Now that I’m nearing the end of Six Months in Mexico, and Nellie is in less of a touristy mode and more in her investigative journalism mode, this book has become much more interesting to me. I especially like the chapter about the Press in Mexico at that time (mid to late 1880s).
The Mexicans understand thoroughly how the papers are run, and they consequently have not the slightest respect in the world for them. One can travel for miles, or by the day, and never see a man with a newspaper. They possess such a disgust for newspapers that they will not even use one of them as a subterfuge to hide behind in a street car when some woman with a dozen bundles, three children and two baskets is looking for a seat.
One of the newsiest, if not the newsiest, is El Tiempo (the Times), which is squelched about every fortnight, as it is anti-governmental.
Nellie would be out of luck if she decided to work in Mexico as there were no reporters.
Very few have telegraphic communication with the outside world, and none whatever with their own country. They mostly clip and translate items from their exchanges, heading them “Special telegrams,” etc., when in reality they are from eight to ten days old. El Monitor Republicano steals from its exchanges first and the other papers copy from it. Not a single paper has a reporter.