In the framework of the Project Medioslatinos and the Konrad Adenauer Stifting's “Media and Democracy in Latin America” program, the Center for Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) and the Austral University's School of Communication agreed to keep track of current events to analyze the professional relationship between journalists and politicians in the region.
This project´s objective is to present elements that charactarize the relationship between journalists and politicans to increase understanding and to discover a mechanism to analyze whether the changes that take place are democratizing, neutral, or whether they have an anti-democratizing bias.
The project will consist of a map in which the situation of each country will briefly be described. To accomplish this, 67 indicators from different sources are used and grouped into 9 subject categories which are aggregated and disaggregated so that users can easily access all the information available.
Lastly, the agreement includes the preparation of an annual report to analyze some of the aspects related to the quality of democracy in the relationship between journalists and politicians. At this time, the topic analyzed is electoral debates in the region: Ola de Debates Electorales en América Latina: Luces y Sombras de un Avance Democrático. This study explores the state of affairs of electoral debates in Latin America, arriving at the following conclusions: a) he quality of the debates does not depend on the sector that organizes them; b) the media often defines the rules of the debate; c) in some countries the wave of debates is becoming consolidated; d) an indicator that the wave of debates is becoming consolidated is demonstrated when the president debates with his/her challengers; e) in some countries the wave of debates has ended or never arrived; and f)in some countries, electoral debates take place on levels other than the presidential level.
The reports and compilation of the indicators for this project are under the direction of Fernando Ruiz, Academic Secretary at the Austral University´s School of Communication, and Hernán Alberro, Program Director at CADAL.