Freedom of the Press

Mexico

Mexico

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

40

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

20

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

6

President Vicente Fox, victor over the long-established ruling party, came to power vowing to end the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)'s practice of buying favorable press stories. Most observers agree that the practice of paying reporters for positive coverage appeared to be on the wane in 2001. However, the media, while mostly private, largely depend on the government for advertising revenue. In November, the president disparaged the news media for distortion, libel, and deception. He and his wife had been the butt of sensational articles. Journalists, for their part, continued to receive physical as well as verbal threats and attacks. Two reporters were killed in 2001. Police officers threatened and punched reporters, a court failed to convict even the confessed murderers of a journalist, and six newsmen were threatened with death and their homes put under surveillance. One journalist was charged with criminal defamation. Other attacks on the media went unresolved. The government continues to control broadcast licensing, which frequently leads to self-censorship. Official influence, if not censorship, is apparent in television. TV stations sometimes provide government officials with free broadcast time.