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The Narco as a Sui Generis Criminal Character and TV Genre

Mass Mediated Representations of Crime and Criminality

ISBN: 978-1-80043-759-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-758-6

Publication date: 28 May 2021


Purpose: The first objective is to explore how narcotelenovelas and news can be compared in their representation of drug violence and figures. The second is to explore a method which identifies intertextual references in fiction by contrasting them with journalistic reports. Methodology/approach: Qualitative content analysis is of three narcotelenovelas: El Señor de los Cielos, El Chapo, and Narcos: México. After documenting clear historical references and figures, a search was made through news engines and portals to make a comparison of the fictional versus journalistic representation of such references. Findings: Many elements of narcotelenovelas such as events and public figures are highly comparable to those described in news. While producers openly warn that they changed facts for dramatic purposes, it’s possible to propose hypotheses in which audiences construct their historical memories based on fictional narratives. Research limitations: This chapter does not offer an exhaustive list of intertextual references from all three narcotelenovelas. Originality/value: This type of comparative analysis between fiction and journalism hasn’t been explored for the study of narcoculture media products. The author poses a hypothesis, in which fiction contributes significantly to collective memories and imaginaries, especially when it appeals to historical references audiences might identify.



Acedo, B.E.I. (2021), "The Narco as a Sui Generis Criminal Character and TV Genre", Wiest, J.B. (Ed.) Mass Mediated Representations of Crime and Criminality (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 129-148.



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