The Media’s Influence on the Government: A Case Study of Venezuela’s Media Agenda Setting with a Non-Free Press and Its Repercussions

Susan M. Fredricks, Joshua D. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A free and open press (unincumbered by political pressures) is necessary to hold government officials accountable. When governments become entangled in the business of licensing and regulating news outlets, news outlets succumb to the pressures of only publishing stories favorable to the current regime. The temptation to publish negative stories could result in losing one’s publishing license. This scenario has been playing out in Venezuela for the past two decades and has led to a media culture of misinformation, confusion, and propaganda. This paper first analyzes the Venezuelan view on the influential forces on its government through the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). Second, it explores how the Venezuelan government vanquished the free press by affecting the Venezuelan citizens’ attitudes towards the press. Finally, it reviews how the internet and social media are creating new avenues for publishing uncensored and unregulated information in an effort to challenge current government restrictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalJournalism and Media
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language

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