Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is competition a remedy for corruption?

Two stories from Mexico suggest that the dominant television networks can be bought by politicians and that perhaps there will be more competition for the established networks in the future.

Computer files link TV dirty tricks to favourite for Mexico presidency: Network alleged to have sold favourable election coverage to top politicians
Mexico's biggest television network sold prominent politicians favourable coverage in its flagship news and entertainment shows and used the same programmes to smear a popular leftwing leader, documents seen by the Guardian appear to show…

The documents, which appear to have been created several years ago, include:
  • An outline of fees apparently charged for raising Peña Nieto's national profile when he was governor of the state of Mexico.
  • A detailed media strategy explicitly designed to torpedo a previous presidential bid by leftwing candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador, who is currently Peña Nieto's closest rival.
  • Payment arrangements suggesting that the office of former president Vicente Fox concealed exorbitant public spending on media promotion…
In a country where newspaper readership is tiny and the reach of the internet and cable TV is still largely limited to the middle classes, Televisa – and its rival TV Azteca – exert a powerful influence over national politics…

Mexico to auction 2 TV channels in duopoly market
Mexico's broadcast regulator is moving to increase competition in television by ordering an auction of two new nationwide channels in a market now dominated by two large networks.

Wednesday's statement from the commission says it will be the first auction of television frequencies in the country's history. It says Mexico is seeking to diversify TV content and offer alternative outlets for information and entertainment.

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