As you laugh—or groan—at this year’s “Bum Steers” issue, you have Rich Malley to thank. Since 2004, he has taken the first stab at writing the headlines. “It’s tough because I know that everyone is going to try to blow me out of the water,” says Malley, a senior copywriter at the Austin ad agency T3. Does he have a favorite item? “I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning,” he jokes. “But I love the dumb criminals, and this year they seemed a little dumber.”
As a longtime El Paso Times reporter and editor, and as the editor of the Newspaper Tree, a news, politics, and culture Web site based in the city, Sito Negron has spent years observing Juárez “Baghdad, Mexico”. “When I was a kid in El Paso,” he recalls, “there were two things you could do: Go out in the desert and build a bonfire, or go to Juárez.” But as the violence in the border city spun out of control last year, Negron and many other El Pasoans quit crossing the bridge. “The only long-term systemic solution is a better Mexico,” he says. “I don’t know what role we can play to make that happen. The only thing that makes rational sense to me is for us to legalize drugs.”
Lucian Read’s first overseas assignment, to Israel in 2002, took an unexpected turn. “I landed in Tel Aviv without a working visa, ended up in a detention cell, and got deported,” says Read, who was born in Austin and is based in New York. So he headed to Europe, where he broke his first big story: the plight of displaced Gypsies in Bosnia. Since then he has made 24 foreign trips and has embedded with U.S. troops. This month his photos document the Marines of Mustang Platoon for “Holding Garmsir”.