Mexico's Corporate Media: Consolidation Knows No Borders

"Money will define the right to communicate," warned media analyst Néstor Cortés, regarding a bill before the Mexican Senate that would likely further media consolidation in the country. The bill, which has already passed the House of Representatives, "would allow stations that have already been assigned a frequency to branch out into digital services of all kinds simply by notifying the government, while potential new competitors" -- including educational and community media -- "would have to participate in a public bidding process." Mexico's biggest TV companies are Televisa and Azteca, and radio stations "are concentrated in the hands of 13 business groups." While Senators have criticized the bill, the opposition has "been thoroughly ignored by the newscasts and talk show programs" on TV. Mexico's media conglomerates are lobbying for the bill. One newspaper "published a transcript of a series of telephone conversations between a Televisa lawyer and legislators and businesspeople," revealing the extent to which the company is pushing for the bill.