This Politico article on Vladimir Putin’s “communicational hegemony” seen from the inside is a must for anyone wishing to understand the century’s modern autocracies.
It served to highlight the many weaknesses in chavismo’s version of communicational hegemony. Because, for all its mighty power, there is one thing neither Telesur nor TVes nor VTV have ever consistently delivered: quality entertainment for the masses. This is a lesson Putin seems to have learned, and it is a major setback to chavismo’s stated goal of dominating our public sphere.
“The 21st century Kremlin might be controlling the media just as it did in the Soviet era, but there’s one mistake today’s Russian will never repeat: It will never let television become dull. In fact, the goal is to synthesize Soviet control with Western entertainment—and for that it needs the help of Western producers who, Russians believe, know the alchemical secret of great television formats.”
The whole thing is worth your time.