Latin America and the Caribbean
This region groups 20 countries in South and Central America and a number of offshore islands, some of them large and well-developed, others quite small and lightly populated. In the past, many of these countries have been plagued by dictatorships, political instability, severe economic problems, galloping inflation, social unrest, mounting foreign debts, drug-related terrorism and tight press controls. For these reasons, journalism and journalism training have been affected by a variety of constraints. In the last few years, however, democratic freedoms have begun to pervade previously authoritarian regimes, and there is now a real hope that journalists will be allowed to play an effective role in furthering newly emerging social objectives. Unfortunately, in the past, journalists in many Latin American countries have been overworked, underpaid and underrated.
In spite of the problems facing the region, flourishing press systems have emerged, particularly in larger and more prosperous countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. In many parts of the region, newspapers have traditionally been owned by influential conservative families close to the ruling elite. Broadcasting systems, which are generally more sophisticated than those in other developing regions, are often owned by gov