How does violence affect reporting practices along the U.S.-Mexico border? Two faculty members in the University of Arizona School of Journalism are using an SBSRI award to find out.
Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante and Jeannine Relly’s project, entitled "Silencing Mexico: A Study of Influences on Mexican and U.S. Journalists Reporting Along the Northern Border,” is studying the effects of systematic drug war violence on journalism practices in the northern border states of Mexico, where scores of journalists have been killed since President Felipe Calderon launched the government’s fight against Mexican drug cartels in 2006.
Relly, who has ten years of experience studying journalism in Mexico, notes that journalism cultures vary, the behaviors across them in response to societal influences tend to be similar. Study of factors affecting journalistic output in Mexico may have implications for the field of Journalism on a much larger scale.
Gonzalez de Bustamante approaches this research with fifteen years of experience reporting on the U.S.-Mexico border, and notes that the worsening of the violence and its likely effects on journalism practices is what prompted this project’s focus. “Press in Mexico has had its limitations since Mexico was a country. But this level is unprecedented. No one else was looking at it.”
Relly and Gonzalez de Bustamante have been awarded an SBSRI Faculty Small Grant, which will be used to help complete their project’s first phase, involving qualitative interviews, transcription, and analysis. To learn more about SBSRI faculty grants, visit our SBSRI Funding page.