The Voice, Interferencia and Confidencial win prize for reporting on migrant children

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español
Translator: Arianna Hernandez

The Voice of Guanacaste, Confidencial of Nicaragua and Interferencia de Radioemisoras UCR won first place in the award for the best journalistic content published on childhood and adolescence in regional media, for the investigative and collaborative project Migrant childhood: What is it like growing up ‘without papers’ in a country that you weren’t born in?

The award is given by the National Children’s Trust (Spanish acronym: PANI), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence and the Punto y Aparte Collaborative Journalism Association for the best content published in national and regional media on childhood and adolescence.

The “Migrant Childhood” project delves into the perception of migrant boys and girls in Costa Rica regarding the fulfillment of their fundamental rights in a written article and an audiovisual report.

The investigative reporting reveals that migrant families run into obstacles in gaining access to education and health services due to difficulties in legalizing their migratory status, lack of money, discrimination and limited access to information, despite the fact that Costa Rica adheres to international laws and conventions that, in theory, guarantee these rights to minors regardless of their nationality.

At the ceremony, UNICEF Communication Officer, Xinia Miranda, highlighted the importance of developing creative methods to reach out to children and adolescents.

“As journalists we are often accustomed to arrive at a place, get the information and leave. And many times we forget what happens to the people after that. Or we take them with us in our hearts and we are left with the worry of what happens to them afterwards,”she said.

“This is also a recognition of journalism focused on listening to communities. We received training to approach children and their families with respect, and to learn about their experiences without stigmatizing them. In addition, we’ve returned to the places on two occasions, first to give them a book that we produced, which includes the article and didactic resources on their rights, and a second time to carry out a media literacy workshop,” explained the editor of The Voice, Noelia Esquivel.

“Along the way, we’ve learned that the value of journalism can’t be measured in clicks or in how big the audience is, but rather in how much real impact it has for people who are in a state of vulnerability. Those are the people we work for. Our goal should be to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society. This award makes us proud because it recognizes precisely that: our intention to do journalism focused on human rights, and in this case, on the rights of children,” commented Hulda Miranda, coordinator of Interferencia de Radios UCR.

The Voice, Interferencia and Confidencial wrote a story and came up with recreational activities to share with the communities of Santa Cecilia in La Cruz (in Guanacaste) and La Carpio in San José, as part of the “Migrant Childhood” project.Photo: César Arroyo Castro

“Once again, we’ve fulfilled our duty as communication media committed to the ethical and humane representation of populations that are often marginalized. This was work whose impact was also reflected in our own teams, who had the opportunity to learn and become sensitive to the reality of the childhood described by its protagonists. We were able to get a sense of how boys and girls, being foreigners, are left behind by the system many times, due to bureaucratic obstacles and a lack of political will,” said Cindy Regidor, editor of Migrant Nicaraguans at Confidencial.

In the national media category, first place went to journalist Fernanda Matarrita, of the newspaper La Nación, for her reports “Child migrant survivors in the Darien: a 2-year-old warrior and a 3-month-old giggler” and “Improper Relationships: When Age Does Matter”, published in Revista Dominical.

Second place went to journalist Stefanía Colombari, for her report “A silent world”, published in the program 7 Días.

The third place for national coverage went to journalists Andrea Mora, Beatriz Sánchez, and Alonso Martínez, for the report “To cross the Darien with a child in one’s arms, one has to be really desperate”, published in the media

A Powerful Alliance

This is the second award obtained by the binational journalistic alliance of The Voice of Guanacaste, Interferencia de Radioemisoras UCR and Confidencial of Nicaragua.

In 2020, the alliance won the Jorge Vargas Gené/Óscar Cordero National Award for the first joint investigative reporting, called “The Drawn Border,” which recounts how COVID-19 impacted the lives of families in cross-border communities between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in a series of audiovisual productions, written articles and podcast episodes.

The alliance also participated in the 12th edition of RightsCon, the main world congress on human rights in the digital age, held this year between June 5 and 8 in Costa Rica.

There, journalists Hulda Miranda from Interferencia, Noelia Esquivel Solano from The Voice and Katherine Estrada from Confidencial discussed in depth how the three media outlets established their binational collaboration and how they have maintained it since 2020 through the projects “The Drawn Border,” “Closed Border,” “Migrant Childhood,” and “Exploiting Nicaraguan Labor.