Journalism award

Readers may remember the Beacon’s January special report about the destruction of mangroves in the territory over the past 60 years. The piece was part of the “Paradise Lost” series published in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Center for Investigative Journalism, which also included in-depth investigations about development in the Cayman Islands and Puerto Rico. Last week, the series won an award for Best Multimedia Investigative Reporting from the Overseas Press Club of Puerto Rico. Beaconites are proud of the honour, and they hope to take part in more cross-border collaborations that shed light on regional problems.

Finally, an interview

After trying to secure an interview with the CEO of the Recovery and Development Agency for four years straight, a Beaconite finally succeeded last month. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, she was told that the CEO would not grant an interview unless then-Premier Andrew Fahie agreed to do the same. Mr. Fahie, however, never did — despite repeated promises to do so. She isn’t sure why Mr. Fahie and his office repeatedly gave her the runaround. Could it have been an indication of the kind of government he ran? Could the sudden transparency this year be a result of the Commission of Inquiry and recent change of leadership? The reporter is quite puzzled but grateful for answers to her questions about the territory’s recovery. She knows readers will be happy as well — especially when they read the thoughtful answers provided by RDA CEO Anthony McMaster (see page one).



Making it big

Former Beaconite Luis Andres Henao, who now works for The Associated Press Global Religion Team, recently made headlines recently when a cross-border project he pitched won the AP’s award for best global story. “The ‘Sacred Rivers’ series explores hallowed waterways and cultures under threat,” the AP stated, adding, “A single story pitch grew into this ambitious six-part series produced and supported by more than 30 AP staffers across departments, formats and international borders. Luis Andres Henao, a religion reporter who is particularly interested in stories that intersect with climate change, came up with the theme of sacred rivers and started looking into recent trends for a story pitch to religion editors David Crary and Holly Meyer. [Mr.] Crary reached out across the AP, consulting with climate director Peter Prengaman and others who recognised this as a unique idea that was bigger than any one story.” Long-time readers may remember a related project Mr. Henao carried out at the Beacon in the late 2000s: a series called “Faces of Faith” that profiled several churches and other religious institutions in the territory. Beaconites are glad to see that he’s still at it.