InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker travels to Ecuador to lead investigative reporting workshops

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Photos by David Nader/Universidad Casa Grande

InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker travels to Ecuador to lead investigative reporting workshops

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador -- S. Lynne Walker, President and Executive Director of InquireFirst, traveled to Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador, in January 2019 to instruct a series of interactive workshops titled “Investigative Journalism in High-Risk Situations.”

In Guayaquil, journalists from newspapers, television networks and online news sites participated in a nine-hour interactive training session conducted by Walker on January 14-15. During the first session – a spirited discussion that engaged the journalists in a dialogue about the “do’s and don’ts” of coverage -- Walker focused on techniques for gaining access and finding credible sources for investigative reports, as well as new approaches to interviewing subjects who have delicate information to share.

During the second day of the workshop series, which was conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil, Walker worked with journalists on organizing complex information and presenting it to audiences in a compelling way.  She also conducted a session on security protocols for journalists working in high-risk situations.

Walker instructed a 3-hour workshop in Guayaquil with journalism students at Universidad Casa Grande on interview techniques for investigative reporters.

In Quito, Walker led a 9-hour interactive workshop for mid-career journalists from newspapers, news agencies, television networks and online news sites.  She worked with the journalists on new techniques for gaining access to sensitive information, interviewing people who are reluctant to reveal sensitive information, and on the crucial issue of journalist safety.

It is clear that journalists in Quito are still deeply affected by the March 2018 kidnap and murder of El Comercio journalists Javier Ortega and Paúl Rivas and their driver, Efraín Segarra.

The Ecuadoran government said the journalists were kidnapped by a holdout faction of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the leftist rebel group that laid down its weapons and became a political party in 2016 after signing a peace accord with the Colombia government.

The murders of the journalists in this nation of 17 million stunned the people of Ecuador and shook their long-held perception of Ecuador as a tiny, peaceful country insulated from the drug violence that has plagued neighboring Colombia.

The journalists who participated in the workshop spoke about the dangers they face, the security measures they’re taking when reporting on dangerous stories and the limits they place on themselves during high-risk coverage.

Walker also participated in a panel discussion at Universidad San Francisco de Quito titled, “Border security, migration and high-risk coverage.” Joining her for the panel discussion were: Iván Flores, former Editor-in-Chief of La Hora; María Belén Arroyo, political editor of Vistazo; and Arturo Torres, former Editor-in-Chief of El Comercio. Arroyo and Torres spoke about their recently released book, “Rehenes,” and the question of journalist security in Ecuador.

The Investigative Journalism in High-Risk Situations workshops resulted in two important takeaways for reporters and their news organizations.  First, the reporters said they planned to talk with top directors at their news organizations about implementing safety protocols.  Second, they discussed the advantages and challenges of establishing a nationwide journalist network.

The workshop also encouraged journalists to keep striving for excellence in their investigative reporting.

Telerama reporter Leonidas Castro Rodríguez, who is based in Guayaquil, said that Walker’s workshop gave him clarity “about ideas such as focusing on research and sources in order to assemble the information puzzle” and he said it also made him aware “of safety recommendations that must be taken and how to identify when there are risks.”

“It was very useful to learn the experiences of a very experienced journalist who gave us her knowledge in a clear and didactic way,” Castro said.

Another reporter wrote, “I'm a young journalist and I've been covering difficult subjects for a relatively short time. I think the workshop with Lynne inspired me. It has motivated me to try to cover complex issues with a little less fear.”

Mexican science journalists Pablo Mares and Sergio Vicke awarded InquireFirst scholarships to attend WCSJ2019

We’re excited to announce that InquireFirst is providing full fellowships to Mexican science journalists Pablo Mares and Sergio Vicke to attend the 2019 Latin American Edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop and the World Conference of Science Journalists which will take place July 1-5 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Pablo Mares

Pablo is the founder of CientificoDigital.mx, which focuses on science, health and environmental coverage. He writes for the online environmental website Mongabay.com and for the health website Medscape.com. He is also a member of the Earth Journalism Network.

He has participated in the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Hawaii, in the Conference of Parties 13 (COP13) on Biodiversity in Cancun, as well as a journalism workshop in Costa Rica organized by LatinClima and the Stanley Foundation on the transition to carbon neutral.

