Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cementing Your Reputation as a Serious Newspaper

The undue attention on Angelina's physique notwithstanding, El Universal is still blazing ahead with its journalistic duties. In the past couple of days, it has published a series of reports on the drug trade along both sides of its northern border. The reports aimed to demonstrate the presence of corruption on the American side of the border. And while the agenda was a bit too obvious for my taste, and while they didn't uncover any blockbuster exclusives, the reports did offer a broader look at examples of police corruption in the US than one typically sees in the US. In the words of one of the sheriffs interviewed:
Here all that corruption happens too, it's just that the US is very good at covering up those problems. We've had federal bodies that have arrested [corrupt officers], that have taken them to federal court, but the press doesn't pay much attention, as they do in Mexico.
Another notable feature from the articles was how much school-age kids figure in the binational drug trade. I'm not sure if this is really that different from 15 or 20 years ago, but lots of different cops coincided in their concern over the fact that a dropout can pick up $400 or $500 a week for running drugs between one Texas town and another.

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