When we partnered Francisco Rodriguez (left) and Giovanna Dell’Orto (center) on our Migration Reporting Project in Guatemala a few years ago, it was only the beginning.
Francisco and Giovanna have kept in touch and, earlier this month, Giovanna hosted a conference in Minneapolis (flyer), which brought together journalists covering refugees and migration from all over the world. Of course, she invited Francisco, which gave me the chance to finally meet him in person. We reflected upon the way in which our project changed his thinking about journalism.
Until our project, Francisco says he and his colleagues rarely ventured outside the capital city for stories. But we sent him and Giovanna to remote, accessible regions of the country; places where even his renowned newspaper, el Periōdico, can’t afford to station or send reporters. Francisco and Giovanna were mud-caked on their return from days of dirt-track driving across the country. They came back with compelling, untold stories. These stories were entirely new for a Guatemalan audience.
And that got Francisco thinking. He’s now working on an innovative and exciting idea — establishing a network of journalists, a news agency of a sort, focused on rural and small city reporting throughout the country. I was thrilled to learn of these plans and so heartened to realize an unexpected impact of his collaboration with Round Earth. These projects have legs!