parity as civic political ones? As Tambini (2006: 113) states in his discussion of the notion of information rights, which he sees as being an essential righs of the twenty-first century, no one can fully exercise their role as a citizen unless they are able to use communication media, the condition sine ne qua non for individuals to participate in contemporary society as equal citizens. As the argument goes, citizenship requires access not only to particular networks, but to certain forms of content and to a shared space for various views to be exchanged (2006: 114). This is not the main purpose of the market media and, in the case of countries where newspapers and commercial TV suffer more widely from economic pressures, the delivery of such vital rights is in constant tension with the profit motive (Matos, 2008). As Sinclair (1999: 84) stresses, the growth of the public media in Latin America can serve as a counterweight in a context of increasing globalisation of Latin American TV. Various authors (Curran, 2000; Matos, 2008) have further defended the co-existence in societies of a multiple media system, one in which the commercial, civic, professional and alternative media sectors can work alongside each other, thus addressing diverse publics and compensating for the ‘failures’ of each. I have pointed out how both systems (private and public) can be of benefit to the public in complementary ways. For media systems can negotiate texts, directing them towards different audiences understood as either consumers or citizens, or as both. In this new reality, a commonly asked question is whether digitalisation has allowed for more creativity, diversity and innovation? Digitalisation is the next important technological advancement in the global communications field. The term refers to the process whereby information is produced

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as a universal binary code. It enables a freer circulation at greater speed across communication technologies, and not just within them. It is central to networking potentialities because it is characterised by growing convergence, bringing together different media (telephone, TV, computers) and types of texts (pictures, sounds, words). Regarding the cable and satellite television market in Brazil, Possebon (2007) has stated how it showed signs of significant growth in 2004 and 2005. According to the Atlas Brasileiro de Telecomunicacoes of 2005, there are 50 kilometres of cable networks spread through 297 cities in the country. In 2005, the total amount of profit obtained from the paid television market was 4.5 billion reais (RS$), in spite of the fact that this is still an expensive market in a country where less than half of the population can afford to pay R$ 100 per month for the service. As Possebon (2007) underscores, there was resistance by paid TV operators to the entry of international telecommunications companies into the media market due to fears of competition. As we have seen, the development of Brazilian broadcasting restricted the participation of foreigners, and was subject also to protection and regulation by the state, curiously similar to the situation with broadcasting in the UK (Guedes-Bailey and Jambeiro, 2008). The adoption by the Brazilian government in 2006 of the Japanese model of digital television (SBTVD) provoked another heated debate. GuedesBailey and Jambeiro Barbosa (2008: 6) pointed out that the 2006 decision of the Brazilian government to adopt the Japanese model of digital TV met with strong opposition from academics, governments, movements and leftwing MPs and social scientists who had been researching digital technologies in Brazil for many years. The Ministry of Communications has set the date of July 2016 for the total switch over from the analogue system to the digital. The adoption of this particular model has been criticised due to the high costs of the set-top box and the digital TV equipment. According to Cesar Bolano, however, the initial disappointment with the model has been reversed. Civil society groups have shifted their concerns to press for further democratisation of the current system. Gabriel Priolli has also highlighted how there was much expectation placed on digital TV, initially due to the belief that it would improve the quality of the media with its interactivity and multi-programmes, similarly to the high expectations which had previously been placed on cable TV. In a context of increasing market pressure, commercialisation and expansion of new television technologies, how can the public media differ from commercial television, be it in developed or developing countries? A key question that I asked in earlier chapters is what distinguished the BBC from

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other commercial broadcasters. In the particular case of the UK’s PSB, this included a focus on fostering and mediating debate about the core issues of the day, as well as providing a good balance of in-depth information and analysis with quality entertainment and granting this to large sectors of the population independent of economic income and social status. Regarding Brazil, I have also discussed the controversies over the use of government resources to fund the public media, and whether this should be equated with public investments in health and education. We have seen how there is little consensus here, and that some academics (Leal Filho) defend the parity of education with public communication structures. Similar to the critical deliberations regarding the democratic potentials of the public sphere, which can be provided by new technologies, the public media sector is capable, in developing countries, of being much more prominent than it is currently. It has the capacity to boost political pluralism, while assisting also in the development of educational and cultural levels and granting this access to wider sectors of the population. An important point to emphasise in this debate is that education should not be disassociated from communications, and that the recognition of how both are tied together and interdependent is essential if one is debating how to deepen media democratisation in Brazil. Furthermore, it is not because the media are becoming more ‘entertaining’ that they are ceasing to be educational, or to have a role in an individual’s intellectual formation, likes and dislikes included. Judging from the responses to the UFRJ survey and the interviews with experts, it is clear that sectors of the public are interested in media improvements and quality programming, and are open to a more balanced combination of in-depth debate and information with entertainment. Anyone in our current highly competitive global (mediated) environment will achieve more and grow professionally, and as a person, through a better use and understanding of the media. The media will also serve democracy better if they are less biased, more informative and balanced, and if they privilege sophistication and invest in a pool of highly qualified professionals, who are still in the minority in countries like Brazil, whereo the ones who do exist are often marginalised. It can be said that the project of democratisation of communications in Brazil is part not only of the strengthening of educational levels in the country but also of the whole democratisation project per se, meaning the access that should be granted to wider sectors of the population to quality levels of education, from primary to university level. It is thus problematic, as we have seen, to see the mainstream media as being the only representative of the country or the region’s public opinion.

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As Latin America becomes better positioned within the global economic order, and with growth of the public media, cable and satellite television, expansion of newspaper readership and access to internet use to other sectors of the population, the mainstream press will have to compete with other information sources and other professionals over definitions of the public agenda. Brazilians and Latin Americans are slowly becoming emancipated and liberated both from new forms of neocolonialism coming from the West as well as from the constraints imposed by national conservative elites. Regarding the rise of political cynicism as a result of the continuity of corruption practices following the end of dictatorship regimes in Latin America, the communication vehicles from the public media platform, such as the internet, can contribute to better mediation between citizens and their political representatives. They can offer wider spaces for interactivity, for the representation of interests beyond the Rio–São Paulo axis, integrating them better in national debate as well as serving as a vehicle for the wider scrutiny of politicians. The data collected here show how, in spite of the challenges they face regarding political pressures and the lack of large audiences, the ‘public’ media in Brazil, and in many Latin American countries do have a potential to be a force for change and to contribute to the better provision of quality debate. If we consider the standard principles of impartiality which are proclaimed by PSBs in their provision of information and cultural products to all sectors of the British public, and contrast this with the strong partisan character of the tabloid press and their disregard for balance, the contestation of this fact alone is an acknowledgement of the important role that PSB has had in Britain, and the place that it can still occupy in the future. This book hopes to offer a modest contribution to current debates on public service media and broadcasting, which have tended to focus on the challenges posed by PSB in the contemporary US/UK context, mainly in comparison to other European and Scandinavian countries (Curran and Iyengar, 2009), and which have also been largely structured around geographical divisions and differences between countries and regions. I have tried in this book also to examine the role that PSBs in the UK and in European have generally had in the formation of modern European societies (Scannell; 1989; Keane, 1995; Raboy, 1996; Curran, 2000), investigating the ways in which developing countries can make use of some of the complex systems of broadcasting policy which have been created in these societies, including the example of Ofcom. Therefore arguments regarding the capacity of a stronger public media in Brazil to be an instrument of media independence and freedom from

