ICFJ Knight Fellow Mariano Blejman is creating the first news innovation contest in Latin America. Blejman is an editor and media entrepreneur specializing in data-driven journalism. In 2011, he co-founded Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires, a local chapter of the group that brings technologists and journalists together to find solutions to information problems. With 1,700 members, the Buenos Aires chapter is already the second-largest chapter in the world. Through Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires, Blejman built Mapa76, a set of digital tools that analyzes and displays data on timelines and maps. Mapa76’s first project is to reveal patterns in the disappearances of thousands of people during the violent rule of Argentina's military dictatorship in the 1970s. Blejman also founded the Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires Media Party, a three-day event that attracts 500 journalists and technology innovators from around the world.
Prior to his Knight Fellowship, Blejman worked at the Argentine newspaper Página/12 for 14 years. He was an editor and writer for the digital culture section and editor-in-chief of a weekly supplement on youth culture, rock music and technology. During this time, he published more than 1,500 articles and edited more than 400 supplements. Blejman has been a radio reporter for Radio Continental and a television columnist for 360TV. Blejman holds a bachelor's degree in social communication and social science from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo.