Investigative journalists from across the globe gather in Colombia
Editors, investigative journalists, media managers, professors and students gathered in Bogotá on March 16 and 17 during the V Meeting on Investigative Journalism. Organized by Consejo de Redacción, or Newsroom Council, (CdR in Spanish) with the help of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and other sponsors, the event brought in 247 people.
The Newsroom Council, a Colombian organization that puts on these type of events every year, invited twelve international and three local journalists to tell their experiences as researchers of large cases dealing with transnational organizations of money laundering, government corruption, mining in Latin America, state subsidies theft, drug trafficking, territorial elections, among others.
The speakers were Daniel Santoro (Argentina), Marcelo Moreira (Brazil), Marcela Ramos (Chile), Marcela Zamora (El Salvador), Sebastian Rotella, Marina Walker, Raquel Rutledge and Stephen Ferry (United States), Marcela Turati and Javier Valdez (Mexico), Ricardo Uceda (Peru), Paul Radu (Romania) and Ginna Morelo, Fabio Posada and Fernando Ramírez (Colombia). Germán Rey, renowned Colombian academic and honorary member of the Newsroom Council, and Ronnie Lovler, Fellow of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), who leads a draft mapping and citizen journalism project with the Newsroom Council, also attended.
They all agreed on several recommendations: be alert to changes from all sources, share information among each other and work collaboratively, be an active listener, review multimedia files (recordings) several times for information that could be overlooked, protect and respect your sources, be skeptical, learn how to mine data, know how to access databases and how to use them, use the online medium to its fullest potential - maximize the opportunity to be current and timely to attract new and different audiences.
The activity was made possible with the support of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, who has contributed to the work of the Newsroom Council since it was founded in 2007, the Open Society Foundations, the Centro Atico and the College of Communication and Language from Javeriana University, location where the event took place.
The opening session was conducted by Germán Rey, then came the panels in which the guests described the perseverance and courage with which they could perform their award-winning research. New this year, the meeting included a photographic collection by Stephen Ferry on the conflict in Colombia, a documentary by Marcela Zamora (elfaro.net) on migration in Central America and a conference on the model of non-profit investigative journalism led by ProPública.
To conclude, the Newsroom Council organized the traditional ‘Talk with the Professors’, a discussion group where experienced journalists reflect on the industry of investigative journalism and exchange their views with the audience. This time, Daniel Santoro, Marina Walker and Ricardo Uceda analyzed the changes in the landscape of journalism in Latin America, and the session was moderated by Carlos Eduardo Huertas, director and new honorary member of the Newsroom Council. The Semana magazine website outlined the discussion group.