IJNotes: An IJNet podcast-logo

IJNotes: An IJNet podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

Maybe you've read the final story, but have you ever wondered what the reporters did behind the scenes? We sit down with journalists from around the world to shine a light on the projects and initiatives they're involved with, new technologies and skills they may be utilizing, and challenges they’ve both confronted in the past, and continue to navigate today. Tune in to IJNotes, the premiere podcast from the International Journalists' Network (IJNet), a project of the International Center for Journalists.


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Maybe you've read the final story, but have you ever wondered what the reporters did behind the scenes? We sit down with journalists from around the world to shine a light on the projects and initiatives they're involved with, new technologies and skills they may be utilizing, and challenges they’ve both confronted in the past, and continue to navigate today. Tune in to IJNotes, the premiere podcast from the International Journalists' Network (IJNet), a project of the International Center for Journalists.








Reporting on Reproductive Health, Part 3: Covering reproductive rights in Ireland

For our latest podcast on reporting on reproductive health, Sofia Heartney with the ICFJ communications team spoke with Dr. Camilla Fitzsimons, a professor in the department of adult and community education at Maynooth University and the author of “Repealed: Ireland’s Unfinished Fight for Reproductive Rights.” In this episode Fitzsimons discusses the role of journalists in the movement for reproductive rights, how reporters can continue to cover the issue even after abortion access moves off the front page, and intersectional approaches journalists should consider on the relationship between reproductive access, race and immigration. Support the show


Reporting on Reproductive Health, Part 2: Combating disinformation on abortion

Mis- and disinformation surrounding reproductive health is not new. But since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the U.S. in June 2022, the consequences of the vast amounts of false information seeking to affect the reproductive choices of millions of Americans have made their way front and center in people’s minds. In our second IJNotes episode on reproductive health reporting, IJNet’s Disarming Disinformation Intern, Mya Zepp, spoke with Felice Freyer, a health care reporter at the Boston Globe and president of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Freyer discusses the prevalence and impact of disinformation surrounding abortion and reproductive health, and what journalists should do to promote credible information on abortion safety and access. Listen here: Support the show


Reporting on Reproductive Health, Part 1: Local reporting on reproductive rights

Our new IJNotes podcast series will dive into reproductive health, how journalists globally are reporting on this highly personal and political issue, and the ways in which reporters can accurately and ethically cover the many related topics. To kick off the series, I spoke with Maya Miller, a reproductive health reporter at the Gulf States Newsroom, on the role local journalism plays in covering reproductive rights. In this episode, Miller discusses the importance of local journalism, how restricted access to abortion coincides with maternal health deserts across the Gulf States, and the ways reporters can best cover Dobbs’ consequences in their own communities. Support the show


Environmental Journalism, Part 6: Managing threats to environmental journalists

In early June, environmental journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira went missing in the Amazon while reporting on Indigenous peoples in the state of Amazonas. The two were later found to have been murdered, in one of the most high-profile kilings of environmental journalists in recent years, wich have also taken place in Mexico, India and Colombia. In the aftermath of the killings of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira, we sat down with Jonathan Watts, global environmental editor at The Guardian, who has been reporting on the Amazon for over 10 years. Currently based in the Amazon, Watts is also the founder of Sumaúma, a new environmental platform that aims to place the rainforest at the center of global reporting. During the interview we discuss the challenges environmental journalists face in their reporting, why their reporting brings risks similar to those faced by war reporters, and how journalists can manage threats to their safety. Support the show


Environmental Journalism, Part 5: Reporting on environmental crime

Environmental crime, also known as eco-crime, is any form of illegal activity — organized or otherwise — that has a direct and negative effect on the natural world. From illegal deforestation in the Amazon, to unregulated overfishing in the Indo-Pacific, to water, air and soil pollution caused by illegal gold mines, environmental crime doesn’t just harm the environment, it also often has devastating consequences for local communities who rely on healthy ecosystems for their livelihoods. Reporting on environmental crime can take years, combining on-the-ground investigative reporting techniques with data journalism, geo-mapping, and combing of government records. Journalists on this beat are required to not only be skilled investigative reporters, but also adept communicators who can explain why these crimes should matter to the average reader. For more about what it takes to report on environmental crime, we spoke with Fiona Macleod, founder and director of the Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalism, Africa’s first investigative outlet covering environmental crime. In our podcast, Macleod discusses why she founded Oxpeckers and the impact of its multi-year investigations, while offering advice for journalists interested in reporting on environmental crime. Support the show


