FREELANCERS and “fixers”


WASHINGTON, DC, Day 15 of 40 — Milton Martinez Estrada (R) is a quintessential journalism “fixer” based in the Mexican border city of Nogales. A correspondent for the Mexican magazine Proceso, he also provides logistical support, arranges interviews and advises visiting journalists on where they can safely work – and where they cannot. Milton’s services can be crucial to any journalist’s successful work in Nogales.

We worked with Milton during our March 2017 trip to Nogales to shoot the documentary, FREELANCERS. In this image, he discusses a visit to the border with Ioan Grillo, a freelance foreign correspondent who routinely works for The New York Times and Time magazine. To see some of Ioan’s work, go to

For a very compelling read on “fixers” and their relationship with freelancers like Ioan and I, take a look at this piece by Peter W. Klein and Shayna Plaut in NiemanReports, at

Men and women like Milton very often are an essential component of the news and information-gathering process. They often have knowledge of the region and the people on the ground that visiting correspondents simply don’t have.

The FREELANCERS team now is on the 15th day of our 40-day campaign to garner support for this documentary series. Please check out our Indiegogo page and consider supporting our effort in any manner that you can. Click HERE for more information.

Thank you.

(Photo by Bill Gentile)