Hermosillo Radio Reporter Wins Reporting Fellowship

Oct 92008

Washington, DC -- Amílcar Peñúñuri Soto, a reporter for a community radio station in Hermosillo, Mexico, has won the second Gulf of California Fellowship for In-Depth Reporting on Sustainable Development.

Peñúñuri, 39, reports for Radio Bemba FM and writes a column for the Hermosillo daily, El Imparcial. He plans to produce a ten-part series of radio stories on development in the state of Sonora. His main focus will be on the growth of Puerto Peñasco, where high-rise condominiums, golf courses and luxury homes are springing up, many of them to serve visitors from the United States.

Peñúñuri will examine the sustainability of these developments in relation to rising sea levels, a shortage of fresh water and the displacement of traditional life-styles. He also plans to report on construction of a coastal highway, developments in Guaymas, and concerns of common people and Seri Indians about the impacts of these changes.

"Peñúñuri has shown the initiative to pursue complex stories at a personal level," said Rob Taylor, director of Science and Environment Programs at ICFJ. "We expect him to show other journalists how to dig deeper into sustainable development issues in the region."

The first Gulf of California Fellowship was awarded in 2007 to Eduardo Valdez Verde of Periódico Noroeste in Culiacán. He produced a three-part series on development that is taking over the Sinaloa coastline, often ignoring environmental protections for coastal mangrove swamps and other ecological values. His articles won a third prize and an honorable mention in the 2008 awards for coverage of sustainable development in the region.

The awards and the second fellowship are sponsored by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The International Community Foundation sponsored the first fellowship. Both awards were administered by the International Center for Journalists.

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), a non-profit, professional organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition. Aiming to raise the standards of journalism, ICFJ offers hands-on training workshops, seminars, fellowships and international exchanges to journalists and media managers around the globe.