NPR’s “On the Media” interviewed an editor from El Diario de Juarez, the newspaper which published an editorial asking drug cartels what it could report without more deaths of its journalists. Two of the newspaper’s journalists have been killed in the past two years; most recently, photographer Luis Carlos Santiago was killed in a mall parking lot while wearing his press ID.
(See iMediaEthics’ earlier post on the editorial and the state of journalism in Mexico here.)
In the interview, the El Diario editor, Gerardo Rodriguez, told “On the Radio” that the editorial was “written in an ironic manner,” given that cartels used to call into TV stations and newsrooms with threats.
But, Rodriguez said the point of the editorial was “to send a message, you know, that we, we recognize that they are the authority in town, because the authorities are nonexistent. The cartels are not just criminal. You know, sometimes they’re politicians. We’re recognizing this fact, which everybody talks about in Mexico but is not published very often.”
Rodriguez called El Diario reporters “very courageous” and noted that “they’re using bulletproof vests now.” The newspaper even bought some of its reporters life insurance.
See the complete transcript of “On the Radio’s” interview with Rodriguez here.