Unearthed: How Investigative Journalism Can Change the Environmental Landscape in Latin America

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Luis J. Jiménez/InquireFirst

February 16-20, 2020
Merida, México
Unearthed: How Investigative Journalism Can Change the Environmental Landscape in Latin America

This unique program will bring together environmental journalists from throughout Latin America for an intensive professional development workshop focusing on climate change, cross-border air and water safety issues, preserving biodiversity, and the impact of deforestation on the Western Hemisphere.

A key session during the program will be a visit to a biological reserve to meet with farmers who are attempting to abandon the centuries-old practice of deforestation and rely on ecoturismo for their income. Journalists will discuss with farmers the economic and environmental results of this program to rescue critical areas of the jungle from destruction.

Another first for InquireFirst! Cross-border science/ health project is published by Tangible and El Universal, demonstrating the power of collaborative journalism in Latin America

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We’re thrilled to announce that our first cross-border science and health project was published on November 4 by the Mexico City daily newspaper El Universal and the digital magazine Tangible.

This in-depth report titled, “Trans in Latin America,” was reported and written by four prominent science writers and focuses on how legal barriers and discrimination limit the trans community’s access to medical treatment. As a sad result, the life expectancy of trans persons in Latin America is between 35 and 41 years, compared with a regional average life expectancy of 75 years.

Tangible editor Iván Carrillo served as editor of the project, which received support for reporting grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Department of Science Education. Our project was published in Tangible and in El Universal in collaboration with Fundación Ealy Ortiz and InquireFirst.

We invite you to read this impressive project on the Tangible website at: https://interactivo.eluniversal.com.mx/2019/transgenero-transfronterizo/

Our goal in funding this project was to encourage collaborative science writing across international borders, strengthening regional science, health and environmental stories by multiplying the number of reporters, editors and visual journalists working on high-impact reports on issues of regional importance.

The reporters on the team were selected during our Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, which we held on July 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland during the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2019).

On the reporting team are:

Medellín & Cali, Colombia

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InquireFirst instructs investigative journalism workshops in Medellin and Cali

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 investigative reporting.

During the programs organized by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Walker led interactive sessions with journalists who cover corruption, organized crime and public safety issues.  She focused her workshop sessions on journalist safety as well as effective interview techniques and narrative writing.

Some 30 journalists attended each of the two-day workshops in Medellin and Cali, with additional journalists from prominent media organizations joining the group for receptions at the close of each of the programs.

Walker met with directors of Colombia’s largest media organizations, as well as with leaders of journalism programs at top universities.

In Medellin, Walker met with journalists at El Colombiano, the second-largest daily newspaper in Colombia.  The hour-long session was moderated by Margarita Barrero, editor-in-chief of the newspaper.

In another first for InquireFirst, approximately 12 Venezuelan journalists joined the Cali workshop via live stream transmission for a day-long investigative reporting session.

Many of the Venezuelan journalists who participated had attended past workshops organized by Walker.


 

Medellín and Cali, Colombia Investigative Journalism in High-Risk Situations

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Photos by Alejandro Rodriguez/Colombo Americano Medellin

July 29-August 2, 2019
Medellín and Cali, Colombia
Investigative Journalism in High-Risk Situations

During the two-day workshops in Medellín and Cali, InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker will conduct interactive sessions with journalists who cover corruption, organized crime and public safety issues.  Walker will focus her workshop sessions on journalist safety as well as effective interview techniques and narrative writing.

Some 30 journalists will attend each of the workshops, with additional journalists from prominent media organizations joining the group for receptions at the close of each of the programs.

Walker will also meet with directors of Colombia’s largest media organizations, as well as with directors of journalism programs at top universities.


Lausanne, Switzerland

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InquireFirst leads regional Science and Health Journalism Seminar in Mexico City

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 their work on a cross-border regional health story.

The reporters on the team were selected during our Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, which was held on July 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland during the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2019).

They were chosen by a team of judges who organized and evaluated two-minute lightening rounds of story pitches by 11 groups of Latin American science writers attending the workshop. The judges said the winning proposal was timely, relevant and focused on an underreported health issue in Latin America.

InquireFirst received support for the reporting grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.  The project will be published in Tangible (https://bit.ly/2Owojqu), an online science magazine based in Mexico, as well as the online edition of El Universal, the largest daily newspaper in Mexico. Our projected publication date is October 2019,  so stay tuned for more information https://inquirefirst.org/ .

Reporting will be conducted in South America, Central America and Mexico. The journalists on the team are:

Margaret López, a science and economic reporter based in Venezuela who is the editor of HispanoPost Media Group and a collaborator with SciDev.net.

 

 

 

Valeria Román, a freelance science writer based in Argentina who writes about science, health and the environment for Science, Nature and Scientific American, as well as Infobae.com, SciDev.net and Forbes Argentina.

 

 

Debbie Ponchner, a science journalist with more than 15 years of experience in print and digital media, as well as newsroom management. She is based in her home country of Costa Rica where she leads DP Comunicación Estratégica, a company devoted to improving the communication of science.

 

 

Iván Carrillo, editor of Tangible, will serve as editor of the cross-border health project. He is the anchor of the program Los Observadores on Mexico’s TV Azteca and a writer for National Geographic and Newsweek en Español. He has also worked with Discovery Channel and CNN en Español.

 

 

We were thrilled to once again collaborate with Fundación Ealy Ortiz on the 16th annual Latin American edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop at the WCSJ2019 in Lausanne.

Some 44 journalists from 16 Latin American countries attended our July 1 workshop, which was held before the WCSJ2019 inaugural ceremony.

InquireFirst was proud to sponsor the participation of two Mexican environmental journalists – Sergio Vicke and Pablo Mares – by providing them with full scholarships to attend the Ealy workshop and WCSJ2019.

Fundación Ealy Ortiz sponsored 12 journalists to attend from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay,  Chile and Mexico.

Our day-long workshop featured two interactive sessions on narrative science writing and shaping cross-border science stories – from idea to reality.

We also had a panel discussion on new economic models for online science journalism sites as well as a dynamic exchange on building a regional network of science journalists.

Among our speakers were:

  • Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT (U.S.)
  • Iván Carrillo, editor of Tangible (Mexico)
  • Thiago Medaglia, founder of Ambiental (Brazil)
  • Diego Arguedas Ortiz, founder of Ojo al Clima (Costa Rica)
  • Daniela Hirschfeld, Latin American correspondent with net (Uruguay)
  • Aleida Rueda, freelance science writer (Mexico)
  • Rosalind Reid, executive director of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (U.S.)
  • Carlos Cienfuegos, director of the Faculty of Communication at Universidad Anáhuac (Mexico)
  • Germán Fajardo, M.D., president of the Latin American Association of Faculties and Schools of Medicine (Mexico)