New term: Narco-Censorship

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

A number of us have been following the situation in northern Mexico for year.

The threats against Mexican journalists for doing their jobs has made the area around the border one of the most dangerous places in the world, exceeded only by Afghanistan, and the most dangerous place in the Americas.

Journalists have been killed and intimidated by the narco-gangs and some have even asked for asylum in the United States. The result of these threats has been a reduction in reporting about anything related to the drug wars.

The intimidation has now gotten so bad that a new term is out: Narco-Censorship.

The L.A. Times has a very good article looking at this situation: Under threat from Mexican drug cartels, reporters go silent.

As the drug war scales new heights of savagery, one of the devastating byproducts of the carnage is the drug traffickers’ chilling ability to co-opt underpaid and under-protected journalists — who are haunted by the knowledge that they are failing in their journalistic mission of informing society.

“You love journalism, you love the pursuit of truth, you love to perform a civic service and inform your community. But you love your life more,” said an editor here in Reynosa, in Tamaulipas state, who, like most journalists interviewed, did not want to be named for fear of antagonizing the cartels.

“We don’t like the silence. But it’s survival.”

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