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Tuesday, August 17 2010

Thoughts on Media Self-Censorship

Zippedmouth The LA Times (via Romenesko) takes a frank look at the Mexican media, which self-censors its coverage of the drug cartels.

I'm pointing this out, because if you substitute the words Islamic fundamentalism, Hamas, Gaza, and Palestinian journalists, it would be the same story.

As the drug war scales new heights of savagery, one of the devastating byproducts of the carnage is the drug traffickers' chilling ability to co-opt underpaid and under-protected journalists — who are haunted by the knowledge that they are failing in their journalistic mission of informing society.

"You love journalism, you love the pursuit of truth, you love to perform a civic service and inform your community. But you love your life more," said an editor here in Reynosa, in Tamaulipas state, who, like most journalists interviewed, did not want to be named for fear of antagonizing the cartels.

"We don't like the silence. But it's survival."

I'd love to see a reporter brave enough to shine a light on the Hamas cowing Palestinian journalists in a similar way. Tracy Wilkinson, who wrote this article, is certainly qualified -- a few years ago, she was the LA Times' Jerusalem bureau chief.

I'm still waiting to see photos taken at an anti-Hamas electricity rally. Here are 6 reasons I'm not holding my breath.

Related reading: The News We Kept To Ourselves



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