Dispatches From Mexico City: Finding The News
My girlfriend has been sick with the flu for the last week. It’s part of the perils of being a teacher. But since I was trying to take care of her for those days, it made getting out difficult. That makes writing a blog about living in Mexico rather difficult.
Fortunately, in addition to spending my days writing and watching Youtube videos about space, I also read a lot of news — especially of the local Mexican variety. Obviously, reading the news is a good way to keep up on what’s going on in your community, but there remains a certain amount of skepticism towards journalism in Mexico
For one, this is a dangerous country in which to be a journalist. Worldwide, the number of journalists killed last year fell according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. However, Mexico bucked that trend — making the country a more dangerous place for journalists than Iraq or Syria.
Officials in Mexico say they are trying to stop the murders. As NPR points out, the government offers a protection program for media workers that includes bodyguards and “panic buttons” to call the police. Journalists who use the program call it ineffective.
A lawyer friend of mine told me that Mexicans learn more about their own country from publications like The New York Times or Al Jazeera than they do from local publications. Indeed, many of the local sources I frequent tend to report on fluffier stories or suffer from a lack of investigative pieces.
Searching for Truth
So, while tending to my sick significant other, I perused both international and local coverage of Mexico. International articles often point to corruption and crime, while local fare tends toward the less violent coverage. There’s just a lot of noise. And in an age where accusations of fake news are thrown around like snowballs on a snow day, it can be difficult to discern the truth — especially given Mexico City’s relative safety compared to the more dangerous areas of this country.
That can take the simple pleasure of reading the news and turn it into a difficult task. I have found a few sources I trust. La Jornada, run by the University, tends to skew left in its coverage but is accurate in its reporting. Al Jazeera provides excellent coverage of Latin America as a whole and within that, you can find decent coverage of Mexico. And Mexico News Daily is an English language aggregator of news from around the country.
I’m convinced that onus of responsibility falls to the reader when it comes to finding the truth. There are enough sources out there to get to the bottom of things, generally, and as long as we’re willing to read a lot we can get there. It’s just a little easier when you’re taking care of a sick girlfriend.
Ty Trumbull, from his base in Mexico City, covers the entrepreneur’s journey and business continuity for ChannelE2E. Each Tuesday or so, he offers views about his adopted hometown — his personal Dispatches from Mexico City. Oh, but sometimes he pops up in his home nation of Canada.