Mexico Decides to Protect Journalists; Iowa Decides to Criminalize Them

Okay, these are two pretty unrelated stories, except that they both address what journalists who report on tough stuff have to deal with. 

First, some good news:

In Mexico, where journalists who report on crime are regularly threatened, attacked, and killed, the Senate finally approved a constitutional amendment that federalizes criminal attacks on journalists.

Some background:

Over the past three years, Mexico has climbed to number 8 on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2011 “Impunity Index,” which tallies the unsolved murders of journalists around the world.  And that’s to say nothing of those who are murdered after commenting on crime via social media – an alarming trend in recent years.  

(via Citizen Media Law Project)

Thanks to the new amendment, journalists can now turn to federal authorities, who have a better reputation dealing with corruption than local cops, whose hands are often in the pockets of drug cartels.

Now, some bad news:

Iowa just passed HF 589, which is better known as the “Ag Gag” law. It criminalizes investigative journalists who take jobs at factory farms seeking to document food safety and animal welfare abuses. 

The law [makes] it a crime to give a false statement on an “agricultural production” job application. This lets factory farms and slaughterhouses screen out potential whistleblowers simply by asking on job applications, “Are you affiliated with a news organization, labor union, or animal protection group?”

Why does this matter?

In recent years, these undercover videos have spurred changes in our food system by showing consumers the disturbing truth about where most of today’s meat, eggs, and dairy is produced. Undercover investigations have directly led to America’s largest meat recalls, as well as to the closure of several slaughterhouses that had egregiously cruel animal handling practices.

(via The Atlantic)

You win some, you lose some.

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    -.- Amerrrrica
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  15. magical-truthsaying-bastard reblogged this from futurejournalismproject and added:
    With the “Why does this matter?” - I’m surprised that needs to be asked. Anybody who has taken an American history class...
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  18. seldridge reblogged this from futurejournalismproject and added:
    Naturally.
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