Medellín & Cali, Colombia


 

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

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


 

Person in blackboard
Freelance science journalist Emiliano Rodríguez Mega selects a category for his cross-border science project during the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo by Lynne Friedmann

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)

 


 

 

Mexico City


 

Merck-group
Photo by Brett Gundlock

InquireFirst leads regional Science and Health Journalism Seminar in 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, told almost 30 science and health journalists attending our regional workshop in Mexico City.

As Blum lead journalists through an interactive workshop on narrative science writing, she told them “we are the best people in the world to remind people that science is a part of their daily life.”

Blum was the keynote speaker on the final day of our March 31-April 3, 2019, regional Science and Health Journalism Seminar which InquireFirst organized in collaboration with MSD. Journalists from major media organizations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico attended our first InquireFirst regional workshop conducted in Mexico City.

“Excellent,” one journalist said about Blum’s teaching session. “It is refreshing to hear how journalism is done in other places and to investigate and analyze the tools we have within our reach to do better journalism.”

This seminar focused 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.

As the journalists heard from prominent MDs and researchers, Blum told them, “we recover lost science. There’s no one better to do it than science writers.”

Also joining us for an interactive session was Mariana Alvarado, training fellow for Google News Lab in Mexico, Central America and Colombia.

Alvarado showed journalists how to use Google on-line tools to verify information before publishing.

“We are in a unique and challenging moment for quality journalism,” she said. “It is more difficult to assure people that they are consuming accurate information.”

Among the speakers were:

  • Dr. Carlos Espinal, head of the Global Health Consortium at Florida International University, who said that by 2050 microbial resistance to antibiotics will claim more lives worldwide than cancer.
  • Dr. Javier Baez, who treated the first HIV case in Mexico. Today, Brazil has the highest reported number of HIV/AIDS in Latin America, followed by Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Chile.
  • Dr. Carlos Barrios, director of the Oncology Research Center at Hospital São Lucas in Brazil, who noted that while the prevalence of cancer is lower in Latin America than in the United States, more people die of cancer in Latin America due to a complex and often inaccessible health care system.
  • Dr. Carla Vizzotti, director of the National Program of Immunizations in Argentina, who spoke about the public resistance to vaccines. “Vaccines are victims of their own success,” she said.
  • Dr. Claudio González, director of MSD Global Medical Affairs, who talked about the increase in diabetes in Latin American countries. Mexico ranks first in the region.
  • Dr. Raffaela Schiavon, advisor on health and sexual and reproductive rights in México, who said that Latin America ranks second in teen pregnancy after Africa.
  • Javier Picó, a partner in Life Sciences Consultants in Mexico City, who spoke about the impact of biopharmaceutical innovation in Latin America.
  • Frank Lichtenberg, business professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Business, who said the medical industry is the most labor-intensive sector of the economy, making it an important engine of economic growth.

The response from the journalists attending the seminar was overwhelmingly positive.

“This was an enriching seminar which, unlike others, not only presented health issues but also gave instructions on tools like Google,” said one journalist.

“Worth its weight in gold for reporters,” said another journalist. “The more tools we have, the more we can document our work.”

 

In collaboration with

 


 

Fullerton, Calif.


 

Top U.S. journalists instruct Transparency and Investigative Reporting Workshop

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 to Southern California to attend sessions on fact-checking, in-depth investigative reporting, cyber security and reporting with drones.

Among our speakers were:

  • Ginger Thompson, senior reporter at ProPublica who specializes in immigration and organized crime coverage.  Ginger and her colleagues at ProPublica won a Polk Award in the immigration category in February 2019 for their “Zero Tolerance” series on the Trump administration’s policy at the border.
  • Sal Rizzo, reporter at The Fact Checker at The Washington Post who previously covered New Jersey politics, courts, state finances and Gov. Chris Christie.
  • Erik Olsen, a Los Angeles-based video journalist who previously was the West Coast video correspondent for Quartz. Before joining Quartz, Erik was a senior video journalist for The New York Times. He is now focused on reporting with drones.
  • Eileen Truax, an InquireFirst journalist whose work focuses on immigration and politics and has been published in the U.S., Latin America and Spain. Eileen is the author of four books, including, “Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation’s Fight for Their American Dream.”
  • Walter Baranger, who left his position as senior editor of news operations at The New York Times last year. One of Walter’s many roles at the Times was to travel to foreign bureaus and shore up cyber security.  Walter, who is now VP of InquireFirst, will give a presentation on protecting information and equipment from cyber attacks.

We held the workshop on the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) campus, where Walter is on the journalism faculty.  Our partners for this workshop are the Latino Communications Institute at the CSUF College of Communications and the Latino Journalists Club.

The workshop equipped 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.

In Collaboration With[lgc_column grid=”50″ tablet_grid=”50″ mobile_grid=”100″]

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Guayaquil, Ecuador


 

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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.”

READ MORE ABOUT OUR SYMPOSIUMS

Mérida, Yucatán

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 February 2020 environmental investigative journalism workshop organized by InquireFirst.
Medellín & Cali, Colombia

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 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
Lausanne, Switzerland

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 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
Mexico City

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, told almost 30 science and health journalists attending our regional workshop in Mexico City. As Blum lead journalists through an interactive workshop on narrative science
Fullerton, Calif.

