Five Journalists murdered in 2022

World’s Press demands action in Mexico

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Journalist
Local figures suspected in fifth murder of journalist in Mexico in 2022. Photo rsf

The World Association of News Publishers (Wan-Ifra) and the World Editors Forum have expressed outrage at the mounting death toll of journalists in Mexico following the February 10th murder in Oaxaca state of Heber López Vázquez. López Vázquez, director of RCP Noticias online, is the fifth journalist to have been murdered in 2022.

In a letter sent to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the organization highlighted Mexico as the most dangerous country in the world in which to be a journalist. 30 journalists have been murdered since his presidency began in December 2018.

A culture of impunity for those who threaten, attack, and murder journalists continues to undermine efforts to combat the violence.

Despite the introduction in 2012 of the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, the escalation of attacks has continued. So far in 2022, five journalists have been murdered across the country.

In addition to the death of Heber López Vázquez, cameraman and editor Roberto Toledo was murdered in Zitácuaro in the state of Michoacán on 31 January. Lourdes Maldonado, a respected local journalist, was murdered outside her home in the border city of Tijuana on 23 January. Photojournalist Margarito Martínez was killed in an armed attack in Tijuana on 17 January, and on 10 January, José Luis Gamboa Arenas was murdered in the port of Veracruz.

“We condemn this outrageous wave of violence and call on President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to take firm, decisive action to end the stain of impunity that is killing our colleagues and decimating the Mexican media landscape,” said Wan-Ifra chief executive officer, Vincent Peyrègne.  “It is simply unacceptable for Mexican journalists to be exposed to this level of violence, threat and intimidation and the state must urgently accept its responsibility to protect lives, stand up for media freedom, and prioritise human rights.

In addition to the tragic loss of life, the ongoing violence has created a deep chilling effect throughout the profession leading journalists and the media outlets they represent to resort to self-censorship as the only effective means of protection.

In the interests of preserving life, such self-imposed silence has profound consequences for democracy. Growing information vacuums are handing narrative control to organised criminals, or corrupt local governments, who regularly undermine the rule of law and neutralise the impact of public interest journalism.

“Mr President, we urge your government to send a strong message in support of journalists and in defence of freedom of expression,” said the letter, signed by Wan-Ifra president Fernando de Yarza, World Editors Forum president Warren Fernandez, and the heads of Wan-Ifra national member associations across Latin America and Spain. “Only through concrete and effective measures that once and for all eradicate the scourge of impunity will this worrying spiral of violence, that has such a detrimental effect on Mexican democracy, end.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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