Check out our science, health, environmental and investigative reporting grants for Latin American journalists

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Tune in to our new radio program on science, health & the environment reported by indigenous journalists for Mexico’s indigenous communities

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of En Común: conocimiento en voz viva, our new radio program on science, health and environment for Mexico’s indigenous communities. During our first season of En Común, we have partnered with indigenous journalists throughout Mexico who are reporting 9 of the 15 episodes.  You can hear all the episodes on our website: encomun.mx.

This is a first for Mexico – a radio program focused on science and reported primarily by indigenous journalists for indigenous communities and rural audiences.

Mexico’s indigenous people form a multicultural mosaic of diverse ethnic identities, ancestral knowledge and cultural values. But their communities and their unique stories have been overlooked by traditional media organizations and particularly by science, health and environment writers.

As a result, Mexico’s indigenous people – an estimated 15.7 million in 68 communities across the country – do not have access to carefully curated and reported information that could help them combat inequality, disease, pollution and ecological damage caused by the misuse of natural resources. Nor do they have the opportunity to share their generations-old knowledge on issues such as wildlife protection, the impact of illegal logging and the role of medicinal plants in disease prevention.

Iván Carrillo, a prominent Mexico-based science writer and editor, is the executive producer of the project.  He is joined by an experienced production team based in Mexico.

During our first season of En Común, we’ve taken on fascinating and little-reported science, health and environmental subjects.  For example:

In our episode titled, Los murciélagos y su relación con los virus, Mayan journalist Irma Yolanda Kauil Tuz interviews Dr. Rodrigo Medellín Legorreta, a researcher in the Institute of Ecology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), about the beneficial role that bats play in the ecological balance and myths about bats as carriers of disease.


In Las vacunas, prioridad mundial, indigenous journalist Yolotzin Hernández interviews residents in Amecameca in the State of Mexico about their views on vaccines and continues with an interview with Dr. Ricardo Martín Castro, of the Institute of Biotechnology at UNAM.


In the episode titled, Arqueoastronomía y las culturas Mesoamericanos, journalist Dora Cauich greets the audience in Maya and asks Mayan residents of Quintana Roo about their views on their ancestral legacy of astronomy and how they use it today.  As part of her report, Dora interviews archeologist Ivan Sprajc, a specialist in Mayan astronomy who has spent decades researching the Mayan culture and its relationship with the stars and the sky.


 Entendiendo el virus SARS Cov2 features Oaxacan journalist Genaro Bautista Gabriel with the Agencia Internacional de Prensa Indígena, interviews Dr. Ana Lorena Gutiérrez of the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) at Mexico’s National Polytechnic Institute. 


In our episode titled, Cómo Enfrentan las Comunidades Indígenas la Pandemia, we hear the voices and viewpoints of residents on Oxchuc, Chiapas. 


InquireFirst has forged an alliance the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and its Mexico affiliate, Red de Radios Comunitarias de México to broadcast our program across Mexico.

In addition, the Instituto Mexicano de la Radio (IMER) will be broadcasting the program on its affiliates in Sonora, Coahuila, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatán and Mexico City. 

Tune in to our first season of En Común: conocimiento en voz viva at encomun.mx!

In collaboration with

Historias Sin Fronteras project is shortlisted for award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting

We are thrilled to announce that “Transgender in Latin America,” a cross-border science journalism project reported and written by Latin American science writers Valeria Román, Debbie Ponchner, Margaret López and Carmina de la Luz Ramírez has been shortlisted by the Fetisov Journalism Awards for Outstanding Investigative Reporting.

“Transgender in Latin America” was our first cross-border science journalism project under our Historias Sin Fronteras initiative, which we launched in July 2019 to provide grants to Latin American journalists for cross-border science, health and environmental projects.

H/T to Mexico-based science journalist and editor Ivan Carrillo, who edited the project and who is the co-founder of Historias Sin Fronteras.

Read the project on our website historiassinfronteras.com and join us in congratulating the team.

A special thanks to the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute which supports Historias Sin Fronteras and believes in the power of science journalism when we work together across international borders.

The winners will be announced in February (fjawards.com/finalists) so stay tuned!

ALUMNI CORNER

Eduardo-FrancoEduardo Franco Berton, founder of Red Ambiental de Información in Bolivia, has been recognized with an Honorable Mention by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) for his environmental investigation, “Poaching Threatens South America’s Only Bear Species,” which was published by National Geographic in 2019.

Eduardo was first introduced to National Geographic editors by a speaker he met during our InquireFirst Science Journalism Workshop in 2018. The SEJ judges, in recognizing Eduardo’s work, said, “The journalist traveled thousands of miles and worked undercover to talk with bear hunters, shamans and government officials who, because of inadequate budgets and understaffing, are virtually powerless to stop the killing of South America’s only bear species.”

Barbara-FraserBarbara Fraser, an environmental writer based in Lima, Peru, has recently been named climate editor at EarthBeat, a publication of U.S.-based National Catholic Reporter. Barbara credits her participation in InquireFirst’s February 2020 Environmental Investigative Journalism Workshop in Merida, Mexico with helping her plan the expansion of EarthBeat’s coverage to deepen the science and give it a more global perspective. She said, “The Merida workshop was a welcome dose of oxygen for me.”

2020 symposiums

Photo by Brett Gundlock

November-December 2020

Latin American Science, Health and Innovation Journalism Program

This three-part virtual seminar will focus on urgent health issues such as Covid-19, cancer and HIV/AIDS. Some 100 journalists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico and the Dominican Republic will attend the high-level seminar which will offer scientific and practical journalism sessions for science writers whose thorough, accurate coverage of health issues is vital to the well-being of people in their countries. The 2020 edition of the MSD/InquireFirst Latin American Science, Health and Innovation Journalism Program is offered in collaboration with the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT.

Luis J. Jiménez/InquireFirst

September 2021

California State University Fullerton

Investigative Journalism and Government Accountability

Top U.S. journalists will join InquireFirst as speakers at this workshop, which will offer sessions on fact-checking, in-depth investigative reporting and cyber security.

The 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.  The workshop also built professional alliances that encourage journalists to conduct cross-border reporting on high-impact regional investigative stories.

SYMPOSIUMS

Mérida, Yucatán
MERIDA, Mexico – “There’s no more important work than the work being done by journalists,” said Brian O’Donnell, director of Campaign for Nature, during a
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Medellín & Cali, Colombia
MEDELLIN, Colombia – InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker met with journalists in Medellín and Cali, Colombia, July 29-August 3 to discuss new techniques for conducting
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Lausanne, Switzerland
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
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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,
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Fullerton, Calif.
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
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Guayaquil, Ecuador
GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador -- S. Lynne Walker, President and Executive Director of InquireFirst, traveled to Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador, in January 2019 to instruct a series
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group photo

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Latin American science journalists were presented with a host of new professional development opportunities during the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism
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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Science and health journalism should not be limited by international borders. Complex new health threats such as Zika virus that
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México City
MEXICO CITY – Prominent Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui said the internet presents “a great light and a great shadow ” for journalism in an era
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