Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Mexico: Defend Free Expression

Knight International helped launch a foundation to protect journalists and promote freedom of the press in a country where reporters are increasingly in danger. Knight Fellow Benjamín Fernández educated journalists on how to take advantage of freedom of information laws and counseled them on their own legal rights. Fernandez also created a group of media lawyers willing to defend journalists under threat.

Knight Fellow Benjamín Fernández discusses a declaration on freedom of expression that will be unveiled on August 17 in Mexico City. The goal is to create a coalition of citizens, media, government officials and human rights advocates that upholds the right to free expression and access to information.


  • Helped launch the Fundación para la Libertad de Expresión (Foundation for Freedom of Expression).
  • Developed curriculum for universities to train lawyers and journalists on how to access public information.
  • Showed journalists in Puebla, Tlaxcala and Pachuca how to use the access to information law to improve investigative journalism.
  • Organized panel discussions to draw attention to the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' adoption of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the right to freedom of expression.
  • Produced training videos on freedom of expression and access to public information in Mexico, available on the Foundation for Freedom of Expression's Web site and on a DVD. Read more...
  • Led the writing and presentation of a new declaration on freedom of expression.
  • Produced a step-by-step manual on how to access public information in Mexico.
  • Launched a new digital portal hosted by a media lawyer to provide counseling for Mexican journalists.

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