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.

Rosalind Reid, executive director of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writers, also announced fellowship opportunities that will support the participation by Latin American and Caribbean journalists in ScienceWriters 2018, a regional forum for science journalists organized by the National Association of Science Writers that will be held Oct. 12-16, 2018, in Washington D.C.

The deadline to apply is July 17. Latin American and Caribbean journalists can find information about the travel fellowship at this website: https://bit.ly/2lHmR4x

Read more

 

Thomas Hayden, professor of science and environmental communication and journalism at Stanford University, said collaboration is key to strengthening science journalism. Photo by El Universal/Germán Espinosa

Science Journalism enters a ‘Golden Age’

PALO ALTO, Calif. – As traditional journalism struggles with challenges posed by instant and sometimes inaccurate reporting via the internet, science journalism has entered a “Golden Age,” said Thomas Hayden, Stanford University professor of science and environmental communication and journalism, during the opening session of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop.

“With the rise of online science journalism, the old feelings of comfort and caution are gone,” Hayden said. “There’s a hunger there and that desperation has helped build a community in science journalism.”

In sharp contrast to traditional science reporting which often focused on the scientific “paper of the week,” today’s science journalism is explanation-driven, Hayden said.

“There were real restrictions and real problems with the old way of science journalism,” Hayden said. “Now, something remarkable has happened. The field as a whole has become much more serious. Science journalists are increasingly acting as investigative journalists. Today, as a result, we find ourselves in an unexpected but most robust development.”

Hayden made his remarks during the July 17-21, 2018, workshop organized by InquireFirst and Fundacion Ealy Ortiz at Stanford University and in San Francisco.

In today’s media environment, much of the science journalism in the U.S. and Latin America is taking place at nonprofit organizations, “all of which are extremely high quality and adventuresome.”

“The health of the field of journalism has never been better,” Hayden said. “But the health of individual journalism organizations is tenuous. We have great quality contrasted against the precarious nature of the industry."

Science journalism programs at universities such as Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, can be part of the solution, Hayden said.

“We have to throw the doors to journalism wide open – to all cultures, to all backgrounds, to all genders, to all races,” he said. “Journalism at its heart is democracy in action. It’s one of the ways that citizens can actually make a difference in their country.  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.

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

 


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.

“We all know the dangers of doing journalism,” Jacobson told reporters and editors at the TechCamp, commending them for “professionalism and courage.”

She denounced the murders of Mexican journalists Javier Valdez, an award-winning journalist who founded the newspaper Riodoce in Sinaloa state, and investigative journalist Miroslava Breach. And she expressed concern that until there is a concerted effort by the Mexican government to investigate and prosecute attacks on journalists, the killings will continue.

“We will not remain quiet about these crimes,” said Jacobson. “We will raise our voices until these crimes are investigated.

“Together, we can make a difference,” she said.

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.

Shutterstock

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.