ASNE and IAPA to host Summit on Violence Against Journalists Along Mexican Border
Editors from both Mexico and the U.S. will participate in the summit, which will be held Dec. 5-6 in El Paso, along with press freedom monitors, government officials, front-line journalists and academics from both sides of the border. The goal is to look for solutions to what has become one of the most deadly and vexing journalism issues in the hemisphere. At least 24 journalists have been killed in Mexico over the past four years, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, and as a result many media organizations have altered or eliminated their coverage of the drug war and its ensuing violence.
RESTON, Va. — The American Society of News Editors announces today a two-day summit of Mexican and U.S. editors, press freedom monitors and government officials, to be held next month in the border city of El Paso, Texas. The summit will focus on the startling violence unfolding against journalists in the region, and will look for solutions to what has become one of the most deadly and vexing journalism issues in the hemisphere.
The meeting will take place at the University of Texas-El Paso on Dec. 5-6, and will be organized in conjunction with the Inter American Press Association.
The goal of the program, which will be presented in English and Spanish, is to draw on resources, ideas and leadership in both Mexico and the U.S., to begin to identify a response to the violence that has taken the lives of at least 11 journalists in Mexico this year.
Alejandro Junco de la Vega, chairman and chief executive officer of Mexico's Grupo Reforma, will be the keynote speaker, and Gustavo Salas Chávez, the special prosecutor for crimes against journalists in Mexico, also has been invited.
The forum also will include a presentation by representatives of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which in September published a lengthy report, “Silence or Death in Mexico's Press,” and a live video conference with Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, who returned recently from a special mission to Mexico.
In addition to the editors, participants will include front-line journalists and academics from both sides of the border.
At least 24 journalists have been killed in Mexico over the past four years, according to the CPJ, a U.S.-based media watchdog group. As a result, many media organizations have altered or eliminated their coverage of the drug war and its ensuing violence.
Other summit sponsors include UTEP, the Associated Press and the El Paso (Texas) Times. The program has been developed by the co-chairs of the ASNE International Committee, Alfredo Carbajal, managing editor of the Spanish-language daily Al Día in Dallas, and Anders Gyllenhaal, McClatchy vice president for news. They worked with Robert Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, an ASNE member who also is chairman of IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.
ASNE is a membership organization for leaders of multimedia news organizations and deans and endowed chairs at accredited journalism schools. ASNE focuses primarily on open government and the First Amendment, journalism education, leadership and diversity.
IAPA (Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa, in Spanish) is a nonprofit organization devoted to defending freedom of expression in the Americas.