Over the last decade or so one of the most important aspects of the development process has been a transition of many less developed countries to democracy and a free market system, especially in Latin America but also in selected parts of Africa and Asia. The more advanced countries have offered advice and assistance in the establishment and reform of legislatures, legal systems, market structures, and both public and private devices to constrain and strengthen liberal economic and political processes.
This study describes primarily for North American readers conditions in the press and mass media in Latin America. It provides brief rod maps of the recent history and current conditions of the media in each of the four countries in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, as well as reviews issues that seem of particular significance across all four countries. The intent of this study is both to provide an interpretive account of the state of the media in the emerging democracies of Latin America and to offer suggestions on how U.S.-based program could strengthen their capacities.