Sunday, February 17, 2019

The new journalism: now the people make the news

‘People of Chile: 44 years on and El Mercurio is still lying!’ – banner hung across the front of the Universidad Católica in Chile, during the 2011 education protests, where students caused scandal in 1967 by hanging a banner accusing Chile’s august broadsheet of lying. © De Warko – Trabajo propio, 2011 CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia
‘People of Chile: 44 years on and El Mercurio is still lying!’ – banner hung across the front of the Universidad Católica in Chile, during the 2011 education protests, where students caused scandal in 1967 by hanging a banner accusing Chile’s august broadsheet of lying. © De Warko – Trabajo propio, 2011 CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia


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.


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, Mexico. © Animal Político 2016

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

Pavel Núñez, Honduras. © Pierre Fromentin 2016

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

Renata da Silva Souza (former journalist at O Cidadão and communica-tions specialist at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)): inter-viewed 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, Mexico. © Eliana Gilet 2015

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 inter-net 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


Voices News

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Voices of Latin America — US edition

Voices of Latin America will be published in the US by Monthly Review Press, in partnership with LAB and Practical Action Publishing, in March 2019. Individual copies can be ordered from Monthly Review Press at US$32.00 each. Review copies can be ordered here (on the same page there is a link labelled 'desk copies', for professors who have already ordered a book for a class). Ingram Book Ordering here. Here is what US academics have said about Voices: Anthony Bebbington, Higgins Professor of Environment and Society, Clark University, Worcester, MA; Member of the Board of Directors, Oxfam America; Professorial Fellow, Global Development Institute, University...

Endorsements for Voices of Latin America

Here are some of the endorsements for LAB's new book, Voices of Latin America: Dr Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Adviser, OXFAM: This is a wonderful X-ray of modern Latin America, a vision of the continent's struggles and potential futures through the eyes of its social movement leaders and intellectuals. Read it from end to end, whether as an introduction or an update, or mine it for quotes from inspirational figures across the region on a range of contemporary issues. Latin America (or most of it) has come the end of its progressive 'pink tide' years of the early 2000s. For the...

Voices: a work in progress

Work on LAB's exciting new book Voices of Latin America is progressing rapidly More than 45 of our interviews, from 11 countries, have been translated, and our wonderful team of volunteer editors are at work on the separate chapters The editor and project co-ordinator is Tom Gatehouse Publication date is now set for September 2018 Alongside the book, we will develop the Voices website. This will include more interviews, photos, videos and some of the audio recordings used in the book. But it will be progressively added to to create a constantly growing and up-to-date archive of social...

Voices of Latin America: Thank you to all our generous supporters

We estimate that the total raised from our crowd-funding will be around £12,720 A huge thank you to all our generous supporters. Your pledges on our project Crowdfunding site totalled a magnificent £7,000. We have now received a further £4,000 from our match-funder. We can claim Gift Aid on most of those donations made by UK tax-payers, worth another 25%. This will enable us to pay for some of the daunting amount of editing and translation work and, if necessary, commission further Voices interviews. It's a big boost to the project.  

Voices of Latin America: crowd-funding completed… fund-raising continues

May 18. Our Crowdfunder campaign finished last night. We raised £7,000, but the total will be considerably more because part of this was match-funded. A huge thanks to our 163 generous supporters. It was a great learning experience for the LAB Voices team, and will be excellent advance promotion for the book. More funding needed If you missed the Crowdfunder deadline, it's not too late for you to contribute. Just go to the 'Donate with CAF' button on LAB's Home Page, or click here. Keep watching this space ...for updates on the project as it proceeds. We plan to begin adding audio, video,...