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both political and economic constraints (Matos, 2008) are in tune with the times. It seems evident that the philosophy and ethos of PSB has not died, and that various developing countries who are pursuing an agenda of massive investment in the public service platform are not going against the tide: they are pursuing a legitimate path of democratising more knowledge by creating the means to strengthen public debate, improving educational levels, and investing in high quality programmes and information capable of boosting cultural emancipation and diversity, and in this way, paving the way for wider social, cultural and economic equality. Lastly, it also seems evident that a better quality of life is necessarily interwoven with what the arts and humanities have to offer us. Good quality art, culture and education not only assist us in the development of our skills and intellectual capacities but they offer us a means to understand the world better, to empathise with the suffering of others, and to help them overcome their oppression. They can assist in providing future generations, as well as larger sectors of the public in countries like Brazil, a truer sense of what it is means to be human in an increasing complex world.

APPENDIX Appendix 1 – Sample of Online UFRJ Survey ‘Audience Uses of Commercial and Public Media’ This questionnaire is destined for those who watch Brazilian television with frequency, both commercial and public. Please answer the questionnaire and send it to the researcher’s e-mail addresses. If you wish to participate in an individual interview to further discuss your media consumption habits, please indicate in the questionnaire. The information collected here will be used in the author’s forthcoming book, Media and politics in Latin America: globalization, democracy and identity. Please could you set aside 10 minutes to answer the questions. With what frequency do you watch TV? Daily  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 5 times per week  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 4 times per week  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 3 times per week  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 2 per week  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Once a week  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … I do not watch it  … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

      

For how long do you watch TV regularly? 3 hours  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 2 hours  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 1 hour  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 30–10 mins  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … I do not watch it daily  … … … … … … … … … … … … …

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Do you obtain your information through television? Yes  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … No  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

 

In case the answer is yes, which TV station do you watch most? (Indicate two options or more, i.e. open TV, Globo TV) Open television  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Subscribed TV  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Public TV  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  TV Globo  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  TV Bandeirantes  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  SBT  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  TV Record  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Rede TV! … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  TV Brasil… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  TVE … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  TV Cultura … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Other… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Do you obtain your information from commercial TV, or do you feel the necessity of reading newspapers or watching public television? (You can chose more than one) Yes  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  No  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  I read newspapers also (i.e. Folha, Globo, etc)  … … … … … …  Websites (i.e. Uol, Globo.com, Estadao, etc)  … … … … … … …  I watch commercial television (i.e. TV Globo)  … … … … … …  I watch the public media (i.e. TV Cultura)  … … … … … … …  I like radio  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 

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What type of programme do you like watching on TV? Documentaries  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Arts and entertainment  … … … … … … … … … … … … Drama  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Comedy  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Soaps  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Series  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Do not know/do not watch  … … … … … … … … … … … Other… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

       

Which programme do you watch most on TV? Jornal Nacional  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 8 o’clock soap (or 6 or 7)  … … … … … … … … … … … … Big Brother  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Roda Viva  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Silvio Santos  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Reporter Brasil  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Observatorio da Imprensa  … … … … … … … … … … … … Sem Censura  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Other… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

        

Why do you watch television? For professional reasons  … … … … … … … … … … … … Leisure  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … To be up to date with news  … … … … … … … … … … … To know what is happening in the country  … … … … … … … To follow economic indicators  … … … … … … … … … … Other motive … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

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What attracts you most from television? The ads  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … The TV presenters  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … The quality of the programme  … … … … … … … … … … Information  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Quality of the image  … … … … … … … … … … … … … Do not know  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

     

Do you prefer entertainment or news/documentaries? Prefer entertainment  … … … … … … … … … … … … … News  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Both  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Do not know  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Other  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

    

What do you understand by ‘quality programming’? The professionalism of actors/journalists  … … … … … … … Technical aspects  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … The image  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … The script/the level of depth of the information  … … … … … Creativity and originality  … … … … … … … … … … … … The language  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Literary adaptations  … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

      

Are you in favour of the public media? Yes  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … No  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Depends  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

  

Appendix Why? I see the public media as a complement to the commercial  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … It should correct market failures  … … … … … … … … … … It does not differ from the public  … … … … … … … … … … I do not know/no opinion  … … … … … … … … … … … … Would like to have more information to make an opinion  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … In your opinion, what are the functions of the public media? Improve the quality of the commercial  … … … … … … … … Stimulate competition  … … … … … … … … … … … … … Contribute for national development  … … … … … … … … Integrate non-privileged groups in the national debate  … … … Serve as a channel of dialogue with the world  … … … … … … Stimulate cultural diversity  … … … … … … … … … … … Serve to stimulate cultural activities and provide educational programming  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … I do not see a role for the public media/I do not know  … … … Other motive  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Do you prefer television or would you rather surf the Internet? I prefer the Internet  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … I prefer television  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Do not know/none of the two  … … … … … … … … … …

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  

Do you believe that the Internet has the potential to be a public media just like TV? No  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Yes  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Do not know/do not have an opinion  … … … … … … … … 

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Do you follow the political situation of the country more through commercial television or through the public media? Both  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … I prefer to read the newspaper  Would rather read journalistic websites  … … … … … … … … I buy the weekly magazines  … … … … … … … … … … …

   

Do you think the public TV covers more politics, in the same way as the commercial? I do not see the difference  … … … … … … … … … … … …  Commercial TV has improved in quality in the last years  … …  Commercial TV has gotten worse  … … … … … … … … …  There is space for the publicmedia to cover more politics  … …  Do not know  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Need moreinformation to make an opinion  … … … … … …  Are you going to follow the elections through the media? Yes, through the papers  … … … … … … … … … … … … … Yes, through the Internet  … … … … … … … … … … … … Will read newspapers,watch TV, etc  … … … … … … … … … Not interested/do not know  … … … … … … … … … … …

   

Do you have party/candidate in coming elections or will you wait to follow the campaigns through the media to decide? Yes, I have  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  No, I do not  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  I will follow through the media to decide  … … … … … … …  I am not going to vote  … … … … … … … … … … … … … 

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Which media vehicle do you think has more capacity of being impartial, providing more information and in depth debate? The magazines  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Newspapers  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Internet  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Commercial TV  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Public TV  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Foreign media  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Do not know  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Do you believe that the media is covering the elections/politics in an impartial way? Yes, I believe so  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  No, it is not  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  It still needs to get better  … … … … … … … … … … … …  Newspapers cover better  … … … … … … … … … … … …  Public media could cover better  … … … … … … … … … …  Commercial TV improved/did not improve  … … … … … …  Do you believe the political blogs can help mobilize the population and provide more information about the elections? No, they cannot  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Yes they can  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  Blogs complement newspapers  … … … … … … … … … … 

What is your age? Less than 18  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Between 18 and 25  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 26–35 years  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 36–45 years  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 46–55 years  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … More than 55  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

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What is your profession?

What is your monthly income? Less than R$ 500  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Between R$ 501 a 1.000  … … … … … … … … … … … … Between R$ 1.001 a R$ 4.000  … … … … … … … … … … More than R$ 4.000  … … … … … … … … … … … … …

   

What is your level of education? 1o. grau  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 2°. grau  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Graduation  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Postgraduate  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

   

Do you want to participate in an individual interview with the author: Yes  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  No  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  If you want, identify yourself for further contact: Name: Address: Telephone: E-mail:

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Appendix 2 – List of Programmes TV Brasil Reporter Brasil – News broadcasts viewed (21/06/2010; 23/06/2010; 13/07/2010; 16/07/2010). Brasilianas.org – ‘Multinacionais’ (none); ‘Cotas Raciais’ (19/07/2010) and ‘Politica Brasileira de Ciencia e Tecnologia’ (2010) Caminhos de Reportagem – ‘A Revolucao da Classe C’ (17/07/2008);‘Brasileiros na China’ (2009) e ‘Mulheres no Mundo’ (27/05/2010) Sustentaculos – 07/07/2010 – 05/08/2010 De la para ca – ‘Historia do Voto’ (2008); ‘Voto Feminino’ (2008); ’30 Anos da Anistia’ (none); ‘120 Anos da Proclamacao da Republica’ (none); Gilberto Freyre (14/05/2010)

TV Globo Jornal Nacional (07/07/2010 – 05/08/2010; 07/12/10-01/01/11) Random viewing of soap operas, including Escrito nas Estrelas (Elizabeth Jhin) and Tititi (Cassiano Gabus Mendes) (07/07/2010 – 05/08/2010; 07/12/10-1/01/11) 2006 elections – Presidential Debate (27/09/2006 and 29/09/2006); election coverage (14/09/2006; 23-26/10/2006).

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Appendix 3 – List of Interviews

Alfredo Sirkis – is a politician, journalist and Brazilian writer who was involved in armed struggle during the dictatorship years. One of the founders of the Green Party, Sirkis was co-ordinator of the Marina Silva campaign in 2010. Antonio Brasil – Former TV Globo international correspondent, Brasil concluded his post-doctorate in television in Rutgers University in the USA. Brasil is professor of Communication Studies at the State University of Rio (UERJ). Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva – Partner of the international relations thinkthank Patri, Lins da Silva was a former USP professor before conducting the Folha reforms in 1984. He has also worked for dailies like Valor Econômico and written books on journalism. Cesar Bolano – Journalist with a PhD from USP, Bolano is professor of the Universidade Federal de Sergipe and president of the Asociacion Latinoamericana de Investigadores de la Comunicacion (ALAIC). Cesar Maia – Economist, previous left-wing politician and former major of Rio de Janeiro, Maia’s name was suggested by the right-wing party DEM (former PFL) as a possible presidential candidate for the 2006 and 2010 elections. He failed to win a seat at the Senate in 2010. Eugenio Bucci – Former director of the newsroom of the State radio Radiobrás, Bucci holds a doctorate from USP and is currently a voice in favour of the public media. Franklin Martins – Former TV Globo journalist who had been a student activist involved in armed struggle during the dictatorship years, Martins was Minister of Social Communications during most of the second Lula government (2006-2010). Gabriel Priolli – Journalist and professor, Priolli was former vice-director of journalism at TV Cultura. He was also previously director at Rede Bandeirantes, chief-editor at Rede Record and editor of TV Globo’s Jornal Nacional. Guilherme Canela – Political scientist, Canela is co-ordinator of Communications at Unesco’s office in Rio and former co-ordinator of academic relations and research of the Agencia de Noticias dos Direitos da Infancia.

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Laurindo Leal Lalo Filho – USP professor in the Communications Department at ECA and at the Media Faculty of Gasper Libero University, Lalo Filho is the author of various books on the public media and currently member of the EBC council. Luis Nassif – Author of O Jornalismo dos Anos 90, Nassif is presenter of the Brasilianas.org programme at TV Brasil and former member of the editorial council of Folha de São Paulo. Damian Tambini – is Senior Lecturer at the Media and Communications Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and an Ofcom consultant.

NOTES 1  The Latin American Media System 1 As the authors note, these four countries in the sample belong to the third wave of democratization, which includes transitions from authoritarian rule in South Europe and Latin America and the end of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe. They point out how other authors (i.e. Brown, 2000; McFaul, 2002AQ not in references) see the transitions of former soviet blocs as distinctive and more part of a ‘fourth’ wave of democratization. This is the view that I share. 2 See Retrato das desigualdades de genero e raca (Portrait of gender and race inequality), IPEA/UN, 2008. 3 See Appendices for an example of the survey and the programmes discussed. 2  Public Communications and Regulation in Latin America 1 Interviewed via email, 12 November 2010. 2 The Communication Act of 2003 requires Ofcom to set quotas for UK national and international news as well as national and regional news on the commercial PSBs in both peak and off-peak viewing times. See the bibliography for information on the Ofcom reports. 3 The broadcasting duties include the licensing of all UK commercial TV and radio services, such as (1) TV channels; (2) digital TV services like Sky and Virgin Media and digital radio; (3) internet TV services including Home Choice and (4) community radio. 4 In Portugal, the regulation agency ERC is independent and monitors the written press as well as broadcasting. It also has the National Authority of Communications, which regulates the market of telecommunications. 5 The latter was set up by the Broadcasting Standards Council in 1988 in response to public concern about the level of bad language and sex on television. It was given existence by the Broadcasting Act of 1990, which is also largely concerned with issues of impartiality (Petley, 1999: 150). 6 As Fox (1997: 7) notes, the San Jose participants made 30 recommendations to Unesco and the nation-states, including suggestions to balance more international exchange of news. 7 Will Cristina do what Lula could not do? (‘Conseguira Cristina fazer o que Lula nao fez?’, Venicio A. de Lima, 10 March 2009 in Observatorio da Imprensa. Another editorial published by the newspaper Estado de São Paulo