Environmental Journalism, Part 4: Global crisis, local perspectives

No two communities will experience the effects of climate change in the same way. As the climate crisis worsens, the need for comprehensive, educational and sometimes life-saving news coverage increases. While national and international media play an important role in covering the crisis, local outlets may be better able to understand how their communities view and bear its consequences, and what solutions are best for them. In addition to an in-depth understanding of their local audience, local outlets benefit from more public trust than national ones. In a world where only 54% of the global population expresses “a lot” or a “great deal” of trust in what scientists say about the environment, that trust in local media is an important advantage in the ability to educate people about the climate crisis. What exactly can local journalism bring to the way the climate crisis is covered? Why are local sources so important in producing engaging stories about the environment? And what can national journalists learn from local climate reporters? In our newest IJNotes episode, we spoke with Tristan Baurick, an environment reporter for The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans-based newspaper. Baurick’s work focuses on coastal restoration, fisheries and the oil industry. He won the Society of Environmental Journalists’ prestigious Pulliam Award in 2020. Baurick discusses why covering the environment from a local perspective is so critical, and how interviewing local sources can generate important impact. He also provides tips on how to report the climate crisis from different angles, and how to make climate change stories more engaging. Support the show


Environmental Journalism, Part 3: Covering major climate events

Extreme weather events and natural disasters have ravaged many communities around the globe, and their devastating consequences seem only to be intensifying. This past year alone, the world witnessed record droughts in the U.S. and Latin America, while China and Europe suffered fatal floods. Hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires also dominated headlines due to the significant destruction they’ve caused. Are these events all related to climate change? How should reporters explain the connection between extreme weather and rising temperatures? How can they approach the coverage of these emergencies without being sensationalist? For the third episode in our Environmental Journalism series, we spoke with multimedia journalist Tais Gadea Lara from Argentina. “These events depend on some factors — and some of these factors have been changing because of climate change,” she explained. In the episode, Gadea Lara provides her expert advice on the main aspects of covering extreme climate events. “It’s a challenge,” she said, to cover these situations, but for her it’s also “the best opportunity” journalists have to report on the causes and consequences of climate change. She also stressed the importance of choosing the right words. “If we talk about natural disasters or environmental disasters, maybe the audience thinks that it’s something on which humans [don’t] have any responsibilities,” she said. “If we talk about climate events, then it’s something that [is starting] to be related to climate and we are changing the climate — so maybe we have a little or more responsibility on that.” Support the show


Environmental Journalism, Part 2: The keys to environmental justice reporting

The climate crisis doesn’t affect everyone equally. As more journalists report on environmental issues, it’s critical that they shine a light on the heightened consequences our deteriorating environment has on vulnerable communities. Environmental justice reporters do just this. Although the environmental justice movement began more than 30 years ago, many newsrooms are only just beginning to report on the intersection of discrimination and the environment, and how structural inequities intensify the consequences of the climate crisis. Environmental racism, for instance, affects the daily lives of many globally. In our newest IJNotes episode, I spoke with Yessenia Funes, the climate director at Atmos, a climate and culture magazine and digital platform. Funes has worked as an environmental justice reporter for seven years, including at outlets like Colorlines and Gizmodo. During our discussion, Funes provides insight on what exactly environmental justice reporting is, how she carries out her coverage, and why the beat is so critical for helping us understand the full scope of the climate crisis. She also highlights her favorite environmental justice stories that she has produced, and the challenges she faces as a reporter working this beat. Support the show


Environmental Journalism, Part 1: Are we all climate reporters now?

