In mid-1991, a large group of intellectuals, representatives of civil society, and the cultural and academic community asked the then President of the Republic to use the concession for Channel 22, then incorporated into the Mexican Institute of Television, to “turn it into a television channel.” cultural content, not commercial or of public interest”.
There were intense debates around different aspects related to the financing, administration, organization and programming of the Channel, among other topics. Finally, the project for the new station was handed over to the Executive. Once this was approved, José María Pérez Gay was appointed CEO.
The history of Channel 22 tells us that at 7:45 p.m. on June 23, 1993, the transmissions of the new and brand-new means of communication formally began. The station officially began operations with a message that the then President of the Republic addressed to the nation. In it, the president pointed out that that date marked the moment in which Channel 22 assumed the commitment to contribute to “making accessible to viewers the extensive horizon of knowledge, reflection, the arts, as well as the culture of Mexico and that of all the peoples of the Earth”.
Immediately afterwards, viewers enjoyed a stellar program: the conversation between Silvia Lemus and the Nobel Prize for Literature and creator of magical realism, Gabriel García Márquez, in the city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. That interview became the first of an emblematic series for Canal 22: Tratos y retratos.
It was about making a television with messages different from those of the already well-known commercial television stations. It was about reaching large audiences to communicate that there is a cultural Mexico in every human being, in every house, in every school, under every stone. In short, it was about making television an art.
The purpose of Channel 22 is to show, disseminate, value and disseminate art, science and culture, with democratic values -such as diversity, creativity, criticism, honesty, impartiality, respect and truthfulness-, in permanent search for social integration and the construction of an inclusive communication space.
Understanding culture is more than a hobby; It is a moral commitment, especially if we understand that it is the first and deepest root of national identity. History has shown us that only peoples who have known how to preserve and strengthen their culture can get rid of isolation to access the future. For this reason, it is essential that Mexicans, especially those in power, understand and love Mexico.
Culture is, therefore, a complex range of symbols and values that the community gestates and develops, recreates, preserves and enriches and with which it identifies and is linked by incorporating it, integrating it into its social model of life.
Culture means the shared dream, the inexhaustible energy, the power of aesthetic creation, the miracle of beauty. Popular culture has survived all the storms, because the process of recreation gives it back the possibility of flourishing at every moment.
Mexico, our country, is one of the clearest examples of the impulse of the inheritors of human greatness and aesthetic perfection: a plural and diverse mosaic of minuscule expressions and cosmic mentality, of beliefs and searches, of differences and approaches that merge each day in a single crucible that continues to strengthen our destiny as a mature nation, full of possibilities.
To define our profile as Mexicans we have to keep alive the vigorous and fruitful spirit of the multiple land; we must preserve and consolidate the authentic expression, the dignity of the language, the firm line, the direct communication, the color tone and the rhythm of the melody that we want. Of course I’m talking about Culture, with a capital letter.
We have to turn to culture, which is our only option. Only with that aim will we be able to preserve what is lasting and transcendent, the message that, in the course of history, step by step, our ancestors have managed to transmit so that the new generations can repeat and renew it.
Channel 22 is committed to making television a delight for children’s audiences. Childhood is our most precious goal because it is the future of Mexico. Consequently, your thinking and attitude should always be positive.
The efforts of Canal 22 throughout these almost thirty years are based on the hypothesis that the culture of all peoples is shaped by their beliefs and behaviors, by the way in which they transform their environment, by their worldviews, by their traditions and for the artistic manifestations that emerge from it. Therefore, culture is the set of distinctive features of each nation. Through cultural activities, the human being expresses himself and becomes aware of himself and the group to which he belongs.
Founder of Notimex
National Journalism Award
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Channel 22 will celebrate its 30th anniversary