The apparent democratic shift unfolding in Latin America, from Venezuela and Bolivia to Ecuador and Nicaragua has been quite uneven. Public access to media provides one measurement of the extent to which social movements have been able to alter the relations of power. In nations where working classes, indigenous peoples, women, youth, and diverse ethnic groups have mobilized and organized constituent assemblies and other social and political organizations, political economies of radical democratic media have been introduced, communicating other progressive national policies for a new cultural hegemony of solidarity.
Moments of rupture caused by social movements have introduced new social and political norms challenging capitalist cultural hegemony across the continent, with deep connections between media communication and social power revealed in every case. Public access to media production and distribution is a key indicator of democratic citizen participation and social transformation. Those societies that have advanced the farthest towards 21st century socialism and participatory democracy have also established the most extensive democratic and participatory media systems. These media reach far beyond community and alternative media forms to become central to an emerging hegemonic discourse advocating social transformation and working class power.
Community media in Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador demonstrate how radical political power can encourage mass working class participation, including acquiring and using mass communication for social change and social justice.
BeltranLuis. R.ReyesJaime L.“Radio Popular en Bolivia: La Lucha de Obreros y Campesinos para Democratizar la Comunicación” (Popular Radio in Bolivia: The Struggle of Workers and Peasants to Democratize Communication).Diálogos de la Comunicación1993351431
BoasTaylor C.DomínguezJorge I.ShifterMichael“Mass Media and Politics in Latin America.”Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America 4th Ed2013Accessed February 23 2013Baltimore, MDJohns Hopkins University Press4877people.bu.edu/tboas/media_LA.pdf
BrechtBertoltMattelardArmandSiegelaubSeth“Radio as a Means of Communication: A Talk on the Function of Radio.”Communication and the Class Struggle: Liberation Socialism1983Vol. 2New YorkInternational General169171
Gumucio-DagronAlfonsoHemerOscarTufteThomas“Miners’ Radio Stations: A Unique Communication Experience from Bolivia.”Media and Global Change. Rethinking Communication for Development2005Göteborg, SwedenGoteborg University317423
KitzbergerPhilip“The Media Activism of Latin America’s Leftist Governments: Does Ideology Matter?”2010Accessed May 23 2014giga (German Institute of Global and Area Studies) working papers No. 551.http://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/47769
Miller HerreraM. KarinaMartínJuan Ramos“Comunicación, Red y Lucha Social: Hacia la Reactivación de las Radios Mineras de Bolivia” Communication, Networking and Social Struggle: Reactivating Miner’s Radio in Bolivia.Quórum Académico20131011128
MoenDarrell G.“Public Access to Alternative/Critical Analysis: Community Media in Venezuela.”Hitotsubashi Journal of Social Studies2009Accessed December 15 2013411http://dgmoen.net/blog/public-access-to-alternativecritical-analysis-community-media-in-venezuela/
Piñeiro HarneckerCamila“Workplace Democracy and Solidarity Development: An Empirical Study of Venezuelan Cooperatives.”Learning Democracy by Doing: Alternative Practices in Citizenship Learning and Participatory Democracy2007Accessed December 21 2013TorontoOntario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto510524http://tlc.oise.utoronto.ca/UserFiles/File/LDD%20Proceedings%20Master%20Document%20-%2026%20Oct%2009.pdf