Report for the World holds its first ever corps member gathering, with a focus on environmental journalism

Report for the World reached a new milestone, as we held our first ever in-person gathering in São Paulo, Brazil last week, bringing together our Latin American corps members and newsroom partners for  a two-day investigative journalism workshop. The training sessions were supported by

Participating corps members and editors from Brazil, Mexico and Peru explored local environmental stories with European and global angles, connecting them to other beats like migration, gender issues, health, corruption, and indigenous communities.

“Connecting editors, reporters and Report for the World program leaders across beats and borders unlocks a variety of possibilities for collaboration and resource sharing at a tough time for independent journalism,” said Kevin Grant, Chief Partnerships Officer, The GroundTruth Project.

An eclectic team of award-winning journalists from Brazilian and European organizations shared their expertise and experiences with the participants to help them refine their story angles, and gain knowledge of different facets of investigating environmental impact — from tracing supply chains and corruption, to presenting scientific evidence and creating accountability among global audiences.

“The team at Report from the World built this workshop around a group of very skilled experts whose knowledge and methods have international applications. Such trans-continental cooperation between European and non-European journalists can create a truly global network of reporters, giving them access to new ideas, skills and networks,” said Ides Debruyne, Managing Director

“It was inspiring to watch the corps members pour all the knowledge they acquired over two days into story ideas, in the concluding brainstorming exercise. These ideas will inform their work in the next few months and serve as a common language to build collaborations among their newsrooms,” said Wilson Liévano, Managing Editor and Director of Training and Community at Report for the World.

Report for the World’s director of training and community Wilson Liévano conducts a brainstorming session with corps members. (Photo by Kevin Grant/GroundTruth)

The best three cross-border story pitches that emerge from the workshop will be supported with reporting grants. Over the next months, Report for the World will foster collaborations between the participating newsrooms, and European and global media for joint publication.

“Given that our corps members are working around the clock, we designed a hands-on approach, so they may build their skills while using active stories, and produce collaborative investigations that reach diverse audiences, with greater impact,” said Preethi Nallu, Global Director at Report for the World.

The workshop highlighted the importance of locally driven journalism, with leading regional journalists setting the agenda, including Report for the World’s Brazil Country Manager Letícia Duarte.

“It was exciting to see so many talented reporters sharing experiences with each other and learning from some of the best in the field, including award-winning American journalist Mike Rezendes from the Spotlight team, and Brazilian journalist Patricia Campos Mello, who has become a symbol of resistance for journalists in Brazil and beyond,” said Duarte, who provided a training session on writing local stories for global audiences.

Report for the World country manager Letícia Duarte, during her presentation on how to write local stories for global publications. (Photo by Wilson Liévano/GroundTruth)

“This gathering in São Paulo builds the foundation for catalytic regional gatherings to come,” said Grant, referring to future such workshops in India, Nigeria and other key regional hubs at Report for the World.

Here is what Report for the World corps members and newsroom partners said about the workshop:

“The meeting was an extraordinary opportunity to be with other Latin American media outlets, to build partnerships with other journalists who face similar challenges, and ultimately to  improve independent journalism, especially in this period of political transition in Brazil.”

Juliana Mori, Co-founder and Editorial Director of InfoAmazonia.

In this workshop I’ve been thinking of how to connect local and peripheral issues with a more global perspective, one that speaks about what’s happening outside, but also speaks to what’s going on inside here. Connecting our local problems with the problems the world is facing, like the climate crisis, and how that links to the reality of the periphery.

Cleberson Santos, Corps member covering health and climate justice for Agência Mural.

This workshop makes it possible to exchange knowledge with colleagues from other parts of Brazil and the world, which has great benefits for us, so we can use this knowledge for pitching stories and improving our communication, for the people. Another important point was, of course, the opportunity of financing our story ideas, so we can execute them. So this is very important for us, having  this contact with colleagues and receiving this support as well.

Arnaldo Sete, Corps member-Photojournalist for Marco Zero

Given that Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists, our experience tells us that if we are going to publish a sensitive topic, it is preferable that several media outlets publish it at the same time. And if we can count on international allies, it is even better.  So, collaborations like this workshop are invaluable resources for us.

Armando Talamantes, Editor at Quinto Elemento

Corps members listen to Investigative reporter Daniel Camargos as he shares the details of his investigation on illegal gold mining and its link to big tech companies. (Photo by Wilson Liévano/GroundTruth)