Monday, October 4, 2010


Last week, El Universal had a front page story titled, Entran al país dos mil armas diarias, or Two thousand guns come into the country every day. The info came from a new USA Today story about how vehicle searches at the Mexican border are not resulting in a great deal of contraband being discovered. The USA Today story, in turn, got the info from a Brookings expert. The odd thing is that, from what I can tell from poking around the Brookings website, the estimate is not the product of a new study or anything, but rather is some years-old stat that they came up with at some point and that newspapers use as supporting details in stories about Mexico, just as we saw in this case. The 2,000 per day stat isn't outside of the normal range of estimates, nor is it new, nor was it a major part of a landmark story. So why was there a front-page story in El Universal, arguably Mexico's most respected, even-handed newspaper, about it? Slow news day, I suppose, but the solution to that is not to recycle old non-news.

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