Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Joseph A. Fry
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
Number of Pages
In June 1954, President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman of Guatemala resigned in the face of a coup led by Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas. While the United States publicly denied involvement, the coup was in fact the culmination of a plan called PBSUCCESS (CIA codeword), led by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Although PBSUCCESS lived up to its namesake, it was aided (both intentionally and unintentionally) by various U.S. media outlets. For the duration of Arbenz Guzman's regime, he and his country had been the subject of U.S. suspicions of undue Communist and Soviet influence. A general anti-Communist attitude permeated virtually all of the period's journalism and governmental deliberations on Guatemala, leading to regular instances of sensationalism, exaggeration, and unjust accusations of Communist influence. In addition to a number of secondary sources and declassified CIA records, this paper examines the reporting of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Time, Life, The New Republic, and The Nation. An analysis of these sources' perspectives will ascertain the nature of government-media relations, and their effect in building momentum for/implementing PBSUCCESS. There was no massive government-media conspiracy at work, but mutually supporting governmental and journalistic biases sealed Arbenz Guzman's fate.
Arbenz Guzman, Jacobo, 1913-1971; Broadcast journalism; Coups d'etat; Guatemala; International relations; Intervention; Mass media; News agencies; Propaganda; U.S. Foreign Policy; U.S. Media; United States; United States. Central Intelligence Agency
History | International Relations | Journalism Studies | Latin American History | Mass Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication
Fisher, Zachary Carl, "American Propaganda, Popular Media, and the Fall of Jacobo Arbenz" (2012). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1561.