Mexico’s Zeta magazine, an example of “suicide journalism”

By Ingrid Bachmann

At a time when journalists are targets of organized crime and violence against reporters goes largely unpunished, declaring an editorial war against corruption and drug trafficking seems suicidal. According to Prodavinci’s Oscar Medina, this is precisely the journey upon which the weekly Tijuana-based news magazine Zeta has embarked.

The current editor, Adela Navarro, took over the position after her predecessor, Francisco Ortiz, was shot to death (the crime remains unsolved). “I love my line of work. Other newspapers along the border have decided to stop investigating drug trafficking. Us, no,” Navarro said.

Many organizations have reported that violence against journalists in Mexico has led to self-censorship – “no article is worth a life,” Article 19’s Darío Ramírez explains – which has severely curtailed free expression.

Zeta’s decision is a risky exception. Despite the threats and dangers, Navarro insists that the weekly will continued to do this service to society: “To the extent that we publish photos and names of the new drug lords, people can identify and denounce them.”

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.