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The United States & Guatemala: A Cultural Comparison

A PSU COMM 410 Project- Cultural Comparison of Press Freedom and Advertising

Rebekah Nieliwocki

on 1 May 2013

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Transcript of The United States & Guatemala: A Cultural Comparison

The United States & Guatemala: A Cultural Comparison Geography 3rd largest country
located between Atlantic & Pacific oceans
Somewhat isolated
Large network throughout the world
Military bases Language 10.7 % are Spanish speakers
7.2% are Indo-European, Asian, Pacific Islander or Other speakers 82% are English speakers Society Population: 313,847,465 people (July 2012 est.) 3rd in world Population Growth Rate has slowed to 0.9% Median Age: 37.1 years 15.1% live in poverty 99% of the population is literate Unemployment Rate: 9%, 103rd in world individualistic hard-workers "American Dream" Government President Barack Obama, 44th President,
reelected in 2012 Independence from Britain in 1776
Representative Democracy
Federal & State governments
Two main political parties
Republican, conservative tendencies
Democrat, liberal tendencies
Somewhat capitalist
Public services rely on private sectors Geography Central America
Between El Salvador and Mexico
Slightly smaller than Tennessee
Bordered by Pacific Ocean & Caribbean Sea
Mountainous with some active volcanoes
Highest point in C. America= Volcan Tajmulco
Tropical climate
Humid in lowlands
Cool in highlands Society Population: 14,373,472 people (July 2013 est.) 69th in world Median Age: 20.4 years Literacy Rate: 69.1%
Male: 75.4%, Female: 62.2% Unemployment Rate: 12.5% Population in poverty: 17.5% Language Languages: Spanish (official) 60%, Amerindian/ Mayan languages 40%, (2000 census) The Mayan (Amerindian) language of Cakchiqual:
Telan ay jun naq winaq yul b'e.
There is a man lying down fallen on the road
Woqan hin k'al ay max ek'k'u.
I spent the entire day sitting down
Yet ewi xoyan ay jun lob'aj stina.
Yesterday there was a snake lying curled up in the entrance of the house *There are 23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca Government Government Type: Constitutional Democratic Republic PresidentOtto Pérez Molina, elected in 2012 Originally a Mayan civilization
Independence from Spain: 1821
End of 36-year guerrilla war in 1996 with peace treaty
Non-permanent seat on UN Security Council in 2012 22 administrative divisions
Civil law system
Judicial review of legislative acts
3 branches (executive, legislative, judicial) Background:GUATEMALA Background:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA United States The United States media is primarily regulated by the FCC, but also by the legislative branch and the Supreme Court Guatemala Introduction Why is it important to study and understand differences between other cultures? The globalization of the world
Generates awareness of other cultures
Develops a sense of understanding
Minimizes conflicts and the creation of stereotypes
Builds a respect for differing cultures Literature Review Discussion What are examples of media/ advertising in Guatemala?
How is media currently affecting Guatemalans?
How might it impact them in the future? International Communications Concepts Globalization- Despite Guatemala's poor economy, the country still contains "American" businesses in larger cities such as McDonalds, Burger King and Subway.
Dependency Theory- Guatemala depends on the aid many other countries provide. While I was in Guatemala, there were volunteers from Australia, Norway and Canada. There were also many people from the United States. Example: The largest phone company in Guatemala, TIGO sponsored music festival
As seen in the Venn diagram, the majority of Guatemala's advertising is painted on buildings instead of printed on other mediums
The Taco Bell truck was the most surprising media/ advertising aspect I noticed over the course of the trip. I did not expect to see this in the middle of a very poor, rural village
Guatemalan beer, Gallo, is heavily advertised throughout the country and is similar to the US in that aspect. Many alcohol brands produced in the US are heavily marketing in our country.
Cell phone services and alcohol brands were among the highest marketed companies within Guatemala
Guatemala uses different media vehicles than what is used in the US. Teens on stilts and trucks playing advertisements were two methods of advertising I have never seen in the US. Conclusion Assessment of Situation:
