A wrench in the "ruling party machine"

By Fiona Morgan

By Salon Staff
July 7, 2000 11:31PM (UTC)
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As former national editor of the News, I would like to point out a couple of misconceptions about the significance of Josh Tuynman's resignation:

First off, "the largest English-language daily in Latin America" has a circulation of between 12,000 and 16,000, depending on the time of year. Its influence on readers is minimal at the very best. Most readers (foreign English-speaking travelers or expats) read the News not for its national coverage, but for sports and international news.

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Secondly, Mark Stevenson, the Associated Press writer who initially broke the story, used to work at the News. As a point of full disclosure, he should have noted this, or not written the story.

Also, as Tuynman pointed out, censorship at the News is nothing new. Anyone who reads the paper knows its coverage is slanted. To use the News as a representation of Mexican print journalism is a mistake. Other papers, such as Reforma, La Jornada and El Universal -- widely read by Mexican voters -- are more representative of the Mexican press. Novedades, the sister paper of the News, has faced dwindling readership for quite some time and the News has been for sale for years. The true culprit of the biased media in Mexico is the television coverage -- that is where most Mexican voters get their news.

While I agree with Tuynman in principle, I would like to express my opinion that his "whistle blowing" is self-serving. And the foreign media has taken the easy route by jumping on his bandwagon, considering he is an English-speaking foreigner writing for an insignificant publication and who's more than willing to speak to the press. I would advise further coverage on this matter to be directed at experienced Mexican journalists.

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-- Angelo Young

I spent last summer studying international communication in Mexico City, and the interview with Josh Tuynman brought back a lot of memories. My group visited newspapers, television studios and radio stations in Mexico City. After meeting Mexican professionals in the different media sources, the conclusion that I came to was that they are not as affected by the censorship as Americans are because that is how it has always been. Also, the average Mexican citizen is not as interested in the news as the average American. However, more Mexican journalism students are pursuing part of their education in the United States, so this, along with an increase in use of the Internet, might improve the free press in the future.

-- Anne Hoar


Salon Staff

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