Alt-Weeklies Investigate the Murder of Indy Journalist Brad Will

AAN Papers Ask Why Will's Murderers Have Not Been Brought To Justice


Roxanne M. Cooper
Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
Office: 202-289-8484
iPhone: 202-538-0274
Email: rcooper (at)

WASHINGTON, DC — August 8, 2007 — Twenty-four alternative newsweeklies in the U.S. and Canada will publish a story this week investigating the murder of independent video journalist Brad Will and the apparent cover-up by Mexican authorities. The story was reported by John Ross, a veteran journalist and author of eight books examining Mexican politics, and was commissioned by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. It will appear both online and in print editions this week.

Shot and killed during his coverage of the October 2006 teachers’ strike and rebellion in Oaxaca, Brad Will was an independent American documentary filmmaker and journalist who worked frequently with New York’s IndyMedia. The video that Will was shooting when he was gunned down is widely available on the internet.

While those who fired shots at Will are easily identified in the footage he took of his own death, as well as in contemporaneous photographs of the scene, they have not been brought to justice. Ross’s story identifies the likely perpetrators as Mexican law enforcement officials associated with the Party of the Institutional Revolution, or PRI. Ross also reports that two of the men were taken into custody soon after Will’s death, only to be released a few weeks later due to “insufficient evidence.” Oaxaca state prosecutor Lizbeth Cana Cadeza blamed Will’s death on his companions involved in the street protests, but nine months after making that wholly unsupported claim she has yet to file charges.

“Who Killed Brad Will?” marks the sixth editorial project commissioned by the trade association. Other notable AAN collaborative efforts include Jason Vest’s “Fables of the Reconstruction” — an analysis of a Coalition Provisional Authority official’s early detailing of the U.S. Government’s errors in Iraq; Jon Elliston’s prescient “Disaster in the Making: Homeland Security’s Impact on FEMA,” which foretold the problems at FEMA a year before Hurricane Katrina and Dan Frosch’s “Soldier’s Heart,” which predicted the explosion of mental-health issues emanating from the Iraq War, and highlighted the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inability to properly treat Iraq War veterans with serious psychological problems.

A list of alt-weeklies running the Brad Will story, along with the street date of the story’s publication, follows below.

Athens News – Aug. 9
Austin Chronicle – Aug. 10
Boise Weekly – Aug. 8
Chattanooga Pulse – Aug. 8
Creative Loafing-Tampa (next week at earliest)
Creative Loafing-Sarasota (next week at earliest)
Folio Weekly (next week at earliest)
FW Weekly – Aug. 8
Gambit Weekly – Aug. 7
Illinois Times – Aug. 9
Metroland – Aug. 9
Metro Santa Cruz – Aug. 8
Metro Spirit (web only) – Aug. 8
Monterey County Weekly – Aug. 9
North Coast Journal – Aug. 8
NOW – Aug. 8
Omaha Reader – Aug. 9
Pasadena Weekly – Aug. 9
Random Lengths News – Aug. 9
San Antonio Current – Aug. 8
San Diego CityBeat – Aug. 8
San Francisco Bay Guardian – Aug. 8
Santa Fe Reporter – Aug. 8
Tucson Weekly – Aug. 8
Urban Tulsa Weekly – Aug. 8
Vue Weekly – Aug. 8
Washington City Paper – Aug. 9
Weekly Alibi (web only) – Aug. 8


As daily newspaper readership continues to deteriorate, as radio and television audiences become progressively more fragmented, as competition for the 18- to 39-year-old demographic soars in an already cluttered marketplace, alternative newsweeklies continue to engage young, active, educated and influential readers.

Since its founding in 1978, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies has grown to include 130 free-circulation weekly newspapers throughout North America. More than 25 million print and online readers in markets as diverse as Memphis and Montreal, Pittsburgh and Pasadena, Chicago and Charlotte, rely on their local alternative newspaper for news, political opinion and arts coverage they won’t find anywhere else.

For more information about AAN, go to