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Radio broadcasting: a conceptual challenge in Latin America

Keywords: radio broadcasting , public media , communication , latin america , communication policies

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The objective of this paper is to present the partial results of research carried out by the Observatory of Public Radio Broadcasting of Latin America on the changes occurring in the public radio and TV systems in 10 Latin American countries, under the aspects of functioning models, management, nancing, and social participation. After the rising to power of governments linked to parties from the left, we veri ed that communication policies are being established, which aim at closing the gap between traditional state broadcasting stations and the notion of public. This considers the principles that characterize the action of this media, determined by UNESCO (2001): universality, diversity, independence, and differentiation of content in the programming. A hundred and forty broadcasting stations were analyzed from the perspective of being public based on two criteria: those that are under the control of the State direct or indirectly, by means of concessions for use without pro t for foundations, companies, and public universities; and those that receive public nancing. Based on the analysis of the data, ve trend tendencies were observed: the construction of a new regulatory framework; the creation of public companies instead of legal centralized state structures; the institution of relatively autonomous deliberative councils responsible for overseeing the management of the stations; the diversi cation of funding sources in an attempt to reverse the dependence on government resources; and the renewal of the programming with the opening for independent production.


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