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 to Southern California to attend sessions on fact-checking, in-depth investigative reporting, cyber security and reporting with drones. Among our speakers were:
Guayaquil, Ecuador

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 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
Palo Alto, Calif.

Palo Alto, Calif.

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Latin American science journalists were presented with a host of new professional development opportunities during the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop at Stanford University. The June 17-21, 2018 workshop, organized by InquireFirst and Mexico City-based Fundación Ealy Ortiz, focused on training opportunities – with Latin
San José, Costa Rica

San José, Costa Rica

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Science and health journalism should not be limited by international borders. Complex new health threats such as Zika virus that occur in a “noisy” media environment require a new model of reporting, Andrew Revkin, strategic adviser on science and environmental journalism for The National Geographic
México City

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 of fake news On the opening day of a journalism TechCamp in Mexico City, Aristegui acknowledged “there is serious questioning” of the work of journalists.
La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia

LA PAZ, Bolivia – These were the last days of class for a committed group of journalists who had been studying and reporting and writing all year to earn a masters-level certificate in investigative journalism. InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker, who worked for several weeks with the journalists on line,
San Francisco, Calif.

San Francisco, Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The 2017 Latin America edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop sparked a commitment by more than 70 journalists from 15 countries to begin building a regional science journalism network. The need for a network, which has long been a priority for workshop organizers
Asunción, Paraguay

Asunción, Paraguay

ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay – It’s been two years since Paraguay’s access to information law went into effect and reporters say they are often turned away when they use the law to request documents. As Paraguay becomes the latest country in Latin America to adopt an access law, some reporters say their
Honduras & Guatemala

Honduras & Guatemala

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker traveled to San Pedro Sula in June 2017 to meet with investigative journalists who cover crime, corruption and gang warfare in the most dangerous city in Honduras. San Pedro Sula is an industrial center, a business hub on the northern
Northern México

Northern México

S. Lynne Walker, executive director of InquireFirst, traveled to five Mexican states in September 2016 to instruct a series of investigative journalism and digital journalism workshops for reporters, editors, students and professors. More than 150 journalists, university students and professors in Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Saltillo, Jalisco and Michoacan attended the
San Diego, Calif.

San Diego, Calif.

SAN DIEGO -- Journalists from Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Panama, attended InquireFirst’s inaugural international investigative journalism symposium Nov. 14-18, 2016, in San Diego. The program, organized and directed by InquireFirst Executive Director S. Lynne Walker and conducted entirely in Spanish, focused on investigative journalism in the digital age. Nineteen
Nogales, México

Nogales, México

NOGALES, Mexico – This is a city of commerce, a bustling town leaning into the U.S.-Mexico border where billions of dollars of tomatoes and squash and peppers are shipped into the United States every year along with shiny Ford Fusions, computer electronics and parts for the aerospace industry. Underneath this
Culiacán, México

Culiacán, México

CULIACAN, México -- Journalists are under seige in the northern Mexico state of Sinaloa, where notorious drug trafficker Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera was captured in January after a fierce gun battle with soldiers. Grenades have been hurled at El Debate, Culiacán's largest-circulation newspaper. Gunmen have opened fire with AK-47s
Guatemala City

Guatemala City

GUATEMALA CITY — InquireFirst.org Executive Director Lynne Walker instructed a week-long series of journalism training symposiums in Guatemala in February — the first under our organization’s international journalism symposium program. Reporters, editors, media owners and university students in Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango and Guatemala City attended the symposiums, which focused on new

Switzerland workshop

Switzerland
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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

Graphic
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.


California workshop

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February 25-March 1, 2019
Fullerton, California
Transparency and Investigative Reporting

As reporters across the Western Hemisphere are facing threats to their credibility and to their safety, this workshop organized and directed by InquireFirst for Latin American and Caribbean journalists will offer sessions on investigative reporting and interview techniques, as well as fact-checking, journalism ethics and journalist safety. The workshop, which will be conducted on the California State University, Fullerton campus in Southern California, will provide training on data research and the use of low-cost and no-cost software for investigative reporting.

Latin American journalists have asked us to include content on preparing investigative reports in video formats and for television networks which have special demands because of time limitations and the need for on-camera interviews. Because Cal State Fullerton is home to the regional Univision station, speakers from Univision will work with journalists, as well as hosting a visit to the Univision newsroom.

Many of the sessions will be taught by prominent U.S. journalists, some of whom have been awarded prestigious national awards for their investigative reporting. We anticipate that this 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.


Ecuador workshop

Ecuador
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January 14-18, 2019
Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador
Investigative Journalism and Journalist Safety

InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker will travel to Ecuador in January 2019 to instruct a series of workshops on investigative journalism and journalist safety.

Walker will meet with journalists in Guayaquil and in the capital of Quito to lead sessions designed to provide tools and techniques for investigative reporting in areas ranging from corruption and organized crime to environmental investigative journalism.

The workshops will focus on identifying credible sources and fact checking as the backbone of investigative reporting.

During the intensive, two-day sessions, Walker will also discuss safety protocols with Ecuadoran journalists, who have witnessed recent deadly attacks on colleagues investigating organized crime.