Diversity Track: Covering immigrant communities

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Howard Berkes of NPR; Brittny Mejia of Los Angeles Times; Maria Perez of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Perla Trevizo of Houston Chronicle
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Jun. 16 at 9:00am
  • Location: Crystal AB
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

As immigration protests, crackdowns and policy fights become more common, it can be easy to lose sight of many other issues that impact immigrant communities. This session will cover strategies to spot and report stories beyond immigration enforcement — although we will touch on how to deal with government agencies too. We will talk about building sources who can be reluctant to talk, broadening stories beyond the anecdote, covering immigration issues even if it's not your regular beat or jumping into your first project and reporting enterprise stories if you are a beat immigration reporter.


Speaker Bios

  • Howard Berkes was an NPR correspondent for 38 years. He spent 20 years covering the American West and a decade focused on rural America. Berkes also covered eight Olympic Games, and closed out his NPR career with eight years as an investigative reporter. He earned more than 40 journalism awards for investigative, science, business, sports, breaking news, health and feature reporting, and was awarded a Nieman Foundation Journalism Fellowship at Harvard University in 1997. @hberkes

  • Brittny Mejia is a Metro reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where she has worked for four years. Along with breaking news, she covers immigration and race. Recently, she teamed up with two coworkers to report a four part series on an immigrant neighborhood in L.A. @brittny_mejia

  • Maria Perez works for the investigative desk of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel focusing on immigrant communities and social services. Before that, she covered minority affairs for the Naples Daily News. Her investigation into Florida companies that profited from undocumented workers and reported them for prosecution after work injuries won a 2017 George Polk Award. She has reported on cosmetic surgery clinics that left patients, mostly minority women, injured or dead. 

  • Perla Trevizo covers the environment for the Houston Chronicle. She previously covered border and immigration for more than a decade, more recently as a member of the Arizona Daily's Star investigative team. Perla has covered a range of topics, from county politics to higher education in Texas and Tennessee, and reported from nearly a dozen countries. @Perla_Trevizo

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