1st Edition

Digital Journalism in Latin America

Edited By Eugenia Mitchelstein, Pablo J. Boczkowski Copyright 2023

    This volume showcases the vibrancy of the study of digital journalism in Latin America. It includes an inquiry into journalists’ perceptions of media companies’ policies regarding social media use; a survey of investigative reporters; an examination of the interaction between traditional broadcast journalists and online news teams in two television stations in Colombia; research on modes of news consumption on Facebook and WhatsApp in Costa Rica and Chile; and a study of the institutionalization of independent journalism in Brazil. The methods employed by the contributors include surveys, in-depth interviews, eye tracking, and participant observation. These texts reveal differences across and within Latin American media and their audiences. This underscores the importance of abandoning the ethnocentric perspective of most journalism scholarship, which tends to homogenize a supposedly exotic other. In a research field marked by inequality, in which the vast majority of studies, authors, and reviewers are from the Global North, where only 14% of the global population lives, the studies included in this volume illustrate how research about and from the other 86% can increase the representativeness of the scholarly endeavor. It was originally published as a special issue of the journal Digital Journalism.

    1. Introduction

    Eugenia Mitchelstein and Pablo J. Boczkowski

    2. Re-Digitizing Television News: The Relationship between TV, Online Media and Audiences

    Víctor García-Perdomo

    3. The Personal Is the Political? What Do WhatsApp Users Share and How It Matters for News Knowledge, Polarization and Participation in Chile

    Sebastián Valenzuela, Ingrid Bachmann, and Matías Bargsted

    4. Protecting News Companies and Their Readers: Exploring Social Media Policies in Latin American Newsrooms

    Summer Harlow

    5. Stronger and Safer Together: Motivations for and Challenges of (Trans)National Collaboration in Investigative Reporting in Latin America

    Lourdes M. Cueva Chacón and Magdalena Saldaña

    6. The Mechanisms of "Incidental News Consumption": An Eye Tracking Study of News Interaction on Facebook

    Adrián Vergara, Ignacio Siles, Ana Claudia Castro, and Alonso Chaves

    7. Between Attack and Resilience: The Ongoing Institutionalization of Independent Digital Journalism in Brazil

    Sarah Anne Ganter and Fernando Oliveira Paulino


    Eugenia Mitchelstein is Associate Professor and Chair of the Social Sciences Department the University of San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Victoria, Argentina, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina (MESO). She has authored two books, one edited volume, and more than thirty journal articles.

    Pablo J. Boczkowski is Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, USA. He is the author of six books, four edited volumes, and more than sixty journal articles. His latest book (forthcoming) is To Know Is to Compare: Studying Social Media Across Nations, Media and Platforms (with Mora Matassi).

    This is a timely and thoughtful collection, which addresses an important gap: digital journalism in Latin America. The contributions go beyond the contemporary concerns of the Global North about fake news, misinformation and disinformation. Instead, they broaden the debate by examining case studies from Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and the whole region, as well as by -crucially- highlighting other pressing and equally important discussions. The collection is aimed not only at those who look at Latin America: it should be read by everyone interested in digital journalism and everyone wanting to subvert the global hierarchies of knowledge that dominate academia.

    César Jiménez-Martínez, Cardiff University, UK

    Eugenia Mitchelstein and Pablo J. Boczkowski have not only moved forward Communication Research about Latin America but also inspired authors from our region to do the same. The sparkling set of studies in this volume pays close attention to issues such as the impact of digital technologies on journalism, the opportunities for creating a more diverse media landscape, and the singularities of information sharing in polarized settings. This far-reaching, insightful, and illuminating reading demonstrates the complexities of our societies and how cases beyond Western Europe and the United States can contribute to our broader literature.

    Francisco Paulo Jamil Marques, Federal University of Paraná, Brazil

    Why are findings that stem from Global North contexts assumed to be universal whilst the South is treated as exotic? How can we deal with the lack of representativeness, reflexivity, decentering and cosmopolitanism that still – problematically - characterizes our field? This volume asks these and other key questions, challenging the persistence of ethnocentrism in journalism, audiences, and media studies in general. From Chile to Mexico and from TV to WhatsApp, the issue offers a very welcome contribution to a more equitable and multi-centric intellectual field.

    Andrea Medrado, University of Westminster, England