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13 14

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Media and Politics in Latin America (15 October 2009) criticised the measure and accused it of being an attack on press liberty. The law has nonetheless been supported in the country by various sectors of society, including the opposition, as well as social organisations and universities. It was also approved by the Freedom of Expression section of the Organization of American States (OEA) and by Unesco. The other public television channels in Brazil are TVE-RS, Parana Educativa, TV Cultura SC, TVE-ES, TVE Bahia, TV Ceara, Rede Minas, TV Brasil Central, TV Rio Grande do Norte, TV Cultura PH and TV Palmas. The public sector platform and decision-making organ comprises the radio state station, Radiobras, Radio MEC, the Cabinet of the Presidency and the Rio state television, TVE Brasil. See ‘61 politicos eleitos sao proprietarios de radios e TVs’ (‘61 politicians are owners of radio and TVs’, Folha de São Paulo, 17 October 2010). The law permits politicians to be partners in radio and TV stations, but not to manage them. See FNDC interview. ‘Sem dar consequencia, vamos perder o legado da Confecom’ (Without giving continuity, we are going to lose the legacy of Confecom, in Ana Rita Mancini, FNDC, 13th of August 2010). Interviewed by phone, 20 December 10. According to Fenaj (Federation of Journalists), around 60,000 were present, including 1,684 delegates, of whom 20 per cent were from the public sector, 40 per cent from social movements and 40 per cent were entrepreneurs. Communication firms were represented by organisations such as Abert (Brazilian Association of Radio and TV Channels) and by ANJ (National Association of Newspapers). See ‘O Estado de São Paulo e O Globo criticam documento da Conferencia de Cultura’ (Thiago Rosa, Portal Imprensa, 19 January 2010). During the 1990s, various independent regulation agencies with state functions and public interest commitments emerged. Anatel incorporates mechanisms such as public councils, present also in the cable legislation. It is an organ which perhaps can be seen as the Brazilian equivalent to Ofcom, although its duties relate to telecommunications and not broadcasting. Some of the key public interest principles that are stated in the mission of Anatel could be applied to the regulation of the media, including its intention to develop a competitive environment for Brazil telecommunications (for which we could substitute ‘communications’). See ‘Sem dar consequencia, vamos perder o legado da Confecom’ [Without giving continuity, we are going to lose the legacy of Confecom], in Ana Rita Marini, FNDC, 13 August 2010).

3  European Public Service Broadcasting Revisited 1 As Hardy (2008: 67) states, broadcasting was reformed in Italy. In this case it did contribute to create greater pluralism within what ‘remained a politicised system’, with major parties controlling ‘one of the three public service TV channels: the DCI (RAI-1), socialists (RAI-2) and communists (RAI-3) (Humphreys, 1996: 154)’. Nonetheless, as Hardy further notes, during the 1980s all three main commercial networks, Petequattro, Canale 5 and Italia 1,

Notes

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were obtained by Silvio Berlusconi, making the broadcasting system become significantly deregulated and highly concentrated. See ‘Murdoch attack on dominant BBC’, BBC News, 29 August, 2009, http:// news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8227915.stm (accessed June 17, 2011). Euronews broadcasts in six languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish), but its impact in helping to shape a strong European public sphere or identity is open to debate. See Schlesinger (2001). Later renamed as the Audio-visual Media Services Directive, the TV Without Frontiers Directive is considered the cornerstone of the European Union’s audio-visual policy. It is grounded on some key principles, including the free movement of European TV programmes within the internal market and the requirement of broadcasting quotas. The author (2006: 31) continues to point out how in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo, PSB regulations have been imposed by the international community. In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, PSBs face financial difficulties and in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, political interference is preventing PSBs from becoming fully emancipated from government control. In the early 1970s, as Schlesinger (2001) reminds us, the first major study of international television flows was published (Nordenstreng and Varis, 1974; Tunstall, 1977), giving rise to the academic debate beyond the national boundaries. See The Great Global Switch-Off: International Coverage in UK Public Service Broadcasting (2009), a report by Phil Harding commissioned by Oxfam, International Broadcasting Trust and LSE’s Polis. The degree of predominance of the ‘media logic’ over the ‘political’ is something disputed in the political communication literature (Swanson and Mancini, 1996). See ‘Greg Dyke: BBC at fault for decline in its reputation’, Observer, 24 October 2010, available online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/ oct/24/greg-dyke-bbc-david-kelly (accessed 17 June 2011). Crisell (1999: 63) notes that there were significant technological developments from the 1970s onwards, including the emergence of video cassette recorders and the development of satellite broadcasting, which began in the UK in 1983, in competition with cable companies. From 1989 the technology of the ‘dish’ and the decoder, also known as ‘direct broadcasting by satellite’ (DBS), began to enter people’s homes. Cable had a poor start in the UK compared with satellite, differing from American cable TV in following rather than preceding the arrival of the VCR (Crisell, 1999: 67). BSkyB includes British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB), which was absorbed by Sky at the end of 1990 to form BSkyB. The first DBS service was operated by Murdoch’s Sky TV, based in Luxembourg and which consisted of many channels funded by subscription. During its first years BSkyB was funded not only by Murdoch’s empire but also by Granada TV, Reed International, Charguers and the Pearson Group (Crisell, 1999: 63). With more than 2,000 journalists producing 120 hours of output every day, or nearly 44,000 hours a year, the BBC claims to be the largest broadcast news operation in the world.

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4  Journalism for the Public Interest and the Crisis of Civic Communications in the UK and Brazil 1 The US First Amendment has been seen as an appropriation of Mill´s passionate defence of free speech. As Kelley and Donway (1990: 68) point out, the ‘doctrine of freedom of speech and press embodied in the 1st Amendment was the product of the classical liberal political philosophy that emerged late in the 17th century’. 2 Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.’ 3 Hackett (2005: 95) points out that in 2003 right-wing groups joined progressives ‘against the regulatory raising of American media concentration limits’. 4 According to Petley (1999:154), the Press Complaints Commission, which is a body set up by the industry and is not independent, came into existence in 1991 due to public discontent with what was perceived as the ‘degrading journalistic standards’ of the tabloid press. It has limited powers and reacts above all to complaints from the public. 5 See ‘Brasil tem problemas de liberdade de imprensa’ [Brazil has problems with press liberty], FNDC, 4 May 2010). 6 Available online at http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=251& year=2008 (accessed 30 June 2011). 7 The penalties applicable to journalists are those created by articles of the 1988 Constitution and Civil Code. These concern libel, defamation, privacy and rights of reply. 8 For information about the Worlds of Journalism Project see http://www. worldsofjournalism.org/index.htm (accessed 11 July 2011). 9 As Virginia Moreira and Rodrigues Helal (2009: 94) have further noted, a ‘Court decision suspended the diploma requirement, but it was overruled in October 2005 by a Federal Regional Court, and again in 2007.’ 10 See http://en.rsf.org for information about Reporters Without Borders. 11 See ‘Brazilian newspapers protest City Hall’s censorship of São Paulo daily’ (Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, 14 May 2010; http:// knightcenter.utexas.edu). See report on Brazil from the Inter American Press Association. 12 Iraq appears at the top of the list, followed by Somalia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Russia, Mexico, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India (‘Brazil leaves the ranking of impunity of crimes against journalists’, Comunique-se, http://www.fndc.org.br, 22 April 2010). 13 See ‘Brazilian media organizations mull self-regulation’ (Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, 5 May 2010). 14 See Merval Pereira (2010) ‘A busca da verdade’, in O Globo (19 December 2010) 5  Audience Perceptions of Quality Programming and the Public Media 1 The report was produced by the Select Committee on Communications of the House of Lords (2007/8).