Today, from flooding and wildfires, to droughts, heat waves and hurricanes of increasing intensity and frequency, we’re experiencing these repercussions, and experts agree they’ll only get worse. In the coming years, more journalists than ever will be needed to report on our deteriorating environment. They’ll be tasked with covering the crisis and its fallout from all angles — and as comprehensively as they’ve reported on the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why we’ve decided to focus on environmental reporting for our new IJNotes podcast series. To kick off the series, I spoke with journalist Sebastián Rodriguez, who today is the editor in chief of Climate Tracker, an international nonprofit that supports and trains environmental reporters around the world. He previously was an editor for Ojo al Clima, the first climate news site in Central America. In this first episode, Rodriguez discusses how he approaches the climate beat, and why the increasingly dire global climate crisis requires that journalists collaborate to cover it effectively. He shares advice for fellow journalists reporting on the environment, and discusses what environmental issues are top of mind for his audience in Costa Rica. Support the show


Mental health and journalism, Part 6: A conversation with Mar Cabra

You may have heard about the groundbreaking Panama Papers investigation, which exposed how some of the most rich and powerful people around the world used offshore tax havens to conceal their wealth. Former journalist Mar Cabra played a critical role during the groundbreaking investigation, as the head of the data and research unit at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the organization that spearheaded the global collaborative effort. She and her colleagues won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting. The work, however, led Cabra to begin feeling the effects of burnout. A year after the Panama Papers investigation was published, she decided to leave her role at ICIJ to focus more on her own mental well-being. Today, she leads efforts to raise awareness of critical, under-recognized mental health issues with other journalists in today’s fast-paced news industry. Earlier this year, for instance, Cabra helped launch The Self-Investigation, a free online stress management program for journalists. In the sixth and final episode of our Mental Health and Journalism series, Cabra shares with us her personal story, insights on what a health relationship with technology looks like, and how journalists can better manage issues like stress and burnout that threaten their well-being. Support the show


Mental health and journalism, Part 5: A conversation with Hannah Storm

This summer, accomplished journalist and media consultant Hannah Storm published a personal story about her diagnosis with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The PTSD was a result of many traumas over the years, Storm wrote: it stemmed from experiences she had when reporting internationally on crises and disasters, and sexual assaults she survived when she was a young reporter. All were in some way related to her job. While today more and more journalists, news organizations and media nonprofits begin to shine a light on the pervasiveness of violence against women journalists, there is still little discussion on how this has an impact on their mental health. In our discussion, Storm helps us bridge that gap. She discusses her personal experience dealing with mental health issues, and offers expertise she gained while serving as the director of the International News Safety Institute, and the director and CEO of the Ethical Journalism Network, a role she holds today. Our conversation is candid, personal and full of great advice for journalists, editors and newsroom managers. Resources mentioned in the episode: ICFJ/UNESCO survey on online harassment of women journalistsDart Center for Journalism and TraumaTrollBustersIJNotes mental health and journalism podcast seriesManaging stress and digital overload as a journalistNews and mental health: What journalists should knowMental health tips and resources for journalistsMental and physical health of reporters during COVID-19Key quotes: Self-care on the frontline with Elaine MonaghanSupport the show


Mental health and journalism, Part 4: A conversation with Dr. Allissa Richardson

This episode is the fourth in our series on mental health and journalism. Coverage of the anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests that erupted around the world following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor last spring has laid bare the unique challenges Black journalists across the U.S. face in the newsroom. As Black journalists cover these deeply personal protests, they must also navigate potential repercussions like being arrested while reporting on them, as CNN reporter Oscar Jimenez was in Minneapolis. Or, they might be removed from their coverage of the protests as punishment over a controversial tweet, as was Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Alexis Johnson — while a white colleague avoided the same fate for similar expressions of opinion on his social media. Johnson’s tweet, and the subsequent action the Post-Gazette took, sparked debates about what objectivity in the newsroom really seeks to uphold. Johnson later filed a lawsuit against the paper for alleged retaliation and race discrimination. In this episode of IJNotes, we speak with Dr. Allissa Richardson, an award-winning journalism instructor at the University of Southern California, about the mental health of Black journalists as they cover the anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests, and what newsrooms can do to better support their Black employees. Richardson is the author of “Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones, and the New Protest #Journalism,” which explores the lives of 15 mobile journalist-activists who documented the Black Lives Matter movement using only their smartphones. Support the show


