Saturday, 30 June 2012

Canadian News Coverage of Mexican Election — Missing in Action

Molly Molloy posted a news report from the Edmonton Journal to the widely read Google Group Frontera-list  about a Mexico-Canada drug route. 

There has been very little news about Mexico in Canadian news outlets, and what has appeared has followed a typically Canadian media pattern that was first described by an old style media journalist and publisher Peter Worthington. During one of his public lectures about the print media, he speculated about the nature of Canadian Print media and he asked his audience to imagine how the major Canadian Newspapers of the Day would have covered the sinking of the Titanic if they had been publishing at the time.

The Toronto Globe and Mail is a newspaper with strong corporate links to big Canadian investors, many of whom have direct investments in Mexico and Latin America (resorts, mines). According to Worthington's imaginary headline, the Globe would have reported "Giant boat sinks, 1,800 people drown — see business pages for on  full report on financial losses and stock implications.

The Toronto Star is based in Ontario but is the largest circulation paper in Canada. It has always defined itself as a community oriented newspaper (Toronto centric) with a social conscience. However, it is also selective in what it does choose to report and support. Its headline might have read "Terrible tragedy, 1800 souls drown while band plays on — Star reporter on board saves a cat".

The Sun Newspaper chain is a tabloid in the tradition of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World complete with Sunshine Girls (and given Toronto's gay community – Sunshine boys). It's headline might have read "Giant Boat Sinks, In the Chaos a crew member demands sex from elderly woman before letting her on lifeboat".

The National Post was not publishing at the time Worthington made his observation.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was not included in the analysis either. 

Below, there are some links to recent reports about the Mexican election — there really have been very few reports, and many of those have been picked up and reprinted from AP and Reuters etc.

The CBC is late coming to the story, basically as a result of its severe budget cuts and decimation of its Latin American office. However, it did send one of its top international reporters (Keith Boag) to Mexico for a few major reports including the following. His news clip from yesterday (the 30th) has an excellent short interview with Denise Dresser — one of the most astute observers of Mexican Politics

CBC NEWS | Jun 30, 2012 | 1:31
Mexico votes for new president
Mexicans go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president. CBC's Keith Boag has more from Mexico City.

From Mexico: Keith Boag debrief with Rick - Mar. 8, 2012 ...
CBC Correspondent Keith Boag talks to Rick about the mayor of San Pedro,
in Monterrey, Mexico, and his unusual -- and disturbing -- approach to ... - 9k - 2012-03-08 

Mexico: Drugs, Death & Danger - World - CBC News
... ca and the CBC News App for Mexico: Drugs, Death & Danger, a series of
special reports, led by CBC News correspondent Keith Boag, taking an in ... 

The Toronto Star has not written much about Mexico, but when it does it has produced excellent reports. In my view, the two most articulate and informed reporters about Mexico and Latin America are members of the Star — Oakland Ross and Linda Diebel. However, the local emphasis of the Toronto Star means that international reports are rarer and there may not be internal support (i.e. $$$$) to support international coverage. The Star does pick up some excellent AP reports, and when it does produced stories they are in-depth and insightful such as the following one From Oakland Ross (Toronto Star)

The Globe and Mail has been a disappointment — and in fact has recently published two major editorials in support of Enrique Peña Nieto and full of praise for outgoing President Felipe Calderón.  The only balance to those reports are the occasional AP wire reports.

From the Globe and Mail
In Mexico, cartels threaten local candidates who can’t be bought
ZAPATA, MEXICO — The Associated Press
Published Thursday, Jun. 28 2012, 7:56 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Jun. 28 2012, 10:31 PM EDT

Mexico’s Prince Charming poised to take PRI back to power in July 1 vote
Published Monday, Jun. 11 2012, 4:21 PM EDT
Last updated Monday, Jun. 11 2012, 4:24 PM EDT

A stronger, safer Mexico, courtesy of Felipe Calderon
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 27 2012, 7:30 PM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, Jun. 27 2012, 5:44 PM EDT

Mexican front-runner could open up oil sector to Canadian investors
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, May. 29 2012, 7:30 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, May. 31 2012, 11:37 AM EDT

There is a definite smugness about Canadians and a "we are lucky not to be you" attitude is a prominent feature of our Canadian identity. Canadians deplore the domination of American airwaves by Fox News, and have the attitude that we are fortunate to have a public broadcaster that will at least tell the truth. However, the current Canadian budget and the Conservative government hatred of the CBC may soon make things look a lot different. The line between a Televisa in Mexico, Fox News in the USA and at the Globe and Mail in Canada is not that wide. My recent visit to Mexico convinced me more than ever that Canadians have been well-served by the CBC, and that it is important to draw a line in the sand and make sure that it is not eroded more than it has been by a government that prefers to hide facts and support only business interests.

No comments: