After the Mexican TV station Televisa requested an apology from the British newspaper The Guardian for reporting about alleged documents that proved that political candidates paid for favorable coverage on its TV news programs, the newspaper responded with new evidence.
A former reporter of Televisa confirmed the authenticity of the documents, and a diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy leaked through Wikileaks revealed that politicians paid radio stations and TV stations for spreading interviews and news during the 2009 elections, despite the current electoral law, which prohibits political parties from buying advertising in audiovisual media. During the beginning of May, the newspaper Reforma revealed receipts that proved payments were made to journalists by the current presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which governed Mexico for 71 years.
"The accumulation of evidence that proves information manipulation validates the sentiments of thousands of college students that feel deceived by the TV station for misleading them into voting for a certain candidate. Televisa fired back at The Guardian demanding a written letter of apology. Many think that it is Televisa who owes an apology to the Mexican society," the newspaper said in an editorial.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.