The significance of cultural aspects in Latin America’s media image: the representation of the continent in the German press


  • Regina Cazzamatta University of Erfurt



Latin America’s foreign reporting, cultural coverage, international communication, Latin American image, news factors.


This paper focuses on Latin America’s cultural coverage produced by the German press – Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Spiegel and tageszeitung – from January 2000 to December 2014. At first, one analysed the main subjects areas of coverage amidst 3.831 articles and identified a surprisingly 17% amount of cultural reports (662 news items). While empirical results on foreign reports worldwide point to a weak representation of cultural themes and an intense concentration on politics, this does not apply fully in the case of Latin America. Brazil, Argentina, Mexico (with an intense power status and economic proximity) and Cuba (still a myth in the German perception) show a high amount of cultural coverage with a broader spectrum of themes, from music and literature to art, architecture and exhibitions. On the contrary, the cultural coverage of small Central American nations concentrates on travel & tourism, an indicator of exoticism. South American states also have a good share of cultural reporting due to the presence of German cultural organisations such as the Goethe Institute. Eight qualitative interviews with German correspondents provide a more profound interpretation and contextualisation of these findings.   Keywords: Latin America’s foreign reporting, cultural coverage, international communication, Latin American image, news factors.  

Author Biography

Regina Cazzamatta, University of Erfurt

Regina Cazzamatta finished her Doctoral Degree in 2020 at the University of Erfurt. The author also received her Master’s Degree in Media and Communication Studies from the University of Erfurt and had an international background of academic experience. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, she graduated in Communication Studies and had post-graduation in International Journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paolo. Author of the book – “Brasilien-Berichterstattung in der deutschen Presse”–, her research interests include compared media systems, news value approaches, international news coverage, and media discourse. The scholar investigates the image of Latin America in the German press with the financial support of the German-Brazilian research program DAAD/CNPQ (290017/2014-9) – a partnership between The German Academic Exchange Service and The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.