Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Central America and the Caribbean
Christopher H. Sterling
The seven countries of Central America and the many more (often tiny) island nations in the Caribbean region demonstrate news media systems that are more alike than different. Most of them rely on commercial advertising (as well as publication of government information) for their financial support. The ownership of many newspapers and some broadcast outlets is closely allied with the moneyed business elites of each country. Several of the nations between Mexico on the north and Colombia to the south were the scene of considerable civil war violence in the 1980s and early 1990s. Their media employees suffered accordingly and violence against reporters rose to dangerous levels for years. So did attempts by government to control what news media provided to their audiences. Media in Central America generally share several characteristics. While most of the countries' constitutions call for freedom of the press, practice in fact varies widely. The defining ...