Danger in Mexico at EIJ14

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Session explores complex issues

By Amy Tardif, RTDNA Chair-Elect

I just finished reading “Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey through a Country’s Descent into Darkness” by Alfredo Corchado. He’s the Mexico City bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News. Though he was born in Mexico, his parents brought him “kicking and screaming” as a child to the U.S. He said he was always tied to his home country and he wanted to report on immigration and education there but ended up reporting on crime and drugs for which he has repeatedly received death threats from the cartels. His book tells not only his story, but his family’s story and that of Mexico’s history.

The book also includes his relationship with Angela Kocherga. She is an award-winning for Gannett Broadcasting based in El Paso, Texas. She spent more than 20 years with Belo Broadcasting. She has covered Mexico her entire career, beginning as a reporter for public radio and local television in El Paso/Juárez. She reports extensively on the drug war in Mexico and its impact on families on both sides of the border. Most recently she has covered the mass migration of Central American children to the Texas border.

Both Corchado and Kocherga, along with Sara Rafsky from the Committee to Protect Journalists, will present a session at EIJ14 about the scary state of press freedom in other countries. The violence directed against journalists in Mexico has already forced several news organizations to censor themselves, which restricts the amount of information about the cartels that gets reported.

Here are two interviews with Alfredo Corchado:
Drugs, Chaos And Violence Darken Mexico's 'Midnight' – NPR’s Fresh Air
Ignoring Threats, An American Reports On His Native Mexico – NPR’s Tell Me More

The panel takes place at EIJ14 on Friday September 5 - 12:30-1:30pm. The Excellence in Journalism website has the

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