Mexico’s war on media

Whilst driving through the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo, on a Sunday afternoon independent reporter Carlos Domínguez, aged 77, became the latest victim in a string of attacks against journalists.

According to CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists), in 2017 6 journalists with journalistic motive killed, and another 3 unconfirmed.  They reported in their annual findings that:

“…Away from conflict zones, Mexico was the deadliest country…making it the third worst nation for killings worldwide.”  -CPJ

Of at least 95 journalists killed since 1992, CPJ determined journalism as the motive of 43.

The drug war gripping parts of the country has developed “silenced zones” where stories on crime or the Cartels are deliberately left alone or blurry in order to protect staff.

In light of this, authorities and government are unable to offer much help, and corruption is not uncommon either.

Despite this, many media workers continue to report, write, blog regardless of the risk. They know that any piece could be their last, but are determined to stand up to those oppressing both them and others.

They are Mexico’s last defenders of press freedom.

The Paradise papers & collaborative journalism

Whilst, not a breaking news story, I wanted to take a moment to break down the Paradise papers and the impact such a set of documents could have upon collaborative journalism.

To provide some context, the Paradise papers released on the 5th of November investigated a number of (13.4 million) documents regarding the offshore investments of a number of businesses and people. Offshore investments can sometimes be used to reduce taxes and particular countries have come to be known as ‘tax havens’.

The Paradise papers (and predecessor Panama papers) were only made possible through a combined effort and incorporated nearly 400 journalists from around the world.

This extensive number of journalists allowed the large number of documents to be analysed, and each journalist (or group of) to focus on different people/businesses.  It also allowed different collaborations and people to come together that otherwise would not have the opportunity to work together.

Trying to keep things secret and under wraps can be difficult through collaborative journalism as there is such a large number of people working on the project and leaks are a real risk.

The Paradise papers (and earlier Panama papers) successful demonstrated how collaborative journalism can be used to break larger stories that would not be possible otherwise and will hopefully promote further work in the future.

To learn more about the Paradise papers themselves and their development, check out this behind the scenes Vice documentary.