Muy buenas noches: Mexico, Television, and the Cold War (The Mexican Experience) (Paperback)
By the end of the twentieth century, Mexican multimedia conglomerate Televisa stood as one of the most powerful media companies in the world. Most scholars have concluded that the company’s success was owed in large part to its executives who walked in lockstep with the government and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), which ruled for seventy-one years. At the same time, government decisions regulating communications infrastructure aided the development of the television industry. In one of the first books to be published in English on Mexican television, Celeste González de Bustamante argues that despite the cozy relationship between media moguls and the PRI, these connections should not be viewed as static and without friction.
Through an examination of early television news programs, this book reveals the tensions that existed between what the PRI and government officials wanted to be reported and what was actually reported and how. Further, despite the increasing influence of television on society, viewers did not always accept or agree with what they saw on the air. Television news programming played an integral role in creating a sense of lo mexicano (that which is Mexican) at a time of tremendous political, social, and cultural change. At its core the book grapples with questions about the limits of cultural hegemony at the height of the PRI and the cold war.
“As the party that governed Mexico for seventy years returns to power amid protests over collusion between the media and politicians, Celeste González de Bustamante has published a timely examination of just how much influence television has. Based on five case studies and rare access to the archives of Latin America’s most influential television empire, Televisa, the study offers far more than its title promises. . . . The study also adds important insights to the rich literature on national identity formation. Muy Buenas Noches is a significant contribution that will add to the scholarly discussion in a variety of disciplines and fields.”—Juanita Darling, American Journalism
“Each chapter’s consistent grounding in the larger arc of Mexican and international history makes Muy Buenas Noches an easily digestible book, even for those with little previous knowledge of the country. Undoubtedly, Muy Buenas Noches will stand as a central text for future researchers intrigued by the questions González de Bustamante raises, as well as those searching for the historical roots of the country’s current media climate.”—Taylor Jardno, NACLA Report on the Americas
“One of the strengths of González’s book lays in her ability to paint a vivid picture of the behind-the-scenes machinations that defined the relationship between Telesistema Mexicano and the Mexican government. . . . Celeste González de Bustamante has produced an outstanding account of the first two decades of Mexican television news. Her illumination of the tensions that infused the connections between Telesistema Mexicano, the PRI, Mexican viewers, and the United States during the Cold War succeeds in underscoring the limits of cultural hegemony. In the process, this well written and solidly researched monograph will be of interest to both scholars and students of modern Mexico, media studies, and the Cold War.”—Michael A. Krysko, A Contra corriente