InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker talks about the importance of press freedom during an interview at La Prensa, the leading daily newspaper in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Photo by Yoseph Amaya/La Prensa

Executive Director Lynne Walker leads investigative journalism workshops in Honduras and 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 coast with more daily flights than the capital of Tegucigalpa.  But it is also a center of gang activity, making it the most violent city in the most dangerous country in Latin America.

Against that backdrop, more than 60 journalists attended two-day investigative journalism workshops led by Walker, a career journalist who for 15 years reported on Mexico, Central America and Cuba as Mexico City bureau chief for Copley News Service. The workshops were held at the Colegio de Periodistas and organized by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa.

Walker directed interactive workshops designed to help journalists think creatively as they search for credible sources for investigative stories.  All too often, stories are blocked by official sources who refuse to provide information.  In that reporting environment, Walker led journalists through a series of reporting scenarios in which they used their experience, their wits and their intuition to find untapped sources who can provide reliable information for in-depth news stories.

Walker challenged journalists to think outside the box, to push themselves to conduct in-depth reporting while maintaining a clear sense of journalistic ethics. And she underscored the need for investigative journalists to always be mindful of their personal safety.

In the colonial city of Comayagua, some 80 journalists attended two-day investigative journalism workshops led by Walker. Many of the journalists traveled from the distant regions of Marcala, La Paz, Tela and Progreso to attend the professional development programs.

Walker also traveled to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, to lead an investigative journalism workshop for print, radio and television reporters.  During the day-long session at the Rafael Landivar University, Walker talked with journalists about the importance of their work in reducing corruption and strengthening democracy. She discussed an international code of ethics adopted by major news organizations around the world.  And she reviewed protocols for journalist safety, urging journalists to be ever mindful that no news story is worth their life.

In Guatemala City, Walker worked with 40 journalists and students on investigative techniques.  Several of the journalists in Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango had previously attended journalism workshops organized by Walker in San Diego, California.

Interview with Executive Director Lynne Walker at La Prensa in San Pedro Sula, Honduras


 

InquireFirst and Fundacion Ealy Ortiz form partnership to offer science journalism workshop in San Francisco

InquireFirst has signed a collaborative agreement with Mexico City-based Fundacion Ealy Ortiz A.C. to organize and direct the 2017 Latin American edition of the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop on October 25 in San Francisco.

The workshop, which will host 50 journalists from countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, will be held as part of the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCJS) from Oct. 26-30. This marks the first time the WCSJ has held its global conference in the United States. Some 1,200 science journalists from 70 countries are expected to attend.

During the day-long Ealy Science Journalism workshop, reporters and editors will participate in an interactive session on mining hidden science stories in Latin America.  They will also attend sessions on collaborating across borders to enrich storytelling, separating scientific fact from fiction, and staying safe while reporting on potentially dangerous issues such as logging, oil rights and mineral extraction.

The workshop will offer a mentoring program that will match Latin American science reporters with colleagues seeking to focus their work on science, health and environmental reporting.

The Fundacion Ealy Ortiz is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, publisher and owner of the daily newspaper El Universal in Mexico. Since its inception, the Fundacion has awarded more than 1,500 scholarships to journalists at more than 500 news organizations in Latin America to attend workshops the organization has conducted in Latin America, Europe and the United States.

Fifteen science journalists have received Ealy fellowships to attend the San Francisco workshop and the WCSJ. The journalists are working at media organizations in Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Jamaica and Cuba.

At the opening plenary of the WCSJ, Ealy Ortiz will talk about his vision for science journalism in Latin America and in countries around the world.  He will also introduce keynote speaker John P. Holdren, who was President Obama’s science advisor and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology from 2009-2017.


 

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

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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.

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. Read more


 

19 Latin American journalists attend inaugural InquireFirst symposium in San Diego

Eileen Truax, InquireFirst journalist and author of "Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation's Fight for Their American Dream," spoke with reporters and editors at the November 2016 international investigative journalism symposium. Photo by Luis J. Jiménez/InquireFirst

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 Latin American journalists met with prestigious U.S. journalists and professors who offered in-depth instruction on digital reporting, data reporting and visualization of data, video reporting and economic models for conducting investigative reporting on a limited budget.

A panel discussion with Susan White, executive director of InquireFirst who has edited three Pulitzer Prize-winning projects at three U.S. media organizations, focused on techniques for reporting and writing a prize-winning investigative project. White was joined on the panel by Dave Hasemyer, an investigative reporter for InsideClimateNews who is a winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize and a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.

Robert Hernandez, associate professor of professional practice at the University of Southern California and InquireFirst board member, instructed a three-hour workshop on digital journalism and low-cost and no-cost digital tools available to journalists to enhance their reporting and website presentation. Read more


 

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.

Xinhua/Alamy Stock Photo

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.

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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