Journalism prize winners in Mexico demand protection from violence for their colleagues

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  • September 23, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

“Never let fear become an editor,” said Peruvian Gustavo Gorriti at the award ceremony for the Cemex+FNPI New Journalism Prize in Monterrey, Mexico. The reporter, honored for his outstanding track record of investigative coverage, asked his fellow journalists to not let “intimidation undermine your work,” La Jornada and Milenio report.

Drug trafficking violence has made Mexico one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism. According to a Committee to Protect Journalists report, threats and killings have led to self-censorship by media outlets and reporters. The recent death of one of El Diario de Juárez’s photojournalists led them to ask for a truce with traffickers, prompting harsh criticism from federal authorities.

Gorriti recognizes the challenges for reporters and media workers facing violence from organized crime, but also emphasized that journalists must take risks to bring information to society and avoid contributing to the culture of silence, EFE and El Universal explain.

During the ceremony in Monterrey, awards were also given for best text, to Argentinean Leila Guerriero, and photography, to Mexican Alejandro Cossío. The photojournalist, honored for his shots of the daily violence in Mexico, was quoted by Milenio warning that though people don’t want to live in fear, “the worst thing is that we haven’t yet reached the bottom.”

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.