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Wednesday, September 1st - 19:00 PM To 20:30 PM
Latin America’s indigenous people form a multicultural mosaic of diverse ethnic identities, ancestral knowledge and cultural values, but their communities and their unique stories have been overlooked by traditional media organizations and particularly by science, health and environment reporters.
As a result, indigenous communities in Latin America – with an estimated 50 million people who belong to 500 different ethnic groups – often do not have access to thoughtfully reported information that could help them combat inequality, disease, pollution and ecological damage caused by the misuse of natural resources such as water. Nor do they have the opportunity to share their generations-old knowledge on issues such as wildlife protection, the impact of illegal logging and the role of medicinal plants in disease prevention.
To respond to the need for carefully crafted science reporting in indigenous communities, InquireFirst and co-founder Ivan Carrillo in 2020 launched a weekly Spanish-language radio program, En Común: Conocimiento en Voz Viva (In Common: Knowledge from Shared Voices).
Our program is unique for several reasons. First, we are not aware of any other programming that is focused on science, health and the environment and tailored to underserved rural and indigenous communities in Latin America. Second, many of our reports are conducted by indigenous reporters who understand the needs and concerns of their communities and have well-developed sources.
These factors combine to create a valuable news program that reaches millions of people with thoroughly reported, fact-based science, health and environmental coverage.
During our first season in 2020, we produced 15 weekly programs that reached 68 radio stations in indigenous communities in Mexico and 1,650 radio stations in indigenous communities in other Latin American countries.
We have now been funded for the second season of 20 weekly programs and we intend to expand our reach to even more radio stations in the Global South. We believe our success with En Común can serve as a template for science journalists in other regions of the world where indigenous communities need, and are not now receiving, this kind of coverage.