Citizen journalism website recognizes "heroes" of Ciudad Juárez in Mexico

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  • December 21, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

Ciudad Juárez has been characterized as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. However, this border city also is home to more than 1 million people who are witnesses to positive actions and extraordinary acts that deserve to be told and recognized, according to a project started by the Center for Future Civic Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States.

The project has launched Stories if Heroes on the Northern Border, a website that publishes tales of heroic acts and highlights positive actions of city residents. Stories include everything from the return of a lost cell phone to helping in a violent situation. The non-profit initiative follows the model of a similar project started in New York after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Brenda Guerra, local representative of the project, told the newspaper Norte Digital that the campaign is about injecting positive energy into the community. “It's so that people see in Juárez there are more that just bad things,” Guerra told El Diario de Juárez.

In one month the website has logged more than 500 such tales, some of which also are published in the local newspaper Hoy. A map pinpoints where in the city the "heroic" actions are occurring. As of Friday, Dec. 17, anyone can enter the site and contribute their own experiences, explained Vivir México.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.