As every week of this June and July season, we were there this week to explore a very interesting Mexican narrative, that of the country’s powerful media outlets.
We started with one of those odd stories that put together US and Mexican stories; after all, we’re only one river away from each other. This was the anecdote of a Kansas doctor, who was not really a doctor, but who built one of the most powerful AM radio stations in the world in, well, Mexico. The United States did not like that this Dr. J.R. Brinkley had sympathies for German Nazism in the 1930’s, broadcasting one too many favorable commentaries about Hitler and his cronies. For its part, Mexico used this uncomfortable US citizen, operating on Mexican soil with permission from the Mexican Government, to pressure the United States into setting up a North American radio frequency agreement that would respect Mexico’s sovereignty concerning radioelectric waves and put a stop to those needlessly powerful transborder transmissions. The Brinkley Act of 1939 was thus born.
We listed the most relevant media sources in Mexico and learned a bit about the wealthy and influential families that control them.
Our attendees also learned a few tricks about how to translate press content from Spanish into English – using translation tools – and even how to select important national and local newscasts, viewed them through YouTube, and get a worthy translation using that social media’s close captioning abilities. Connect with Mexico students discovered how much they have been missing about amazing Mexican content in Spanish that can also easily be viewed with English subtitles.
We certainly pointed out that there is a wealth of information that doesn’t necessarily include politics or crime but culture, books, history, documentaries, and a whole universe of interesting things to discover in high-quality Mexican media outlets, both public and private.
The session also made it clear that Mexican media and their content has grown in freedom and independence over the last 25 years. Our discussion also underscored that the current administration of President López Obrador, while often unfriendly to some specific journalists and media sources, has on the whole respected ownership and content.