The Latin America news gap: what do you think?

Nuria Leon, a journalist and postgraduate student at the University of Westminster, recently demanded an explanation from BBC director-general Mark Thompson regarding the lack of varied BBC news content from Latin America. You can listen to the encounter here.

Now she needs journalists’ help: for her MA dissertation in media management she wants to find out what journalists think about coverage of Latin America in the UK. [NB: Latin American countries listed here, and UN information on the Americas here.]

So, if you think there is a hole in English-language reportage from that part of the world, please help her out. Here are her questions. Please leave your thoughts below, or email her directly: n.leon at

  • 1. Given your own experiences:
  • a. What do you think causes a gap between between Latin America and the UK in regards to the distribution and production of news?
  • b. What would help create a direct link between both markets for the production and distribution of news?
  • 2. What do you think about international news agencies and their service from Latin America?
  • 3. Do you think there is a demand for customised news services, rather than homogeneous news packages offered by international news agencies?
  • 4. What benefits would you see if both markets started to conduct direct, continuous and permanent business?
  • 5.  Do you think the UK would be receptive to more Latin American news content?
  • 6. Do you believe there is a niche for such a service? A need?
  • 7. More generally, what could help reduce the gap between Latin America and the UK news industry?

2 thoughts on “The Latin America news gap: what do you think?

  1. Alvaro Huertas

    1a) Three reasons:

    1a1 – The relation of Latin American countries and the UK has been mediated by an elite. This elite that frequently happens to be both ignorant and uninterested in what happen in their country.

    1a2 – In Latin American the control of the media is concentrated in monopolies that tend to be very mediocre.

    1a3 – Journalists from the UK tend to be very critical to each others’ work, but are condescendent towards foreign journalists, specially those from the thirld world. This condescendence, probably a byproduct of political correctness, hinders a real exchange.

    1b1) The most powerful drive for establishing such link would be the public’s interest, but UK opinion is definitely not very interested in Latin America. However, this could eventually change via more informal media, like social networks in the world wide web.

    1b2) Apart from that, I think UK media should look for such link outside the big media monopolies, and take more seriously informal, alternative media that appear now and then.

    2) The information they offer is often scarce and inaccurate. However, in a few cases, it is more complete and accurate than that offered by local media (in particular, when the news affect local interests)

    3) I think there is, because it would fill a gap in the available information offer. But customisation could be a disaster if deficient criteria are used to shape it.

    4) Several.
    4a) The UK has more to learn from the rest of the world than the imperial-shaped mind of most british lets them see.
    4b) The presence of new actors in the news business could fix some of the unfortunate consequence of the concentration of media control.
    4c) States and companies would have access to more abundant and accurate information about different countries.

    5) Yes, but not much. Not only because of the small amounts of Latin American immigrants (which should by no means be the only factor) but by the perception of the importance of the region for the average british.

    6) See 1b

  2. Nuria Leon


    Thank you so much for your answers. They are very interesting and helpful.
    I was just wandering about one… What do you mean with: ‘But customisation could be a disaster if deficient criteria are used to shape it’
    Can you a little bit more explicit in this asnwer?

    Thank you so much for your time and collaboration.

    All the best

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