My New Book: Television, Democracy, and the Mediatization of Chilean Politics

Television, Democracy, and the Mediatization of Chilean Politics. Published with Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield. “Communication, Globalization, and Cultural Identity” series.

“After seventeen years as dictator of Chile, in 1990 Augusto Pinochet ceremoniously handed the presidential sash to the leader of his legal opposition to formalize the peaceful transition to civilian rule in that country. Among the many idiosyncrasies of this extraordinary transfer of political power, the most memorable is the month-long, nationally televised campaign of uncensored political advertising known as the Franja de Propaganda Electoral—the “Official Space for Electoral Propaganda.” Produced by Pinochet’s supporters and the legal opposition, the 1988 Franja campaign set out to encourage voters to participate in a plebiscite that would define the democratic future of Chile. Harry L. Simón Salazar presents a valuable historical account, new empirical research, and a unique theoretical analysis of the televised Franja campaign to examine how it helped the Chilean people reconcile the irreconcilable and stabilize a contradictory relationship between what was politically implausible and what was represented as true and viable in a space of mediated political culture. This contribution to the field of political communication research will be useful for scholars, students, and a general public interested in Latin American history and democracy, as well as researchers of media, communication theory, and cultural studies.”


…a great introduction to the mediatization of politics, with lessons that apply broadly to the role of the media within contemporary politics.    

Michael Cole, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Communication & Psychology, University of California San Diego


…the analysis is rigorous and free… this well-informed and illuminating study deserves to be read by both specialists and the general public.   

Jaime Concha, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Latin American Literature,  University of California San Diego


Simón Salazar’s well-researched and deeply thoughtful book is a landmark in our understanding of media’s role in Latin American politics and an important contribution to debates on mediatization globally. Highly recommended!

 Nick Couldry, Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory, London School of Economics and Political Science and author of Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice


…a rich and complex account… rooted in a deep knowledge of the Chilean political context. For anyone interested in the ‘mediatization’ of politics, Simón Salazar’s exploration of the Chilean plebiscite is a rich source of insight.

Daniel C. Hallin, Distinguished Professor of Communication, University of California San Diego


…theoretically sophisticated, historically informed, and politically compelling, this study is a must-read for those interested in Chilean history and culture, media studies, human rights, cultural studies, and especially for activists in Chile and beyond interested in understanding the relationship between media and political transformations.  

— Luis Martín-Cabrera, Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Cultural Studies, University of California San Diego


…a fascinating analysis… This study is a must-read for those interested in politics, democracy, and social justice.

Nancy Postero, Professor of Anthropology,  University of California San Diego


…a nuanced, learned, and meticulous analysis… [that] combines state-of-the-art theorizing about the dynamics of mediated politics and a granular examination of electoral communication… a must-read for Latin American scholars and communication researchers interested in the troubling consequences of mediatization.   

Silvio Waisbord, Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University


Simón Salazar, H. (2018). Television, Democracy, and the Mediatization of Chilean Politics. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield.