Three years after the Ecuadorian government passed a controversial media law aimed at dismantling the power of private media conglomerates, we travel to Quito to see what effect the legislation has had on levelling the media's uneven playing field. 

Some will call it propaganda - that's because it is. It's a space for self-promotion.

Isabel Ramos, media analyst, FLACSO University

Some maintain that regardless of the motive, President Rafael Correa's new media mandates - including daily self-presented broadcasts on the achievements and progress of the Correa government - equate to old-fashioned censorship.

"It's a totally different communications strategy from those of other Ecuadorean presidents who always used to go through spokesmen," says Isabel Ramos, media analyst at Flacso University in Ecuador. 

Others admire the initiative taken by Correa to manage the narrative consumed by the Ecuadorean people, especially where private-owned media controlled by the rich conservative right-wing community is concerned. 

"Like it or not, Rafael Correa is a phenomenon in the field of communication. He succeeded in permeating the national consciousness. If he wasn't charismatic, didactic, he may have bored everyone and it wouldn't have worked. It has happened with leaders before. The only problem is that in this system, the strategy relies too heavily on him and no one else," says Orlando Perez, editor-in-chief at El Telegrafo. 

But with right-wing journalists losing their jobs over outspoken Twitter rants against Correa's government and others praising the new equality in coverage capabilities between right and left-wing publications, a divide has begun to deepen.  

For this report we spoke with Inés Castro, a hairdresser with some interesting insights about the media space in Ecuador. We also spoke with Isabel Ramos, a media analyst at FLACSO University; Martin Pallares, a journalist at 4Pelagatos; Orlando Perez, Editor-in-Chief at  El Telegrafo; Patricio Barriga, Secretary of Communications for Ecuador; and Xavier "Bonil" Bonillo, a cartoonist. 

Source: Al Jazeera