Media, Memory, and Human Rights in Chile by K. Sorensen

By K. Sorensen

Sorensen investigates the way within which Chilean media and public tradition speak about human rights violations dedicated in the course of the dictatorship of common Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) in addition to human rights difficulties which nonetheless exist.

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Extra resources for Media, Memory, and Human Rights in Chile

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According to Wiley, “the capitalist construction of the public as potential consumers leads to a dual society and, some argue, to the social disarticulation of one sector (the globally connected elites and upper middle class) from the other (the mass audience constituted by broadcast television and radio) . . in other words, in a deregulated context where capitalist logics drive infrastructural development, the wealthy are incorporated into a broader range of global media flows and those who lack value as consumers are left out” (“Transnation”).

For example, one program dealt with the purchase by the mayor of Providencia—a comuna, or borough, of Santiago—of the dining room table that Pinochet used when he was under house arrest in London. The question was whether the mayor had the right to use public funds to purchase this table, but mention was also made that the interest in purchasing this table at all was disturbing. In another episode, a young man who had been assaulted by the grandson of Pinochet when he was coming out of a nightclub was interviewed.

According to Alvarado, “Upper classes like the show, watch, participate. We are receiving some information on who is watching. Mainly about socio-economic groups; to allow a better choice of themes; we need to cater to the audience” (personal interview, April 4, 2002). In this case, the network was less concerned with broadcasting to a wide audience than it was with narrowcasting to a more lucrative select audience. Television 43 El Termómetro was usually the only live program broadcast on any of the five major networks in the pre-evening news timeslot.

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