Charles Bowden, award-winning journalist and author of Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields, visits California State University Northridge on November 10, 2011 along with co-author Molly Molloy, to discuss their new book about the devastation wrought by the ongoing drug war in Mexico. Bowden shares his views on a variety of pressing social and political issues, as shown in a series of video excerpts from his talk.
In the first video, Bowden describes what he thinks is required to end the War on Drugs, and its many perverse consequences.
Below, Charles Bowden speaks about the crumbling of California’s education system, and the shift in priorities required to begin rebuilding before it’s too late.
In the following video, Bowden fields questions about his writing style, his creative process, and what he hopes his book might accomplish.
In the video below, Charles Bowden tells why he dedicated his book to Armando Rodriguez, a Mexican journalist he never met, who was killed by drug cartels in Juárez, Mexico.
Bowden irises out from there to discuss the role of the journalist in society, the challenge of reporting from a city as violent as Juárez, and his contempt for the mainstream US press.
He also uses examples from his career to describe how to maintain integrity when working within the corporate system. For him the job isn’t about picking sides; it’s about bearing witness to epic struggles.
In the final video excerpt, Charles Bowden offers his analysis of the intersection of numerous social factors – rising corporate power, the importance of government as a check against it, the decline of labor unions, the impacts of illegal immigration, the catalyzing effect of Occupy Wall Street, and the media’s abdication of its responsibility to the people.
“There are no labor reporters anymore,” he says of the press. “Everybody works, but nobody covers it. Did you ever ask yourself about that?”