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Executive Director Lynne Walker to instruct investigative reporting workshops in Ecuador

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 the capital of Quito and in Guayaquil 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.

Three Ecuadoran journalists with the Quito daily newspaper El Comercio were kidnapped and murdered earlier this year by Colombian rebels.

Reporter Javier Ortega, photographer Paul Rivas and driver Efrain Segarra were kidnapped on March 26 while investigating heightened violence in Esmeraldas, a province on Ecuador’s 364-mile border with Colombia.

The region has long been a zone of operation for Colombian drug traffickers and rebel groups and has recently become the site of a series of attacks against military targets.

The Ecuadoran government said the journalists were kidnapped by a holdout faction of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the leftist rebel group that laid down its weapons and became a political party in 2016 after signing a peace accord with the Colombia government.

The murders of the three journalists in this country of 17 million stunned the people of Ecuador and shook their long-held perception of Ecuador as a tiny, peaceful country insulated from the drug violence that has plagued neighboring Colombia.

Rosalind Reid joins InquireFirst board of directors

We’re pleased to announce that Rosalind Reid, executive and program director for the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), has joined the InquireFirst board of directors.

Reid’s love of science writing began when she walked into the North Carolina State University news bureau in 1984, discovered physics, and gave up political reporting. Six years later she joined the staff of American Scientist magazine, serving as editor-in-chief from 1992 to 2008 and taking a leave to become the first journalist in residence at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara.

Over her years as a magazine editor, Reid also traveled widely to present workshops on the visual communication of science. That work led to a fellowship at Harvard, where she stayed on to launch an institute devoted to computational science while serving on the board of CASW. Read more

Building Science Journalism Networks Around the World

Enrique Bustamante, director of Mexico City-based Fundación Ealy Ortiz and InquireFirst media partner, challenged science journalists across the globe to build networks to strengthen reporting on science, health, technology and the environment. Bustamante issued the challenge during a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 2017 World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco, California.

New opportunities for Latin American reporters and editors announced during Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop

Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz (right) owner and publisher of the Mexico City daily El Universal, greets Gemi José González, Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco, at the opening ceremony of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop at Stanford University. Photo by El Universal/Germán Espinosa

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Latin American science journalists were presented with a host of new professional development opportunities during the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop at Stanford University.

The June 17-21, 2018 workshop, organized by InquireFirst and Mexico City-based Fundación Ealy Ortiz, focused on training opportunities – with Latin American science journalists as both participants and instructors – as well as steps to form a regional science journalism network.

Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, owner and publisher of the Mexico City daily newspaper El Universal, announced that he is establishing a multi-platform “high-impact” science section with “the highest standards for content and selection of infographics.”

Ealy Ortiz also announced that he is forming an Institute for Science Journalism and International Training which will be headed by Enrique Bustamante, who also serves as director of Fundación Ealy Ortiz. The Institute will offer training to science journalists, researchers, scientists and science communicators, he said.

Ealy Ortiz said he will be providing travel fellowships for Latin American and Caribbean science journalists to attend the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Read more


Making a difference
Zika workshop focuses on international collaboration

Journalists from 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean made a field visit to La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica during a regional workshop organized by InquireFirst. Photo by José Diaz/Agencia Ojo por Ojo

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Science and health journalism should not be limited by international borders. Complex new health threats such as Zika virus that occur in a “noisy” media environment require a new model of reporting, Andrew Revkin, strategic adviser on science and environmental journalism for The National Geographic Society, told reporters and editors at a regional science journalism workshop organized by InquireFirst in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica.

Revkin was one of several prominent science and environment editors from major U.S. media organizations who traveled to Costa Rica for a March 4-8, 2018, workshop to help journalists hone their science and health reporting skills on public health coverage such as Zika and vector-borne diseases.

The regional workshop titled “Informing About Risks and Prevention of an Epidemic” was attended by 37 science and health journalists from 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more


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

2018 Symposiums

InquireFirst Executive Director S. Lynne Walker will organize and instruct journalism symposiums in 2018 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.

El Universal/Germán Espinosa

June 17-21, 2018
Palo Alto and San Francisco, California
Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, Latin American edition

The Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism workshop will return to the Bay Area for the second consecutive year to offer advanced training on environment, energy and Earth sciences to Latin American and Caribbean reporters and editors.

InquireFirst will organize and direct the 2018 Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop at Stanford University in collaboration with Mexico City-based Fundación Ealy Ortiz.

Some 25 journalists from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, the U.S. and Spain will attend the June 17-21 program. Journalists will hear from leading scientists and researchers who will discuss ways in which they are working across international borders to find solutions to the critical health and environmental issues facing the region.

The final day of the workshop, which will be held in San Francisco, Calif., will focus on the art of science writing, with prominent U.S. and Latin American science and environmental journalists leading hands-on, interactive sessions.

A key goal of the workshop will be encountering ways to strengthen science journalism in the Americas through international networking and new reporting opportunities.


March 4-8, 2018
San José, Costa Rica
Regional Science Journalism Workshop

Forty science journalists from 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will make a field visit to one of Costa Rica’s tropical rain forests during a professional journalism workshop organized and directed by InquireFirst.

Journalists will hike the paths of La Selva Biological Station, one of the most important sites in the world for research on tropical rain forests. La Selva is comprised of 3,900 acres of tropical wet forests in northern Costa Rica and averages over 13 feet of rainfall a year. More than 240 scientific papers are published yearly from research conducted at the site.

During the five-day workshop titled, “Informing the public about the risks and prevention of an epidemic,” Latin American scientists and researchers will meet with journalists to discuss advances in research on the Zika virus as well as clinical trials to develop a vaccine.

The workshop will place a special emphasis on techniques for interviewing scientists to more effectively explain complex scientific information to the public.

During interactive sessions, prominent U.S. and Latin American journalists will work with reporters and editors on preparing for interviews, asking difficult questions and telling the story of Zika and other vector-borne diseases in a convincing and compelling way.