Muzzling the watchdog: The case of disappearing watchdog journalism from Argentine mainstream news

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

What silences an emergent watchdog press, even after that press has overcome great adversity to bring a form of journalism to mainstream news supporting democratization and social justice? Argentina presents an interesting case study in terms of changes in watchdog performance in a democratic and market-oriented context. A content analysis of three major Argentine news outlets from 1985 to 2005 first demonstrates that observable changes have taken place in mainstream watchdog reporting. Then, from interviews with journalists, media managers and media analysts, results indicate perceptions that public opinion shifts, media economy fluctuations, organizational strategies and government media relations facilitated or hindered the free practice of watchdog journalism in mainstream media. These findings illustrate the effects of forces working at the institutional and individual level that influence media performance, rather than simply at the environmental. Rather than a paradox, the Argentine case has implications for press freedom in other democracies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-774
Number of pages25
JournalJournalism
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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