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Multisectoral Movement Alliances and Media Access: Salvadoran Newspaper Coverage of the Health Care Struggle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018


Focusing on the social movement that resisted the privatization of health care in El Salvador in 2002–3, this article asks how the movement's multisectoral composition influenced news coverage of the health care policy debate. Specifically, it examines whether the diversity of perspectives in the alliance was reflected in the media's source selection and framing of the policy issues. A content analysis of Salvadoran newspapers' coverage shows that the media relied mainly on just two movement actors to represent the antiprivatization position: the striking doctors and the leftist opposition party. It also reveals that a period of elite dissensus on the policy issues opened a temporary opportunity to insert movement messages in the coverage. The study indicates that a multisectoral alliance does not enhance movement influence through the news media, though broad alliances confer strategic advantages for the movement's broader communication work.

Research Article
Copyright © University of Miami 2010

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