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Businessmen, Partisans and Oligarchs: Political Control, News Production Philosophies And Partisan Bias In Mexican Television News
Unformatted Document Text:  16 All told, the Left received extensive coverage only on public stations where it controlled the state executive branch. For virtually all other categories of broadcasts, especially on Mexico’s various private stations, the PRD-led coalition garnered less media attention than its rivals. Even in states where it controlled the governorship, and where the Left’s vote was thus the highest, the AM was relegated to third place on private stations. This relatively limited coverage of the AM may reflect the fact that Cárdenas was running far behind both Labastida and Fox in the presidential race. Political control and ownership, however, clearly also played a role in shaping coverage across different stations. Of the three main parties, the PAN’s coverage was most strongly related to its past electoral performance. Fox’s alliance did reasonably well on most commercial stations, though still not as well as one would expect given his standing in the polls in 2000. The only exceptions were state government broadcasts in PAN-dominated states and the major national programs, where the AC did best of all three parties. By contrast, the PRI received systematically high coverage. In virtually all provincial broadcasts, coverage of the PRI exceeded that of its main rivals. Its share of the coverage devoted to the three main parties also substantially exceeded its share of the three-party vote. If we take the main networks as a benchmark, provincial broadcasters seem sharply biased in favor of the ruling party. At first glance, then, there is evidence to support hypotheses that station ownership, political control, and audience dispositions influence the level of partisan bias in the. All three parties did better in states where they controlled the governorship (especially on state-owned television) and where they historically performed well. The Left and the PRI did better on state- run systems; the center-right on Mexico’s two main commercial networks.

Authors: Hughes, Sallie. and Lawson, Chappell.
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16
All told, the Left received extensive coverage only on public stations where it controlled
the state executive branch. For virtually all other categories of broadcasts, especially on
Mexico’s various private stations, the PRD-led coalition garnered less media attention than its
rivals. Even in states where it controlled the governorship, and where the Left’s vote was thus
the highest, the AM was relegated to third place on private stations. This relatively limited
coverage of the AM may reflect the fact that Cárdenas was running far behind both Labastida
and Fox in the presidential race. Political control and ownership, however, clearly also played a
role in shaping coverage across different stations.
Of the three main parties, the PAN’s coverage was most strongly related to its past
electoral performance. Fox’s alliance did reasonably well on most commercial stations, though
still not as well as one would expect given his standing in the polls in 2000. The only exceptions
were state government broadcasts in PAN-dominated states and the major national programs,
where the AC did best of all three parties.
By contrast, the PRI received systematically high coverage. In virtually all provincial
broadcasts, coverage of the PRI exceeded that of its main rivals. Its share of the coverage
devoted to the three main parties also substantially exceeded its share of the three-party vote. If
we take the main networks as a benchmark, provincial broadcasters seem sharply biased in favor
of the ruling party.
At first glance, then, there is evidence to support hypotheses that station ownership,
political control, and audience dispositions influence the level of partisan bias in the. All three
parties did better in states where they controlled the governorship (especially on state-owned
television) and where they historically performed well. The Left and the PRI did better on state-
run systems; the center-right on Mexico’s two main commercial networks.


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