The contrast of the pessimism and obsessiveness of media coverage of drug trafficking in Mexico with the relative ignorance of the same in the US is striking. Especially with regard to American media--the Mexican outlets often seem to do a better job scanning the news wires for drug arrests in the States, which makes the bilateral balance a little more even. The greater attention to Mexico is justified in part by the fact that drug traffickers are more threatening there, but much of it just seems to be the fickleness of media narratives. Case in point: earlier this week, the DEA indicted 11 people in Arizona for trafficking heroin and meth in from Mexico. Not the biggest operation in the world, but enough to land on the homepage of Excélsior for a spell, which is probably about the level of attention it would have received had the arrests taken place in Mexico. In the US, however, the only coverage I saw was a four-sentence story in Nogales International and a longer piece in the White Mountain Independent.
I'd also be interested to see a comparison of drug trafficking stories regarding both the US and Mexico in the big American papers that have bureaus in Mexico City. Obviously the ratio of drug trafficking stories to the total number of pieces about each respective country would be greater for Mexico (the ratio would be close to one a lot of months), but I also wonder what the absolute number of words dedicated to Mexican drug traffic and organized crime in the NY Times would be compared to the attention to the same topic in the US.