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Communication Chair Tracey Eaton travels to share about topics close to his heart

May 22, 2019

Communication Department Chair and Assistant Professor Tracey Eaton traveled to Mexico City in April. There, he met with members of the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers to speak on two topics: Investigative journalism and mentoring.

Professor Tracey Eaton, on left looking at the camera which is the crowd, presenting. Two others are seated to his left at the table.

According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, Mexico leads the world as the nation with the highest number of journalist murders – 48 since 1992 to be exact. Reporters Without Borders reports an estimate of nine, in 2018, were possibly related to the journalists’ investigative work.

“Journalism is [a] perilous task in Mexico,” said Eaton. “One reporter told me traffickers have grabbed her off the street, put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. The gun was empty, but the message was clear: Don’t mess with the traffickers or the next time the gun will be loaded.”

Common issues for reporters there include a lack of trust, corruption and organized crime. Sometimes the mistrust even stems from within their own reporter community; reporters have formed alliances with crime leaders, including traffickers.

Eaton was a correspondent in Mexico City for the Dallas Morning News and is familiar with the plight of his fellow journalists. While he lived in the city, he met and befriended Mexican journalist Jorge Luis Sierra, author of the book, “The Enemy Inside: Armed Forces and Counterinsurgency in Mexico.” Sierra is now the director of the Border Center where Eaton made his presentations.

“It was great to see Jorge again after all these years and to meet some of the courageous journalists who risk their lives investigating crime and corruption along the border,” Eaton said.

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