New Mexico In Depth wins state awards

New Mexico In Depth won awards competing against New Mexico’s largest newspapers this weekend at the annual New Mexico Press Association contest, earning top honors for education writing and second place in investigative reporting. In the education category, Shaun Griswold and Trip Jennings’s award-winning story drew upon government reports, court documents and data — as well as interviews with teachers in rural school districts serving mostly Indigenous students — to chronicle the devastation wrought by the pandemic.COVID-19 hit New Mexico, which perennially ranks low nationally in education outcomes, as the state had begun to beef up public schools spending to address historical inequities identified in a landmark 2018 court ruling. That year, a state judge found New Mexico had violated its own Constitution for not adequately supporting education for at-risk students for decades. Three of every four public school students in New Mexico are considered at-risk.The pandemic turned back the clock on that hard-won progress.As our reporting showed, one of every 10 students enrolled in public education statewide was referred to a state-sponsored coaching program, many for being disengaged, regularly missing classes, or in danger of failing one or more classes. And according to surveys, nearly half of families with children in kindergarten through fifth grades reported struggling with a computer for learning and one of every five students in sixth through 12th grades reported having to take care of younger siblings.

New Mexico In Depth wins big in regional contest

Image source: Shaun Griswold, reporter, New Mexico In Depth. New Mexico In Depth won nine awards last month, including five 1st place finishes, in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Top of the Rockies contest, an annual competition that encompasses the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.The awards included stories produced in partnership with media partners. Another prize-winning entry was part of a national series that examined COVID-19’s effects on rural education in several states.New Mexico In Depth’s Bryant Furlow earned two 1st place awards working with Pulitzer-winning nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, which partners with state and local newsrooms. One story won the Public Service award for exposing a practice of automatically testing for COVID-19 and then segregating Native American pregnant women by one of New Mexico’s largest hospitals. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that state officials would investigate the alleged treatment at the Lovelace Women’s Hospital the day the story was published.Within days state investigators had found enough evidence of a violation of patient rights to draft a statement of deficiencies and, within weeks, to refer findings to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Months later, a federal agency affirmed those findings.

Journalism under fire

“How does technology shape the truth?”

That’s the animating question of the Santa Fe Council on International Relations’ second annual Journalism Under Fire conference to be held in Santa Fe next week on Nov. 14-15. 

Dozens of participants, including leading journalists, scholars and former government officials from across the the globe, will explore that question and the intersection between social media and fake news; the ways in which artificial intelligence is increasingly influencing the public domain; how China’s use of technology will have massive ramifications for the U.S.; and how digital forensics have opened up a new line of investigation, using crowd-sourced video and Big Data to reconstruct truth. New Mexico In Depth is proud to be a conference sponsor and to participate in the conversation (Executive Director Trip Jennings will be on one of the panels.)

For tickets and more information, go to www.sfcir.org/journalism-under-fire. Join the conversation.

Journalism under fire

“How does technology shape the truth?”

That’s the animating question of the Santa Fe Council on International Relations’ second annual Journalism Under Fire conference to be held in Santa Fe on Nov. 14-15. 

Dozens of participants, including leading journalists, scholars and former government officials from across the the globe, will explore that question and the intersection between social media and fake news; the ways in which artificial intelligence is increasingly influencing the public domain; how China’s use of technology will have massive ramifications for the U.S.; and how digital forensics have opened up a new line of investigation, using crowd-sourced video and Big Data to reconstruct truth. New Mexico In Depth is proud to be a conference sponsor and to participate in the conversation (Executive Director Trip Jennings will be on one of the panels.)

For tickets and more information, go to www.sfcir.org/journalism-under-fire. Join the conversation.

NMID wins top honors in regional, state journalism contests

New Mexico In Depth collected six awards – two first-place and four second-place – in a regional journalism contest that pit it against the largest newspapers, radio and TV stations in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. The honors, part of the annual Society of Professional Journalists’ Top of the Rockies contest, were announced last week at the Denver Press Club.  

NMID took first place in the legal enterprise and education enterprise reporting categories, according to SPJ. In the former, Jeff Proctor and Justin Howarth won for a three-story collaboration between NMID and the Santa Fe Reporter, Santa Fe’s alternative weekly newspaper, beating out the Salt Lake City Deseret News newspaper and Westword, an independent news outlet in Denver, for top honors. The series examined how an influential New Mexico powerbroker might have escaped a drunken driving charge in Albuquerque and disclosed that prosecutors had misled the public about a plea deal with the former Cabinet secretary in Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration.

Dona Ana County pushes Torres Small ahead in stunning, come-from-behind victory

Democrat Xochitl Torres Small surged to a stunning, last-minute victory Wednesday evening against Republican Yvette Herrell for the 2nd Congressional District seat as her home county of Doña Ana pushed her over the top. It represented a surprising turn of events. Not only was the district sending a woman to Washington for the first time in its 50-year history. It was sending a Democratic woman of color from Doña Ana County. What a difference 24 hours makes.

NMID’s Trip Jennings discusses ethics commission proposal on NMPBS

NMID’s Trip Jennings discussed a November ballot measure that would create an independent ethics commission on the New Mexico PBS public affairs show “New Mexico in Focus.” If voters approve the measure Nov. 6, the Legislature, with input from New Mexico’s next governor, will work out how the commission will operate and who it will oversee during the 2019 legislative session. Already, a working group meeting through the fall is discussing draft ethics commission legislation that would go to state lawmakers to prime the conversation. The group’s next meeting is Thursday afternoon at the University of New Mexico Science & Technology Park Rotunda, 851 University Boulevard SE, Albuquerque.

A free press is not the enemy of the people

The role of the press has been contentious from the very early days of our democracy. The men who authored the foundational documents of the United States enshrined a free press in the first amendment to the Constitution. For just as long, it’s been a time-honored tradition for elected officials to lambast media reports as false, wrong-headed, not accurate…and in recent years, “fake.”

More than likely, the press has also been called the “enemy of the people” before the current era. But it’s doubtful there has been such a wholesale onslaught on the public’s confidence in the press as that conducted by the current occupant of the White House. Do we sometimes get it wrong?