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Jul 12015

How to Mold Women Tech Leaders in News Media: Chicas Poderosas at Stanford

Invited and inspired by Mariana Moura Santos, founder of Chicas Poderosas, 35 women journalists and developers from Latin America met for nearly four days at Stanford U for a cornucopia of sessions on technology, innovation and, most of all, teamwork.

Chicas Stanford

Female journalists from 10 Latin American countries attended the Chicas Poderosas Summit at Stanford University.

Mariana and Elisa Chicas Stanford

Mariana Santos (right), the founder of Chicas Poderosas, with Elisa Tinsley (left).

Jun 302015

How Journalists Should Approach Audience Engagement

As journalism becomes much more linked with the online activities of audiences, several tools are enabling users to send information in real time to newsrooms through web platforms or chat services.

In Latin America, several projects have used technology as an ally to receive information from citizens (see El Faro's citizen inbox on extortion stories from El Salvador), to encourage citizen input on elections (see TVN’s Yo Informo project in Panama) and to share content from citizen reporters using WhatsApp (see Globo’s Extra).

Jun 292015

ICFJ Knight Fellow: Let Journalism Be Weird

Journalism has always been obsessed with perfection. The story has to be dead to rights, the copy desk better make sure it’s a semicolon, not an em-dash. If a headline’s wrong there will be hell to pay come the news meeting tomorrow morning.

There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s fantastic. Papers of record should, and must, be held to the most stringent and reliable quality. My issue is when this mentality of perfection crawls from the editor’s desk to the business desk and the production line.

Jun 292015

The Challenges Reporters Face While Covering Ebola

When the World Health Organization officially confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone late in May last year, Toronto Star global health reporter Jennifer Yang immediately knew it was a big international story and she had to cover it.

But she also knew she would first have to overcome some major obstacles if she hoped to travel to West Africa for the story: budgets at her paper had been consistently cut, and it would be difficult to gauge the scale of the outbreak from distant Canada well enough to convince her superiors that it was a story worth covering.


Aid workers in West Africa don protective suits to battle the spread of Ebola.