Digital Journalism Workshop in Costa Rica

By Jacqueline Garcia

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy partnered for the first time with the Colegio de Periodistas de Costa Rica to help journalists transition to digital journalism. More than 150 journalists from Costa Rica attended the event on May 12-13, 2016. GCJD brought four experts to lead the sessions. Manuel Canales from National Geographic, Erica Berenstein from the New York Times, Fernando Nunez-Noda with 3kats Corp., and Willie Lora, the former Washington DC bureau chief for CNN Espanol and head of Lora Media

trainers_all_sliderThe first workshop was presented by Fernando Nunez- Noda. He talked about harnessing and organizing data and warned about the abundance of false information that some governments and businesses provide.  During his session Nunez-Noda was able to help reporters learn how to analyze data to tell powerful stories.

Manuel Canales’ presentation focused on telling stories through images. Through interactive exercises, reporters were able to explore data visualization, and use it to tell a story.

Erica Berenstein talked about the importance of producing a multimedia story. She stressed that often, all that is needed is a smart phone and told participants to stay away from expensive equipment. During Berenstein’s session reporters were able to shoot and produce a short multimedia story as part of an exercise.

Finally, Willie Lora’s presentation explored how journalists could leverage social media. Lora explained how reporters could disseminate information on various social media venues, connect to sources, and gather real time information. He also introduced participants to a variety of tools they could use to verify information. 

Many of the journalists who participated in the sessions had great things to say about their experience. One participant wrote in an evaluation, “it is more necessary than ever to know and understand how journalism is changing and how journalists need to keep their audiences up to date." 

Marlon Mora, President of the Colegio of Periodistas of Costa Rica, said he is thankful for the partnership with GCJD and believes the workshop helped equip his organization’s members with new knowledge, and skills

Three SHSU students traveled with the center to Costa Rica. Jacqueline Jaramillo, who is also a student worker at GCJD, Grace Ngo, GCJD intern, and Jacqueline Garcia who just graduated this month. They put together a video about the training, wrote up official reports, helped with logistics and got to network with professionals. “The overall trip was a phenomenal experience. Stepping out of my comfort zone paid off,” said Jacqueline Jaramillo.

It was the first time GCJD trained in central America, although SHSU has other strong relationships in the region.

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy trains journalists and members of civil society around the world in an effort to strengthen communities.


Global Center for Journalism and Democracy
Dan Rather Communications Building, Room 201, Huntsville, TX 77340
Phone: (936) 294-4399