The press of a people : the evolution of Spanish-language news and the changing political community
Author(s)Kannegaard, Josef Sandoval
Evolution of Spanish-language news and the changing political community
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
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Spanish-language news in the United States has grown over the last 20 years into a significant economic and social force. This growth has heightened concerns about the integration of Spanish-speaking groups into American political life and the ability of the media to affect democratic values. Evidence from other countries shows the dangers of fractured mass communication, and a theory based on (a) the treatment of minorities by the state, (b) the special functions demanded by consumers of the ethnic media, and (c) the norms held by both journalists and the community reveals deficiencies in the existing thinking on the mass media. Using content analysis and elite interviews with journalists and editors at a leading Spanish-language newspaper, this thesis examines the potentially polarizing effects of market forces on the Latino media. I find that, after the onset of competition and the transition to a new ownership structure, La Opinidn of Los Angeles changed the information presented to minority audiences, pushing away from its mainstream counterpart and toward more community-based journalism. The most significant findings involve how ethnic groups and their interests are balanced in coverage, as seen through the selection of front-page topics and the representation of said groups within articles. The assignment of causal influence is not, however, as clear-cut as it initially seems; journalistic practices and dynamics with the news organizations shaped how competition would influence coverage.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2008.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 60-65).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology