Freelance science journalist Emiliano Rodríguez Mega selects a category for his cross-border science project during the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo by Lynne Friedmann

InquireFirst awards grants for cross-border science project

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – We’re pleased to announce that InquireFirst has awarded our first reporting grants to a team of Latin American science writers to support their work on a cross-border regional health story.

The reporters on the team were selected during our Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, which was held on July 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland during the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2019).

They were chosen by a team of judges who organized and evaluated two-minute lightening rounds of story pitches by 11 groups of Latin American science writers attending the workshop. The judges said the winning proposal was timely, relevant and focused on an underreported health issue in Latin America.

InquireFirst received support for the reporting grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.  The project will be published in Tangible (https://bit.ly/2Owojqu), an online science magazine based in Mexico, as well as the online edition of El Universal, the largest daily newspaper in Mexico. Our projected publication date is October 2019,  so stay tuned for more information https://inquirefirst.org/ .

Reporting will be conducted in South America, Central America and Mexico. The journalists on the team are:

Margaret López, a science and economic reporter based in Venezuela who is the editor of HispanoPost Media Group and a collaborator with SciDev.net.

 

 

 

Valeria Román, a freelance science writer based in Argentina who writes about science, health and the environment for Science, Nature and Scientific American, as well as Infobae.com, SciDev.net and Forbes Argentina.

 

 

Debbie Ponchner, a science journalist with more than 15 years of experience in print and digital media, as well as newsroom management. She is based in her home country of Costa Rica where she leads DP Comunicación Estratégica, a company devoted to improving the communication of science.

 

 

Iván Carrillo, editor of Tangible, will serve as editor of the cross-border health project. He is the anchor of the program Los Observadores on Mexico’s TV Azteca and a writer for National Geographic and Newsweek en Español. He has also worked with Discovery Channel and CNN en Español.

 

 

We were thrilled to once again collaborate with Fundación Ealy Ortiz on the 16th annual Latin American edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop at the WCSJ2019 in Lausanne.

Some 44 journalists from 16 Latin American countries attended our July 1 workshop, which was held before the WCSJ2019 inaugural ceremony.

InquireFirst was proud to sponsor the participation of two Mexican environmental journalists – Sergio Vicke and Pablo Mares – by providing them with full scholarships to attend the Ealy workshop and WCSJ2019.

Fundación Ealy Ortiz sponsored 12 journalists to attend from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay,  Chile and Mexico.

Our day-long workshop featured two interactive sessions on narrative science writing and shaping cross-border science stories – from idea to reality.

We also had a panel discussion on new economic models for online science journalism sites as well as a dynamic exchange on building a regional network of science journalists.

Among our speakers were:

  • Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT (U.S.)
  • Iván Carrillo, editor of Tangible (Mexico)
  • Thiago Medaglia, founder of Ambiental (Brazil)
  • Diego Arguedas Ortiz, founder of Ojo al Clima (Costa Rica)
  • Daniela Hirschfeld, Latin American correspondent with net (Uruguay)
  • Aleida Rueda, freelance science writer (Mexico)
  • Rosalind Reid, executive director of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (U.S.)
  • Carlos Cienfuegos, director of the Faculty of Communication at Universidad Anáhuac (Mexico)
  • Germán Fajardo, M.D., president of the Latin American Association of Faculties and Schools of Medicine (Mexico)

 


 

 

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – We’re pleased to announce that InquireFirst has awarded our first reporting grants to a team of Latin American science writers to support their work on a cross-border regional health story.

The reporters on the team were selected during our Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, which was held on July 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland during the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2019).

They were chosen by a team of judges who organized and evaluated two-minute lightening rounds of story pitches by 11 groups of Latin American science writers attending the workshop. The judges said the winning proposal was timely, relevant and focused on an underreported health issue in Latin America.

InquireFirst received support for the reporting grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.  The project will be published in Tangible (https://bit.ly/2Owojqu), an online science magazine based in Mexico, as well as the online edition of El Universal, the largest daily newspaper in Mexico. Our projected publication date is October 2019,  so stay tuned for more information https://inquirefirst.org/ .

Reporting will be conducted in South America, Central America and Mexico. The journalists on the team are:

Margaret López, a science and economic reporter based in Venezuela who is the editor of HispanoPost Media Group and a collaborator with SciDev.net.

 

 

Valeria Román, a freelance science writer based in Argentina who writes about science, health and the environment for Science, Nature and Scientific American, as well as Infobae.com, SciDev.net and Forbes Argentina.