Mental health and journalism, Part 3: A conversation with Jesús Mesa

This episode is the third episode in our series on mental health and journalism. More than 5 million Venezuelans have fled their country in recent years. They’ve done so to escape violence, economic turmoil, political unrest and more. The crisis is the worst of its kind Latin America has ever experienced, former Mexico foreign minister Jorge Castañeda wrote earlier this year. Almost 2 million Venezuelan migrants have crossed the border into neighboring Colombia — more than any other country. In this episode, we speak with Jesús Mesa, a current ICFJ fellow and an international reporter with one of Colombia’s leading newspapers, El Espectador. In 2018, Jesús and his colleague, Angelica Lagos, received a fellowship from the Carter Center to report on mental health challenges facing Venezuelan migrants in Colombia today. Support the show


Mental health and journalism, Part 2: A conversation with Dean Yates

This is the second episode in our series about journalism and mental health. In this episode, we interview Dean Yates, a longtime journalist whose struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) led him to become an advocate for journalists’ mental health. For more than 20 years, Dean worked in the Middle East and southeast Asia as a journalist and bureau chief for Reuters. He covered war and tragedy on numerous occasions, and since then, he has been outspoken about the way his experience impacted his mental health. We discuss PTSD, mental illness, burnout, distressing imagery and vicarious trauma and the role of newsroom leadership in caring for the mental health of their journalists. Support the show


Mental health and journalism, Part 1: A conversation with Anna Mortimer

This episode is the first in a series on mental health and journalism. From crime scenes and road accidents to natural disasters and wars, journalists often report on the frontlines of the world’s most challenging events. Today, journalists around the world are working overtime to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. Covering these developments, whether major international stories or events much closer to home, can take a mental toll on those reporting. This can lead to issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in some cases, but more likely anxiety, stress and burnout. For journalists in the field, finding resources or someone to talk to can be difficult. To kickstart this conversation about journalists’ mental health, we spoke with Anna Mortimer, journalist, therapist and co-founder of The Mind Field, a platform that connects international development workers and journalists with therapists. Support the show


COVID-19 and press freedom: A conversation with Prof. David Kaye and Dr. Courtney Radsch

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens more than our health, but also our freedoms. Threats to press freedom are cropping up all over the world, taking the form of physical and political attacks on journalists, the criminalization of journalists’ work, restrictions on free access to information and increased surveillance. ICFJ global director of research, Dr. Julie Posetti interviews Prof. David Kaye, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Dr. Courtney Radsch, advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists. This episode is part of the ICFJ and IJNet Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum. Support the show


Under threat: A conversation with Paolo Borrometi

Journalists are tasked with telling the truth, but sometimes it comes with a cost. Paolo Borrometi, a Sicilian investigative journalist, knows this cost all too well. When his reporting on the Italian mafia made him a target, he was forced to uproot his life. Years later, he still lives under 24/7 police protection, often confined to his own home. However, Borrometi is undeterred. He continues to report for his own news website, La Spia, and TV2000. He also serves as the president of Articolo 21, an association dedicated to freedom of expression, and the deputy director of AGI, the Italian Journalistic Agency. Borrometi visited our offices when he was in the U.S. accepting the 2019 Peter Mackler Award for courageous and ethical journalism. Listen to the latest IJNotes podcast to hear our interview about his work, the attacks he’s endured, life under protection — and meeting the Pope. Support the show


Data driven: A conversation with Jacopo Ottaviani

On our first episode, we sat down with Jacopo Ottaviani, a Pan-African ICFJ Knight Fellow who works at Code for Africa as its Chief Data Officer, helping newsrooms on the continent create data desks and use data more efficiently in their reporting. Support the show


From print to digital: A conversation with Ruth Betz

We sat down with Ruth Betz, the head of digital transformation at Funke Mediengruppe, one of Germany’s largest newspaper and magazine publishers. Betz oversees the print to digital conversion of Funke Mediengruppe’s news outlets, working to ensure they adopt sustainable business models as they transform from print to digital-first publications. Support the show


Beyond the border: A conversation with Maya Srikrishnan

In episode three of IJNotes, we interview Maya Srikrishnan, an immigration reporter for Voice of San Diego. Srikrishnan is one of the International Center for Journalists 2019 Bringing Home the World Fellows. As part of the fellowship, she traveled to San Pedro Sula, Honduras on a reporting trip. In this episode, she shares the challenges, discoveries and lessons she learned covering the other side of immigration. Support the show