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Economy, Communications

Television Azteca, Mexican homes, Nexos, Financiero, Televisa

The most important change that occurred in Mexican communications in the early 1990s was increased competition within the telephone system, one of the first major utilities to be sold to private investors in the 1990s. Changes in the industry dramatically improved telephone service, which had been plagued by long waits for new phone service in Mexican homes and businesses. This was especially true in the cellular phone business, which saw a dramatic increase in usage between 1990 and 1995. The television industry has also seen increased competition in recent years and Televisa, the chain of television stations that had been dominant in Mexico for decades, now sees increased competition from Television Azteca.

Mexico City has a large number of newspapers, which creates extreme competition among papers and results in a relatively small readership for each publication. Many of these papers are read nationally. Among the most influential are La Reforma, Excelsior, El Financiero, and La Jornada. Several magazines, noted for their independence and criticism of the government, are also published in Mexico City. These include Proceso, a left-of-center weekly, and two intellectual magazines, Vuelta and Nexos. The government has tried, on occasion, to censor the print media, primarily by threatening to withhold government advertising, which accounted for 20 to 30 percent of the revenue of Mexican newspapers in the 1980s. Television and radio are regulated by the government, which authorizes the production of programs on state-owned radio and television networks, as well as on a number of commercial broadcast networks. Talk radio, however, is increasingly independent. Many Mexicans use computers and e-mail, but the growth of the Internet is currently limited by the country’s relatively undeveloped system of telephone lines. Communication links from many parts of Mexico still must first pass through the capital, which slows both computer and telephone connections between regions of the country.

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