Mexico: Improved Access to Information for Investigative Broadcast Journalists
Susana Seijas helped journalists to use Mexico’s access to information law to improve the quality and increase the quantity of investigative and in-depth reports produced for the country's largest TV network and its website.
At her suggestion, the partner organization Televisa revamped a one-hour weekly news show called Reporteros, which showcased the work of the investigative team. As a result of a Televisa series on prison corruption, the Mexican Human Rights Commission issued recommendations to all prisons to combat the problem. During her fellowship year, reporters became more active on the Internet, using social media and blogging. As a result, page views on Televisa's website increased 51% and site visits increased 120%. Susana helped to create a training manual for Televisa reporters that is still being used in workshops inside and outside the TV network. She also mentored journalists who produced a prize-winning probe of poverty and health issues
The Reporteros program has won more than 20 national and international awards and is one of the news programs with the highest ratings. It is comprised of seven reporters who continually look for training; many are continuing their post-graduate educations. They have done stories on corruption, narcotics trafficking, human rights issues, conservation, ecology, and social development. Follow-up reports on public health policies, security policies, and child care have led to changes in legislation.
A Televisa reporter won the 2008 National Health Reporting prize for a ground-breaking series on how stem cell research could help cardiac patients – a controversial topic rarely covered in a conservative country.