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Executive Director Lynne Walker meets with reporters and editors on journalist safety in Ciudad Juárez

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InquireFirst Executive Director S. Lynne Walker instructed a two-day workshop for reporters and editors in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on investigative journalism and journalist safety. Photo by Gustavo Cabullo Madrid

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker met with reporters and editors in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, on May 15-16, 2017, to instruct a two-day workshop on investigative journalism and journalist safety.

In Ciudad Juarez, more than 30 investigative reporters and editors from the city’s leading print, radio and television outlets participated in six hours of interactive training led by Walker.

During the first session of the workshop organized by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Walker shared techniques for gaining access and finding sources. The second and final day of the workshop, Walker led a training exercise on interview techniques and organizing and writing an investigative story.

Rocio Gallegos, editorial director of El Diario, looks at a map of Ciudad Juarez marked with the areas of the city where the worst outbreaks of drug violence have occurred. Photo by S. Lynne Walker/InquireFirst

A key focus of the workshop was journalist safety. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Mexico is one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists. On the list of the world’s deadliest places to be a reporter, Mexico falls between the war-torn nation of Afghanistan and the failed state of Somalia. Last year, 11 Mexican journalists were killed, the country’s highest tally this century, the New York Times reported.

March was the worst month on record for Mexico, according to Article 19, a group that tracks crimes against journalists worldwide. At least seven journalists were shot across the country in March — outside their front doors, relaxing in a hammock, leaving a restaurant, out reporting a story, according to the Times.

On May 15, Javier Valdez, an award-winning reporter whose coverage focused on drug trafficking and organized crime, was shot to death in the northern state of Sinaloa outside the offices of the publication he co-founded, Rio Doce.

During a private breakfast with news directors from El Diario, the leading newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, Radiorama and Net Multimedia, Walker listened as they desctibed the challenges faced by news organizations in the border city. During the discussion, the news directors agreed to begin convening regular meetings to strengthen journalism in Ciudad Juarez.

In the newsroom of El Diario, Walker met with Editorial Director Rocio Gallegos to talk about ways that investigative journalism organizations such as El Diario and InquireFirst can work together on cross-border stories.

The Investigative Journalism & Journalist Safety workshop resulted in two important takeaways for editors and reporters. First, they agreed to talk with top directors at their news organizations about implementing safety protocols. Second, they discussed inviting an international organization such as Article 19 to Ciudad Juarez to provide training sessions on protocols and journalist safety.

In the pressroom of El Diario, the most prominent daily newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, press operator Alberto Carrillo looks through a freshly printed copy of the paper's weekly magazine. The drug war has taken a toll on the 41-year-old newspaper, which has seen circulation drop by half since 2008. Photo by S. Lynne Walker/InquireFirst

The workshop also served to encourage reporters and editors to keep striving for excellence in their reporting. Journalist Gustavo Cabullo described the workshop as demonstrating “the art of weaving a good story.” In a Facebook post during Walker’s workshop, Cabullo wrote, “today she reminds us of the excitement of a good story, of producing excellent journalism.”

The Ciudad Juarez workshop is the first in a series of professional training workshops that Walker will lead this year in Latin America. In June, Walker will spend two weeks working with journalists in Honduras and Guatemala on investigative reporting techniques. In October, she will organize and direct the 2017 Latin American Edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism workshop in San Francisco, Calif. And in November, Walker will travel to Bolivia to work with journalists in La Paz.

In the Honduran city of Tela on the north Caribbean coast, Walker will lead a two-day workshop on accurate sourcing and on producing thorough, balanced investigative journalism that results in greater transparency and good governance. During her trip to Honduras, Walker will conduct workshops in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.

Walker will also travel to Quetzaltenango and Cayala, Guatemala to share tools and techniques for investigative journalism with reporters, editors and university students. The workshops are being organized by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Honduras and the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.

2017 Symposiums

InquireFirst Executive Director S. Lynne Walker will organize and instruct journalism symposiums in 2017 on investigative reporting and safety protocols, digital storytelling and science, health and environment coverage in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The symposiums will be presented in Spanish.

