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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views

The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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Journalism proves to be an increasingly dangerous job

As the years go on, it is evident that journalists are growing less and less in numbers across the world. This can be attributed to several factors, but violence has always been one of the most extreme and impactful factors in the journalism community. Violence has always been a worrying issue, but with the recent increase in violence against journalists particularly in places where freedom of speech is limited, has many people straying away from journalism degrees. In 2022 alone, 57 journalists have been killed, with Mexico being the country with a death count of 11 journalists in 2022. 

On Oct. 6, 2023, Jesús Gutiérrez was shot dead in San Luis Río Colorado, a city near the U.S. border. He was on his way to a police station across the street from his home to talk to a few police officers for a recent news article he had been writing. After arriving, a truck with people carrying automatic weapons opened fire on Gutiérrez and the officers. Gutiérrez was the sixth journalist to be killed in Mexico this year. He, along with one officer was killed, with three others wounded. They identified three suspects as part of an organized crime gang who were eventually arrested. 

It is unclear as to whether or not the killer’s intentions had to do with Gutiérrez’s work, but investigators are currently looking into Gutiérrez’s research, and noted that many of his articles have to do with drug traffickers and police responses to such activities. There were not any recent threats to Gutiérrez’s family or personal life, but it is thought that the killing was linked to the journalist’s relations with the police.

Journalism is ranked the number one most dangerous job in Mexico. The president of Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, assumed office in 2018, and since then, no reforms have been taken to improve the state of living that journalists face in Mexico. In Mexico’s constitution, there is no restriction on press, and there are currently no laws limiting the freedom of press and communication. While this is reassuring to many journalists, threats from cartels and gangs still continue to happen every single day. It is still that there are also no laws that have been implemented to protect journalists from danger, which is evident in the extremely high death rate among journalists. 

While reporting is a dangerous job in Mexico, many journalists have formed ways to secretly communicate with organizations, forming safety networks so that they can have a guaranteed, extra layer of protection while reporting from a dangerous country. 

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