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2 For more on this, see Putnam (1995). 3 The global media system has come to be dominated by nine or ten TNCs, which rank among the largest in the world: Time Warner, Disney, Bertelsman, Viacom, Tele-Communications Inc, News Corporation, Sony, Seagram, General Electric, and Philips. 4 As Fox and Waisbord (2002: 135) point out, Brazil is a major market for ‘pan regional schemes under which DTH is being established in Latin America. Each of them incorporates one of the key competitors in subscription TV: Grupo Globo is aligned with News Corporation, Televisa and TCI in the Sky project, while Abril is allied with Grupo Cisneros cellular phones, Ted Turner for cable and Murdoch’s News Corporation for satellite television.’ 5 For a wider discussion of the public and the cosmopolitan dimension, which I do not have space to address here, see Chouliaraki (2006). For an examination of the changes in American society with the decline of the family and the growth of the ‘me’ culture, see Lasch (1979). 6 Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4’s Head of News and Current Affairs, defended the impartiality requirement, stating that it would be a ‘retrograde step in a multicultural society to say that we would have news progress or channels which pandered to prejudices of particular groups … We believe that any weakening of the impartiality requirement … would have a negative impact on the quality and trustworthiness of the country’s news’ (House of Lords, 2008: vol. 1, 94). 7 The research evidence was obtained in response to the question set out in section 3: ‘How well are the public service broadcasters delivering public purposes?’ 8 CQC (‘Custe o que custar’ [What it takes]) is a programme that mingles the genres of journalism with humour. The programme consists of a group of reporters asking embarrassing questions to celebrities. 9 Interviewed via email on 9 August 2010. 10 Interviewed via email on 26 July 2010. 6  Television, Popular Culture and Latin American and Brazilian Identity 1 This work was published by Unesco in 1974 under the title Television Traffic – One Way Street? (Nordenstreng and Varis, 1974). 2 Britain exercised a type of ‘informal colonialism’ over Latin America until the twentieth century, when the USA began to expand its influence over the region. It did not claim any territorial control over Latin America as it did with India, which was left to the Portuguese and Spanish, but it traded heavily with Latin American countries. Regarding European immigration to Brazil, the largest immigrant groups that entered the country between 1880 and 1969 according to the Servico de Estatisticas Economica e Financeira do Tesouro Nacional do Ministerio da Fazenda were the Portuguese (31%), Italian (30%) and Spanish (14%). Other groups immigrated to the South, such as the Germans, Dutch and Slavs. Immigrants from outside Europe included Syria, Lebanon, China and Japan (Daniel, 2006: 48). 3 Barbosa (1995: 36) explains how the jeitinho brasileiro is a ‘way of identifying Brazil by using as the main reference point this particular mechanism for by-passing rules and getting things done’, which can be translated into English as ‘cutting through the red tape’. It can carry either a negative or positive

260

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9 11

12 13

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Media and Politics in Latin America connotation depending on one’s point of view, although in general the negative perspective prevails. Although the data on the topic are underdeveloped, there has been growing labour emigration from Latin America to Europe since the mid-1990s. The Latin American presence in the UK is of 73,785 people, and 253,176 for Caribbeans (Pellegrino, 2004). Latin Americans have emigrated to countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. Immigration has also become increasingly feminised. In the UK, many well educated Brazilians take on unskilled and low-paid jobs, having come to the country due to lack of opportunities in their homeland (Evans et al., 2007). According to Young (1990a: 141), aversive racism consists of attitudes and reactions of separation and avoidance, expressions of nervousness, condescension and stereotyping. This is the dominant manifestation of contemporary racism in much of the USA and Northern Europe. It is acted out by sectors of the dominant group in their daily interactions with blacks, minorities and other oppressed groups. See ‘William Hague turns to Brazil and India for new foreign links’ (Daily Telegraph, 26 June 2010). See ‘Racism is institutional in upper tiers of British society, says Lord Parekh’ (Guardian, 22 November 2010). The story mentions a report on multiculturalism in the UK which reveals how key British institutions, such as education, politics and the judiciary, in spite of equal opportunity laws, race relations acts and the advances of multiculturalism, have largely failed to overcome racism. See ‘Multiculturalism: not a minority problem’ (Tariq Modood, Guardian, 7 February 2011). See also the report An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK (National Equality Panel, 2010). The initial idea proposed by president Hugo Chavez was that the network would incorporate content from the public broadcasters of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela in order to present the social realities of Latin America, although the main content would focus on news. It would have a network of correspondents in LA, Mexico, Bogota, Lima, Buenos Aires, Brasilia and Rio, with the channel’s share being divided between Venezuela (46%), Argentina (20%), Cuba (19%) and Uruguay (10%). Bolivia and Ecuador have shares of 5%. The initial amount of investment of US$ 10 million was paid by the Venezuelan government through the state-owned Petroleum Corporation (Canizalez and Lugo-Ocando, 2008: 213). The audience viewing numbers from the Ibope Institute for 2004 are as follows: (1) SBT, 18% in 1993 and 21% in 2004; (2) Band, 6% in 1993 and 4.9% in 2004; (3) Record, which was not established in 1993, 7.6% in 2004. In the article ‘História da televisão pública/educativa’ by Alexandre Fradkin of Rio’s TVE. For more details on the country’s media owner’s, see ‘Os donos da midia: quadro das bases do poder economico e politico constitutido a partir das redes privadas de televisao no Brasil’, available online at www.fndc.org.br/ arquivos/donosdamidia.pdf (accessed August 2011). See ‘TV Globo amarga sua pior audiencia da decada’ (TV Globo has its worse audience in a decade, Portal Vermelho, 29 April 2010). Interviewed in July, 2010.

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1 6 Interviewed via email, 14 October 2010. 17 Interviewed by telephone, 5 August, 2010. 18 ‘TV Brasil – uma emissora cada vez menos publica’ (TV Brasil – a station less and less public, Observatorio da Imprensa, 27 November 2007). 19 ‘Rede Publica de TV – O PSDB inapetente, o governo parece esfaimado’ (Public television platform – the PSDB has no appetite, the government looks like it is very hungry), Observatorio da Imprensa, 4 December 2007). 20 Interviewed by telephone, 16 December 2010. 21 See ‘A audiencia na TV publica’ (The audience of public TV, Eugenio Bucci in ESP, 26/03/2009). 22 Interviewed via email, 10 August 2010. 23 ‘TV Brasil internacional – Na disputa por espacos de expressao’ (TV Brasil international – in the dispute for spaces of expression), Observatorio da Imprensa, 1 July 2010. 7  Media and Politics in Latin America Interviewed via email, 9 August 2010. Interviewed via email, 1 August 2010. See appendices for full details. Interviewed via email, 28 July 2010. Interviewed by telephone, 5 August 2010. In 2005, clashes occurred between the government and the media because of the ‘mensalao’ (big monthly payment) scandal, which involved accusations concerning the federal government buying MPs’ votes in order to secure support for the approval of particular projects. This was the biggest scandal of the first Lula mandate, and resulted in the strongman of the government, Jose Dirceu, leaving office. 5 The saying was popularised during the 1980s onwards and was used to discredit the corrupt right-wing politician, former military regime supporter, Paulo Maluf, former governor of Sao Paolo. 6 Conducted for the Centre for Social Media of the School of Communication of the American University (February, 2009), and part of the Future of Public Media Project, funded by the Ford Foundation. 7 ‘Qualidade da educação no Brasil ainda é baixa, aponta Unesco’ [Quality of education in Brazil is still low, says Unesco], Estado de São Paulo, 18 January 2010. 1 2 3 4

8  Mediate Politics in the 2010 Brazilian Elections 1 There is a wide literature on the changes in the PT’s image implemented between 1989 and 2002. See Cotrim-Macieira (2005) and Nicolau and Power (2007). 2 There are a series of anti-corruption projects circulating in both Congress houses, including proposals presented by civil society groups, such as the movement of Ficha Limpa (Clean File), which tries to impede the registration of candidates who want to run for a vacancy as MP due to previous judicial condemnations. 3 ‘Parlamentares na Radiodifusao – Cresce o numero de politicos donos de meios de comunicacao’ [MPs in Broadcasting – Number of politician owners of communication media grows], Observatorio da Imprensa, 25 March 2008.

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4 One of the most well-known and polemical examples of how politicians use religion in Brazil for their own personal political interests is that of Bishop Edir Macedo, founder of the Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus and owner of Rede Record. The church has 2 million followers and offices in more than 170 countries. 5 ‘Eleicoes presidencias de 2006 tem menos votos nulos que 2002’ [Presidential elections of 2006 have fewer null votes than 2002], O Globo, 2 November 2006. 6 A Brazilian law of 1997 obliges political parties to reserve 30 per cent of their vacancies for women candidates, although this has had more effect on paper than in actual practice. The law is set to be revised by the Special Secretary of Politics for Women: ‘Partidos que nao cumprirem cotas de mulheres poderao ser punidos’, Jornal do Brasil, 17 March 2009. 7 ‘TV publica pode promover a igualdade de genero, dizem especialistas’ [Public TV can promote gender equality, say experts], Flavia Villela, Agencia Brasil, 08 November 2009. 8 ‘Impacto da Internet nas eleicoes de outubro divide opinioes’ [Impact of the internet in the October elections divides opinions], Nathalia Fernandes, BBC Brasil, 19 March 2010. 9 ‘Eleicoes 2010 – As outras candidatas’ [The other candidates], Ligia Martins da Almeida, Observatorio da Imprensa, 21 October 2010. 10 ‘E se a eleicao fosse nas redes sociais?’ [And what if the elections were on the social networks?], Comunique-se, 29 October 2010. 11 ‘Consumidor de luz pagou R$ 1 bi por falha de Dilma’ [Light consumer paid R$ 1 bi for Dilma’s error], FSP, 5 October 2010. 12 ‘Chavez vai a TV dizer que objetivo na Venezuela e acesso a informacao’ [Chavez goes on TV to say that aim in Venezuela is access to information], Renata Giraldi, Agencia Brasil, 22 March 2010. 9 Conclusion 1 ‘Brasil deve supercar Italia em 2011’ (Brazil will surprass Italy in 2011), O Globo, 10 December 2010. 2 See interview given by USP professor Rodolfo Hoffman in ‘Desafio de uma geracao – Trazer a desigualdade a niveis de Primeiro Mundo levaria 20 anos, diz especialista’ (Challenge of a generation – bringing inequality to levels of the First World would take 20 years, says expert), O Globo, 27 December 2009. 3 See ‘Lula hails oil-fuelled “30-year boom”’, The Guardian, 27 Sepember 2010. 4 The report was the result of the debates that were held in the 2006 International Intergovernmental Programme Council for the Development of Communications (IPDC). 5 Canada, the UK, Thailand, the USA, Chile, France, Malaysia, Jamaica, South Africa and Germany. 6 Regulatory Framework of Communications in Brazil: An Analysis of the System in the Light of the International Experience. Information obtained from Unesco’s press release, Unesco no Brasil lanca projetos na area de desenvolvimento de midia, and from the translated version of the Unesco report.

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7 See ‘Novas leis e projetos na America Latina esquentam polemica entre midia e governos’ (New laws and projects in Latin America heat polemic between media and governments), FNDC, 29 September 2010. 8 ‘Bernardo diz que discussao caminha para ter duas agencias na area de comunicacao’ (Bernardo says that discussion is about having two communication agencies), FNDC, 16 December 2011. 9 ‘Razoes para a hostilidade crescent’ (Reasons for the growing hostility), FNDC, 22 September 2010.

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Newspaper articles

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Documents

‘BBC Programming Policy: Extending Choice by Pursuing ‘Complementary Objectives’, BBC, Extending Choice: the BBC’s Role in the New Broadcasting Age, 1992 in Franklin, Bob (eds.) (2001) British Television Policy: A Reader, NY: Routledge, 102–4 Brazilians in London: a report for the Strangers into Citizens Campaign’, Department of Geography, Queen Mary University of London, September 2007