 

Debbie Ponchner, a science journalist with more than 15 years of experience in print and digital media, as well as newsroom management. She is based in her home country of Costa Rica where she leads DP Comunicación Estratégica, a company devoted to improving the communication of science.

 

 

Iván Carrillo, editor of Tangible, will serve as editor of the cross-border health project. He is the anchor of the program Los Observadores on Mexico’s TV Azteca and a writer for National Geographic and Newsweek en Español. He has also worked with Discovery Channel and CNN en Español.

 

 

 

We were thrilled to once again collaborate with Fundación Ealy Ortiz on the 16th annual Latin American edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop at the WCSJ2019 in Lausanne.

Some 44 journalists from 16 Latin American countries attended our July 1 workshop, which was held before the WCSJ2019 inaugural ceremony.

InquireFirst was proud to sponsor the participation of two Mexican environmental journalists – Sergio Vicke and Pablo Mares – by providing them with full scholarships to attend the Ealy workshop and WCSJ2019.

Fundación Ealy Ortiz sponsored 12 journalists to attend from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay,  Chile and Mexico.

Our day-long workshop featured two interactive sessions on narrative science writing and shaping cross-border science stories – from idea to reality.

We also had a panel discussion on new economic models for online science journalism sites as well as a dynamic exchange on building a regional network of science journalists.

Among our speakers were:

  • Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT (U.S.)
  • Iván Carrillo, editor of Tangible (Mexico)
  • Thiago Medaglia, founder of Ambiental (Brazil)
  • Diego Arguedas Ortiz, founder of Ojo al Clima (Costa Rica)
  • Daniela Hirschfeld, Latin American correspondent with net (Uruguay)
  • Aleida Rueda, freelance science writer (Mexico)
  • Rosalind Reid, executive director of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (U.S.)
  • Carlos Cienfuegos, director of the Faculty of Communication at Universidad Anáhuac (Mexico)
  • Germán Fajardo, M.D., president of the Latin American Association of Faculties and Schools of Medicine (Mexico)
group_people
Photo by Brett Gundlock

InquireFirst leads regional Science and Health Journalism Seminar in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY – “Writing is music…language can be used in so many creative ways,” Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT, told almost 30 science and health journalists attending our regional workshop in Mexico City.

As Blum lead journalists through an interactive workshop on narrative science writing, she told them “we are the best people in the world to remind people that science is a part of their daily life.”

Blum was the keynote speaker on the final day of our March 31-April 3, 2019, regional Science and Health Journalism Seminar which InquireFirst organized in collaboration with MSD. Journalists from major media organizations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico attended our first InquireFirst regional workshop conducted in Mexico City.

“Excellent,” one journalist said about Blum’s teaching session. “It is refreshing to hear how journalism is done in other places and to investigate and analyze the tools we have within our reach to do better journalism.”

This seminar focused on urgent health issues in Latin America such as cancer and diabetes and HIV, as well as public health issues such as resistance to vaccines and sexual and reproductive rights.

As the journalists heard from prominent MDs and researchers, Blum told them, “we recover lost science. There’s no one better to do it than science writers.”

Also joining us for an interactive session was Mariana Alvarado, training fellow for Google News Lab in Mexico, Central America and Colombia.

Alvarado showed journalists how to use Google on-line tools to verify information before publishing.

“We are in a unique and challenging moment for quality journalism,” she said. “It is more difficult to assure people that they are consuming accurate information.”

Among the speakers were:

  • Dr. Carlos Espinal, head of the Global Health Consortium at Florida International University, who said that by 2050 microbial resistance to antibiotics will claim more lives worldwide than cancer.
  • Dr. Javier Baez, who treated the first HIV case in Mexico. Today, Brazil has the highest reported number of HIV/AIDS in Latin America, followed by Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Chile.
  • Dr. Carlos Barrios, director of the Oncology Research Center at Hospital São Lucas in Brazil, who noted that while the prevalence of cancer is lower in Latin America than in the United States, more people die of cancer in Latin America due to a complex and often inaccessible health care system.
  • Dr. Carla Vizzotti, director of the National Program of Immunizations in Argentina, who spoke about the public resistance to vaccines. “Vaccines are victims of their own success,” she said.
  • Dr. Claudio González, director of MSD Global Medical Affairs, who talked about the increase in diabetes in Latin American countries. Mexico ranks first in the region.
  • Dr. Raffaela Schiavon, advisor on health and sexual and reproductive rights in México, who said that Latin America ranks second in teen pregnancy after Africa.
  • Javier Picó, a partner in Life Sciences Consultants in Mexico City, who spoke about the impact of biopharmaceutical innovation in Latin America.
  • Frank Lichtenberg, business professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Business, who said the medical industry is the most labor-intensive sector of the economy, making it an important engine of economic growth.

