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AccessFest 2023 keynote speakers: Maria Hinojosa and Ana Ley

Investigative Reporters and Editors is honored to announce that Maria Hinojosa will give the keynote address for AccessFest 2023, IRE’s virtual conference held October 12-14, 2023. Hinojosa will join in conversation with IRE board member Ana Ley on Thursday, October 12, at 12:15 p.m. Eastern.

Maria Hinojosa is the Pulitzer Prize-winning founder of Futuro Media based in New York City. She has written four books, won multiple awards,  and these days her focus is deep accountability investigative journalism.

Ana Ley is a reporter at The New York Times, where she covers the New York City transit beat. Before joining The Times, she was a reporter and then an editor at The Virginian-Pilot. She was a 2021 Livingston Award finalist for her stories on the enduring legacy of racism in Virginia politics.

AccessFest keynote speakers: Maria Hinojosa and Ana Ley. Maria seated in a park bench and profile photo of Ana.

"We are delighted to have someone of Maria's high standing and caliber participating in our all-virtual conference," IRE executive director Diana Fuentes said. "IRE seeks to continue increasing accessibility to the latest in data and investigative journalism techniques. AccessFest opens the door to sometimes difficult — but essential — conversations for improving inclusiveness and equity in the communities we cover as journalists and in the newsrooms where we work. Maria has led at the forefront of this work, and we are proud to have her for the keynote address at AccessFest 2023."

IRE’s director of diversity and inclusion, Francisco Vara-Orta, said, “for many journalists who are looking to forge their own paths in this industry, Maria’s journey inspires. IRE members will benefit from learning how Maria has wielded her skills to do impactful investigative journalism, start a nonprofit news organization, and how she can critically lean into her identity in a field that, at times, can pressure us to push away from who we are. In turn, she and her team have consistently produced work that is of high quality and amplifies voices we often fail to truly listen to and respect.”

AccessFest will be held online Oct. 12-14. The conference, previously branded as the DBEI Symposium, will expand on IRE’s efforts to provide more accessible training centered on belonging, equity, and inclusion in the newsroom and through better news coverage of inequities in the communities journalists serve. The conference will also feature data classes and more traditional investigative reporting panels that are typically seen at NICAR and IRE conferences. More information, including registration and the full schedule, can be found on IRE’s website.

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