Democracy and the Philippine Media, 1983-93

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This study examines the relationships between the Philippine media, class power, and the state. It focuses particularly on the economic and political actors and agencies, including the press, which have promoted or hindered democratization in the Philippines during the decade 1983-1993. It argues that although the role of the Philippine press has been considerable, it has been inextricably bound to the interests of the ruling elites who have disproportionate control over mainstream media agendas.


“Dr. Desmond Smith has produced a unique case study that broadens into an examination of the political and economic forces and constraints on media practitioners. It is a valuable boo for all students of journalism on the international stage.” – Dick Rooney

“Its greatest strength is its insightful critical account of the character of the ‘free’ press in the new democracy established in the wake of the ousting of Marcos in 1986. Smith reveals the continuing significance of economic interests in shaping access to the media and influencing public opinion, and in doing so, lays bare the structure of power in the Philippines today. At the same time, his account accords appropriate prominence to a surprising range of individuals – from individual lone publishers and student journalists to ‘troublesome women’, local activists and campaigners who have kept alive a proud tradition of genuinely independent investigation and reporting in the Philippines. It is recommended, therefore, as an invaluable contribution to explorations of the dynamics of democracy and public debate in the contemporary world.” – Paul Cammack

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Tables; Foreword; Preface; Glossary
1. A Testing Decade for Democracy
2. Charting Democracy: Characteristics and Debates
3. Media and Democratisation: The Contested Hegemony
4. Oligarchs, Caciques and “Democracy”
5. The Philippine Media: An Overview
6. Democracy Curtailed, 1972-81
7. Liberalisation and the Press, 1981-86
8. New Actors, Old Politics, 1986-92
9. Issues of the Mainstream Press, 1986-92
10. Dilemmas of the Philippine Press
11. Media Challenges to the Hegemony
12. Third World Media and the Marginalised Voice
Appendix; Bibliography

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