Independent media outlets in Mexico are cooperating around misinformation about health and violence against women using the campaign #TómateloEnSerioMX (“Take it seriously, Mexico”). Journalist Laura Flanders recently had a panel of some of the collaborators on her show to talk about this initiative and explain how it’s not only about informing the public, but also about strengthening the country’s media sector, particularly at a time when journalists are under attack and constant threat.
“We absolutely believe that by creating communities and networks between media outlets and independent journalists is one of the best ways to confront the current media crisis,” Jordy Meléndez Yúdico, Director of an NGO called Factual, told Flanders. “In Mexico, there’s an economic crisis in the media as well as a security crisis… so the idea of creating unity between independent media, is a way of dealing with crisis.”
Reports continue to cite Mexico as one of the world’s deadliest place for journalists.
Beside the call for unity to protect journalists, the campaign is also taking on the issue of domestic violence. In some Latin American countries, there has been a spike in incidents of domestic violence as coronavirus lockdowns become more and more common.
“For us, the topic of violence against women is central to what we do. And faced with the COVID-19 emergency, we saw that the government waited a long time before talking about violence against women, even though we knew that in the current situation, many women were going to be in lockdown with their abusers,” María José Evia, editor of the online platform Malvestida, said. “It was very important for us to use #TómateloenSerioMX to express this message not only to our audience of young women but to many other audiences that we don’t normally have so much access to.”