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Businessmen, Partisans and Oligarchs: Political Control, News Production Philosophies And Partisan Bias In Mexican Television News
Unformatted Document Text:  23 We also asked station employees directly about how competition and advertising effected news content. The comparative qualitative data suggested no consistent relationships between competition, dependence upon state advertising and the level of partisan bias at the stations. For instance, high dependence on state advertising was related to high bias on the private Tabasco station, but Televisa del Bajío received little state advertising as a percentage of its revenues and produced highly biased news programming in 2000. Likewise, Televisa del Bajío faced competition from the local affiliate of TV Azteca and state-run Channel 4 during the 2000 election. Tabasco’s private channel theoretically competed only with state-run television, but in fact TVT supplied news footage when Channel 9 missed a PRI event and the stations did not compete for private advertising. Hence, we concluded that even though our in-depth sample was not as broad as the IFE sample, the data strongly suggested that low levels of competition and high dependence upon state advertising did not provide powerful alternative explanations for bias. In that sense, the qualitative data did not contradict the earlier statistical findings and so we focused on political control and station ownership regime as powerful explanations for persistent partisan bias. In doing so, we discovered that the news philosophy of whoever controls the news decision-making process, be it a state governor or a private entrepreneur, was more important than either property regime or control of the governor’s post alone.

Authors: Hughes, Sallie. and Lawson, Chappell.
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23
We also asked station employees directly about how competition and advertising effected news
content.
The comparative qualitative data suggested no consistent relationships between
competition, dependence upon state advertising and the level of partisan bias at the stations. For
instance, high dependence on state advertising was related to high bias on the private Tabasco
station, but Televisa del Bajío received little state advertising as a percentage of its revenues and
produced highly biased news programming in 2000. Likewise, Televisa del Bajío faced
competition from the local affiliate of TV Azteca and state-run Channel 4 during the 2000
election. Tabasco’s private channel theoretically competed only with state-run television, but in
fact TVT supplied news footage when Channel 9 missed a PRI event and the stations did not
compete for private advertising. Hence, we concluded that even though our in-depth sample was
not as broad as the IFE sample, the data strongly suggested that low levels of competition and
high dependence upon state advertising did not provide powerful alternative explanations for
bias. In that sense, the qualitative data did not contradict the earlier statistical findings and so we
focused on political control and station ownership regime as powerful explanations for persistent
partisan bias. In doing so, we discovered that the news philosophy of whoever controls the news
decision-making process, be it a state governor or a private entrepreneur, was more important
than either property regime or control of the governor’s post alone.


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