By MELISSA MALLIN
Reporting can be a dangerous job.
Ask any reporter who has reported from Mexico recently and they will tell you the same thing.
Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for reporters. Last year, there were at least 172 confirmed attacks on the media in Mexico. Press Freedom Group Article 19 claims that public officials are responsible for more than half of the attacks. Most, if not all of the attacks, have involved journalists reporting on the Mexican drug cartel.
These attacks have involved death threats to journalists, kidnappings, and even deaths.
Even though Mexico has recently passed a law making it a federal crime to attack reporters, violence often goes unpunished and murders are often not investigated. Now, there are very few crime reporters in Mexico and those who do choose to report crimes are forced to use pseudonyms or use social media.
This is a prime example of how corrupt government can create a chilling effect for reporters. Nobody wants to report from Mexico because nobody wants to get killed for doing their job. Many reporters who received death threats didn’t take them seriously and then wound up dead. When almost every reporter shows up dead or goes missing, That’s enough to send the rest of the reporters out of the country.
As much as I would like to report on the Mexican drug cartels and be the one to uncover the truth, I don’t think I would be willing to lose my life over it. That goes back to how much a reporter is willing to sacrifice in order to tell a story. Clearly, when choosing to cover a story that ultimately results in death, you become a lot less likely to cover that story.