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Businessmen, Partisans and Oligarchs: Political Control, News Production Philosophies And Partisan Bias In Mexican Television News
Unformatted Document Text:  34 Channel 9 in Tabasco Finally, the case of Channel 9 in Tabasco demonstrates that a private sector television station produces news with partisan bias when the owner judges that to be the best way to pursue his personal political and financial goals. The family of a state governor founded Channel 9 in 1979. When the family could not turn their new concession into profits, they sold it to Angel Gónzalez, a Monterrey native who quietly built up an empire of 90 radio stations and 38 television stations in six Latin American countries. In addition to Channel 9, Gónzalez also owns part or all of a television station in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Gónzalez started out selling Mexican TV programming abroad. He began his own television empire in Guatemala, where he owns the only four broadcast stations in the country with a national reach. An Organization of American States report in 2000 called Gonzalez’ network a monopoly, criticized its links to Guatemalan politicians, and cited with concern the cancellation of “the only program critical of the government.” The OAS Special Rapporteur For Freedom of Expression asked Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo to restructure the country’s television concessions, so far with no response. Gónzalez also has properties in Peru, where he cancelled a news program critical of then President Alberto Fujimori. 42 Gónzalez’ speaks openly of his willingness to support politicians he favors with free air time, including Guatemalan President Portillo, who made Gónzalez’ brother-in-law head of the secretariat that awards broadcast concessions after his election. His awards are not partisan in nature. “I award free publicity to anyone who deserves it,” he said. 43 41 Ibid. 42 This information comes from a synthesis of information from several sources. Anonymous informant, interview, Villahermosa, Tabasco, 21 March 2002; Raúl Ojeda, former PRD candidate for governor, interview, Villahermosa, Tabasco, 19 March 2002); Medios Publicitarios; The Special Rapporteur For Freedom Of Expression, Preliminary Evaluation of Freedom of Expression in Guatemala (Guatemala City, Guatemala: Organization Of American States, 2002), Press Release, PREN/24/00; Weissert. 43 Weissert.

Authors: Hughes, Sallie. and Lawson, Chappell.
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34
Channel 9 in Tabasco
Finally, the case of Channel 9 in Tabasco demonstrates that a private sector television
station produces news with partisan bias when the owner judges that to be the best way to pursue
his personal political and financial goals. The family of a state governor founded Channel 9 in
1979. When the family could not turn their new concession into profits, they sold it to Angel
Gónzalez, a Monterrey native who quietly built up an empire of 90 radio stations and 38
television stations in six Latin American countries. In addition to Channel 9, Gónzalez also owns
part or all of a television station in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.
Gónzalez started out selling Mexican TV programming abroad. He began his own
television empire in Guatemala, where he owns the only four broadcast stations in the country
with a national reach. An Organization of American States report in 2000 called Gonzalez’
network a monopoly, criticized its links to Guatemalan politicians, and cited with concern the
cancellation of “the only program critical of the government.” The OAS Special Rapporteur For
Freedom of Expression asked Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo to restructure the country’s
television concessions, so far with no response. Gónzalez also has properties in Peru, where he
cancelled a news program critical of then President Alberto Fujimori.
42
Gónzalez’ speaks openly of his willingness to support politicians he favors with free air
time, including Guatemalan President Portillo, who made Gónzalez’ brother-in-law head of the
secretariat that awards broadcast concessions after his election. His awards are not partisan in
nature. “I award free publicity to anyone who deserves it,” he said.
43
41
Ibid.
42
This information comes from a synthesis of information from several sources. Anonymous informant, interview,
Villahermosa, Tabasco, 21 March 2002; Raúl Ojeda, former PRD candidate for governor, interview, Villahermosa,
Tabasco, 19 March 2002); Medios Publicitarios; The Special Rapporteur For Freedom Of Expression, Preliminary
Evaluation of Freedom of Expression in Guatemala
(Guatemala City, Guatemala: Organization Of American States,
2002), Press Release, PREN/24/00; Weissert.
43
Weissert.


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