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Around the World in 60 Minutes: Latin America

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Around the World in 60 Minutes: Latin America

On one hand you have a huge and booming country like his home nation, Brazil, with its US$ 2.5 trillion in GDP, compared to Haiti, whose economy represents 0.3 percent of Brazil. There is Nicaragua, where only 65 out of every 100 citizens over 15 years old are able to read, and then Uruguay, with its striking 98% literacy rate.

Despite all these differences, he says, “We can affirm that, in general, Latin American countries are in a good economic shape. The countries in recent years have had a better performance in terms of economic growth than the global average, and were less affected by the recent waves of economic downturns.” And Brazil is a shining example of the dynamic growth taking place all over Latin America, he says.

This positive growth has meant two positive trends for the newspaper industry: 1) the creation of new publications, and 2) growth in advertising spending and newspaper revenues.

At the same time, the share of advertising budgets allocated to newspapers has been continuously declining in the same period. And he doubts PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ optimistic prediction that newspaper revenues will grow on the average 4.7% per year until 2015.

“The newspaper publishing financial figures of that same report are not as encouraging. In my opinion, it means that we cannot undo the strategies for increasing circulation and advertising on the print side of the business, but neither can we take our eyes off the new opportunities arising with the development of new digital audiences.”

Other major issues facing the region include the risks of the mere existence of independent media in countries like Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, where governments wield political power to control much of the media industry. And violence against journalists in Mexico, Colombia, Honduras and Brazil creates huge challenges.

Still, there have been several surprises, particularly the creation of new titles, such as Ultimas Noticias in Venezuela, considered by many to be “the best Spanish language popular newspaper in Latin America,” or Nuestro Diario, a 270,000-circulation daily paper.

Author

Dean Roper's picture

Dean Roper

Date

2012-09-03 15:27

Author information


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