The Coalition and the Open Window: Breaking the Broadcasting Policy Monopoly in Argentina
In 2009, Argentina's legislature passed a radical law that aims to democratize the country's media sector, enshrining a place for non-profit broadcasters and limiting the concentration of property. Until then, the close allegiance between state actors and media owners - the policy monopoly - had seen the country's broadcasting legislation modified almost exclusively in the service of government regimes and large corporations. What changed in 2009? This thesis examines how a broad grassroots coalition, the Coalition for Democratic Broadcasting, achieved modest success in advocating for a new law, but was only able to attain reform after its project was elevated by the executive branch as its champion cause. The administration's advocacy in favor of such a monopoly-busting law can be explained by its ensnarement in a battle with Grupo Clarín, the nation's largest media conglomerate and a former administration ally. I argue that the break in longstanding state-media ties created an "open window" for the reform movement's demands and provided the necessary political will to turn their civic proposals into an official policy. Whether or not the new law, in practice, will lead to a more democratic media environment in Argentina remains an open question.
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Inglis, Brian (1979-07-28)
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