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‘O Brasil prepapa a Conferencia de Comunicacao’ in MidiaCom Democracia: Revista do Forum Nacional pela Democratizacao da Comunicacao (FNDC), Julho 2009 ‘Catalogo os Donos da Midia’, prepared by the Instituto de Estudos e Pesquisa em Comunicacao (Epcom) and FNDC, 2002 1a Conferencia Nacional de Comunicacao – Ministerio da Cultura, Brasilia, 2009 ‘The Future of the BBC: Options for Programming’, report of the National Cultural Heritage The Future of the BBC, London: HMSO, Canrd, 2098, 1992 in B. Franklin (eds.) (2001) British Television Policy: A Reader, NY: Routledge, 100–2 Freedom House Survey on Press Freedom, 2008 report Independent Commission for the Study of Communication Problems (1980/2004) ‘Many voices one world: Communication and society, today and tomorrow; towards a new more just and more efficient world information and communication order (MacBride Report)’, London, New York and Paris: Kogan Page and UNESCO ‘Midia nao assume, mas faz politica o tempo todo’ in MidiaCom Democracia: Revista do Forum Nacional pela Democratizacao da Comunicacao, Outubro 2007 ‘Migration from Latin America to Europe: trends and policy challenges’, report prepared for the IOM International Organization for Migration, 2004 ‘People and programmes: contributing and change in BBC programs’ in BBC People and Programmes 1995 in B. Franklin (eds.) (2001) British Television Policy: A Reader, NY: Routledge, 97–100 ‘The ownership of the news’ in the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications, 1st Report of Session 2007–08, vol. 1, Report and vol. 2 Evidence, Senate House Library, University of London Ofcom’s Public Service Broadcasting Review 2008 Phase (April 2008), includes data from the 2007 Ipsos Mori PSB quantitative survey; Ipsos Mori PSB workshops; PSB Tracker; PSB quantitative study from 2003, the 2004 PSB Review and Ofcom’s Media Literacy Audits Ofcom’s Second Public Service Broadcasting Review: Phase Two: Preparing for the Digital Future, September 2008 The Provision of Current Affairs: Report on the Current Affairs Audit 2005, Current Affairs Qualitative Viewer Research and Ofcom’s Symposium on the Future of Current Affairs, July 2006 (http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/ tv-research/report1.pdf) ‘Retrato das desigualdades de genero e raca’, report prepared by the Secretaria Especial de Politicas para as Mulheres in association with Ipea (Institute of Applied Economic Research) and the Fund for the United Nations for Women’s Development (Brasilia, September, 2008). Survey and Analyses of the International Flow of television Programme Material, reports and Papers on Mass Communication, no. 70, Paris, Unesco ‘Television Audience Perceptions of Innovation and Distinctiveness: Research Summary’, report commissioned by the BBC Trust and Blinc Research, 2007 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/consult/purpose_remits/audience_research.pdf) United Nations (2010) Media Development Indicators: A Framework for Assessing Media Development, Paris, Unesco

INDEX Abepec, see Brazilian Association of Public Educational and Cultural Stations, 161 Al Jazeera, 153 ‘Americanization’, 18, 38, 144, 198, 199; political campaigning, 198–200 American Broadcasting Company, 43 American journalism, 98, 99, 102 American Society of Newspaper Editors, 102 Anatel, see National Agency of Telecommunications, 58 Andrade, Evandro Carlos de, 204 Bachelet, Michelle, 210 BBC, 38, 43, 65, 67, 71, 75, 76–7, 114, 125, 126, 128, 182, 184, 225, 239; history of the BBC, 81–3; BBC Charter, 81, 84; BBC News 24, 85, 127; BBC Trust, 35, 128, 130, 131 Beckett, Charlie, 108 Blair, Tony, 196, 200; Blair and New Labour, 196, 19 Blinc Research, 130, 131 BMRB Media, 130 Bolano, Cesar, 54, 55, 57, 58, 222, 239 Bollywood films, see Hindi films, 144 Bolsa Familia, 23, 213, 233 Brasil, Antonio, 163, 165, 204, 222 Brasilianas.org, 32, 159, 164, 165, 166 Brazilian Code of Radio Broadcasting, 58 Brazilian 1988 Constitution, 51–4, 55, 56, 201, 224, 236 Brazilian identity, 158–60

Brazilian journalism, 101–3, 105–9, 158, 182; assassination of journalists in Brazil and Latin America, 107; Brazilian blogosphere, 14,172, 192, 194, 202, 205, 213, 227; development journalism, 99–100 Brazilian 2010 presidential elections, 18, 166, 168, 192, 196, 205, 207, 208, 210, 213, 227 Brazilian telenovelas, 7, 143, 144, 151, 154, 157, 158, 159, 161 Brazilian Telecommunications Code, 51 BRIC countries, 25, 232 British Labour Party, 81, 96, 178, 207, 208 Broadcasting Research Unit, 81, 127 Bucci, Eugenio, 163,165, 166 Buddhism, 183 Cable and satellite TV, 34, 42, 156, 224, 235, 239 Cable Law, 57–8, 156 Canal Futura, 161 Cardoso, Fernando Henrique, 22, 57, 184, 200, 202; Cardoso years, 57–8 Channel 4, 42, 73, 74, 83, 84 Channel 5, 42, 73, 74 Chavez, Hugo, 214, 237 Christianity, 183, 226 CNN Chile, 49 Collor, Fernando, 102, 107, 108, 182, 184, 197, 199, 201, 202 Committee on the Protection of Journalists, 107

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Comparative political communication research, 16–21, 29–31 Communication Act 2003, 127 Communication Council, 54 Communications Report of the House of Lords, 128–9 Communication White Paper, 42 Comparing media systems, 76–81 Confecom, see National Communication Conference, 49, 54, 55, 57, 235 Conservative British Party, 84, 178, 196, 208 Cosmopolitan democracy, 22–4, 231 Council of Europe, 85 Council of Europe’s Independent Television, 70 Cruvinel, Tereza, 165, 166, 212 Cultural imperialism, 27–8, 142, 144 De la Para Ca, 32, 165 Democracy, 22–6 Dickens, Charles, 127, 147 Diffusion, 30 Dyke, Greg, 82 Economic miracle, 26 Eleitor 2010, 209 Empresa Brasileira de Comunicacao (EBC), 57, 161, 162, 164, 212, 236 Estado de Sao Paulo, 55, 107, 213 Eurocentrism, 15, 125, 145, 147, 149 Euronews, 73, 153 European Commission, 19, 73 European Parliament, 24 European public service broadcasting, 3, 64, 72, 73, 85, 86, 158, 221, 224; PSB licence fee, 66–7 European Union, 19, 73, 152 Fantastico, 166 Federal Council of Communication, 237 Federal Council of Journalism, 236

FCC, see Federal Communications Commission, 38, 43; Fairness Doctrine, 43–4, 90 Folha de São Paulo, 52, 107, 209, 213–14 Frankfurt School, 114, 115–17, 118, 121, 122, 126, 139, 155, 197 Freedom of the Press 2008, 104 Freedom House Survey, 67, 104 Gallup poll, 210 Green Party, 32, 172, 181, 194 Globalization, 21–3, 26, 38, 123, 129, 146, 150, 160, 210, 231; cosmopolitan democracy, 22–4; cultural globalization, 145, 146; cultural hybridity, 7, 146; cultural imperialism, 27; television and globalization, 123–6 Globo Organisations, 52, 157; Globo TV, 32, 33, 34, 46, 60, 132, 139, 143, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 161, 181, 199, 203, 204, 205, 214, 222, 223; Marinho family, 155; SBT, 52; Grupo Saad Bandeirantes, 52; RBS, 52 Gois, Ancelmo, 165 Gould, Philip, 198 O Globo, 55, 108, 165, 181, 202, 214 Heloisa, Helena, 211 Hobbes, Thomas, 183, 184, 229 Hutchins Report of the Commission on the Freedom of the Press, 173 Hutton Inquiry, 81 Ibope ratings, 157 ICT4D, 188 Independent Television Commission, 42 Infotainment, 97–8 Inter-American Association, 103, 107 International Telecommunications Union (ITC), 188

