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SPJ Asks Mexican Authorities To Help Curb Violence Against Reporters

The US Society for Professional Journalists has joined a chorus of journalism and human rights groups that are calling on Mexican authorities to fully investigate crimes against reporters. The groups say Mexico is one of the world's most dangerous places for reporters.

Dozens of reporters have been murdered in Mexico during the last nine years. A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists puts the number at 24. The Society for Professional Journalists, or SPJ, says 59 have died on the job. Two more Mexican reporters were killed this month.

Robert Buckman teaches Communications at the University of Louisiana and serves on SPJ's International Journalism Committee. He says the death toll is dangerous for Mexican society.

"With aggressive journalism, it's kind of like when you turn on your kitchen light and cockroaches scurry for cover. The news media are the kitchen light. The more light that can be shown on these criminal organizations, the less effectiveness they have."

Buckman says the SPJ's call to action should have come at least three years ago. That's when a Nuevo Laredo newspaper was firebombed.

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