Social Justice Calendar
Community Forum: Is Journalism Worth Dying For?
Sponsored by Community Forum, Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Friday, October 25, 2013
3327 Old Conejo Road, Newbury Park, CA
“The Price of a Free Press: Is Journalism Worth Dying for?” is the topic of a Community Forum to be presented Friday, Oct. 25 at the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Newbury Park. The 7:30 p.m. forum will begin with a screening of the documentary film “Reportero,” which shows the extreme dangers that journalists face when they write about Mexico’s powerful illicit drug cartels. The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion of the question: Is journalism worth dying for? The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported that more than 50 journalists were murdered or disappeared during Felipe Calderon’s tenure as president of Mexico as his regime waged an offensive against drug cartels. “Reportero,” by filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz, follows journalist Sergio Haro and his colleagues at the Tijuana-based newspaper Zeta, an independent newsweekly that boldly wrote about Mexico’s murderous drug rings and the officials who secretly worked for them. Zeta’s founders located the newsweekly in California to give it some measure of security as it reported on corruption across the border. Nevertheless, one of its two founders, columnist Hector Felix Miranda, was murdered in 1988, and an attempt was made on the life of co-founder Jesus Blancornelas in 1997. Haro went on to found another independent newspaper, Siete Dias. That paper’s co-founder, reporter Benjamin Flores, was murdered days after his 29th birthday. Filmmaker Ruiz said on the Public Broadcasting Service website that his film is part meditation on a job that is difficult and often deadly. “What goes through a reporter’s mind,” he asked, “when he or she is about to break a story that is, as Sergio says in the film, ‘like a grenade before you remove the pin’? Why persist when the risks are many, the benefits are few?” “Reportero,” in Spanish with English subtitles, is presented in association with the American Documentary Film Network. The forum is open to the public and journalists especially are invited to participate. There is no admission charge; donations will be accepted. The Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is located at 3327 Old Conejo Road in Newbury Park. For information, visit forum.cvuuf.org or call (805) 358-5844.
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