By Curt Devine
The Mexico-based international media outlet Televisa carries great influence over much of Latin America. In terms of mass communication, Televisa has one of the loudest voices in the Spanish-speaking world. Therefore, its coverage of presidential elections not only determines how many Mexicans perceive U.S. elections, but also how tens of millions within Central America, South America and diasporas within the U.S. view American politics as a whole. The following blurbs from Televisa’s website highlight some of its most popular articles in the days surrounding the election.
Nov. 3 Televisa reports that the Obama campaign showed a video in Spanish in Miami to rally more Latin American followers. A campaign aide is quoted, and this seems to have a national and/or ethnic angle to it.
Nov. 3 Eighty percent of children would vote for Obama, a simulation election revealed. The article references both academic and campaign sources, so while the article seems fairly balanced, its publication may support the apparent Televisa bias toward Obama.
Nov. 4 Obama reportedly recruited the Cuban hip-hop artist Pitbull to stir young Hispanic voters living in Hollywood, Fla. (north of Miami) to vote. This shows Televisa’s interest in both Latin entertainment and the opinions of Hispanic youth. (Overall, there now appears to be heavier coverage of Obama’s campaign than Romney’s.)
Nov. 5 Televisa reports that both candidates tie with 47 percent of the vote. Oddly, various U.S. newspapers seemed to slant the polls or reference polls that supported their favored candidates. While much of Latin America wants Obama to win (as previously reported on Televisa), this may pose more objectivity as an outside source.
Nov. 6 An article featured Obama playing basketball on election day as he waited for results to pour in in order to increase his “suerte” or “luck.”
Nov. 6 Interestingly, Televisa reported on election day that voting was “un proceso se desarollo con traquilidad,” or “it was developing peacefully.” This shows that certain editors within Televisa, and possibly Latin American as a whole, perceive elections as tumultuous processes with strong potential for violent reactions.
Nov. 7 A majority of Latin American leaders hurried to “felicitar” or congratulate Obama on his victory, showing their support of his re-election, Televisa reports. The president of Bolivia asked Obama to remove the trade embargo on Cuba. Much of the sources used in this article came from Twitter and from public announcements, and interestingly, most leaders believe Obama will continue to progress in his relations with Latin America.
While much of the material here does not appear inherently biased, Televisa continually covered Obama’s campaign with higher frequency than Romney’s. This becomes all the more controversial considering the fact that many analysts have attributed Obama’s win to his popularity among Latino voters. While Televisa certainly did not single-handedly decide election results, the outlet reinforced broad opinions.