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Businessmen, Partisans and Oligarchs: Political Control, News Production Philosophies And Partisan Bias In Mexican Television News
Unformatted Document Text:  5 known as Televisa network. 4 Televisa functioned as a private, profit-oriented enterprise, but it also provided the regime with relentlessly positive coverage. 5 During electoral campaigns, for instance, opposition parties were ignored, dismissed or denigrated, while candidates of the ruling party were treated with enthusiasm and deference. 6 Mexico’s second commercial television network, Televisión Azteca, was created in the early 1990s when the government privatized a network of state-owned stations to a family with retail chain holdings. Raúl Salinas, brother of the then-president Carlos Salinas, is thought to have been a silent partner in the network. 7 Although Azteca ultimately became somewhat more independent that Televisa in its reporting of certain topics, including the center-right opposition National Action Party (PAN), for the most part coverage on the two networks was not dramatically different. 8 Both main networks are based in Mexico City, and approximately 80 percent of Mexico’s 465 television stations simply repeat programming – news and otherwise – emanating from the 4 Gabriel Molina, "Mexican Television News: The Imperatives of Corporate Rationale," Media, Culture and Society 9, no. 2 (1987). 5 Víctor Manuel Bernal Sahagún and Eduardo Torreblanca Jacques, Espacios de silencio (Mexico City: Nuestro Tiempo, 1988); Chappell Lawson, Building the Fourth Estate; Proceso, April 20, 1997 (various articles). 6 Pablo Arredondo Ramírez, Gilberto Fregoso Peralta, and Raúl Trejo Delarbre, Así se calló el sistema: comunicación y elecciones en 1988 (Guadalajara: Universidad de Guadalajara, 1991). Ilya Adler, “The Mexican Case: The Media in the 1988 Presidential Election.” In Television, Politics, and the Transition to Democracy in Latin America, Thomas Skidmore, ed. (Baltimore, Md. and Washington D.C.: Johns Hopkins University Press/Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1993); Miguel Acosta Valverde and Luz Paula Parra Rosales, “The Media and the 1994 Federal Elections in Mexico: A Content Analysis of Television News Coverage of the Political Parties and Presidential Candidates,” report dated May 19, 1995 (Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos); Los procesos electorales en medios de comunicación (Mexico City: Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos/Universidad Iberoamericana, 1994); Daniel C. Hallin, “Dos instituciones, un camino: Television and the State in the 1994 Mexican Election.” Paper presented at the international congress of the Latin American Studies Association, Washington, D.C., September 1995. 7 Álvaro Delgado, “Nuevos episodios de la guerra por el ‘rating’: el ‘descontón’ de Rocha y la paz unilateral de Azcárraga,” Proceso, 3 November, 1996; Gerardo Galarza, “Salinas Pliego: presentaré una demanda contra Ricardo Rocha por sus calumnias e infamias,” Proceso 3 November, 1996; Carlos Ramírez, "Indicador Político," El Universal, 1 July 1996, 8. 8 Chappell Lawson, Building the Fourth Estate; Chappell Lawson and Mariana Sanz, “Television Coverage of Mexico’s 2000 Elections,” typescript, November 2001.

Authors: Hughes, Sallie. and Lawson, Chappell.
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5
known as Televisa network.
4
Televisa functioned as a private, profit-oriented enterprise, but it
also provided the regime with relentlessly positive coverage.
5
During electoral campaigns, for
instance, opposition parties were ignored, dismissed or denigrated, while candidates of the ruling
party were treated with enthusiasm and deference.
6
Mexico’s second commercial television network, Televisión Azteca, was created in the
early 1990s when the government privatized a network of state-owned stations to a family with
retail chain holdings. Raúl Salinas, brother of the then-president Carlos Salinas, is thought to
have been a silent partner in the network.
7
Although Azteca ultimately became somewhat more
independent that Televisa in its reporting of certain topics, including the center-right opposition
National Action Party (PAN), for the most part coverage on the two networks was not
dramatically different.
8
Both main networks are based in Mexico City, and approximately 80 percent of Mexico’s
465 television stations simply repeat programming – news and otherwise – emanating from the
4
Gabriel Molina, "Mexican Television News: The Imperatives of Corporate Rationale," Media, Culture and Society
9, no. 2 (1987).
5
Víctor Manuel Bernal Sahagún and Eduardo Torreblanca Jacques, Espacios de silencio (Mexico City: Nuestro
Tiempo, 1988); Chappell Lawson, Building the Fourth Estate; Proceso, April 20, 1997 (various articles).
6
Pablo Arredondo Ramírez, Gilberto Fregoso Peralta, and Raúl Trejo Delarbre, Así se calló el sistema:
comunicación y elecciones en 1988 (Guadalajara: Universidad de Guadalajara, 1991). Ilya Adler, “The Mexican
Case: The Media in the 1988 Presidential Election.” In Television, Politics, and the Transition to Democracy in
Latin America
, Thomas Skidmore, ed. (Baltimore, Md. and Washington D.C.: Johns Hopkins University
Press/Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1993); Miguel Acosta Valverde and Luz Paula Parra Rosales, “The Media and
the 1994 Federal Elections in Mexico: A Content Analysis of Television News Coverage of the Political Parties and
Presidential Candidates,” report dated May 19, 1995 (Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos); Los procesos
electorales en medios de comunicación
(Mexico City: Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos/Universidad
Iberoamericana, 1994); Daniel C. Hallin, “Dos instituciones, un camino: Television and the State in the 1994
Mexican Election.” Paper presented at the international congress of the Latin American Studies Association,
Washington, D.C., September 1995.
7
Álvaro Delgado, “Nuevos episodios de la guerra por el ‘rating’: el ‘descontón’ de Rocha y la paz unilateral de
Azcárraga,” Proceso, 3 November, 1996; Gerardo Galarza, “Salinas Pliego: presentaré una demanda contra Ricardo
Rocha por sus calumnias e infamias,” Proceso 3 November, 1996; Carlos Ramírez, "Indicador Político," El
Universal
, 1 July 1996, 8.
8
Chappell Lawson, Building the Fourth Estate; Chappell Lawson and Mariana Sanz, “Television Coverage of
Mexico’s 2000 Elections,” typescript, November 2001.


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