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Life on the Line: Tweeting the Drug War

In the last decade, news reporting on the U.S.-Mexico border has been decimated by the closing and downsizing of U.S. media organizations, censorship of Mexican media and the explosion of drug violence on the Mexican side of the border. In response, reporters and citizen journalists on both sides of the border have turned to social media, especially Twitter, to seek out information about events in Mexico and report on them. Many have been killed and threatened for using social media.

Learn how journalists and citizen journalists along the border use social media and other tools to report about violence in Mexico and to find missing persons. The panel will be comprised of seasoned reporters and an expert on Mexico and border issues who will talk about the difficulties and successes of covering the region during an extraordinary time in history.


  1. How is social media used to report on kidnappings and drug-related violence in Mexico?
  2. How have drug violence and government actions affected press freedom in Mexico?
  3. What are the dangers and barriers to reporting in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexico border?
  4. How have citizen journalists organized to overcome these barriers?
  5. How can mainstream journalists in the United States improve reporting in Mexico and along the border?



Melissa Del Bosque, writer/reporter, The Texas Observer

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