InquireFirst Executive Director S. Lynne Walker conducted an investigative journalism workshop in Monterrey, Mexico, in September 2016. Walker will direct the inaugural InquireFirst international journalism symposium in San Diego in November.

InquireFirst to hold inaugural journalism symposium in November

SAN DIEGO – Executive Director S. Lynne Walker will conduct InquireFirst’s inaugural investigative journalism symposium Nov. 14-18 in San Diego.

At least 20 Latin American journalists will attend the symposium titled “Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age: Using Technology to Tell Our Stories.” Print, radio, television and on-line journalists from Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama and Mexico will attend the intensive, five-day symposium.

The symposium, which will be conducted entirely in Spanish, will focus on the use of emerging technology in investigative storytelling. U.S. and Latin American experts will provide training on data research and low-cost and no-cost digital tools to conduct investigative reporting.

Journalists will meet with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters and editors to discuss environmental investigative reporting. They will have frank and open discussions with U.S. journalists with deep experience in Latin America about the coverage of drug trafficking and corruption. And they will meet with experts on cyber security, global access to information and journalist safety. Read more

Harold W. Fuson, left, an attorney and First Amendment expert who serves on the InquireFirst board of directors, spoke on July 27 in San Diego about the importance of investigative journalism.
Photo by Luis J. Jiménez

Investigative Journalism Is Needed Now More Than Ever

SAN DIEGO -- In an era when the insatiable demand for news reduces information to sound bites and 140-character messages, InquireFirst is digging into issues of national importance and staying with them until they are identified and exposed.

“InquireFirst will know how to use both shoe leather and legal briefs to get the facts citizens need,” said Harold W. Fuson, an attorney and First Amendment expert who serves on the InquireFirst board of directors. Fuson spoke to about 60 people gathered in San Diego for an InquireFirst fundraiser held on July 27 and hosted by KPBS Roundtable anchor Mark Sauer. Read more

Reflections on Investigative Journalism

InquireFirst’s first investigative project will debut in this space in the fall of 2016. While you wait, please enjoy these selections from our contributing journalists, advisory council and board of directors. If you have something to share, feel free to join the conversation by sending links and comments to:

1PicturePhotograph by Ryan McGuire

Facts Plus Heart

Usually we think of investigative journalism as reporting that exposes wrongdoing, maybe even puts someone in jail. But deep reporting—combined with deep thinking—sometimes leads to stories outside that box. A recent New York Times story about a Syrian refugee who is traveling throughout Germany, trying to put a human face on his fellow refugees by playing a donated piano, falls into that category. Yes, this is the tale of one man. But by also investigating the wide-ranging ramifications of Aeham Ahmad’s story, the Times’ Beirut bureau chief, Anne Barnard, illuminates the world’s growing refugee crisis, one most of us might prefer to ignore. – Susan White, Executive Editor, InquireFirst

John Oliver, Investigative Comic

Want to know what’s gone wrong with American journalism? John Oliver explains it all for you in his “Last Week Tonight” show on HBO. —Robert P. Laurence, InquireFirst.

Expanding the Box

A big part of investigative reporting is figuring out how the topics we’re examining fit into the broader world. This New York Times column by Farhad Majoo is must reading for everyone who believes, as I do, that offering readers this type of perspective is one of our greatest responsibilities. —Susan White, executive editor, InquireFirst

Puerto Rico Finances

According to the news from Washington, Puerto Rico is going broke. Some of its financial woes may be self-inflicted, reports the Spanish language Centro de Periodismo Investigativo. Over the last 10 years or so, the island territory has lavished $519 million on seed providers, including Monsanto.—S. Lynne Walker, executive director, InquireFirst

Read More Reflections on Investigative Journalism

InquireFirst correspondent Elizabeth Douglass is the recipient of a McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism which will help fund her reporting on an in-depth examination of the nation's deteriorating water infrastructure. Photo by Luis J. Jiménez.
Photo by Luis J. Jiménez

InquireFirst Journalist Wins Prestigious Fellowship

NEW YORK -- InquireFirst correspondent Elizabeth Douglass is among four veteran journalists who have won grants of up to $15,000 as recipients of McGraw Fellowships for Business Journalism.

Nearly 80 journalists working in more than a half-dozen countries applied for the fellowships. The winners were chosen following interviews and a thorough review of detailed proposals, work samples and references.

Douglass will use the grant to help fund her reporting on InquireFirst’s inaugural project, an in-depth examination of the nation’s deteriorating water infrastructure and water quality protections, with an emphasis on issues beyond those highlighted by the Flint, Mich., water disaster.
Her first stories will be released in the fall.

A previous finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award, Douglass’ stories have led to appearances on The Rachel Maddow Show, Public Radio International and Chicago public radio, as well as in a PBS documentary about turmoil in the defense industry. She is a former staff writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimateNews. Read more


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