Salvador Rizzo joins InquireFirst Board of Directors

Salvador Rizzo joins InquireFirst Board of Directors

Salvador Rizzo

InquireFirst is pleased to announce that Salvador Rizzo, crime and justice reporter for The Washington Post, has joined our Board of Directors.

Salvador reports on complex racketeering trials, financial fraud and espionage, international terrorism cases and major crimes in the Washington metro area. He previously was a reporter and deputy editor for The Washington Post Fact Checker from 2018 to 2021 and is co-author of “Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth” (Scribner, 2020).

His journalism career began at The Post, as a summer intern on the copy desk in 2008. In New Jersey from 2011 to 2017, Sal covered Chris Christie’s governorship and presidential campaign for the state’s major news organizations: the Star-Ledger and then the Bergen Record. He went on to be editor of New Jersey’s top politics blog for a year before rejoining The Post in 2018.

Salvador was a member of The Fact Checker team that documented Trump’s false and misleading statements while he was president, 30,573 of which were collected in a Washington Post database. With Glenn Kessler and Meg Kelly, he received an honorable mention for this work from the organizers of the Robin Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting in 2019.

Since 2019, Salvador has been a regular contributor to InquireFirst’s programs, speaking to journalists about fact-checking and other issues in journalism.

He grew up on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border and is a native Spanish speaker with a degree in English from Emory University. He lives in Alexandria, Va., a couple of blocks away from the federal courthouse.

Meet the other members of the InquireFirst Board of Directors

En Común receives funding from Hollywood Foreign Press Association for third season of programing


En Común receives funding from Hollywood Foreign Press Association for third season of programing

We’re thrilled to announce that InquireFirst has received funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for a third season of En Común: conocimiento en voz viva, our radio program on science, health and environment tailored for Indigenous communities in Latin America.

The HFPA is providing funding that will make it possible for En Común to broadcast 20 weekly, science-based reports on health and environmental issues that affect the Indigenous communities in Latin America that form a multicultural mosaic of diverse ethnic identities, ancestral knowledge and cultural values.

The unique nature of our program — we are not aware of any other Spanish-language radio program directed by experienced international journalists that is focused on science, health and the environment – has resulted in valuable news coverage that reaches millions of people in underserved Indigenous communities with carefully reported, fact-based science, health and environmental programs.

Led by co-founder and executive producer Iván Carrillo in collaboration with InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker, En Común shares the voices of Indigenous people as our reporters – many of them Indigenous journalists working for the first time with an international media organization – record the concerns and the experiences of people in their communities.

We have formed an alliance with the Instituto Mexicano de la Radio (IMER) that allows us to reach community radio stations stretching from Chiapas at Mexico’s southern border to Baja California at the U.S.-Mexico border.

To reach an international audience, we are collaborating with Massachusetts-based Cultural Survival, which is sharing our program with more than 1,650 affiliated radio stations serving indigenous audiences through its Indigenous Rights Radio programming.

Avexnim Cojtí, director of programs at Cultural Survival, said “many of the Indigenous community radios are underfunded or do not have the contacts to do this type of professional coverage.”

 En Común “is valuable,” Cojtí said, “because there are not many media or journalists who target these specific issues or important topics within Indigenous communities with scientific perspectives/information and Indigenous perspectives.”

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Voces Emergentes México team wins state journalism prize

Voces Emergentes México team wins state journalism prize

A team of four journalists in Baja California Sur (BCS) was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2022 state journalism awards for their project revealing that mining operations in BCS that are going forward with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources despite repeated claims by Mexican President López Obrador that no more mining concessions would be awarded during his administration.

The journalists – Diego Soto, Karina Lizárraga, Adriana Márquez and Mahatma Fong – researched and wrote the investigative report as part of InquireFirst’s Voces Emergentes México program for early-career journalists and university journalism students.

Voces Emergentes Mexico, a six-week program held in June-July 2021, offered intensive training to almost 40 journalists and students from Mexico City and from eight Mexican states stretching from Baja California to Yucatán. In the short period of six weeks, the journalists and students produced 12 newsworthy projects that were published by 16 news organizations on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The project by the BCS team was published by Forbes Mexico, Riodoce, El Sur de Guerrero, La-Lista, and the weekly news magazine Proceso.

“During 2021 the days became longer, because we were part of the first generation of a diploma course for journalists in the areas of in-depth or investigative reporting,” Lizárraga said on the day of the awards ceremony. “I thank and congratulate my colleagues for the hard work that is recognized today in our state.”

Soto said “this was the first time that I worked with a team on a news story and it was a pleasant and satisfying experience.”

“Journalism has no borders!” he said.

Voces Emergentes México was the first of a region-wide intensive training program organized by InquireFirst for early-career journalists and university journalism students. A key focus of the program is collaborative journalism.

During the six-week program, experienced editors guided and advised the young journalists as they researched in-depth news stories and produced multimedia elements such as videos, photo slide shows, audio reports, infographics and interactive maps and timelines.

The second program in the Voces Emergentes series was held in Paraguay in April-May 2022. A new Voces Emergentes program is planned in another Latin American country next year.

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

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 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 ( so stay tuned!

InquireFirst launches science podcast for Mexico’s rural communities

InquireFirst launches science podcast for Mexico’s rural communities


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 reporters.

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.

We are pleased to announce that InquireFirst has forged an alliance with the Red de Radios Comunitarias de México, a radio network that reaches indigenous communities in 18 states in Mexico, to bring science-based news to the country’s rural and indigenous communities.

Iván Carrillo, a prominent science writer and editor, is the executive producer of the project.  He is joined by an experienced production team based in Mexico. Our reporters are journalists working not only in Mexico’s major cities but they are also indigenous journalists working in rural communities across the country.

We’ll be launching our 15-episode podcast, En común: Conocimiento en Voz Viva, in August 2020.

Stay tuned for our first episode!