Oaxaca and the Media is a blog that will serve two purposes:

1. First, it will provide a space for me to respond to the readings and assignments for my International Journalism course at Ithaca College.

2. Second, it will function as my research journal during the course of my independent study on Oaxaca and the media.

In May 2006, riots broke out in the streets of in Oaxaca, Mexico, when police clashed with striking teachers during a demonstration. In response to the violence, a collective of teachers unions, workers cooperatives, non-governmental organizations and individual activists formed the Popular People’s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO). The APPO organized increasingly large demonstrations until November 2006, when the APPO and the state government made a shaky truce.

During the conflict, blogs frequently described a very different situation from the APPO movement described by the mainstream media in both the U.S. and Mexico. While the mainstream media outlets described irregular riots and violent protesters, updates in various blogs discussed organized demonstrations and police brutality. Using a combination of empirical and critical methods, as well as theories discussed in the international journalism course, this project seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What are the informational and content differences between mainstream media coverage of the APPO movement and coverage done by citizen journalists in blogs?
  • Why do these differences exist?
  • Can citizens use the Internet to set an agenda? If so, can agenda setting on the Internet be effective, and to what degree?
  • How do readers deal with the differences? To what extent can they interact with the coverage being provided to them, and with what results?

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