Can new media fill the info gap in Mexico’s drug wars?

From MercatorNet:

Killed in Mexico’s drug wars: Honest reporting

As CPJ reports,

While there are correspondents from national news organizations based in Zacatecas, they can’t report the truth either. They are no safer than the local press, and they work under local rules. Even if correspondents were foolhardy enough to file stories that gave a true picture of what happened at the beginning of the Zetas’ takeover and what is happening today, editors in Mexico City tell CPJ, they won’t publish stories that will put their correspondents’ lives in danger. So the Mexican public as a whole has been kept in the dark about Zacatecas. The state has been taken over by homicidal gangsters, and people who rely on the Mexican national press still don’t know.

In short, even the mainstream media outside of Mexico are out of touch and will stay that way.

New media may help in the long run for a structural reason: They feature no “gatekeeper” role such as held by the veteran journalist quoted above, who felt she had failed. New media are more like ham radio operators in an emergency. There are risks, but there is no sense in which one fails in an official duty if one does not take those risks. More.

Reality check: When media are afraid to report the news, there’s another casualty: Informed decision-making and voting.

See also: But they are not “news giants” any more And, as we struggle to explain, we are constantly tripped up by confusing terminology.

  • Now that is a risky business in Mexico!

  • simus1

    Mexico has always been a place where truth based news is a scarce and dangerous commodity. During the previous long rule by PRI, journalists who found employment upon graduation would begin receiving a monthly “stipend” directly from the government while their work was considered “correct”. If the stipend ever stopped it was a signal that they should find work in a much different field without delay.

  • BillyHW

    What a loser people.

  • Millie_Woods

    ‘When media are afraid to report the news, there’s another casualty: Informed decision-making and voting.’

    Feature or bug? If it wasn’t for new media leaking out the truth, we would all be as ignorant as our handlers wanted us to be. How much longer before they figure out how to plug that hole remains to be seen.

  • So whatever happened to underground newspapers? Probably one of the few things from the ’60’s we should have kept. I ran an underground printing press during the civil wars in C.A. I never got caught. And after the war was over I discovered to my surprise that my dinky little underground press was responsible for disseminating information to every nook and cranny of the dictatorship.

    • Millie_Woods

      Interesting story Ricardo, sounds like you were really in the thick of things. As far as underground papers go today, this is it. Rebel Media and blogs like BCF and GOV etc. are the 21st century equivalent. Thankfully there was people around to pick up the ball when Big News sold out.

      • We have to be thinking ahead — look at the trends. There are pirate radio and TV / Internet stations all over the U.S. You can download plenty of technical info on how to start a pirate station (in addition to this old fart’s experience in underground print media). The time to do that is now, not later after censorship is imposed.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Send MSNBC down there to blame the GOP sing Obama’s praises.