As news budgets were slashed over past decades, foreign bureaus were the first to go. We were the ones to replace them: an army of freelancers fighting for work week to week and wondering if our editors knew, or even cared, about the risks we ran. COVID-19 has only accelerated that deterioration, said Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the press freedom organization Committee to Protect Journalists. “A lot of freelancers are doubly hit,” he said, “in their pocketbook and in being unable to adequately protect themselves in covering this.” That’s a reality Mexico City-based photojournalist Luis Antonio Rojas has faced since the pandemic hit his country in March. Rojas spent years splitting his time between long-form project work following farmers on the fringes of his city, and shorter assignments for international news organizations photographing everything from child militias to migration. For Rojas, covering the virus as a freelance journalist felt like both a seismic shift and more of the same. Being a journalist in Mexico has always come with risks. More than 140 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, according to Reporters Without Borders data. Others have been detained or disappeared. Most violence ends in impunity. Rojas and other journalists formed their own group, Frontline Freelance Mexico, in which they work as a group to confront the risks of their reporting.