Sallie Hughes is assistant professor in the School of Communication at the University of Miami. She was the recipient of the Goldsmith Research Award from the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University for research used in the preparation of this book.
Newsrooms in Conflict examines the dramatic changes within Mexican society, politics, and journalism that transformed an authoritarian media institution into many conflicting styles of journalism with very different implications for deepening democracy in the country. Using extensive interviews with journalists and content analysis spanning more than two decades, Sallie Hughes identifies the patterns of newsroom transformation that explain how Mexican journalism was changed from a passive and even collusive institution into conflicting clusters of news organizations exhibiting citizen-oriented, market-driven, and adaptive authoritarian tendencies. Hughes explores the factors that brought about this transformation, including not only the democratic upheaval within Mexico and the role of the market, but also the diffusion of ideas, the transformation of professional identities and, most significantly, the profound changes made within the newsrooms themselves. From the Zapatista rebellion to the political bribery scandals that rocked the nation, Hughes's investigation presents a groundbreaking model of the sociopolitical transformation of a media institution within a new democracy, and the rise and subsequent stagnation of citizen-focused journalism after that democracy was established.