Two reporters from Barranquilla, Colombia were recognized with an annual media award for their investigative reports.
There were numerous submissions for this year’s "Investiga" media competition, organized by DW Akademie and the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla. The award went to two local journalists.
Lina Fuenmayor was recognized for her film "El communicador social". It tells the story of the popular ‘Vallenato’ music style which originated along the country’s Caribbean coast. "It’s certainly a political statement to think about our origins and how globalization is threatening our culture," said jury member Alberto Martinez. Petra Berner, head of Deutsche Welle’s Latin America division, also sat on the jury and praised the film’s crafting. "The story was researched comparatively well, the pictures flowed and the film was aesthetically pleasing."
Marta Amor Olaya was also recognized for her radio report “El toque de Midas en Santa Cruz” which looks at highly controversial business dealings with natural resources. The report focused on one of the country’s most important gold mines. Peter Burghardt, based in Buenos Aires, is a reporter for the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. He said the jury was convinced by "the courage to report on such a sensitive topic."
"The prize gave us a good sense of Colombian journalism," said DW Akademie project manager Matthias Kopp. One aspect mentioned during the Universidad del Norte award ceremony, however, was that more research and balanced reporting were required. Alberto Salcedo, also a jury member, put it this way: "If one doesn’t know where to start, it’s very difficult to know where to end." Basic research was often lacking, he said, and sources were not always credited. An additional challenge was to refrain from mixing information with opinions.