Indigenous Representation in Venezuela’s Public Television

Television, as a far-reaching medium, is continuously an object of contention between political and economic interests and journalistic autonomy. The political transformations in Venezuela in the first decade of the 21st century produced massive changes in the country’s media landscape. After a failed coup d’état, which counted with the support of privately-owned television stations, it became president Hugo Chávez’s new media policy to democratise national television. As a result, the government handed out concessions to small-scale community television stations all over the country and promised financial support. This initiative pledged new content and perspectives based on the concept of participatory representation. The idea was to produce a counter-hegemonic discourse by integrating a general public, particularly marginalised groups. Indigenous communities, for instance, should have increased media presence and participation in the process of production.

This research project examines the politics and impact of indigenous representation in the Bolivarian participatory television initiative focussing on the example of Vive TV and Catia TV. How to assess the ideological imperatives and technical practicalities of television with a participatory agenda? This ethnography looks at access, training, and the negotiation of social and cultural difference in the production of participatory television content that is seeking to integrate indigenous communities.

136 pages (2009), monograph
Author: Martha-Cecilia Dietrich
Publisher: VDM Verlag