Propaganda and crony capitalism: Partisan bias in Mexican television news

Sallie Hughes, Chappell Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The relationship between media ownership and partisan bias has been an important source of controversy in emerging democracies. Systematic tests of the effects of ownership, however, remain relatively rare. Using data from content analysis of ninety-three television news programs, as well as more detailed examination of six provincial television stations, we assess the extent of bias exhibited by different types of broadcasters during Mexico's 2000 presidential campaign. We find that privately owned television stations were generally more balanced than public broadcasters, who typically followed propagandistic models of coverage. At the same time, private ownership often entailed collusive arrangements between broadcasters and politicians, based on the prospect of future business concessions (i.e., "crony capitalism"). We conclude that changes in ownership patterns are unlikely to eradicate partisan bias, and we discuss other institutional remedies aimed at insulating both private and state-run media from political manipulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-105
Number of pages25
JournalLatin American Research Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Development
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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