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
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
As the Pakistani army battles Taliban forces, civilians in North Waziristan face an arduous escape for relative safety.
Nepalese trade in a libido-boosting fungus is booming but experts warn over-exploitation could destroy ecosystem.
Palestinian families fear Israel's night-time air strikes, as the civilian death toll soars in the Gaza Strip.
China still uses labour camps to silence democracy activists and others it considers malcontents.
Myanmar's Karen veterans of WWII, despite being abandoned by the British, recall their service with fondness.
Sri Lanka refugees stranded on a boat near Australia's shoreline are in legal limbo and fear torture if sent home.
The death of Hamed Shehab on Wednesday in an Israeli air strike has triggered fear and anger among journalists in Gaza.
join our mailing list