Unfortunately, one of the biggest casualties from the bloodshed that besets Mexico is freedom of the press. Drug cartels have targeted traditional media outlets such as TV stations and newspapers for their coverage of the violence. Mexico is now the most dangerous country to be a journalist. However, a blackout of information about the extent of violence has been avoided because of activity on Facebook pages, blogs, Twitter accounts, and YouTube channels.
A Cato Institute event earlier this week highlighted the work of two Mexican researchers on this topic. Andrés Monroy-Hernández from Microsoft Research presented the findings of his paper, “The New War Correspondents: The Rise of Civic Media Curation in Urban Warfare,” which shows how Twitter has replaced traditional media in several Mexican cities as the primary source of information about drug violence. Panelists also included Javier Osorio, a Ph.D. candidate from Notre Dame University and Karla Zabludovsky, a reporter from the New York Times’ Mexico City Bureau.