Orme, William, Et Al - A Culture of Collusion

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¡ 1 ' ACultureof Collusion: An lnside Look at the Mexican Press Editedby William A. Orme,. Jr.   ã Center Press 'Vu N 1 V E R S 1 T Y O F M I A M I The mission of the North-South Center is to promote better relations and serve as a catalysc for change among the United States, Canada, and the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean by advancing knowledge and understanding of the major political, social, economic, and cultural issues affect
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  ¡ 1 ACultureof Collusion n lnside Look at the Mexican Press Editedby William A. Orme,. Jr ~ orthãSouth enter ress Vu N 1 V E R S 1 Y O F M I A M I  The mission of the North-South Center is to promote better relations and serve as a catalysc for change among the United States, Canada, and the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean by advancing knowledge and understanding of the major political, social, economic, and cu ltural issues affecting the nations and peoples of the Western Hernisphere. w 1997 The Comminee to Protectjournalists \JNorthãSouth Cen t er Pres 5 Published by the North-South Center Press, University of Miami and ~ ãã v ã ã ã ã r r o ã ã ã ã' distributed by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Jnc., 1800 30th Street, Suite 314 , Boulder, CO 80301-1026. Ali rights reserved under lntemationaJ and Pan-American Conventions. No portion of the contents may be reprodu ced or tra .nsmitted in any fonn, o by any means, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Ali copyright inquines should be addressed to The Committee to Protectjournalists, 330 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001, USA. To arder orto rerurn books, contact Lynne Rienner Publishers, lnc., 1800 30th Street, Suite 314, Boulder, CO 80301-1026, 303-444-6684, fax 303-444-0824. Library of Congress Cataloging- in -Publication Data A cu l tu re of collusion: An inside look at the Mexican press / edited by William A. Orme, Jr. p cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-57454-012-2 (alk . paper) l Freedom of the press - Mexico. 2. Govemment and the press - Mexico . 3. Joumalists - Mexico - Crime against. l Orme . William A. , Jr. PN478.M4C85 1996 96 - 37650 323.44 5 0972 - dc21 CIP Printed in the United States of Arnerica, EB/NC 01 00 99 98 97 6 5 4 3 2 l ontents Ackilowledgments . .. ............................................. · · · · i Overview From Collusion to Confrontation William A. Orme fr .. . .. ...... .. ............................. · · · ·· ·· 1 The administration of President Ernesto Zedilla is facing increasingly critica scrutiny from Mexican news organizations that are declaring their political and financia independence from the govemment. The_ dit~r a former correspondent in Mexico who now serves as the executlve director of the Committee to Protectjournalists, located in New York, examines how the traditional interrelationship between the state and the media is beginning to change -and argues that the continuing serious press fre.ed~m problems in Mexico have a political importance that goes beyond Mexico s border s. Section 1: The Print Media Chapter 1 A Culture of Collusion The Ties That Bind the Press and the PRI aymundo Riva Palacio .......................................... .. . .. . .. 21 Veteran editor and columnist Raymundo Riva Palacio provides a detailed took at the inner workings of the Mexican press and its relation to the government. Riva Palacio challenges many conventional notions about the problems facing press freedom in Mexico in one f the ~ st thought-provoking essays on the subject ever published by a senior MeXIcan newspaperman.  Cbapter Trial by Fire: The Chiapas Revolt the Colosio Assassination and the Mexican Press in 994 Sergio Sarmiento ·· ·············· ·· ······················· ·· ··············· ··· 33 ow ~d the M~xican media cover the most tumultuous year since the 1910 R~volut1on? Sergio Sarmiento, one of the country's most widely read ~olumrusts and television conunentators on politics and economics traces the unpact of the political crises that jolted Mexico in 1994. ' Cbapter 3 La Gacetilla How Advertising Masquerades as News ]oeKeenan ······································································ 41 . Without gacetillas paid política announcements disguised as news art1cl.es, many Mexican publications would no longer exist. Joe Keenan prov1~es a reve~ling ~i.de to a major source of hidden subsidy rarely mentioned outs1de pohtical and media circles. Section Il: Broadcast News Cbapter4 Sound Bites and Soap Operas: How Mexican Television Reported the 994 Presidential Elections Barbara Belejack.......   .....................   ............................ 9 For the first time in history, Mexican presidential candidates debated ~ach other in ª nationally televised broadcast, transforming the political scene ltterally ovem1ght. In a system where opposition candidates rarely get to expres~ the f v1ews on television, a live, uncensored news broadcast was a revolutionary event. Yet dur~g most of the campaign, television coverage was un b sh~dly skewed -m tone and in the amount of prime time coverage -m favor of . he ruling party candidate. Barbara Belejack discusses how pr~ gove~ent bias of broadcast news media became itself one of the hott~st ss~es m the most closely contested presidential campaign in modern Mexican h1story. Cbapter 5 The Eye of the Tiger: Emilio Azcárraga and the Televisa Empire Marjorie Miller and uan ta Darling.   ....   .....   ...   ..... 59 This chapter profiles Mexico's media magnate known as El Tigre. Emil io Azcárraga's pe rsonal fortune, estimated at more than $5 billion, makes him the wealthiest man in Latín America and a major power broker in Mexican politics. Marjorie Miller and Juanita Darling examine his privately owned network, Televisa, which reaches 90 percent of Mexico's television audience plus tens of millions of Spanish-speaking viewers in the United States and atín America. Critics say that Azcárraga's empire is the de facto communications rninistry of Mexico's one-party government. Cbapter6 Televisa North: Spanish -Language News in the United States América Rodríguez...........   ..........   ..........   .   .   .   .   .   71 Lost in the NAFfA-driven debate about U.S. investment and cul tu ral influence in Mexico was the story of Mexico's remarkable dorninati on of Hispanic media markets in the United States - one of the biggest and most lucrative in the Spanish-speaking world. This is largely the achievement of one company: Emilio Azcárraga's Televisa. América Rodríguez explains how Azcárraga managed to create, lose and re-conquer the U.S. Spanish-language broadcast market. She also explores how he uses this control to shape the content of news progranuning for what will soon be the largest U.S . ethnic rninority. Cbapter 7 Balancing Act: Surviving as a Television Reporter n Mexico Bruno López..................   ...........   ................................... 89 As a Mexico correspondent for the ünivisión network, Bruno López has been fired at by air force planes, applauded by ordinary citizens, chastised by government officials for being too critical of the government and denied press credentials by leftist rebels because his network's owners are too sympathetic to the government. This chapter is a firsthand account of the professional difficulties and political problems faced by television journalists n Mexico.  Section ID: Attacking the Messenger Chapter8 From Intimidation to Assassination: Silencing the Press Lucy Conger 97 Do Mexican authorities deliberately cultivate an atmosphere of intimida-tion? What was the response of the Salinas govemment nd its predecessor to the many reported threats and attacks against reporters and editors? Lucy Conger reviews their records and analyzes the chilling effect on the local and national media of fears of violent reprisal. She examines recent incidents of attacks on joumalists and examines the two most significant media murders in recent years: the 1984 assassination of muckraking columnist Manuel Buendía in Mexico City and the 1988 shotgun murder of Tijuana joumalist Hector Félix the Cat Miranda. Chapter 9 Mexican News and American Diplomacy: U.S. State Department Monitoring of Press Freedom Violations in Mexico Mary C Moynihan .. .. .. .. .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . 109 The NAFTA debate in Washington focused attention on Mexican environmental and labor practices but touched only cursorily on the more fundamental issue of democratization. Constraints on press freedoms -arguably, the least democratic aspect of the Mexican political system -were overlooked entirely. The State Department's annual reports on human rights violations have consistently included crit ica accounts of Mexican govemment press controls nd physical attacks on Mexican joumalists. These reports are intended as guidance for U.S . congressional evaluation of foreign aid allocations and other economic agreements. Mary Moynihan, an attomey, analyzes these reports nd argues that they provide a precedent for taking press freedom problems into account in the negotiation of intemational trade pacts. Chapter 1 The Measure of Violence: Problems n Documentation joel Solomon ........ · . · ... · ... · . · . · ... · . · ... · . · 121 In the Western Hemisphere in the last decade, only drug-ridden Colombia has produced more reported incidents of ssault~d nd murdered ·oumalists. Yet in Mexico it has always been exceedingl_Y diff1cult to co~robo- J h rts Press accounts typically are inconclus1ve nd contradtetory, rate suc r epo · . because of the while professional investigations nd ro~ ~ttons are rare ndemic failures of the Mexican criminal JUSti ce syste~ oel So omon . explains why CPJ investigations usually cannot es~abltsh a clear probable link between these homicides and the victims' profess1ons. Epilogue Chapter 11 Limits to Apertura: Prospects for Press Freedom n the New Free Market Mexico 131 orge G Castañeda ················· ·· ······· ·· ····· ·· · ·· · ·· ········· d. M . political commentator jorge G. Castañeda looks back Lea mg exican d k r Uy exam critically at the Salinas administration's press str.ategy an s ep tea -ines prospects fo r top-down mandates for media reform. Appendix: h · MexicanJournalists Murdered n t e Lineo Duty Between 984 and 995 Ibe Committee to Protect journalists 141
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