CLACS Journalist Breaks International News on Latin America News Dispatch

Colombia - Ex-President Uribe
Ex-president of Colombia and visiting scholar at Georgetown University, Álvaro Uribe Vélez. (Image: Center for American Progress @ Flickr.)

In the U.S., journalism is rapidly evolving to meet the demands of a technological age, and CLACS journalism students are at the forefront of innovating the field. In November 2009, CLACS students Andrew O’Reilly, Roque Planas, Mari Hayman, and Rachel Brooks-Ames launched an innovative online news source to produce original news pieces about Latin American and Hispanic immigrants in the U.S.

A year later, the Latin American News Dispatch (L.A.N.D.) is a sophisticated online news site with daily, breaking news on Latin America, and features reporting by foreign correspondents, U.S. based journalists and NYU journalism students and alums.

roque-planas.jpgThis week, L.A.N.D. achieved a major milestone. Roque Planas, co-founder and Managing Director of L.A.N.D., broke international news with an investigative news piece regarding Colombian ex-president Alvaro Uribe.

“On our first year anniversary, the Latin America News Dispatch broke an international story. That’s pretty awesome,” Planas said.

Planas’ article focuses on the controversy surrounding Álvaro Uribe, ex-president of Colombia, who was subpoenaed to testify for civil lawsuit against Drummond Mining Company.

“During the reporting, I learned that the government of Colombia had interceded on Uribe’s behalf, invoking the doctrine of sovereign immunity and arguing that this excused him from testifying for depositions,” Planas said.

According to Planas, this element of the story was not known in Colombia. After the article was published on Monday, several other sites followed the lead: La Silla Vacía, El Espectador, Semana, Radio Caracol, EFE, and APE.

Congratulations to the Latin America News Dispatch! To learn more about how L.A.N.D. started, read their story on the CLACS Blog.

Von Diaz is an MA Candidate at CLACS / Global Journalism at NYU

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