Listening Post

The Clinic: Shaking up Chilean journalism

A satirical magazine is filling the vacuum left by the shortcomings of the country's mainstream press.

Last updated: 08 Feb 2014 08:25
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

For more than 15 years, a Chilean satirical magazine called The Clinic has been filling the vacuum left by the shortcomings of mainstream news outlets.

What started out as a counter-cultural underground pamphlet in 1998 soon multiplied, and is now the go-to-source for Chileans seeking edgy commentary on social and political issues.

In a country where the media remained largely silent about the political and economic legacies of the country’s dictatorial past, the magazine’s surreal and absurdist humour - captured in its now iconic front pages - found a language through which to echo the spirit of the times: not with the militant rhetoric of the traditional Left: but with a finely tuned irony, edgy enough to engage a jaded yet angry society.

In a deeply conservative country, there is no politician it has not dared ridicule; no taboo it has not exposed: religion, sexuality, birth control, corruption, indigenous rights.

It lampoons Pinochet’s memory, as well as the entire cast of the current political elite, from the incoming left wing leader Michelle Bachelet to the blunder prone outgoing right wing president Sebastian Pinera.

It is now the most widely read and one of the most respected sources of political journalism in the country: a sign perhaps that Chile - and its media - may be moving on.

The Listening Post’s Marcela Pizarro reports on The Clinic, a magazine that was born in Santiago de Chile, but was conceived of in London.

Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

Click here for more Listening Post


Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.
join our mailing list