This paper examines the threats faced by journalists and social media users who report on drug violence in Mexico, and proposes steps to reduce these risks.
The job of Mexican journalists covering drug trafficking and organized crime along the Mexico-U.S. border has been called the most dangerous job in the world. And the danger has spread from journalists for traditional media to bloggers and citizens who post reports on drug cartel violence through social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
In many ways the experience of Mexico today mirrors the experience of journalists in Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s, when much of that country was a war zone and reporters and editors were being killed or driven into exile by drug traffickers, paramilitary squads, and Marxist guerrillas. Yet the response of the governments and media organizations in the two countries could hardly be more different, nor could the results. Many of the successful steps taken in Colombia could be implemented in Mexico in a relatively short time.