Saturday, July 14, 2007

LA PRENSA (the press)

My way of life in mexico seems to be so tightly meshed with the media, the press. Being a journalist in mexico is a different ballgame than in australia. In 2006, Mexico had the highest number of press killings after Iraq ... 2nd highest ranked press killer in the world! Since the year 2000, almost 40 journalists or reporters have been killed or 'disappeared'. A lot of this has to do with the problem of drug cartels throughout the country, with journalists getting caught in the cross fire. Severed heads have been hung outside newspaper offices and grenades left in press rooms.

I was really lucky to spend a number of weeks helping out the Mexican rep for the global network, Reporters Without Borders. Every week, or a few times a week, new incidinces of death threats, dead reporters or other suspicious events would come to light.

When Hugo Chavez in Venezuela closed Radio Caracas Television, a very old and established private TV station, about a month ago - it was HUGE in the press here. Features, front pagers etc. There were massive protests from all walks of society in Venezuela.
I was really against what Chavez was doing - the arbitrary nature of him shutting down this TV station was very shocking, and then he started spouting off at other media groups in venezuela, threatening them. Sure, RCTV is a private conglomerate, maybe its like Channel 9 is australia. Chavez hated it as it criticised his government.
But he went too far when he made a low dig at Reporters Without Borders and said that the organisation was supporting 'global economic imperialism', just because RSF had expressed concern over press freedom in venezuela. Keep your pants on Hugo! More and more, he seems like an outdated lost demagogue in my eyes. Seriously, get with it man.

Another funny thing about the press is that I was part of a report done by my friend on the Channel 11 news the other night, about the death penalty. He recorded me saying things about australia's and singapore's stance on the death penalty. The funny thing is that he also took footage for his 'file tape' on my comments on John Howard. I believe I said at some point that Howard was the puppy dog of George Bush. Holy cow, if that airs in the next few months when federico reports on the aussie election.... ASIO wont be happy!

And added to all this, I'm dating a journalist. Bloody hell, call me Lois Lane.


Anonymous said...

This is your mother speaking...and how safe are you kiddo?

Madeleine said...

Dearest mummy,

Not to fear. None of my close press friends write on narcotrafficking issues, and besides it is the provincial areas of the country where it is more dangerous, and not necessarily in the capital.

I suppose I was just trying to make the post interesting!!