Rocio Gallegos, editorial director of El Diario, looks at a map of Ciudad Juarez marked with the areas of the city where the worst outbreaks of drug violence have occurred. Photo by S. Lynne Walker/InquireFirst

 

May 15-16, 2017
Cuidad Juarez, Mexico
Investigative Journalism & Journalist Safety

During the two-day Investigative Journalism workshop for print, online, radio and television reporters and editors, Walker will focus on the urgent issue of journalist safety.

Walker will meet with the directors of media organizations to discuss the risks they face and ways to conduct investigative coverage without putting reporters’ lives in danger. She will also lead conversations with journalism students at two universities in Ciudad Juarez about the fundamentals of fact-based reporting as well as answering their questions about daily reporting.


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June 12-16, 2017
Quetzaltenango and Guatemala City
Tools & Techniques for Investigative Reporting

In Guatemala City,  journalists will attend a two-day Tools & Techniques workshop led by Walker, who will meet separately with journalists in Quetzaltenango. The program will focus on developing investigative news stories, techniques for finding and interviewing sources, writing investigative reports and the ethics of investigative journalism.


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June 19-23, 2017
San Pedro Sula and Comayagua, Honduras
Engaging Audiences with In-Depth Reporting

In San Pedro Sula, Walker will lead a two-day workshop on accurate sourcing and producing thorough, balanced investigative journalism that results in greater transparency and good governance. Walker will also conduct intensive reporting workshops in the colonial city of Comayagua.


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August 21-25, 2017
San Diego, California
Digital Storytelling  in the 21st Century

This five-day workshop will focus on multi-platform storytelling as well as the dissemination of information through new media. The program includes discussions with specialists on the issues of accuracy and credibility, libel and other legal questions, reporting ethics and the sourcing of information in electronic media. During training sessions with digital media and social media experts, journalists will engage in hands-on training sessions designed to provide new reporting tools that will allow them to present immediate and accurate information in this new reporting environment. The workshop will be offered in Spanish.


Photo by Luis J. Jiménez/InquireFirst

September 1, 2017
Virtual session from San Diego, CA
Advanced Investigative Journalism 

This virtual session focuses on every aspect of investigative journalism — from idea to planning to reporting and writing and finally to follow-up stories.  More than 100 journalists will be attending the session from Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Durango, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas, as well as the border cities of Nuevo Laredo and Tamaulipas.


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September 25-29, 2017
Asunción, Paraguay
Investigative Reporting & Access to Information

Journalists in Asuncion, Caacupe and Itaugua, Paraguay, will attend a three-day workshop instructed by InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker on investigative reporting and techniques for accessing information for in-depth reporting.
Paraguay is readying for party primaries in December and a presidential election in April 2018. Walker will meet with journalists at Asuncion’s leading news organizations about access to information and government accountability. She will also meet with government officials and employees to discuss stategies for responsible disclosure of federal and local government activities.


October 25-30, 2017
San Francisco, California
Bridging Science and Societies

InquireFirst and Mexico City-based Fundacion Ealy Ortiz will bring together 50 science journalists for a October 25 professional development workshop to present practical, hands-on training sessions to sharpen reporting skills on the most pressing science, health and environmental issues in the Western Hemisphere.

The 2017 Latin American Edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop workshop is designed to promote excellence in science, health and environmental coverage in Latin America and the Caribbean and to underscore the need for deeply reported science coverage by local and regional media organizations.

This year’s workshop is being organized as part of the World Conference of Science Journalists 2017 (WCSJ) in San Francisco, California. Journalists attending the workshop will also participate in the WCSJ, which will host 1,200 reporters and editors from 70 countries.


LE PICTORIUM/Alamy Stock Photo

November 9-11, 2017
La Paz, Bolivia
Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age

Reporters and editors in the capital city of La Paz will attend a 14-hour workshop instructed by Walker on Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age. The workshop, organized by the Fundacion para el Periodismo, is being offered to journalists studying for a Master of Journalism degree.

 

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December 7-8, 2017
México City, México
Technology, Innovation & Journalism

Executive Director Lynne Walker will participate as a trainer in a México City TechCamp organized by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs.

The TechCamp aims to increase the digital literacy, media safety and investigative journalism skills of almost 60 participants from México, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The participants are working as independent journalists, as part of investigative units or in traditional media outlets on issues where they face censorship or physical harm.

 

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