Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 06/2009

Brazil with strong challenge ahead: Other BRIC countries enjoying stronger media support

June 2007

Media Tenor International


Despite its size, both geographically and in terms of its population, Latin America plays a rather insignificant role in international television news. With Western media for the most part still reporting within traditional and existing parameters (East-West), countries falling outside of these parameters seem to only appear on television when they violate these set norms and expectations (as in the case of Iraq, Iran, North Korea) or if they confirm existing stereotypes, such as crime and violence in Africa. With Latin America hovering on the peripheral of these issues (except for the United States-Venezuelan ‘relations’ matter), it is no surprise that Latin America attracts only marginal coverage on television news. Swiss and German television news reports dedicated only 3% of their total coverage in 2006 to Latin America, while South African, British and Arab media dedicated less than 2%. Only U.S. television, largely due to reporting on Cuba and Venezuela, dedicated a full 5% of its total coverage to the continent.