The Challenges of Making Reportero
Bernardo Ruiz is the director of Reportero, a documentary film about the violence faced by Mexican journalists. In it he tells the story of an independent newsweekly called Zeta that’s committed to reporting on corruption and drug cartels despite the danger its reporters face.
Here, Bernardo talks about the balance between telling the history of Mexico politics along with the current story of drug — and overall organized crime — violence against journalists.
He also talks about what it’s like to try to make a documentary about journalists who know every trick in the book about getting sources to tell you stories.
The film itself follows the staff of Zeta through its history and over the last few years in Mexico, building a nuanced, shocking portrait of what life for Mexican journalists is like. Ruiz takes us through process of reporting each narco story, the steps taken to armor cars, security measures taken against threats faced by reporters, and the murders of colleagues. The film is filled with photographs from Zeta’s early days to present day murders and attacks.
Mexico Coverage: For FJP Tumblr coverage of Mexico see here and follow FJP Latin America. For more detailed background on the drug war, see The Guardian’s coverage of drug violence in Mexico, which includes some interactives.