Press release

Mexico: Media freedom requires clear and precise rules on public advertising

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ARTICLE 19

30 Oct 2017

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ARTICLE 19, International Media Support (IMS) and the World Association of Newspapers and News (WAN-IFRA) have written to the Supreme Court of Mexico to underline the duty of the State to adopt a clear and precise legal framework on public advertising and independence of the media.

Over the years, research by ARTICLE 19 Mexico has demonstrated that the lack of appropriate legal regulation of public advertising in Mexico results in the exercise of pressure on media outlets and journalists through biased, opaque allocation of subsidies and public advertising. Federal and local governments use official advertising to shape editorial lines and push partisan agendas. In 2014, ARTICLE 19 Mexico initiated judicial proceedings against the absence of legislative action on official advertising. The case is now pending before the Supreme Court.

In a letter to the Supreme Court, ARTICLE 19, International Media Support (IMS) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) insisted that States have a positive obligation under international law to create an enabling legal and regulatory environment that allows the development of a free, diverse and pluralistic media landscape where all media operators can fulfil their role of seeking and imparting the broadest possible diversity of information and ideas, in particular on questions of public interest. International law requires that public aids are never used to control, influence or otherwise restrict the editorial independence and freedom of any media actor organisation. The letter further described the precise conditions that international law prescribes in relation to state subsidies to media.

The signatories invite the Supreme Court to affirm the duty of the State under international law on freedom of expression to adopt the appropriate legal and regulatory framework on public advertising and other forms of subsidies. 

 

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