Many people are aware of the struggles Guatemala endures and large efforts have been made in order to preserve Guatemala's culture yet further advance it from a technological standpoint. Economic hardship usually results in a less-advanced media system and this is the case with Guatemala.Unfortunately, the countries government system is the main reason why Guatemala is not blossoming despite the outside aid it has received. For example, the after-school program I worked at for 2 weeks was unable to receive outside help until it became an official government organization. To achieve this, the director of the non-profit program must obtain a lawyer and pay a large amount of governmental and legal fees. Although another volunteer and I wanted to donate money to the individuals within the village upon departure, we realized the importance of becoming a legalized organization so we started a fund raising campaign to raise money for this purpose. Because Guatemala's government has affected my situation personally, I feel as though it is the number one component to changing the status of the country. USA Guatemala Currently 58 countries (30%) assessed by Freedom House’s survey qualify as partly free with 90 countries (46%) of the world being Free. Guatemala contains 15 million people and the press is considered partly free with a press freedom score of 60, a legal environment score of 16, a political environment score of 26 and an economic environment score of 18. A partly free country is defined by Freedom House as being a nation with “limited respect for political rights and civil liberties. Partly Free states frequently suffer from an environment of corruption, weak rule of law, ethnic and religious strife, and a political landscape in which a single party enjoys dominance despite a certain degree of pluralism.” To put this into perspective, the United States is considered free with it’s score of 18 for press freedom, 3 for legal environment, 10 for political environment and 5 for economic environment. Freedom house describes free countries having “open political competition, a climate of respect for civil liberties, significant independent civic life, and independent media.” Currently 58 countries (30%) assessed by Freedom House’s survey qualifies as Partly Free with 90 countries (46%) of the world being Free. Regionally in the Americas, 24 countries (69%) are Free, 10 countries (28%) are Partly Free and 1 country (3%) is Not Free. Something that stuck out to me was specific rights in Central America, specifically Guatemala. When taking a look at political rights and civil liberties on a scale from 1 to 7. The United States scores a 1 in each category with that number representing the highest freedom status. A score of 7 is the least free rating possible. Guatemala scores a 3 in political rights and a 4 in civil liberties. For my project, it will be interesting to look into why these numbers are different from ours and what specifically affects the ratings given by Freedom House. Press Freedom Source 4
“Agrupación Maná lista para su Drama y Luz en Tigo Fest de Guatemala”
•News article published by La Prensa Libre, a popular Central American news source
•The largest cell phone network provider, TIGO, sponsored Tigo Fest in Guatemala City in March
•Tigo Fest featured locals artists as well as well known artists such as a the Red Hot Chili Peppers
•A concert sponsorship is a extremely western way of advertising and is a popular form of promotion in the United States Source 5
“Gobierno hace millonario gasto en publicidad”
•News article published by La Prensa Libre
•The government is constantly seeking the acquisition of new advertising vehicles
•This article is reporting that the government was awarded 726 thousand Quezales to promote government propaganda on cable television THE END Thank you! Source 6
Rodrigo Cordón: “La publicidad creció en 2012”•New article published by La Prensa Libre•Interview with Rodrigo Gordon, president of the Association of Advertisers in Guatemala (AAG)•Gordon saying that advertisers are an important part of Guatemala’s economy•In 2012, advertising dollars spent increased & $900 million was spent•He says some challenges are improving the efficiency of purchasing advertising and showing that brands standing for more than the obvious functionality of the product/ service Source 1“Beyond dependency theory: national and regional patterns of underdevelopment in Guatemala”•“Guatemala's underdevelopment cannot be traced to its long-standing export dependency, but rather to the uneven expansion of export-generated capital and its varying impact on relations of production in different parts of Guatemala's economy in the twentieth century”•When capitalistic modes of production developed, Guatemala suffered from the underdevelopment of other large components of its economy•Author argues that economic dependency results in economic problems•Guatemala’s underdevelopment cannot be traced to dependency on exports but to the “uneven expansion of export-generated capital” WACC President, Dennis Smith talks about media in Guatemala Guatemala veteran journalist Evelyn blanck talks about media coverage of human rights Source 2“Why Guatemala’s new tourism slogan doesn’t work”•This article was especially interesting because Guatemala hired a global branding consulting agency to aid them in developing