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Abstract: This article endeavours to describe and analyse the media's role in the 11-13 April 2002 attempt to oust Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez. The short-lived and unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government exposed the politicised and undemocratic nature of Venezuela's private commercial media. At an international news level, the events of April 2002 demonstrated that foreign news coverage tends to reproduce the version of the dominant elite and over-simplify the causes and outcomes of complex historical events. In this case, most of the foreign news not only reproduced the local private media coverage, but also amplified the strength of the coup. Essentially, this media coup revealed the centrality of the commercial, privately owned media in bringing together some of the key players behind this political operation: businesses, right-wing politicians and some sectors of the military. The key component of the current social and political crisis in Venezuela is the bitter struggle between the government and the commercial media.

To cite this article: Castillo, Antonio. Breaking Democracy: Venezuela's Media Coup [online]. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, No. 108, Aug 2003: 145-156. Availability: <;dn=013180178483702;res=IELLCC> ISSN: 1329-878X. [cited 26 Nov 15].

Personal Author: Castillo, Antonio; Source: Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, No. 108, Aug 2003: 145-156 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1329-878X Subject: Mass media; Political science; Press and politics; History; Chavez Frias, Hugo; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Teacher, School of Communication Design and Media, University of Western Sydney

Database: Literature & Culture Collection