POV: Reportero

(Rochester, New York) – In 1980, Jesús Blancornelas and Héctor Félix Miranda founded the Mexican newsweekly Zeta. They intended it to stand as an independent voice, different from the rest of the nation’s largely government-controlled media. At the time, reporting the truth about the country’s leaders was unprecedented—and risky. To secure the fledgling Tijuana paper’s survival, Blancornelas and Miranda located its printing operation across the border in California. The paper’s uncompromising stand against corruption (which included poking fun at those who practiced it) would bring it 30,000 readers—and anger from the country’s leadership.

Though Blancornelas was aware that they were making enemies, Miranda’s 1988 murder shocked him and the rest of the country. And the dangers Zeta’s staff would face were only beginning. Committed to investigative journalism, the muckraking weekly began reporting on Mexico’s deadly drug cartels and the public officials secretly working for them. The Zeta staff’s brave stance—and that of like-minded journalists throughout Mexico—has since cost dozens of lives, making the neighbor to the south of the United States one of the world’s most dangerous nations for reporters. 

Bernardo Ruiz’s Reportero tells the heroic and troubling story of Zeta by following veteran reporter Sergio Haro and his colleagues. The film premieres as a special broadcast of POV (Point of View) on on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 11 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). The film will stream on POV’s website, www.pbs.org/pov/reportero through Feb. 7, 2013. Now in its 25th season, POV is American television’s longest-running independent documentary series and the winner of a Special Emmy for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, two IDA Awards for Best Continuing Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Corporate Commitment to Diversity Award.

Pictured: Bernardo Ruiz and Claudio Rocha film sunrise in Mexicali, Mexico.
Credit: Courtesy of Patricia Benabe/Quiet Pictures 

 


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WXXI Media Contact:

Kristin Tutino

Creative Services Department

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