What does Journalism and Free Expression Look Like In Mexico?

Dr. Sallie Hughes of the University of Miami lectured journalism students at Florida International University on April 12, in a talk entitled, Journalism and Free Expression In Areas of High Risk with a focus on Mexico. After having worked at a Mexican newspaper, her first hand experience allowed her to make the following observations. After much protest, Mexico’s society has finally moved away from a political system that had controlled the country for 70 years. “Currently,” says Hughes, “the Mexican press faces an almost perfect storm of violence, impunity, corruption and economic concentration that limits the range and accuracy of information available to citizens.” This is because drug cartels have come to play a significant role in the kind of news that is reported.

Often, police officers, for instance, are given money by these cartels to feed certain press releases to the papers; offering a skewed view of current events. Journalism is vastly suppressed due to violence against those working in the media, systematic impunity, public corruption, and unregulated monopolies. Hughes concluded, that foreseeable solutions can include, federalization, emergency protection committees, and newspapers teaming up to investigate. Ultimately, “long term solutions must be linked to political reform to increase accountability.”

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Violence and Media in Mexico

By: Paige Johnsen

Dr. Hughes delivered a lecture on the violence and media in Mexico to a Global Media and Society class at Florida International University today.  Dr. Hughes gave an in depth historical background of the suppression in Mexico.  She stated,  “The state withdrawals of the economy in the 1980-1990’s were pushed by the idea that a market-based economy would flourish Mexico.” 

This solution backfired.  Dr. Hughes explained that the new market-based economy strengthened an oligopolistic (concentrated) economy of family-owned firms.  Also, it led to increasing budget cuts in education.  Dr. Hughes pointed out that the richest man in the world is, Carlos Slim Helu and family, the chairman and CEO of Mexican telecommunication companies Telemex and America Movil.

Dr. Hughes states, “Mexico entered drug trafficking at a terrible time.”  Police officers were not trained, so the Army stepped in their place. 

Dr. Hughes stated four trends in Mexico’s suppression, “Violence of journalists and media workers, systematic impunity, public corruption overlaps with impunity and violence and unregulated monopolies.”

 Political corruption in Mexico has a major impact in the media because cartels will write press releases and pay police to tell reporters what to write.

Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 12:40 am  Leave a Comment