The past two weeks has been a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions in regards to politics, government and the media. Most of my classes and their assignments are led and guided by discussions about the relationships between these entities, even in Dr. A's class on telenovelas! Last week we began discussing the history of Venezuelan government and its relations with the media over the past 15 years. The confrontations and strict regulations placed by the government under Chávez had such a huge impact on the telenovela industry, and ultimately on Venezuela's grounds of democracy.
We see this happening similarly in Turkey as well! Since the attempted coup of July, Turkish government has been really cracking down on the media. Journalists are being arrested, media outlets are being raided by Turkish police, and at this point 15 of Turkish media outlets have been shut down. Though I truly can't imagine something like that happening in the United States, Dr. Hollifield put it best in my News Management class that even the best of democracies aren't immune to the ability to destroy themselves. Our country is about to endure change to some degree. I haven't totally grasped how it will change exactly, so much seems unforeseeable. But I'd like to say that we won't put ourselves in a position where our freedom of speech and our freedom of press won't be threatened or diminished.
I will say though, I appreciate how the writers of Venezuelan telenovelas were able to deal with the constraints they were under. For example, it's really cool that the writers of La mujer perfecta were able to raise awareness about the conditions of Asberger's disease through their telenovela. I remember some weeks back in class we read responses by parents of children who have Asberger's and how having a telenovela with characters like Micaela was so inspiring to their families. But now understanding a little more context from the writer's position of governmental restraints, I see the abilities of these writers from an even deeper perspective. I guess what I mean is that they probably felt a threat to their freedom of expression if they wrote anything that puts the government in a bad light. But despite those restraints they were able to use their platform to address other issues.
On a kind of unrelated note, I have some short thoughts about American media and the election results. Something that I'm very curious to see in these next four years is how the media in the United States will be affected by the election results this week. I've had a couple of discussions about the media coverage of the election year and more specifically election night. Many people think that the media have had a negative effect on this election season, and it'll be interesting to see if that remains to be a common opinion throughout Trump's presidency. I'm also interested to see how American television show writers will be reacting and producing in response to the election results.