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Quinto Elemento’s Alejandra Xanic

Alejandra Xanic, co-founder of the RDLF grantee Quinto Elemento, recently spoke to LatAm Journalism Review about the current challenges of journalists in Mexico.

Alejandra Xanic smiles slightly at the camera. The backdrop is heavily blurred trees and a blue sky.
Photo credit: Under the Volcano

“I believe we journalists in Mexico face a daily smear campaign that is affecting the way people receive us at home,” said Xanic.

Alejandra Xanic co-founded Quinto Elemento, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization that seeks to combat corruption and impunity in Mexico. She was the director for 5 years before she stepped down to instead serve as Editor in Chief and co-coordinator of MásterLAB, Quinto Elemento’s pioneer training program for investigative editors in Mexico.

In her over 30 years as a reporter, Xanic has been no stranger to success. She won Mexico’s National Journalism Award in 1992 for her coverage of gasoline explosions that destroyed over 8 miles of streets in Guadalajara, which had been predicted in advance. In 2013, she received the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting along with David Barstow for their reports on how Wal-Mart used widespread bribery to dominate the market in Mexico, forcing them to publicly announce their future efforts to prevent bribery and corruption. The next year she went on to win the 2014 ICFJ Knight International Journalism Award, and this year she won the 2023 Maria Moors Cabot Prize for outstanding reporting on the Americas.

Xanic talking into a mic and gesturing her open palm forward during a talk for CANAL CUPE.
Photo credit: CANAL CUPE on Youtube

In LatAm Journalism Review’s article published last month, Xanic lists the challenges that journalists face in Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. She states that in the current technological environment, “social media violence should be considered as much of a threat as physical violence … as the former can translate into the latter.”

She goes on to paint a vivid picture of the effect journalism has in Mexico and strategies to protect its future, including the work she’s doing with MásterLAB.

Read more about Alejandra Xanic and Quinto Elemento:

The RDLF is proud to support Quinto Elemento. In addition to their quality investigative journalism, their collaborative approach demonstrates that journalists can accomplish more when they work together.

A graphic with a blue backdrop, two silhouettes of people drawing yellow and red stars, and the Quinto Elemento logo.