Pirate Wire Services
Pirate Wire Radio
Podcast: How can media report violence well?

Podcast: How can media report violence well?

Journalists bear a responsibility to visibilize dark realities without falling prey to sensationalism or irresponsible behavior
A photographer watches police attack protesters in Bogotá, Colombia during a national strike in 2021 (Photo: Joshua Collins)

Buenas tardes!

When we started Pirate Wire Services, we were always hoping to turn it into a podcast one day. So instead of the usual Friday newsletter, this week we’ve recorded a podcast episode.

The war in Ukraine has underscored the powerful impact of reporting on violence for both everyday folk who consume news and the journalists who produce it. It’s a really thorny topic that’s often fraught with arguments about ethics, sensationalism, and the difference between staying informed and voyeurism.

The Pirate Wire Services team aren’t war correspondents, but as journalists covering Latin America, reporting on violence, disaster and poverty is, unfortunately, a regular part of our work. So this week, Amy and Josh sat down to discuss what it means to report on violence responsibly. We also asked Mexico-based author and journalist Dawn Marie Paley for her thoughts, based on over a decade of experience covering the drug war.

This podcast is a new project for us, so do let us know your thoughts in the comments or on social media! We’re @pirate_wire on Twitter.

Stories we’re following:

  • Argentina’s congress has approved a deal renegotiating a $45 billion debt deal with the IMF. On Monday, protesters burned tyres and threw stones at the Congress building, breaking the windows of vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s office. A heavy-handed police response, including raids on the homes of the accused, has sparked fears that this IMF deal, like so many before it, will be characterized by the criminalization of protest.

What we’re watching:

  • Residente’s new music video, on social struggle in Latin America, is a work of art

  • This photo essay on women jailed for drug offenses in Argentina is brilliant

Spanish words of the week:

  • atalaya (f) - watchtower. Equipped with this word, you will know that the person offering you a magazine is a Jehovah’s witness. So if you thought it rang a bell, that might be why

  • chapuza (f) - a botch job, so you know what to say if you listen to our podcast and you hate it

We’re still working out a regular structure for the podcast, but stay tuned and we’ll be back in either spoken or written form next week!

Pirate Wire Services
Pirate Wire Radio
Original journalism on Latin America, from discussion on current events to deeply human narratives, to crime and drugs