Perusing Peru's News for Political Clues

"The lack of transparency in politics in general and in media in particular is huge in this country," said the director of the government-supported Peruvian organization Citizen Participation. "Like everywhere else in the world, the big owners of communication chains aren't absolutely neutral or transparent. They respond to certain interests." So the Carter Center, Canadian Foundation for the Americas and the University of Calgary have customized for Peru "mapping software to overlay the location of newspapers, radio and TV stations with demographic data," including voting records, income and education level. The interactive website was also used for last month's parliamentary elections in Canada. The project's goals are "to support campaign-finance reform and democracy-building efforts." The website is not geared towards average citizens, but "for political watchdog groups to spot trends in radio and TV coverage of candidates."