The News Media and Environmental Challenges in Mexico: The Structural Deficits in the Coverage and Reporting by the Press

  • Manuel ChavezEmail author
  • Mireya Marquez
  • Denisse J. Flores
  • Manuel A. Guerrero
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication book series (PSMEC)


The authors of this chapter focus on the role of the Mexican news media in reporting environmental issues, with special attention to the watchdog function of the press. The media are expected to keep a close eye on threats and risks and sound the alarm before these develop into crises; yet, that has not been the case in Mexico. This watchdog function requires sufficient journalism and science training to deal with the large inventory of environmental issues requiring attention, which includes issues affecting land, fresh and salt water, waste, species protection and air pollution. The chapter first shows how the media are organized and how they report in Mexico, followed by a description of the government agencies responsible for environmental affairs; then it describes the most pressing environmental issues across the country. To demonstrate that the Mexican press cover the environment only in times of crisis, the authors conducted a content analysis of the 2016 air pollution crisis that was experienced in Mexico City. The authors conclude that unless an environmental issue reaches catastrophic levels, the watchdog function of the news media is virtually dormant.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Chavez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mireya Marquez
    • 2
  • Denisse J. Flores
    • 2
  • Manuel A. Guerrero
    • 2
  1. 1.Journalism and Latin American StudiesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Universidad IberoamericanaMexico CityMexico

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