By: Zach Dyer | Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
The Houston Chronicle unceremoniously closed its Mexico City bureau and fired veteran foreign correspondent and bureau chief Dudley Althaus on Friday, Oct. 19, reported McClatchy Newspapers’ Tim Johnson on the blog Mexico Unmasked on Sunday, Oct. 21. Althaus had been in Mexico City for 23 years.
Please allow me to correct a misperception about the October 19 closing of the Houston Chronicle’s Mexico City bureau. While the closing was indeed explained to me as a cost cutting measure, I was assure that it was not directed at me personally. I was offered jobs back in the Houston newsroom, but have opted to remain in Mexico. While unsettling for many, the closing of the Chronicle’s bureau is hardly unique. By my count more than a dozen U.S. newspapers and magazines have shuttered their operations in Mexico City in the past decade. The financial woes of the U.S. media has forced still more bureaus to be closed worldwide. While this does seem the end of an era, as my friend Marc Lacey and other have commented, it’s not the end of foreign news coverage. Those of us committed to that coverage are just going to have to figure new ways to make it possible.
Correction from Chronicle’s former Mexico City bureau chief