Incoming Jackson School professor discusses press freedom in Mexico

Vanessa FreijeOn Wednesday, April 23, Vanessa Freije (an incoming assistant professor at the UW’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies) will be talking about the history of press freedom in Mexico. Join us from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in CMU 126.

 “Censored not Silenced: The Paradoxes of Press Policies in 1970s Mexico”

This talk examines the history of press freedom in 1970s Mexico. During this decade, Mexico City’s public sphere became increasingly pluralistic. Amid shifting expectations about information access and democracy, official attempts to censor major broadsheets often came at a high political cost. Using unexamined archival materials, such as journalists’ personal correspondence, this talk underscores that publicizing censorship made Mexico’s ruling party more vulnerable. By transforming the original text into a source of intense public debate, censorship sharpened the lines of political disagreement, achieving the opposite of its intended effect.

Bio: Vanessa Freije is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Duke University. She received her BA in History from UC San Diego, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Her dissertation focuses on the political and intellectual history of the rise of muckraking journalism in Mexico City. Her work analyzes both the ways in which new journalistic styles shaped debates about Mexican political change and the role that leaks and scandals played in fomenting dissent within the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). Her research has been funded by a Fulbright-García Robles fellowship, as well as by multiple grants from Duke University’s Center for International Studies and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.