Pablo is a professor of digital journalism at the University of Guadalajara and an experimental musician who has composed several musical pieces for news reports and radio programs.

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Sergio Vicke

Sergio is an environmental journalist who is the anchor of the program “Solo Preguntas y Respuestas” on Mexico’s Public Broadcasting System (SPR).

For more than two decades, Sergio was a familiar face on Television Azteca, where he worked as both a reporter and anchor. His coverage has taken him to 14 countries, as well as remote corners of Mexico, where he has covered hurricanes and floods and political and public security stories of national importance.

Over the years, Sergio has specialized in science, health and environment coverage, attending numerous journalism training programs, including the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, in Mexico and the United States. Sergio left TV Azteca in 2016 to work on environmental documentary projects from his home in Merida, Mexico.

 

 

 

A special thanks to our sponsor

 

Rick Shaughnessy

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Rick Shaughnessy

 

Rick Shaughnessy is founder and principal of Coronado Pacific Group, Inc. a strategic marketing and communications agency serving the investment management industry. Rick began his career in print journalism where he worked as a reporter and editor covering political, financial and economic topics.

Previous positions have included:

  • American Express Asset Management, Product Specialist and Director of Marketing
  • Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management, Head of Communications
  • Stolper & Co., Investment Consultant
  • Charnley & Rostvold, Inc., Senior Consultant
  • San Diego Union-Tribune, Albuquerque Journal, Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News and other publications, Financial and Political Journalist

Professional and volunteer positions have included:

  • Professional Association for Investment Communications Resources (PAICR), Board Member and Advisory Board Member
  • Association of Investment Management Sales Executives (AIMSE), Member
  • Coronado Schools Foundation, Past President and Board Member
  • Idaho Press Club, Board Member
  • Monarch School of San Diego (educating homeless youth), Classroom Volunteer
  • Big Brothers of San Diego, Volunteer Big Brother

 

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 Rosemary Gibson engaged in an in-depth interview on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour about her recently published book

InquireFirst board member and health care expert Rosemary Gibson engaged in an in-depth interview on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour about her recently published book, “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine.”

Radio host Ralph Nader said Gibson’s meticulously researched book outlines how U.S. dependence on China for medications represents “a clear and present danger to the American people.”

“Our listeners should be notified that this is going to alarm them,” Nader said when introducing Gibson’s work to his audience. “Right now, more and more of the medicines in our country

are imported from China and India.

“You argue very convincingly, Rosemary, that there’s a national security problem here,” Nader told Gibson. “And secondly, to put it mildly, the inspection level by the FDA of these labs in Chinais non-existent, confused or very rare.”

Listen to Ralph Nader’s interview with Rosemary Gibson.

 

Switzerland workshop

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July 1, 2019
Lausanne, Switzerland
Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop

The 2019 Latin American Edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop will bring together reporters and editors for a professional development workshop to present practical, hands-on training sessions to sharpen reporting skills on the most pressing science, health and environmental issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Journalists attending the workshop will engage in interactive sessions to discuss subjects such as building international partnerships to enrich science coverage, finding funding for science reporting, and making complex global science, health and environmental stories relevant for local audiences.

Data journalism experts will demonstrate digital tools for making complex data accessible to audiences on a wide range of topics such as biodiversity, climate change, environmental policy and public health. Reporters and editors attending the workshop will discuss techniques for connecting with the global scientific community as well as effective ways of obtaining information from research institutions and organizations.

A special focus of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop will be on establishing a platform to encourage reporters, photographers, videographers and filmmakers to build on professional relationships established during 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists and collaborate across the region to produce in-depth, international reporting on global science stories.


Science & Health Journalism Seminar

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Graphic design by Luis J. Jiménez/InquireFirst

March 31-April 3, 2019
Mexico City, Mexico
Science & Health Journalism Seminar

This seminar will focus on urgent health issues in Latin America such as cancer and diabetes and HIV, as well as public health issues such as resistance to vaccines and sexual and reproductive rights.

More than 40 journalists and health care professionals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico and Mexico will attend the seminar – our first in Mexico City.

During the March 31-April 3 program, reporters and editors will participate in a high-level, interactive training
session with Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT.

Journalists will also meet with Mariana Alvarado, a teaching fellow with Google News Lab in Mexico, Central America and Colombia.  During her session, Alvarado will work with journalists on identifying data bases that contain in-depth information for health and science stories.