10. The new journalism: now the people make the news


While mainstream media, especially print and television, are mostly owned and controlled by large companies and rich families, new forms of journalism are proliferating across Latin America.

Web-only news sites, blogs, Facebook newspapers, YouTube video, and Twitter have empowered a whole generation of new journalists, photographers, and video-makers – professional, self-taught, and amateur – often working closely with social movements.


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About the Author

Mike Gatehouse lived in Chile in 1972-3 and worked for 15 years in London for Latin America solidarity and human rights organizations.

Co-author of LAB’s Soft Drink, Hard Labour – Guatemalan workers take on Coca Cola and In the Mountains of Morazán – Portrait of a returned refugee community in El Salvador, he is an editor at LAB.


Carlos Correa (Espacio Público): interviewed via Skype on 1 February 2018 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Matty Rose.

Patricia Mayorga (Proceso): interviewed on 23 February 2018 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Theo Bradford.

Tania Montalvo (Animal Político): interviewed via Skype on 26 January 2018 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Shareen Patel.

Pavel Núñez (Honduran educator, musician, and digital activist): interviewed in Tegucigalpa on 24 October and 2 November 2016 by Louise Morris.

Renata da Silva Souza (former journalist at O Cidadão and communications specialist at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)): interviewed in Rio de Janeiro on 1 February 2018 by Jennifer Chisholm. Translated by Hugo Moss.

Yuri Valle Roca (Cuban blogger): interviewed via email on 19 February 2018 by Louise Morris. Translated by Chris Whitehouse.

Miryam Vargas Teutle (Radio Comunitaria Cholollan): interviewed in Tlaxcalancingo, Mexico, on 2 March 2017 by Francesco di Bernardo. Translated by Hebe Powell.


NB: All web references were checked and still available in May/June 2018 unless otherwise stated.

Ahmed, A. (2017) ‘Using billions in government cash, Mexico controls news media’, New York Times, 25 December

Animal Político (2013) ‘Nace ALiados, red de medios digitales de América Latina’, 20 June

Corona, S. (2016) ‘Latin America and Caribbean see sharp rise in internet use’, El País, 13 September

CPJ (2015) ‘452 journalists forced into exile since 2010’, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

CPJ (2018) ‘Explore CPJ’s database of attacks on the press

El País (2016) ‘EL PAÍS, el periódico digital en español más leído del mundo’, 23 November

Freedom House (2015) ‘Freedom of the Press 2015: Venezuela

Hadad, D. (2017) ‘Infobae en el podio de los medios en español más leídos del mundo’, Infobae

Komar, M. (2017) ‘Why Latin America is the “next great advertising ecosystem”’, PerformanceIN, 3 July

Kornbluh, P. (2003) The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability, National Security Archive, The New Press, New York, NY.

Macqueen, A. (2017) ‘Javier Valdez: brave, brilliant casualty of Mexico’s dirty war’, The Guardian, 20 May

Marcial Pérez, D. (2016) ‘Half of social media users in Latin America have gone hungry in last year’, El País, 30 December,

Mioli, T. (2017) ‘Despite global decreases in journalists’ murders, press advocates report record numbers of journalists killed in Mexico’, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Souza, A., Oliveira, G., Pinto, P.C., Conceição, W. and Mattos, S. (2011) ‘Análise do debate editado pela Rede Globo no segundo turno das eleições presidenciais de 1989’, Intercom – Sociedade Brasileira de Estudos Interdisciplinares da Comunicação, XXXIV Congresso Brasileiro de Ciências da Comunicação, Recife, 2–6 September 2011

Tendencias Digitales (2017) ‘La evolución de los usos de Internet en Latinoamérica

Villegas, P. (2018) ‘Mexico moves to regulate government ads. Critics say it’s a sham’, New York Times, 15 April

Zenith (2017) ‘Top 30 global media owners 2017’, Zenith ROI Agency, 9 June

Further reading


– Castillo, A. (2018) ‘A new wave of public service journalism in Latin America’, WACC

– Higuera, S. (2019) ‘Increased internet access and insecurity for journalists among media trends in Latin America, according to UNESCO’, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

– Márquez, H. (2018) ‘Journalism for Democracy, Caught Between Bullets and Censorship in Latin America’, Inter Press Service News Agency

– Nalvarte, P. (2018) ‘As murders of journalists rise globally, Mexico leads Latin America for media workers killed in 2018’, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

– Reporters Without Borders (2018) ‘RSF Index 2018: Mixed performance in Latin America’, Reporters Without Borders

– Riera, A. (2018) ‘Independence, gender equality, and citizen participation help Latin America’s fact-checkers hold the powerful to account’, LSE Latin American and Caribbean Centre


– De Assis, C. (2018) ‘Brazil’s Agência Pública spreads its investigative journalism around the world with creative financing & distribution solutions’, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

– Dias, I. (2018) ‘Brazil’s Media Prepares for War’, Slate

– Monnerat, A. (2016) ‘Community journalists deliver stories from their favelas in advance of Olympics’, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

– Whitefield, M. (2017) ‘Young journalists bring the reality of favelas to the rest of Brazil’, Miami Herald


– CPJ (2016) ‘Cuban blogger jailed for five days after trying to cover protest’, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)


– Gies, H. (2018) ‘Honduran journalists face increasing threats and intimidation’, Al Jazeera

– Nalvarte, P. (2017) ‘Honduran journalists face aggression and harassment after controversial presidential elections’, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas


– Green, E. (2019) ‘Mexico’s president vowed to halt murders of journalists. He hasn’t been able to stop them.’, VICE News

– Hamilton, K. (2019) ‘Who ordered the murder of a legendary Mexican journalist? El Chapo’s trial only adds to the mystery’, VICE News

– Mayorga, P. (2017) ‘The health sector: César Duarte’s goldmine’, Mexican Journalism Translation Project

– Schachar, N. (2017) ‘When the government is one of your paper’s biggest advertisers’, Columbia Journalism Review


– Allsop, J. (2019) ‘Venezuela’s war on the press’, Columbia Journalism Review

– Otis, J. (2019) ‘Venezuela’s intimidation tactics include arbitrary arrests, deportation’, Committee to Protect Journalists