Eduardo 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.”
Carolina Bravo Gómez, who reports on environmental issues at the television network Noticias Caracol in Bogota, Colombia, told us that InquireFirst’s February 2020 Environmental Investigative Journalism Workshop in Mérida, México provided the information she needed to produce an in-depth report on efforts in indigenous communities to protect the mangrove ecosystem that provides a habitat to hundreds of species of birds and animals. Noticias Caracol broadcast Carolina’s story on July 26, UNESCO’s International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem. She conducted interviews for her story during our InquireFirst field visit to Celestún.
Watch Carolina’s report
Saúl Martínez, a reporter and photographer at El Imparcial in Mexicali, Baja California says the contacts he made during InquireFirst’s February 2020 Environmental Investigative Journalism Workshop in Mérida, México have helped him expand his regional science and environmental network as he works on in-depth projects on the urgent issues of science, health and the environment.
Based on a field visit to Celestún during our InquireFirst workshop, Saúl published a story on July 26, UNESCO’s International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem. Read Saúl’s story.
Barbara 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.”
Gabriela Minjares, an investigative journalist who is co-founder of La Verdad de Juárez in Ciudad Juárez, México, reports that her news organization received a grant in June 2019 from the International Center for Journalists which is providing seed funding and technical assistance to develop new business models to ensure the economic sustainability of La Verdad de Juárez.
Gabriela credits InquireFirst’s February 2019 Transparency and Investigative Reporting Workshop with providing her with new ideas which she and her colleagues included in their successful grant proposal.
Aldo Benítez, deputy editor of the in-depth Sunday section of La Nación in Asunción, Paraguay, conducted a 4-day workshop at the Escuela D Periodistas in May-June 2019 during which he taught Paraguayan journalists the tools and techniques he learned during InquireFirst’s February 2019 Transparency and Investigative Reporting Workshop. The subjects he covered included interview techniques and ethical treatment of sources; steps for reporting and writing an investigative report; and cybersecurity protocols.
Lucía Mimiaga, editor of the Investigative Unit of El Debate in Culiacán, Sinaloa, produced a documentary about femicides and the disappearance of women in Mexico which generated a high number of views on the newspaper’s FaceBook page. Lucía says the interview techniques she learned during our Transparency and Investigative Reporting Workshop helped her with the delicate and sensitive interviews needed for this project.
Gustavo Cabullo Madrid, a cross-border documentary producer who works with the Universidad Autónomo de Ciudad Juárez, says the presentations by prominent journalists and professors during InquireFirst’s February 2019 Transparency and Investigative Reporting Workshop inspired him to launch an online news site, which focuses on the LGBTQ community and other underserved communities on the U.S.-Mexico border. The name of his site is Ser Visible, or Being Visible.
Mariana Mondragón, general director of NotiGAPE Radio in Matamoros, México, conducted an investigative journalism conference for journalism students at the University of Matamoros in May 2019. Mariana says she instructed the students – the next generation of journalists in Matamoros – on tools and techniques for investigative reporting that she learned during InquireFirst’s February 2019 Transparency and Investigative Reporting Workshop.
Paraguayan television reporter Enrique Dávalos has been invited by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy to give a presentation on what he learned during our February 2019 workshop during a journalism and transparency conference in Asunción in May 2020. InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker has been invited to give the keynote address during that conference and will be traveling to Paraguay in May.
Inés García, an investigative journalist at the weekly newspaper Zeta in Tijuana, México, is organizing an investigative journalism workshop in collaboration with Red Nacional Anticorrupción Capítulo Baja California, an NGO focused on transparency. Inés tells us that she will be teaching the tools and techniques that she learned from seasoned journalists who gave presentations during InquireFirst’s February 2019 Transparency and Investigative Reporting Workshop.