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Showing posts with label Katherine Corcoran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Katherine Corcoran. Show all posts

Sunday, January 23, 2022

More On Margarito, Mexican Journalists Et Al From Katherine Corcoran & The Washington Post

A must read:

  ~ From The Washington Post  - 01/23/22

 

 Opinion: As Long As Journalists Are Killed With Impunity, Free Societies Everywhere Will Suffer

 

 

A view shows candles lit and a picture of Mexican photojournalist Margarito Martinez, 49, in Tijuana, Mexico, on Jan. 21. (REUTERS/Jorge Duenes)




Katherine Corcoran worked in Mexico for the Associated Press for nine years and is writing a book on the killings of journalists there.

"One time in my long journalism career, I proposed doing an in-depth story on a reporter who had been murdered in Mexico. The editor rejected the pitch, saying, “No one cares about what happens to journalists except other journalists.”

Journalists have been drilled with the notion that they should never become the story. As a result, we are the worst at handling situations where we do, much like the adage that doctors make the worst patients.

Thus, the current impotence in the face of an epidemic of journalist killings in Mexico, the most dangerous country for reporters or photographers for some time now. Nine journalists were killed in 2021, putting Mexico at the top of the list of all countries, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Not three weeks into 2022, two more have been killed: Margarito Martínez Esquivel, a photographer in Tijuana, was shot dead outside his home, and José Luis Gamboa was fatally stabbed in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz.

Both places are among the worst for Mexican journalists. I worked for many years as a journalist in Mexico, and the number of killings to me is as staggering as the lack of response on the part of the Mexican government and the rest of the world. The rate of journalist killings in 2021 was higher than in any country at war, and Mexico is a democracy, not at war, with free speech guaranteed in its constitution.

Our response as a profession to these killings reminds me of how we treat school shootings in the United States. Lots of sadness, outrage, demands and then … nothing.

The trend continues unabated.

We can’t look to authorities for protect journalists. In Mexico they are often the perpetrators. And the country continues to have one of the highest impunity rates in the world when it comes to solving crimes in general. (No. 60 of 69 countries evaluated in the 2020 Global Impunity Index by the Universidad de las Américas Puebla.) Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says there’s no impunity. Beyond that, he says critics are using the journalist killings to sully his administration. He seems incapable of viewing the epidemic outside of the context of his own political standing.

And we can’t rely on ourselves, the journalists. As much as we want to speak out, we feel uncomfortable if we don’t remain neutral to the news.

But the persistent notion that no one cares about what happens to journalists — outside of other journalists — is precisely our problem. The treatment of the free and independent press cannot be protected if the citizens of a country don’t care. The only way there will be accountability for such attacks is if the public demands it.

 Yet, in the task of explaining what the independent press does to maintain a free society, we are our worst advocates.

We fail to explain to our readers and audiences why they should care what happens to a journalist, when the answer is quite simple: When someone kills a journalist or tries to silence an independent critical voice, the journalist is not the ultimate target.

You are.

Anyone who wants to silence a journalist in Mexico or anywhere in the world, including increasingly now in the United States, is trying to control what you know and what you see, with the ultimate goal of controlling you.

The editor Robert C. Maynard used to say that as journalists, we don’t tell people what to think, we tell them what to think about. The people who work to shut us down want to tell you what to think.

People depend on us. They just may not know why. If it weren’t for us, you would not know that the richest Americans pay the smallest share of taxes, that the products you buy are made by children or slave labor, that our food supply is ripe for contamination, among many themes that have led to public demands for change. These are things that people running the systems would rather you didn’t know.

In Mexico, the truth is particularly dangerous, especially if your reporting connects public officials with organized crime, or if you unearth anything that steps on someone’s illicit empire. But if it weren’t for the courageous journalists of the Mexican independent press, who literally risk their lives, you wouldn’t know that officials created a massive scheme (known as the Master Scam) to funnel public money to political campaigns and their own pockets, that Mexicans are drinking well water with dangerous levels of arsenic and fluoride, or that a prosecutor that investigated Veracruz’s disappearances allegedly extorted the victims’ families.

People need to know why it’s important to them that we be able to do our jobs. It’s our only hope at this point for ending the slaughter."

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 click "c/c" on the bottom for Spanish translation.....


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