Media & Governance in Latin America 2015: Communication, Power and SocietyMedia & Governance in Latin America 2015

Communication, Power and Society

The University of Sheffield, 25-26 June 2015

We are glad to announce that the Department of Journalism Studies is convening a second Media and Governance in Latin America conference, to be held at the University of Sheffield on 25 and 26 June 2015.

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Traditional and digital media have become key actors in the young democracies of Latin America and the Caribbean over the last few years. Media actors have influenced the configuration of good governance across the region, not only due to their important role as a channel between civil society and the state, but also to their ability to shape the power structure of society.

Over the last decade or so, a new wave of left-wing governments has prompted heated debates around the media's role in democratic governance. Across the region, the relationship between the state, the media and civil society faces common challenges, such as poverty, corruption, inequality, and populism. In this context, the region has been a rich laboratory for the introduction of innovative regulatory frameworks, from new ways of fostering public media services in Colombia and Chile, legal support to community-based journalism in Ecuador or Bolivia, or the adoption of internet regulatory frameworks such as Marco Civil in Brazil.

Academic debates on media and governance are shaped around the influence of political elites, interest groups, and economic powers in the performance of media outlets and journalists, but also in the importance of investigative journalism and digital media in articulating social mobilisation, and fostering good governance.

This conference explores these connections both in a comparative perspective, and from an interdisciplinary perspective. The aim is to bring together academics, practitioners and researchers from social sciences and humanities around the following questions:

  • What patterns of governance are shaping Latin American media systems?
  • How are media reforms strengthening democratic governance across the region?
  • To what extent do public and private media reproduce populist and polarising discourses?
  • To what extent are digital media challenging traditional hegemonic information flows?
  • What patterns have emerged from the relationship between the state, the private sector, civil society and the media?
  • What is the role of the media in promoting democratic governance and sustainable development?

Drawing upon these key questions, the conference aims to explore three aspects of the relationship between media and governance in the region:

  • Political communication: the mediatisation and personalisation of politics; political and media populism; digital media and political mobilisation.
  • Comparative media systems: comparing public media services; comparing media markets; comparing journalistic cultures; and comparing regulatory frameworks.
  • Media and the governance agenda: investigative journalism; media accountability; censorship and freedom of the press; state surveillance and privacy, communication and global change.

We believe the theme of media and governance is a challenging academic crossroads in the exploration of Latin America and the Caribbean from a social sciences and humanities perspective. Therefore, a peer-reviewed collection of selected papers will be published with an international publisher, whether as a journal special number or as an edited book.

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Please contact Sara García Santamaría with any queries about this event by emailing