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

 

This graphic accompanied a story written by Gabriela Salido, managing editor of El Sol de Hermosillo, who attended the InquireFirst Zika/vector-borne disease workshop in Costa Rica.  Graphic published courtesy of Organización Editorial Mexicana (OEM).

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.

Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop in San Francisco underscores need for regional science journalism network

InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker (left) moderates a panel at the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop with independent science journalist Sergio Vicke (center) and Enrique Bustamante, director of Mexico City-based Fundación Ealy Ortiz A.C.   Photo courtesy of El Universal/Germán Espinosa

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The 2017 Latin America edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop sparked a commitment by more than 70 journalists from 15 countries to begin building a regional science journalism network.

The need for a network, which has long been a priority for workshop organizers Fundación Ealy Ortiz A.C. of México City and InquireFirst of San Diego, Calif., was underscored by seasoned science journalists who are looking beyond their borders to cover regional science, public health and environmental issues.

As global issues such as climate change, Zika virus and water shortages increasingly dominate the news, Latin American and Caribbean journalists agreed that their stories would be strengthened by collaboration across international borders to provide audiences a regional perspective.

InquireFirst and Fundación Ealy Ortiz A.C. organized and directed the 2017 Latin American edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop on October 25, 2017, in San Francisco, Calif., in collaboration with the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ).

The 2017 international science journalism forum marked the first time the WCSJ held its biennial conference in the United States. Almost 1,400 science journalists from 70 countries attended the Oct. 26-30 WCSJ conference.  Read more

 

Internet presents new challenges for journalism in the era of fake news

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson and prominent Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui, center, met with journalists from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras during the inauguration of a December 2017 TechCamp in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY – Prominent Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui said the internet presents “a great light and a great shadow ” for journalism in an era of fake news.

On the opening day of a journalism TechCamp in Mexico City, Aristegui acknowledged “there is serious questioning” of the work of journalists.

“We have to investigate, corroborate and disseminate information,” she said. “We have to learn day by day (about new technology) without turning our backs on content. It is here that professional journalism plays a crucial role.”

InquireFirst Executive Director S. Lynne Walker joined the TechCamp as an instructor, with “boots-on-the-ground” investigative journalism training for almost 60 reporters from Mexico, Guatemala, El Savador and Honduras.

The TechCamp gave journalists new digital tools and suggested a range of financing methods to produce and publish in-depth reporting.

“It is important that we journalists find ways to continue professionalizing ourselves and to be ethically independent,” Aristegui said. “It is essential for democracy.”

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson inaugurated the December 7-8, 2017, TechCamp by expressing concern about the alarming increase in murders of Mexican journalists. 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.


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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.


El Universal/Germán Espinosa

June 17-21, 2018
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 science journalism training on technology, public health and environmental issues.

Science journalists from throughout Latin America will be invited to attend the four-day workshop organized and directed by InquireFirst and Mexico City-based Fundación Ealy Ortiz.

The University of California, Berkeley, will host a full day of sessions on research that impacts the lives of millions of people in Latin America.

Technology experts will also be invited to speak about cutting-edge research and environmental and climate change scientists will present their latest findings.