Silence or alignment. Organized crime and government as primary definers of news in Mexico

Rubén Arnoldo González


The aim of this article is to explain, through the concept of Conflict Discourse System, the influence that Mexican government and organized crime exert on the news-making process. The results of the analysis prove that, considered as sources of information, authorities and cartels frequently determine the agenda and framing of the coverage of their activities. This the outcome of the use of bribes and/or violence. As a result, at the moment of covering these beats, journalists frequently are obliged to choose between silence or alignment. Therefore, rather than reporters, members of the government and drug lords have become the primary definers of news.


Mexican journalism; organized crime; Conflict Discourse System; violence; bribery

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