an advertising strategy to attract a greater number of yearly tourists•Many focus groups were conducted to find out why Guatemala is especially important to the world•The global branding consulting agency suggested a total name change from Guatemala to Guatemaya in order to represent the Mayan history so that people can automatically make that connection Source 3Nation Master’s Media Statistics•Mobile Phone Subscribers- 4,510,067 (59th of 198)•Highest media rating Guatemala has. Heavy cell phone network advertising may be a reason for this high rating•Percentage of people within range of a mobile cellular signal regardless of whether they are subscribers- 68%•Televisions owned- 1,323,000 (72nd of 215)•Personal Computers owned- 231,000 (86th of 164)•Television Receivers owned- 640,000 (91st of 185)•Radios owned- 835,000 (117th of 221)•Households with Television- 40.38% Source 7CulturalSurvival.org•This is a campaign started to protect the lands, languages and cultures of indigenous people in Guatemala•Started in 1972 with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts•The organization has many programs including letter-writing campaigns, a global response program, endangered languages programs, a community radio program and an indigenous artisan bazaar program•Is it clear Guatemala has been suffering in many ways for decades and is one of the most visited countries for volunteer programs and non-profit work in order to aid its economy and culture“Before the DAY is over, an Indigenous homeland will be clear-cut, strip-mined, or flooded by a dam.Before the WEEK is over, an Indigenous person will be killed or displaced, because of economic interests or simply because he or she has a different culture.Before the YEAR is over, dozens of languages could disappear forever, taking with them ancient worldviews and a priceless record of earth's biodiversity.” Source 8Guatemala Media War•Guatemala has only one public television channel, TV Maya, which started in 2003, although the channel did not air anything until 2008•About 60% of the indigenous population do not know much Spanish and are illiterate and this channel attempts to provide media access to these people•“Media education is still one of the biggest obstacles to properly run a TV station, along with a system filled with discrimination”•TV Maya’s first broadcast took place in 2008 which was a 25-part documentary series with each one being aired in a different indigenous language•This station broadcasts one hour a day although it has a license to broadcast 24 hours a day•Where they stand now: “We want to expand, we want to broadcast through satellite, but it costs approximately 150.000 USD on a yearly basis to go through the satellite. This would make us visible to all the indigenous communities in the country, today we don’t reach all these communities. We have all the necessary tools to broadcast through the satellite in an instant, what we urgently need is the funding; states the director General of TV Maya, Abraham Chocooj Cu who together with his team attended the World Indigenous Television Broadcast Conference, held in Kautokeino 25-29 March of 2012.” Source 9Journal of Spanish Language Media Vol. 3 2010
ISSN: 1940-0810 As shown in the chart, the amount of homicides in Guatemala greatly vary and have a direct correlation to the amount of press freedom at the time
Guatemala is the largest country in Central America but has one of the lowest literacy rates and average life expectancies Source 10The politics of coercion: Advertising, media and state power in Central America•Article discusses the strong role of government among Guatemala•Advertising and other constraints within Guatemala’s market system have been used to “restrict free speech and also have actually impeded the movement toward real democracy in each of these nations, despite trends elsewhere or more open media systems.”•Guatemala has one single owner of its television system, Angel Gonzalez , who supports whatever political party is in power at the time. He sides with the government and allows political propaganda to be aired •Some have arose to try to fight this abuse of executive power however, these people who are speaking out have not yet been heard. The issue of unfair media shown on television has not yet been addressed and nothing has changed. A truck broadcasting spoken commercials in Spanish to anyone within earshot A modest example of a billboard advertising the nearby "Hotel San Miguel" for roughly $7 USD Many advertisements are painted on the side of buildings, or in this case, on every side of the building A typical storefront with signage consisting of paint alone These teens were circling a local market advertising for a cell phone company A painting at a local bar in Antigua, featuring a bottle of Gallo beer A van decked out in Gallo advertisements Gallo truck delivering to a local bar
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