May 15 may have been just another day for us here in the U.S., but for journalist Javier Valdez in Mexico, it was his last. Across the Internet, journalists mourned the loss of a generous and admired journalist, who spent years reporting on the impact of drug cartels in Mexico. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that Valdez told them he felt he was in danger just a few weeks before his murder.
The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School wrote about specific journalists missing or killed before and after the loss of Valdez. They put out an SOS for help to the international community. According to their report, more than 99% of cases of journalists murdered in Mexico go without punishment.
Join SPJ, share links and comments
On June 15, today, the Society of Professional Journalists is ringing the bells, posting announcements and encouraging social sharing of support for journalists in danger.
SPJ chose the following hashtags for social media: #ourvoiceisourstrength and/or #nuestravozesnuestrafuerza
Needed: Journalist Safe House in Mexico
Today, we communicated with Patrick Timmons, a bilingual human rights investigator, translator, journalist, historian and college professor based in El Paso, Texas. He has deep connections throughout Mexico with journalists and diplomats. Timmons campaigns to raise funds for research, visiting and asking journalists in Mexico what they need, and if they need a safe house.
Needed: Help spreading the word
Timmons hopes his campaign goes viral. He said, “I’m close to the fundraising goal, but need as much help as I can get spreading the word.” We hope for the safety of all journalists everywhere. Take a moment, not even five minutes. Take just a moment, visit the page and click to share it on Facebook or Twitter.
Visit the campaign page and watch the four-minute video. Support Timmons as he prepares to research how to best meet the safety needs of our journalist colleagues not so far south in Mexico.