Mexico Government and Media Profile

Mexico Political Orientation

Mexico - Government and Media - left Bias - Liberal - SocialismMexico Government and Media Country Profile


Government Type: the Federal Republic is composed of thirty-two federal entities: thirty-one states
Leader: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Head of Government, Head of State, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.)
Political Party: National Regeneration Movement (MORENA)
Political Position: Left

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 53.99 – Moderate Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank:
Mexico 128/180

Reporters without Borders describe Mexico as “one of the world’s deadliest countries for the media,” drawing attention to the “Collusion between officials and organized crime.” Furthermore, the International Press Institute, in 2019, reported, “Five journalists killed so far this year, despite the commitment to greater safety by President López Obrado.” NPR, in a 2019 report, states, “Mexico Surpasses Syria as The Most Dangerous Country for Journalists,” and according to the AP, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador often argues with the press and labels them “Fifi,” which is slang for elite or frivolous.”

According to Nieman Lab, “Those news organizations and journalists are now in peril. Criminal forces attack journalists with greater frequency, enjoying an impunity that empowers them to threaten, harass, or kill even more. Economic forces strike at their business models, further weakening them. Political forces seek to control them.” They further report “Mexico is having the worst streak of attacks against journalists in history. According to figures compiled by ARTICLE 19, a non-profit working on press freedom issues, in 2021 a journalist was attacked in Mexico every 14 hours, on average.”

According to the Associated Press, 2022 was the “deadliest year in at least three decades for Mexican journalists.”

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

Government Influence on Media: In Mexico, the government’s media outlets are indirectly controlled since media budgets are derived from government advertising and distributed “based on political leanings.” Family-owned corporations dominate the ownership of print and broadcast media. In 2017, The New York Times reported, former President Enrique Peña Nieto spent almost 2 billion US Dollars on publicity. This leads to “Soft censorship, or indirect government censorship.” Two multimedia groups dominate broadcasting. One is Televisa (owned by the  Azcárraga family), and the other is TV-Azteca (owned by Grupo Salinas/Ricardo Salinas Pliego ). In addition, Carlos Slim Helu & family owns America Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile telecom firm.

Current President Lopez Obrador lowered government spending on advertising as part of his broad austerity plan. This was felt by the top two television broadcasters Televisa and TV Azteca. These conglomerate owners’ political affiliations are not easily detectable; however, they rely on government subsidies with their primary revenue from the government. It has a similar structure of relying on selling advertisements to the government when it comes to print media. The biggest-selling dailies are Excélsior, La Jornada, Reforma, El Universal, and El Sol de Mexico.

For example, the Imagen Multimedia company favors the PRI party, owned by the Vázquez Raña Family. According to the Media Ownership Monitor, “Imagen Radio, Imagen Televisión, and daily Excelsior’s editorial policy tend to favor the interest of the political party PRI.” They also report, “The closeness of the Vázquez Raña family with the politically powerful actors in the country, mainly with the political party PRI is largely documented in reports and briefing notes.”

Similar highly complex ties exist with the other prominent family conglomerates and politicians; for more, please see the detailed report by the Media Ownership Monitor, which is a global research and advocacy initiative launched by Reporter Without Borders to increase transparency about media ownership.

In conclusion, corporate media providers dominate the print and broadcast media; therefore, there is significant corporate influence on the media. The government influences the corporations through funding from advertising money, while violence against journalists promotes bias and self-censorship out of fear.

Country Rating Methodology

Top 5 Mexico Media Sources by Web Rank
El Universal
Uno TV
La Jornada

Last Updated on August 9, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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