Ecuador: The Use of Media During Constitutional Referendum Campaign

Tarqui Grenadier during the libertarian evening in Quito -Photo by Presidencia de la Republica and used under Creative Commons.

August 10 is considered Ecuador's national holiday because on that date in 1809, the people of Quito led by national hero Eugenio Espejo declared their independence from Spain. Ecuadorans home and abroad celebrate Independence Day with flag-raisings, fireworks, music festivals, cultural exhibits and much more. However, the blogosphere still has the upcoming Referendum on their minds, especially how mass media and particularly TV is contaminating minds of kids and people, and how these spaces are being over used by government to promote the Constitutional referendum.

Andres Martinez [es] from Ateniense in Madrid, speaks about the wrong understanding of free speech of the Ecuadoran television, and that they go beyond concept of ethics, morality and the normal limits of liberty. He calls it “Telegarbage”:

A esto se debe sumar la tergiversación de contenidos por parte de los propios medios de comunicación, situación visible pues amparados en el derecho fundamental a emitir información, estos, manipulan, agreden, intoxican, deforman, deseducan y pervierten. La libertad de información ha terminado por ser una libertad propia de los medios y no de la sociedad y el ciudadano como debería ser

To this, the distortion of content by the mass media must be considered, and it is visible because it is protected by the fundamental right to broadcast information, they manipulate, attack, intoxicate, distort, pervert and miseducate. Freedom of speech has ended due to it only being a freedom for the media, and not for society and the citizen, as it should be.

La Alharaca [es] claims that there is a better use for the money spent by part of the government. Working for one of the largest advertisements companies in Ecuador, she says that the spending of 40 million dollars for advertisements is way too much and has no precedent in Ecuadoran history. Speaking on the TGRP (Target Gross Rating Points), she states:

Lo cierto es que el vendaval de publicidad oficial al que estamos expuestos los ecuatorianos es impresionante. Son casi 15 millones de dólares gastados hasta el momento, que en realidad corresponden a una campaña de un valor de 40 millones de dólares, en el lapso de 19 meses de gobierno. Se han desembolsado 15, en base a descuentos otorgados por los medios, pero el valor real de la campaña es 40 millones de dólares (según fuente El Universo).

The truth is that the gust of governmental advertising to which Ecuadorans are exposed is impressive. It is almost $15 million dollars spent so far, which corresponds to a campaign worth 40 million dollars in the lapse of 19 months of government. 15 million dollars have been distributed, based on discounts granted by the media, but the real value of the campaign is $ 40 million (according to source El Universo).

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