Presidential effectiveness and the mass media in Colombia: A study conducted during the administration of Ernesto Samper Pizano, 1994-1997

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Bruce M. Bagley - Committee Chair


A study on the relationship between the Presidency and the mass media in Colombia conducted during the administration of Ernesto Samper Pizano revealed that not only is this relationship indirect, but the mass media negatively effected the ability of the President to initiate and pass public policy. Due to the press' coverage of the Proceso 8000, a drug corruption scandal that emerged at the outset of his administration, a mass media agenda was established that caused President Samper Pizano to devote much of his disposable resources toward his legitimacy instead of following through with his alterative development program, the "Salto Social." A content analysis of Colombia's mass media showed that the broadcast media had been primarily covering the President positively, while the print press had been predominantly negative. Moreover, a comparison of all public policy initiatives proposed by Presidential administrations since the National Front showed that Ernesto Samper Pizano's legislative effectiveness had been below the average. Although the President had survived the threat to his occupation of the office, his ability to pass public policy was severely limited.


Political Science, General; Political Science, International Law and Relations; Mass Communications

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