A dozen Caribbean journalists earn scholarships to investigate climate crisis
By The Star Staff
The proposals of 12 Caribbean journalists to investigate the climate crisis will become journalistic reports after being selected to receive scholarships from the Institute of Journalism Training, the educational arm of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI by its Spanish initials).
The scholarship proposals arose as a result of the first edition of the Caribe Fest, a three-day festival organized by the CPI that had an agenda full of workshops, conferences and panels on journalism and the climate crisis in which around 60 journalists and editors from the Caribbean participated.
Isayen Herrera and Roberto Deniz (Venezuela), Hassel Fallas and Michelle Soto Méndez (Costa Rica), Mary Triny Zea (Panama), Eunice Bedminster and Suzanne Carlson (U.S. Virgin Islands), Krista Campbell (Jamaica), Dana Kampa and Freeman Rogers (British Virgin Islands), Olivia Losbar (Guadeloupe) and María Mónica Monsalve Sánchez (Colombia) are the winners of the fellowships and will work for several months on their respective collaborative investigations.
With the support of the Open Society Foundations, this round of scholarships entails a historic investment of $20,000, which will allow the largest representation of Caribbean countries to have joined in collaborative projects with the CPI.
The CPI Institute annually opens several calls to participate in workshops offered by important figures in journalism and experts in the fields of health, economics and the environment, among others, and invites journalists and students who participate to present their proposals for reports and chronicles that have an investigative angle.
“The Caribbean is one of the regions most impacted in the world by the climate crisis, but rarely are our problems and challenges heard in the international scenarios from where decisions are made to mitigate and allocate funds that allow us to adapt to these new climate realities,” said Víctor Rodríguez Velázquez, manager of the Institute. “Working on cross-border and collaborative journalistic investigations allows us to see as a region what the indispensable changes are for the survival of our Caribbean communities.”
As part of the fellowships, the CPI will offer editorial mentoring, support in data management and visualization, requests for information and audiovisual production for the reports, which will then be published in media throughout the Caribbean.
“These are urgent stories for our Caribbean and the 40 million people who live on its islands and coasts at the mercy of climate change, told from the perspective of Caribbean journalists who are best prepared to do so,” said Omaya Sosa Pascual, special projects editor at the CPI. “Without our support, these stories could not be researched and told because they require time and production resources that are not available in their media.”
Likewise, Fallas and Soto Méndez of the Costa Rican data journalism and information visualization platform La Data Cuenta and Ojo al Clima, and Zea Cornejo of the Panamanian international media outlet Bloomberg Línea, received a grant to work on a collaborative investigation of the framework of funds for the climate crisis in the region.
In addition, Bedminster and Carlson of The Virgin Islands Daily News, Campbell of Television Jamaica, Olivia Losbar of RCI Group, Monsalve Sánchez of América Futura (El País), and Kampa and Rogers of The BVI Beacon received a scholarship to investigate the impact of sargassum in the region.