The Mexican internationalist, journalist, broadcaster and host Kimberly Armengol, talked about the current situation of Mexican journalism

Kimberly Armengol, journalist and host: The salary gap between men and women in Mexico is huge
04 de mayo de 2022

The Mexican internationalist, journalist, broadcaster and host Kimberly Armengol, shared with Ríchard Izarra in a new edition of #PRODUprimetime from the PRODU studios in Brickell, the current situation of Mexican journalism, as well as the inequalities between men and women in the country.

The face-to-face took place because Armengol is spending a week in Miami, making a staff temporary replacement in MegaTV, a network for which she always makes coverage links and collaborations from Mexico with Mario Andrés Moreno, and previously with Ismael Cala. She noted that the way of reporting in each country is very different, since in Mexico the newscast is very national, while in the US it is organized very locally. “This sort of internship has been a challenge, because most of the news is so local, with very particular features that are so common for Miami’s residents, but for me, being a foreigner, it has been a little difficult to get around, but here we go” said Armengol.

Mexico is currently the country where more journalists are murder for the simple fact of reporting somethings that do not please dangerous people with power, this has been reported by recent studies. In addition, Armengol said, the impunity rate in the country is up to 90%. "Journalists in Mexico are very brave, for meager salaries they go out into the streets and risk their lives to search for the truth and report about what is happening in the most isolated places in the country," she said.

According to Armengol, women have slowly been gaining a position in Mexican journalism, along with the respect and affection of their audiences, something that has been going on in other countries for a long time, but not in Mexico. “Fortunately, in the last 15 years more and more women have been incorporated as news anchors, when before they were more of an ornamental figure or included in a newscast at noon where she was expected to smile a lot and report about things like ‘where to go for a meal’. Women weren't expected to give the hard news, or be the head anchor of a late night newscast, but that is changing. There is still a lot that has to change in Mexico, because the salary gap -not only in journalism, but in all jobs-, between genders is incredible. The difference between what a man and a woman earn is huge. We still have a lot to do” she highlighted.

Kimberly recently, in March, left Imagen Noticias, a news program that she had been part of since 2012, when it was Excelsior Television. In addition to starting the news magazine of which she was the anchor, she also wrote for many years a column for the Excelsior newspaper, part of Grupo Imagen. However, she informed that despite being no longer part of the newscast, for which she received a PRODU Award in 2021, she will still continue writing in the newspaper of the Group. "My participation in the news ended in mid-March, but I'm still in the company, I'm still doing my column and we'll see what happens."

Armengol is not only working in written and audiovisual media in Mexico, in the US she also has a very interesting column in the renowned magazine Cosmopolitan, where she addresses issues related to women, their rights, their problems, and for that she uses the pen-name “K”. “It was difficult to start writing this column because we wanted to focus on gender issues. But Cosmopolitan is very close to its audience and speaks to them in third person. And as a newscaster, a journalist, it was very difficult for me to sort out how to have this communication with the audience, and that is why the character of ‘K’ emerges. Every month the column talks about how K has approached certain problems that generally have to do with women dealing with their emotional life, as a couple, work life, all the situations that as women we face”.

“Of course it has changed a lot. It has been complicated at the journalistic level because the President (Andrés Manuel López Obrador), like no other has done before, gives a press conference every morning where he directly refers to certain journalists -for example, Carlos Loret de Mola-, confronts them directly, and even asks them who has paid them so much, how they own so many properties. It has been a complicated time because there has never been such a direct confrontation between journalism and the Government,” she said to Ríchard after he asked her about the communication measures taken by the Mexican Government.

Kimberly, who consumes a lot of television content, both traditional and digital, said that the platforms have socially changed the country and the world. For instance, she mentioned that viewers have become more critical now by being able to choose what to watch and when. “Before, a lot of people in Mexico only watched Channel 2, where the main telenovelas and the main news programs were broadcast. Today, with all this demand for content, we have a much more critical society, one that is sick and tired of certain contents and the problems reflected, and has ruled out his pink world of telenovelas where a poor woman always ends up with her prince.

Ríchard, to finish, asked Kimberly about how she sees women in Mexico, the new empowered woman, to which she replied: “I think it depends on Mexican women of a certain social stratum, because in Mexico the gap and discrimination it's brutal. If we talk, for instance, about an indigenous woman, her group is totally excluded and relegated from any social benefit. But if we refer to middle-class, upper-class women, they are women breaking stereotypes such as happiness relies on living as a couple, and that the maximum illusion is to reproduce. A little late, because these models have far gone for many years in the US and Europe. Here in Mexico, the change has been slow but moving forward. We are still fighting against certain conservative sectors, sectors that always have something to say, but there is a very good opening and job opportunities for women that are allowing this change”, Armengol concluded.

Watch interview here