Is the media silence on sex tourism the result of financial pressure put on them by advertisers? Is the current blanket dumbing down of the media really a de facto gag order enforced by foreign governments who don’t want the notoriety of the very ill kept secret of a sex industry in their countries made front page news? Are airlines and hotel booking giants applying pressure on the media to not blow the whistle on the sordid details and suffering of women with their power to withhold or conversely ramp up advertising dollars to a media which is suffering from an intense drought in the advertising dollar space?
Ad dollars are scarce today in a long standing recession that has been the cause of the job losses and bankruptcy of thousands of small and large names and journals around the world. Small country markets can withstand the pressure, their populations don’t contribute to tourism in a major way, but large developed markets in the USA and Canada, for example, where professional journalists rely on steady work and union pensions, can be easily corrupted by the withdrawal of support by advertisers if the media is not reading off the advertisers song sheet.
Popular Canadian journalist #Ezra Levant shed light on some of the more menacing ways that government can pervert journalism by sponsoring certain journalists and their parent organizations while withholding funds and accreditation from those it doesn’t like. If governments are actively perverting the truth for electoral reasons, is it not a possibility that the same tactic might be used in the fight for international tourist dollars?
I think we have to understand that governments which derive a major portion of their GDP from tourism, like Mexico and Thailand might be willing to ‘ask’ journalists to print certain story lines and not others for the sake of public perception. In Mexico, for example, there is an extremely high murder rate and violent crime rate for foreign visitors, a fact that rarely leaks out unless the murders or violent acts have been so heinous that nothing can hold them secret.
During these instances however, it seems to me that advertising becomes more intensive and more sales are on offer to ‘popular destinations’. These so called popular destinations are usually hotels and resort areas owned by powerful political families…so is the increased advertising a panacea offered to the media in order to ‘forget’ the crimes that have just occurred and not focus on the problem at large? Can advertising dollars make the problem of murder and sex tourism go away? It certainly seems likely that prestidigitation is at work in markets where crimes like sex tourism and violence against visitors is common and pervasive.