Tag Archives: San Diego Union-Tribune

Border journalism in the new media age

The San Diego Union-Tribune, which is reportedly being considered for sale, is going through another round of voluntary staff reductions. Exempt from this option is Sandra Dibble, a veteran journalist who arguably knows the Baja California border better than any other U.S. reporter.

Sandra is all that’s left of the paper’s long-standing Mexico staff (reporter Leslie Berestein covers immigration out of San Diego, and Omar Millan writes primarily for the paper’s Spanish-language Enlace). Sandra and I used to work together at the paper’s Tijuana office. In December, I took a voluntary buyout and so did border business reporter Diane Lindquist. The company’s long-time Mexico City correspondent, S. Lynne Walker, also opted out.

Since then, I’ve started this blog and graduate school. Diane created a border business web site. And S. Lynne Walker is vice president of the UCSD-based Institute of the Americas. The media landscape is changing drastically as the Internet creates new ways of sharing information and disrupts traditional advertising models. The paper’s decision to protect the lone-standing border reporter is both a hopeful and sad testimony to journalism’s struggle to survive.

I recently wrote a paper on the past and future of border journalism, “Border Journalism in the New Media Age,” that was published by the University of San Diego-based  Trans-Border Institute. For an interesting graphic on journalism layoffs and buyouts go here.

Map image from Wikimedia Commons classified as being in the public domain.

Cross-border arrests of U.S. and Mexican officers

Location within MexicoImage via Wikipedia

U.S. and Mexican officials publicly define cross-border relations in positive terms such as “cooperation” and “strides.” I get the impression that things have improved, but behind the scenes Mexico still gets flak for not doing enough to stop drug trafficking while the United States is criticized for not doing enough to stop the southbound flow of guns.

Things get even touchier when officials are allegedly involved in the activities. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that last week U.S. authorities in the Los Angeles area arrested a Mexican federal investigator, Carlos Alberto Cedano Filippini, and several other people on drug related charges. Cedano oversaw the Mexicali (Baja California) office of a Mexican federal investigations unit (AFI) that’s often compared to the FBI.

Interestingly, several days later, two Monterey County police officers were detained in Tijuana by Mexican authorities after allegedly bringing guns and ammunition across the border, according to the Monterey County Herald.

The Los Angeles Times also ran a story of Cedano’s arrest here.

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