Index Ipea, 22–3 ITV, 42, 74–5, 82, 83 Jornal da Cultura, 161, 165 Jornal Nacional, 33, 132, 139, 158, 166 Journalism Federal Council, 56 Kirchner, Cristina, 49, 210; media in Argentina, 47, 49; Kirchner, Nestor, 210 Labour Party, 96 Latin American identity, 15, 140, 146, 147, 148, 151, 152 Latin American journalism, 101–5 Latin American media, 45–6: Grupo Clarin, 46, 237; Telefonica, 46; Grupo Santo Domingos, 46; Grupo Ardilla, 46; Grupo Phillips, 46; Cisneros, 46; media in Argentina, 47, 49 Latinos, 7, 25, 148, 151; racism, 25, 146, 148, 149; Latin American immigration to Europe, 148 Lalo Leal Filho, Laurindo, 135, 163, 164, 180, 182, 188, 222, 236, 240 Liberal democracy, 26–7, 37 Liberal media theory, 89–95; radical democrats, 93–5; public sphere liberals, 92–3; conservative critique, 90–2; democratic communications, 25 Lins da Silva, Carlos, 135, 163 MacBride Report for Unesco (1980), 99 Maia, Cesar, 181, 212 Major, John, 84 Marques de Mello, Jose, 101, 105–6, 148 Martins, Franklin, 181 Media democratization, 11–16, 31, 45 Media development indicators, 12, 234 Media Watch Global, 203 Methods, 31–4

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Millennium Development Goals, 23, 233 Ministry of Communications, 52, 161, 236, 239 Ministry of Culture, 55 Monty Python, 127 MTV, 73 Murdoch, Rupert, 46, 72, 143, 155, 196 Nafta, see North American Free Trade Agreement, 19, 152 Nassif, Luis, 159, 164 National Agency of Communications, 55 National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 43 National Forum of Communication Democratization (FNDC), 54, 57 National Public Radio, 76 Nederveen Pieterse, Jan, 28, 140, 146, 150, 187 News Corporation, 46, 143, 155 New Labour, 196, 198 New York Times, 108 Noblat, Ricardo, 203 NWICO, see New World Information and Communication Order, 47, 56, 99, 141, 145, 234 OAB (Order of Brazilian Lawyers), 56 Obama, Barack, 207, 208, 212 Ofcom, see Office of Communications, 7, 35, 38, 39, 41, 45, 63, 72, 74, 84, 103, 113, 114, 127, 128, 131, 135, 137, 166, 193; Ofcom’s PSB Review 2008 Phase, 130; Ofcom’s 2008 audience findings, 74, 130–1, 133, 137, 225, 241; UK media, 95–9 Orwell, George, 36 Peacock Committee, 84, 127 Pereira, Merval, 108 Pew Internet and American Life Project, 207

288

Media and Politics in Latin America

Political cynicism, 179–81 Political-media-complex, 175 Postcolonialism, 136, 146, 147 Priolli, Gabriel, 158, 162, 165, 158, 239 Profissao Reporter, 204 Programa do Jo, 133 Propaganda model, 94–5, 116 PSB – see Public Service Broadcasting, 15, 20–1, 37, 43, 51, 56, 63, 65, 69, 74–5, 242; PSB genres, 86, 118–20, 132; PSB licence fee, 66–7; Quality journalism and entertainment, 96, 99, 100, 126–8; Private versus public dichotomy, 118, 122; Survey results, 131–5 PSDB (Social Democratic Party), 200, 203, 208, 211, 212, 222 PT, 172, 180, 181, 182, 199, 200, 203, 204, 205, 208, 212, 222 Public journalism, 98–9; public media, 37; public interest, 120–2; ‘multiple public spheres’, 121 Racism, 25, 149, 152: race relations in the UK, 150–1; ethnic minorities in the UK and multiculturalism, 150–1; Latin American immigration to Europe, 150–1 RCTV, 237 Regulation, 41,44, 48; market failure, 39 Reith, John, 81, 84, 95 Repolitica, 209 Reporter Brasil, 32, 33, 133, 166 Reporters Without Borders, 103 Roda Viva, 161, 165 Rodrigues, Fernando, 203 Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 183, 147, 229 Rousseff, Dilma, 32, 55, 166, 172, 194, 209, 211, 213, 214, 215, 227, 236 SBT, 52, 156 Schopenhauer, Arthur, 183, 229 Sem Censura, 133

Serra, Jose, 205, 211 Silva, Luis Inacio Lula da, 22, 184, 200, 204, 212; Lula’s government, 166, 184, 202, 203, 233, 236, 239; Bolsa Familia, 23, 213, 233 Silva, Marina, 32, 172, 181, 194, 205, 212, 213 Sirkis, Alfredo, 181, 183, 212 Sky, 73 Sociedade Interamericana de Imprensa, 103 Southern European media systems, 78–81, 174 Souza, Josias de, 203 Survey methods, 34–6; Survey results, 131–5 Terra, 190 Tambini, Damian, 39, 72 Telesur, 60, 153, 237 Televisa, 60, 143, 155, see Latin American television Thatcher, Margaret, 23, 82 Thompson, Mark, 82 Transparencia Brasil, 209 TV Bandeirantes, 52, 151 TV Brasil, 32, 50, 54, 57, 139, 153, 160, 161, 162, 164, 165, 204, 205, 220, 226, 227, 235 TV Cultura, 51, 57, 132, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 166, 226 TVE, 51, 161, 165, 166 TV do Povo, 200 TV Manchete, 156 TV programming, 44, 100 TVoto, 209 TWBD, see TV Without Fronteirs Directive, 73 UFRJ online survey, 7, 32, 113, 131–5, 137, 139, 143, 190, 196, 220, 222, 223, 240 UK media: quality journalism, 100; The Sun, 196; The Guardian, 108; see BBC and Ofcom

Index United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP), 233 UN Human Development Report, 24, 233 Unesco, 48, 69, 141, 188, 234, 237 UOL, 190 Vote na Web, 209

Waisbord, Silvio, 18 Wikileaks, 108, 220 World Eletronic Media Forum Workshop, 69 Worlds of Journalism Project, 106 World Internet Project, 189 World Social Forum, 203 World Summit on Information Society, 48

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