Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Journalism and the Drug Cartels

With the drug war raging on between the drug cartels in Mexico, it has become increasingly difficult for the Mexican journalists to cover the stories that are related to the drug violence. They fear retribution on themselves and their families or they get paid off by these drug cartels and become corrupt.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has a great website dedicated to showing how many of these journalists have been killed, directly or indirectly, because of their coverage of the drug cartels. They have worldwide statistics, but this interactive map showing these deaths in Mexico shows just how dangerous it is.

Between the corruption and the deaths, it has become nearly impossible to find a news source that will show just exactly what is going on. A recent report by ProPublica tells how these newspapers in Mexico are failing at their jobs. Attempts by the mainstream media to cover the drug war in Mexico has been silenced.

As a result of this, one blog has begun to get massive attention. This blog, El Blog Del Narco (Warning: the are graphic depictions of violence on this site), is showing the stories that the mainstream media will not or cannot show. Started by a Mexican student who has experience with computer systems, the blog has videos and photos anonymously sent in by other journalists, citizens and the drug cartels themselves. It is an attempt to show the truth in the drug wars that is otherwise not covered in the media. Under great danger to himself, the still unknown student continues to publish everything that is related to the drug war.

Something like this shows just how important citizen journalism can become when it is the only source of truth for the people.

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