The response from the journalists attending the seminar was overwhelmingly positive.

“This was an enriching seminar which, unlike others, not only presented health issues but also gave instructions on tools like Google,” said one journalist.

“Worth its weight in gold for reporters,” said another journalist. “The more tools we have, the more we can document our work.”

 

In collaboration with

 


 

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Erik Olsen, who is a video journalist, filmmaker and avid drone pilot, tested out his drone during a session with Latin American journalists at our Transparency and Investigative Reporting workshop on the next generation of reporting. Photo by Luis J. Jimenez/InquireFirst

Top U.S. journalists instruct Transparency and Investigative Reporting Workshop

FULLERTON, Calif. – Top U.S. journalists joined InquireFirst as speakers at our  “Transparency and Investigative Reporting” workshop Feb. 25-March 1, when Latin American journalists traveled to Southern California to attend sessions on fact-checking, in-depth investigative reporting, cyber security and reporting with drones.

Among our speakers were:

  • Ginger Thompson, senior reporter at ProPublica who specializes in immigration and organized crime coverage.  Ginger and her colleagues at ProPublica won a Polk Award in the immigration category in February 2019 for their "Zero Tolerance" series on the Trump administration's policy at the border.
  • Sal Rizzo, reporter at The Fact Checker at The Washington Post who previously covered New Jersey politics, courts, state finances and Gov. Chris Christie.
  • Erik Olsen, a Los Angeles-based video journalist who previously was the West Coast video correspondent for Quartz. Before joining Quartz, Erik was a senior video journalist for The New York Times. He is now focused on reporting with drones.
  • Eileen Truax, an InquireFirst journalist whose work focuses on immigration and politics and has been published in the U.S., Latin America and Spain. Eileen is the author of four books, including, “Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation’s Fight for Their American Dream.”
  • Walter Baranger, who left his position as senior editor of news operations at The New York Times last year. One of Walter's many roles at the Times was to travel to foreign bureaus and shore up cyber security.  Walter, who is now VP of InquireFirst, will give a presentation on protecting information and equipment from cyber attacks.

We held the workshop on the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) campus, where Walter is on the journalism faculty.  Our partners for this workshop are the Latino Communications Institute at the CSUF College of Communications and the Latino Journalists Club.

The workshop equipped a team of Latin American journalists with investigative skills to produce deeply reported and carefully fact-checked investigative reports that lead to greater transparency in their countries.  The workshop also built professional alliances that encourage journalists to conduct cross-border reporting on high-impact regional investigative stories.

 

In Collaboration With

InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker talks about the importance of journalism with Margarita Barrero, editor-in-chief of El Colombiano, the second-largest daily newspaper in Colombia.

Photos by Alejandro Rodriguez/Colombo Americano Medellin

InquireFirst instructs investigative journalism workshops in Medellin and Cali

MEDELLIN, Colombia – InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker will meet with journalists in Medellín and Cali, Colombia, July 29-August 3 to discuss new techniques for investigative journalism.

During the programs, Walker will conduct interactive sessions with journalists who are covering corruption, organized crime and public safety issues.  She will focus her workshop sessions on journalist safety as well as effective interview techniques and narrative writing.

Some 30 journalists are expected to attend each of the two-day workshops in Medellin and Cali, with additional journalists from prominent media organizations joining the group for receptions at the close of each of the programs.

Walker will also meet with directors of Colombia’s largest media organizations, as well as with leaders of the journalism program at top universities.

There’s more news from Colombia – Medellin will be the site of the 2021 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2021)!!

Walker will also meet with Colombian science writers who are organizing the WCSJ 2021, which is expected to host almost 1,000 science writers from regions throughout the world.

This is an important moment for journalism – and particularly cross-border journalism – in Latin America.  InquireFirst is proud to work with colleagues in South America, Central America and Mexico in their efforts to strengthen journalism in the region.

In July, InquireFirst awarded our first reporting grants to a team of Latin American science writers to support their work on a cross-border regional health story.

