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’Now we can talk’: The role of culture in journalistic boundary work during the boycott of Puerto Rico’s La Comay

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journalism Practice
Issue number3
Volume9
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)298-313
Publication statusPublished
Early online date10/10/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper explores debate within Puerto Rico's journalistic community regarding the journalistic role of La Comay, a full-sized puppet host of the popular information and entertainment show SuperXclusivo, which faced a boycott in late 2012 and cancelation in early 2013. Calls to boycott and shutter the daily TV show came from the island's LGBT advocates because of comments made by La Comay that they considered homophobic. This analysis of 58 texts from four of Puerto Rico's island-wide news outlets provides an opportunity to examine how a region's dominant cultural archetype—that of the motherly and controversial comadre, after which La Comay is named—appeared in boundary work conducted by local journalists as they determined whether La Comay should have been awarded journalistic status. This paper is not meant to be yet another examination of satirical journalism as much as it is a chance to explore the appearance of a region's culture in the construction or maintenance of its journalistic community.