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Rosarito Beach, drug war notwithstanding, to be focus of college project

February 9, 2009 |  2:35 pm

Part of Rosarito Beach and its pier pilings are mirrored in the wet sand at low tide.

Here's an interesting assignment for a college student: Portraying Rosarito Beach for what it is, rather than what some have portrayed it to resemble in recent months.

According to some media reports and glaring headlines, tourists are left to believe the northern Baja California tourist town is a once-popular destination overrun by drug lords, rife with violence, and unsafe even for casual tourists.

Interestingly, a public affairs class from Boston's Emerson College is focusing on just such an assignment. Its task: conveying an accurate picture of the northern Baja California tourist city "and dispelling misleading U.S. media reports."

It's part of a "RediscoveRosarito" project led by Emerson College professor Gregory Payne, whose family owns a home in Rosarito Beach. (Hopefully Payne's students can remain objective.)

"One of our major objectives it to ensure that the stories and narratives are
backed with facts and not sensationalized solely to get the attention of the public," Payne said.

Of course, none of those sensational reports appeared on the Outposts blog. I happen to enjoy RB, despite the unfortunate warring between drug gangs away from tourist zones, and my only complaint remains the long wait to cross the border back into the United States.

If RB could develop a faster exit lane for tourists -- a plan the city reportedly is close to finalizing -- it'll foster more needed visitation.

Good luck, college students!

--Pete Thomas

Photo: Part of Rosarito Beach and its pier pilings are mirrored in the wet sand at low tide. Credit: Pete Thomas/Los Angeles Times