The reporters on the team were selected during our Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, which was held on July 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland during the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2019).

InquireFirst received support for the reporting grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.

The project will be published in Tangible (https://bit.ly/2Owojqu), an online science magazine based in Mexico, as well as the online edition of El Universal, the largest daily newspaper in Mexico. Our projected publication date is October 2019, so stay tuned for more information https://inquirefirst.org/

2019 Symposiums

InquireFirst Executive Director S. Lynne Walker will organize and instruct journalism symposiums in 2019 on investigative reporting and safety protocols, digital storytelling and science, health and environment coverage in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The symposiums will be presented in Spanish.


Switzerland
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July 1, 2019
Lausanne, Switzerland
Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop

The 2019 Latin American Edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop will bring together reporters and editors for a professional development workshop to present practical, hands-on training sessions to sharpen reporting skills on the most pressing science, health and environmental issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Journalists attending the workshop will engage in interactive sessions to discuss subjects such as building international partnerships to enrich science coverage, finding funding for science reporting, and making complex global science, health and environmental stories relevant for local audiences.

Data journalism experts will demonstrate digital tools for making complex data accessible to audiences on a wide range of topics such as biodiversity, climate change, environmental policy and public health. Reporters and editors attending the workshop will discuss techniques for connecting with the global scientific community as well as effective ways of obtaining information from research institutions and organizations.

A special focus of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop will be on establishing a platform to encourage reporters, photographers, videographers and filmmakers to build on professional relationships established during 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists and collaborate across the region to produce in-depth, international reporting on global science stories.


Graphic
Graphic design by Luis J. Jiménez/InquireFirst

March 31-April 3, 2019
Mexico City, Mexico
Science & Health Journalism Seminar

This seminar will focus on urgent health issues in Latin America such as cancer and diabetes and HIV, as well as public health issues such as resistance to vaccines and sexual and reproductive rights.

More than 40 journalists and health care professionals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico and Mexico will attend the seminar – our first in Mexico City.

During the March 31-April 3 program, reporters and editors will participate in a high-level, interactive training
session with Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT.

Journalists will also meet with Mariana Alvarado, a teaching fellow with Google News Lab in Mexico, Central America and Colombia.  During her session, Alvarado will work with journalists on identifying data bases that contain in-depth information for health and science stories.


microphones
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February 25-March 1, 2019
Fullerton, California
Transparency and Investigative Reporting

As reporters across the Western Hemisphere are facing threats to their credibility and to their safety, this workshop organized and directed by InquireFirst for Latin American and Caribbean journalists will offer sessions on investigative reporting and interview techniques, as well as fact-checking, journalism ethics and journalist safety. The workshop, which will be conducted on the California State University, Fullerton campus in Southern California, will provide training on data research and the use of low-cost and no-cost software for investigative reporting.

Latin American journalists have asked us to include content on preparing investigative reports in video formats and for television networks which have special demands because of time limitations and the need for on-camera interviews. Because Cal State Fullerton is home to the regional Univision station, speakers from Univision will work with journalists, as well as hosting a visit to the Univision newsroom.

Many of the sessions will be taught by prominent U.S. journalists, some of whom have been awarded prestigious national awards for their investigative reporting. We anticipate that this workshop will equip a team of Latin American journalists with investigative skills to produce deeply reported and carefully fact-checked investigative reports that lead to greater transparency in their countries.


Ecuador
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January 14-18, 2019
Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador
Investigative Journalism and Journalist Safety

InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker will travel to Ecuador in January 2019 to instruct a series of workshops on investigative journalism and journalist safety.

Walker will meet with journalists in Guayaquil and in the capital of Quito to lead sessions designed to provide tools and techniques for investigative reporting in areas ranging from corruption and organized crime to environmental investigative journalism.

The workshops will focus on identifying credible sources and fact checking as the backbone of investigative reporting.

During the intensive, two-day sessions, Walker will also discuss safety protocols with Ecuadoran journalists, who have witnessed recent deadly attacks on colleagues investigating organized crime.

Drilling Down on America's Water Supply

Will the United States continue to be a country where people can turn on the tap and assume the water that comes out is safe and affordable? In this, the first major report in InquireFirst’s long-term drinking water project, reporter Elizabeth Douglass travels to Lake Station, Indiana, to begin answering that question by exploring the growing pressure on cities and towns to privatize their municipal drinking water systems.

View photos by John Nelson/InquireFirst