ICFJ Senior Director Honored for Strengthening Independent Media

May 162013
  • ICFJ’s Botello (right) receives an award at Panama’s National Journalism gala for empowering news organizations across the Americas.

For his long-time commitment to “strengthening independent journalism in the Americas,” ICFJ’s Senior Director of Special Projects Luis Manuel Botello received special recognition at an awards ceremony in Panama City.

At Panama’s National Journalism Awards gala, Simón Bolívar Alemán, president of the Forum of Journalists for Freedom of Expression, singled out Botello for defending and promoting “democratic values” by empowering news organizations across the region.

Botello, who is originally from Panama, has worked at the International Center for Journalists for the past 15 years. He recently helped develop programs to improve investigative reporting using digital technology. In one initiative called Mi Panama Transparente, he helped create an interactive map that aggregates reports from citizens on crime and corruption. Major news organizations use this information for in-depth stories.

During his tenure at ICFJ, he has organized multiple exchange programs, giving Latin American journalists the chance to work in U.S. newsrooms. He has overseen initiatives on journalism ethics, press freedom, and environmental reporting for Latin American reporters and editors.

He has been instrumental in developing programs for Hispanic journalists on digital tools and financial reporting. In 1998, he also launched the International Journalists' Network, a website that keeps journalists up to date on media innovations, valuable resources, training opportunities and expert advice.

Botello continues to train journalists throughout Latin America, specifically through a new investigative reporting initiative for Mexico and Central America. On July 26 and 27, Luis will help facilitate a workshop on digital security and investigative journalism in Panama City for 20 journalists from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.