The practice of journalism in Chile has suffered quite a few challenges in the past 30 years. Most notably, the press was censored by two of its presidents, the democratically elected Marxist Salvador Allende and General Augusto Pinochet, who rose to power through a bloody coup.

Allende’s primary means of controlling the press during his regime by coercion, legal decrees and laws limiting the scope of press coverage. Many of his attempts proved unsuccessful, and the press often printed harsh criticism of the government and of Allende personally. Allende’s limited success is due to the fact that he had been elected within a democratic system of government and was constrained by his desire to uphold the ideals of democracy (at least in the public eye).

In this regard, the differences between Allende and Pinochet become apparent. While Pinochet also used the legal means at his disposal to control the content of the press, the bulk of his government’s efforts to control the press were felt through military persecution and threats of physical harm.

Though the country’s press is currently governed under the freedom of democracy, many of the institutional biases introduced by Allende and Pinochet are still present in the Chilean media environment.




Allende's Influence on the Media Environment

Pinochet's Influence on the Media Environment

The Chilean Press Under Civilian Democracy

Reference List

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