Journalists in Mexico face many dangers, especially when they’re covering the country’s ongoing drug war.
But journalism is not just under threat from cartels. There are structural problems deeply embedded in the political framework of the country, which have a daily effect on the production of Mexico’s journalism.
Since he came to power in 2012, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on government ads – airtime and print space dedicated to government self-promotion. He has spent more money on media advertising during his time in power than any other president in Mexico’s history.
Broadcasting giants like Televisa and Azteca both get around 10 percent of their ad revenue from the federal government. The country’s newspapers of record like Milenio, El Universal, Excelsior, rely on the government for millions of dollars to keep them going.
And when a media outlet relies so heavily on the government to keep it alive, investigative reporting, critical journalism, scoops and exposes are either diluted, deferred or censored – if journalists haven’t censored themselves already.
It’s a fairly straightforward paradox. If your main client is the government, you cannot criticise the government. Because if that government pulls the plug, your business cannot survive.
Daniel Moreno, director, Animal Politico
“It’s a fairly straightforward paradox. If your main client is the government, you cannot criticise the government. Because if that government pulls the plug, your business cannot survive,” says Daniel…