We are currently reporting from Latin America and Africa and plan to expand soon to Asia and Eastern Europe. Check back for more on our new projects!
Our pioneering program in collaboration with SIT Study Abroad, gets underway every semester, pairing American students with journalism students in country. Round Earth’s veteran editors are guiding these next gen teams, placing their best reporting (print, audio, photography and film) in the world’s most respected media outlets.
Migration: Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador
Our newest project — just being launched with a generous grant from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation and Round Earth’s individual supporters — is to cover issues of migration in Mexico and the “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America.
In 2012, Round Earth Media reported a shocking story. Charlie Garcia, a young Salvadorian, had come to the United States illegally, married an American citizen and had a son. Then, fearing deportation, Garcia decided to legalize his immigration status. As required by U.S. law, he went back to El Salvador to file the paperwork that could grant him legal status. That decision cost Garcia his life. A year later, while still waiting for his paperwork to come through, Charlie Garcia was killed in a random act of street violence. With the world’s second highest murder rate, this is not an isolated case in El Salvador.
Our report reached audiences around the world, broadcast on National Public Radio in the United States, published by Salvadorian reporter Eric Lemus in ContraPunto in El Salvador and chosen by the BBC World Service as “best of the week.” Lemus’ partner, American reporter Ambar Espinoza (herself an immigrant from El Salvador), spoke with Garcia’s widow, his relatives in El Salvador and experts on migration and international law. They produced a powerful, complete and groundbreaking multimedia story, which alerted millions of people – in the United States and El Salvador — to the ways in which U.S. law affects migrants.
Reaction to this story convinced us that many more important stories about migration from Mexico and Central America should be brought to audiences in the U.S. and around the region. Stories on the topic of migration, when they are reported, are often approached in a manner that is superficial, even sensational. Contextual, quality reporting is needed so that Mexicans, Central Americans and people in the United States can understand this dynamic issue, with special attention to the impact of migration on some of the region’s most vulnerable people.
Stories from the Migration Reporting Project will reach millions of Americans via top-tier media in the United States. In addition, our stories will reach audiences in Mexico, appearing in Spanish via top-tier Mexican media outlets. We also plan to build upon our relationships with editors in Central America to place stories about migration, written in Spanish, in major print and online outlets in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. And, we plan to produce an hour-long documentary for public radio stations in the United States.
Our Partnership Model
To report theses stories, Round Earth will employ its groundbreaking partnership model, pairing early career American journalists with early career journalists in the countries where we are reporting (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras). These bilingual pairs will work together on the same story, mentored by Round Earth Media’s veteran reporters, editors and photographers. As described above, their stories will be published and broadcast bilaterally (in English in the U.S. and in Spanish in Mexico and Central America). The result will be journalism of the highest quality and a rare opportunity for early career, mostly freelance journalists, throughout the region.
The Migration Reporting Project directly grows out of the success of Round Earth Media’s Mexico Reporting Project.
The Mexico Reporting Project: Mexico Uncovered
Round Earth Media was launched in 2005 with a bounty of stories from Mexico.* With a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, we have just completed a major new reporting project from our neighbor to the south and a documentary from that project is currently being broadcast on public radio stations throughout the United States. It only makes sense: We share a nearly 2,000-mile border, nearly one in 10 Americans is of Mexican descent, and a third of all U.S. immigrants are from Mexico.
A major theme of our series is the other Mexico – the one that lives beyond the headlines about organized crime, drug-related violence and corruption. We partnered young American and Mexican journalists to report these stories for National Public Radio in the U.S and top tier media in Mexico, including El Universal and Reforma newspapers. Our hour long documentary, Mexico Uncovered, has been broadcast on more than 140 public radio stations nationwide. For more on this project click here.
* We reported from Chiapas on outsiders surfing medicinal plants for supposed cures; peasant concerns over road-building in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; the ills of cheap U.S. corn imports in Oaxaca; a Durango forest cooperative selling sustainably grown wood to an international market; and environmental groups in the Yucatan fighting to save mangrove swamps from development aimed at U.S. tourists.