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Soft power and media power: Western foreign correspondents and the making of Brazil's image overseas

Jimenez Martinez, Cesar ORCID: 2023. Soft power and media power: Western foreign correspondents and the making of Brazil's image overseas. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 19 (1) , pp. 103-113. 10.1057/s41254-021-00247-x

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Despite a growing recognition of the role of the media in nation branding, a clear understanding of the relationship between the latter and foreign correspondents is absent and needed. Although foreign correspondents are a key target of nation branding, studies generally depict these journalists as vehicles exploited by authorities and consultants rather than actors in their own right. Drawing on twenty-one interviews with foreign correspondents who have covered Brazil in the last two decades, this article identifies three relationship modes between journalists and nation branding: ‘challenging’, ‘aligning with’ and ‘filtering’ soft power. These modes open up a more nuanced understanding of the soft power-journalism nexus, with foreign correspondents having the potential to be collaborators or antagonists of soft power. Acknowledging the agency of Western journalists in relation to soft power initiatives is especially important for Global South nations, due to the dependency of the latter on securing positive coverage by overseas news organisations and their perceived need to be recognised by the West. Moreover, although foreign correspondents claim to contest the version of Brazil put forward by authorities, they ultimately favour similar forms of national imagination, emphasising economic performance, global inequalities and consequently restricting alternative possibilities to communicate the nation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN: 1751-8040
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 October 2021
Date of Acceptance: 18 October 2021
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 17:29

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