MEXICO CITY (Spin) – Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) asked his “adversaries” for a truce on 31 March to achieve unity, during the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, he has redirected his criticism of the national and international media. Every day he claims that what they publish “seeks to make his government look bad” because “they no longer receive the economic benefits that the six previous governments gave them,” covering the period that AMLO calls “neoliberal.” He claims that they “kept quiet like mummies” for 36 years, even though neoliberalism was a “resounding failure.
AMLO insists that the mass media helped multiply corruption and undermine the rule of law. At the end of the April 17 conference, he said, “Never has the media in Mexico attacked a government so much as they are doing now. As they say back in my home-town, there is a reason for this”. (SIC)
It is nothing new under the sun. There have always been presidents who consider the mainstream media to be enemies. Alberto Fujimori in Peru, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Donald Trump in the United States. Many presidents have emphasized discourse, or sought the legal route, to discredit news from the traditional media that, by closely monitoring their governments, they find uncomfortable.
AMLO’s remarks to the national press include El Financiero, El Universal, Milenio, Reforma, Televisa, Televisión Azteca, Proceso, Times Media Mexico, among others… as well as journalists Ciro Gómez Leyva, Pablo Hiriart, Joaquín López Dóriga, Carlos Loret de Mola and Raymundo Riva Palacio, to mention the most frequent ones.
AMLO’s reviews of the international press include El País of Spain, The Financial Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. The similarities of the invalidations to the traditional press between AMLO and Donald Trump are notorious. Trump qualifies as fake news everything published by the conventional media and favors the conservative communication that is ideologically akin to the Republican Party. AMLO qualifies as “fake news” what is issued by the traditional press and prefers the “digital” media that applauds his government.
According to SPIN figures, journalists from “digital” media regularly occupy the front row and therefore are the ones who ask most questions at daily conferences. Contrary to what AMLO claims, it is in the best interest of the traditional media to publish verifiable information. A news story not supported by evidence in the form of data, testimonials, or detailed information, lowers the credibility of the media, and the loyalty of its audiences is at risk.
AMLO averages 69 untrue statements per conference, making it difficult for traditional media to publish false stories. One implication is that only 7 percent of the top front-page stories in the seven largest national newspapers refer to the previous day’s conference. AMLO gives the talk but does not set the agenda. During the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, the journalists who access his “lectures” are selected so that no more than 50 people gather, which has curiously generated an over-representation of pro-AMLO digital media.
While polls show a steady decline in approval, AMLO prefers to avoid responsibility and blame past governments and real and imagined enemies. The president should know that crises need to communicate truthful and timely information, and that, for that purpose, the traditional media are his best allies.
Summary of morning conferences by Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Government days: 505
Conferences from Monday to Friday: 348
Days the president has not delivered his health tests: 270
1. Probability of asking a question
– 55% chance if the journalist is sitting in the front row.
– 23% chance if the journalist is sitting in the second row.
2. Type of media asking questions at the conferences
Pro AMLO digital media 37%
Print media 29%
Independent Journalists 3%
3. Mentions related to mainstream media
Reforma: 144 times
El Financiero: 38 times
El Universal: 31 times
Televisa: 24 times
The Wall Street Journal: 21 times
Financial Times: 12 times
Milenio: 8 times
El País: 5 times
The New York Times: 4 times
Azteca Television: 11 times
4. Visits on Facebook
AMLO’s Facebook followers: 7.4 million. Average views of conferences on Facebook: 529 thousand (That is 7% of his “followers”)
Information provided by SPIN
General Director Luis Estrada @luisestrada_
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