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Intersticios sociales

versión On-line ISSN 2007-4964


DIEGO, Julia de. The newspaper as political institution: theoretical keys for understanding the symbolic struggles of journalistic discourse in popular Latin American newspapers. Intersticios sociales [online]. 2017, n.14, pp.5-34. ISSN 2007-4964.

In the context of a Latin American political scenario in which popular, commercial newspapers were consolidated as influential actors in debates on the destinies of nations, this article asks what theoretical guidelines should be adopted to study journalistic discourse; and, more specifically, what theoretical proposal can most effectively address the principle symbolic disputes involved in the socio-symbolic definition of the current political field; i.e., the relationship between the press and governments?

We propose an interdisciplinary theoretical articulation that suggests a regional problem which straddles political conflict, media dynamics, and the social production of discourses on the present. The approach is structured around the notions of newspaper -due to its role as an actor in political disputes- and a specific type of discourse called journalistic discourse as keys to understanding the importance and performativity of a significant dimension of political meaning. Political conflict emerges as a constitutive dimension of the production of journalistic discourses and allows us to articulate the notion of newspapers as actors and protagonists of symbolic struggles.

We focus on language and the social production of meaning through a broad perspective nourished by studies of social communication and the contributions of the theories and concepts of discourse theory and political sociology. Our hypothesis is that what is at stake in Latin America is the shaping of collectives and ties of representation (“speaking on behalf of”) while political horizons are drawn concerning such issues as suitable leadership, the role of the state, and social policies, among others.

Palabras llave : newspaper; journalistic discourse; conflict; Latin America; symbolic struggles.

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