A regulatory process of “democratising the media” based on recent constitutional guarantees and a 2013 communications law is under way in Ecuador. The initiative comes from a demand for new forms of social accountability and participation in the mass media after the Latin American experience of media companies’ direct engagement in coups and the destabilisation of progressive governments. Media democratisation is seen as necessary for the construction of democratic societies. It is distinct in Latin America from recent Northern approaches, which tend to be technocratic, suggesting democratic transformation through new online media and enhanced consumer options. Ecuador’s process follows similar initiatives in Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay but is perhaps more articulate and systematic. It is instructive in that it builds on well-established public policy themes of the containment of monopoly power, redress of civil wrongs, and the promotion of participation and diversity. While media corporations mostly seek to disqualify debate on media regulations, Ecuador’s approach deserves closer examination.
Latin American Perspectives, Issue 220, 45(3)