Tegus Day Six: Confined to the Archives

So much for daily reports.  This whole content analysis thing is about as dreary as I’d expected, generally my day is still consisting of the following.

7am: wake, shower, prepare and consume instant oatmeal and coffee.

8am: go to the national archives, bury face in old newspapers.

12pm: cigar, coffee and empanada break.  Resume.

4pm: wearily taxi home, enter and code data, research literature.

12am: sleep.

Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

But I’m starting to gear up for interviews, so that should be more interesting.  Tomorrow I plan on finishing my data entry for the first half of my analysis and almost all my literary research… so during the second half of data collection over the next three days, I should be able to start interviewing journalists, radio hosts, politicians, newspaper editors, etc. who affected or were affected by the political crisis here.  Haven’t been arrested so far, so it’s time to crank up my disobedience.

Love in Erasmus.

Published in: on 31 May 2010 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tegus Day Two: No Time for Titles

Was in the archives reading for most of yesterday, heading back now to do the same for most of today… hopefully I can finish enough to start compiling this evening.  Running short on time at the moment, in fact.  All for now.

Published in: on 28 May 2010 at 9:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Tegus Day One: Little Canuck in a Damned Big City

I may or may not be posting tidbits on here each day in Tegucigalpa, but I’ll try.  Tegus is pretty huge, and after 24 hours I still haven’t seen a single other extrajanero (foreigner), even in the touristy part of town.  Which would explain the attention that I don’t seem to be able to help drawing to myself, including taxis bilking me at every chance, which seems all the more depressing after the next-to-free taxis of Costa Rica.

And I will be needing a lot of them.  I had to go across town today for my first meeting with El Heraldo, the most right-wing newspaper of Tegucigalpa.  My plan was to start into their archives today for content analysis, but as it turns out they didn’t have any.  Fuck.  So I got directions that eventually led me to a place called La Hemeroteca, which is where all the newspapers of Tegucigalpa store their archives.  The staff here are unbelievably nice, I just had to give them the dates and newspapers I wanted and they plunked down massive stacks for me.  After working for maybe two minutes, one of the administrators offered to let me use a private workstation so as not to be interrupted, and to give her a list of the dates I would be needing tomorrow and for the next few days.  Great lady.

So today I mostly finalized my plans and schemes for how I’m going to do this; the layout of Honduran newspapers are kind of strange, and I’m going to have to change the format of my analysis somewhat, especially since Heraldo and Tribuna both use a high quantity of very short articles.  The Hemeroteca operates from 8am-4pm, so I’m planning on being their for 6-8 hours for the rest of this week, while in the evenings researching the academic journals I can access online and already have on my laptop, as well as cultivating contacts for interviews.  All things considered, this will be harder than I thought in some ways, and easier in others.

Domestically I’m doing comfortably, set up in an apartment that calls back to a 1930s/40s style of motif in Canada and the US- burlesque, almost.  Sadly, out my window is a giant pizza hut sign.  Consumption-wise I’m living off of quick oats and instant coffee… hooorraaaay.

That’s all for now, expect a trickling of photographs onto the facebook.  I confess that I really don’t like big cities in general, so although I had slotted myself two weeks here I am already quite motivated to get my work done as quickly as possible and punch it for Utila and its cays.

I’m not creative enough to think of 14 people, ideas or collectivities which are individual appropriate to each day I’m here to wish you “Love in”… nor do they use the term “pura vida” in Honduras… so… um… bye.

Published in: on 26 May 2010 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hon My Way

Wow is that ever a lame title.  I really couldn’t think of anything better.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be disembarking for a pretty solid challenge, undertaking field research and writing my thesis in Honduras.

By 2pm I’ll be in central Tegucigalpa, putting in 12-14 hours a day reading archives and interviewing politicians, military officials, news editors, and journalists suppressed, coerced and prostituted by the Micheletti interim regime last year.  Honduras reached a point of relative stability in the inauguration of the Lobo administration in January and the conclusive decision by Congress in December to deny the reinstatement of ousted President Zelaya, who many if not most Hondurans, and many if not most Latin American governments still support as legitimate leader.

The paper’s focus will be on the way in which national media either supports and legitimates or undermines and delegitimizes a regime in a conflict situation by influencing public opinion; the two major challenges of this will be researching and demonstrating the realities of media behaviour during the Honduran political crisis, and establishing a solid historical and theoretical basis for the facilitating assumption of media influence.

Once the field research is done in central Tegucigalpa, a profoundly impoverished city overwhelmed by civil unrest and violence, I’ll head to the coast and the cays of Utila to compile everything and write the paper, either submerged in work or the crystal blue ocean whenever I’m not sleeping.  The whole process will run from May 25th to June 25th, when I’ll return to the University for Peace, finalize the thesis and submit it with pretty epic appendixes.

The working title is “Guard Dog: The Nature of Media in the Honduran Political Crisis”.

Love in Morazan.  Pura vida.

Published in: on 24 May 2010 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment