The newsmagazine Proceso is reporting the death of its founder, Julio Scherer Garcia, one of the most influential Mexican journalists of the past half century.

Proceso says Scherer died Wednesday of septic shock following a long illness. He was 88.

Scherer was famed for challenging authority at a time when much of Mexico's press was suppressed or co-opted by the government.

He headed what was then Mexico's most important daily from 1968 until 1976, when government maneuvering forced him out of the paper, Excelsior.

He went on to found Proceso, which has been Mexico's leading muckraking magazine for decades.