Caught in the Middle: Internal and External Pressures on the Coverage of Organized Crime in Mexico

Elba Díaz-Cerveró, Daniel Barredo-Ibáñez, Rubén Arnoldo González Macías

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


With 33 journalists killed since the beginning of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s presidential term in December 2018, Mexico heads the list of the most violent countries for journalists in Latin America—and that of countries not at war. While journalist organizations demand a meaningful protection apparatus to safeguard their physical safety, official corruption, and criminal impunity continue to escalate the pressures to which media staff are exposed, especially in Mexican states where cartels and criminal groups have the largest footprint. This study aims to precisely identify the pressures, both internal and external, facing journalists who report on organized crime in Mexico. To do this, we drew from the Hierarchy of Influences Model, and interviewed 22 Mexican journalists who work on the organized crime beat in the country’s capital and in the most violent states in the Republic. The results suggest that the most influential forces they face are associated with the organizational level (such as editorial line or institutional censorship), and the extramedia level (e.g., anti-press violence from cartels/authorities, and government advertising contracts).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Caught in the Middle: Internal and External Pressures on the Coverage of Organized Crime in Mexico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this