Press Freedom and Media Reform in a Populist Regime: How Ecuadorian Journalists and Policy Actors See the Correa Era

Manel Palos Pons, Daniel C. Hallin


This article considers the debates about press freedom raised by an important case of populist media reform in Latin America, drawing on interviews with Ecuadorian journalists, policy makers, and commentators involved in the policy process. Whereas these cases are commonly understood, following a “libertarian” conception of press freedom, as threats to an independent press, interviewees saw a more complex picture. The majority agreed that press freedom was threatened under former president Rafael Correa’s regime in Ecuador; at the same time, most of respondents considered media regulation necessary given a history of “media capture,” and believed that journalistic professionalism had improved in Correa’s period. These results suggest that press freedom is a multidimensional reality in which the state plays a key role, proposing a further discussion about media regulation and populism in contemporary societies.


press freedom, media policy, journalism, populism, Latin America

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