Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Across the Border

Here we have a blog written by professionals. This is a blog sponsored by the Express News and Channel 5 in San Antonio, Texas. The blog is written by a collection of journalists deep into Mexico (Monterrey, Mexico City, etc.) and along the border. It's reporters writing about Mexico for an interested U.S. audience.

Knowing that the blog was written by journalists, I had high hopes as I started reading the posts. I wouldn't say my hopes were dashed, exactly. Let's just say they were readjusted.

I was expecting some good in-depth writing on subjects that matter to people on both sides of the border. Alas, this does not seem to be the content of this particular blog. Instead, the posts seem to be short stories that are either original reporting or translations (and summations) of articles written elsewhere in Spanish. This is not a bad thing... in fact, it's rather a good thing.

One of the writers, Dane Schiller, appears to live in and report on what's happening in Mexico City. Because this is a blog, the stories are less formal than you might read elsewhere. And they are opinion, hearsay, gestalt and zeitgeist type of stories. Things that work on a blog but not in a newspaper. So there is a story about how people are being required or paid to camp out in support of Lopez Obrador. Or what it was like watching the movie about the World Trade disaster inside an auditorium in Mexico City's World Trade Center. Today's story details how the clash in Oaxaca is heating up and talks about some of the political implications of how the government might respond.

What I realized reading this blog is that probably these reporters are paid to write this blog. It has the feeling of work to me. Well, and of course it comes under the umbrella of the company they work for, so they can't be as free to express themselves as if this was a personal blog. Still, some of the information and some of the little slice-of-life articles are interesting. The reporting is timely, if not in depth, and does give me a small but clear window into the important events that people are talking about in Mexico.

So I plan to read it for that: short, timely stories about main events. For more indepth, personal and thoughtful articles about what is going on in Mexico, I will probably look elsewhere.

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