We’re all familiar with the official narrative on immigration. On one extreme, our ethically-challenged friends over at Fox News gleefully characterize migrants as invaders, criminals, and welfare oafs; while slightly less insane media outlets tend more toward an ‘innocent, suffering exotic animal’ approach. Sure, anything’s better than Fox’s radical and deeply unjournalistic fearmongering, but there is still something kind of unsettling about reducing migrants to pathos-inducing photographs of weathered, suffering faces, or harrowing tales of danger as they trek stoically toward the promised land.
But in the midst of all this noise, one Mexico-based activist news network has been making an effort to restore human agency to the narrative around migration through grassroots media campaigns, and in their most recent production they have a ball making fun of the mainstream media along the way.
Conceived at the School for Authentic Journalism and produced by Narco News TV, DANGER Journalists Crossing is the latest satirical short from media activist and audiovisual court jester Greg Berger, better known as his alter-ego Gringoyo. Flipping on its head the patronizing narrative of desperate, long-suffering migrants, DANGER follows a group of Central American activists as they open up a school of rehabilitation for journalists in Mexico and travel throughout the country hunting them down like exotic butterflies in order to show them the light.
The result is a hilarious exposé on the standard practices of mainstream media outlets that ends on a note of political empowerment, showing community organizations actively fighting for the rights of Central American migrants in the highest echelons of political power. Ultimately, we see that the real battle is being waged when the big networks turn off their cameras and head back to their air-conditioned trailers, and those fighting it are the same sad faces they peddle on their nightly broadcasts.
Once you’ve checked out the short, be sure to stop by the School of Authentic Journalism’s Kickstarter page. As a tuition-free, multinational school that positions itself at the nexus of journalism and community activism, the School for Authentic Journalism provides an important alternative to the dominant corporate media and its death-grip on the global flow of information, and it’s everyday folks like you and me that keep them up and running.