News Coverage of the ‘Third World’ and the Alliance for Progress: Communicating the Politics of Containment

Jointly hosted between School of Media and Communication and Centre for Global Development – Chris Paterson, Chair

Dr Jairo Lugo-Ocando, Lecturer in Journalism Studies, Department of Journalism Studies,University of Sheffield and co-director of the Centre for Freedom of the Media

Harry S Truman’s 1948 speech on development made it clear that the core of the post-WWII narrative on development would be defined by the priorities of the Cold War. No place was this truer than in Latin America where the United States had seen the rise of left-wing governments which favoured nationalisation,  limits  to repatriation of capital and overall social reform. President John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)  came  to  power  facing  the  challenge  of  a  Cuba under  increasing  Soviet influence and widespread insurgence around the world. As a direct consequence of this, his administration put in place a set of policies that intended to resemble to some degree the Marshall Plan in Europe – but with far less resources – and which was finally called the Alliance for Progress. This seminar looks at these policies as a case study to understand how news mediation affected and influenced the implementation of development policy and how  these  policies  affected  the  way  news  media  articulated  the  discourses  on development in that part of the world. The seminar paper is based on research carried out thanks to a Theodore C. Sorensen Fellowship awarded to Dr Lugo-Ocando by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.