Meet the 12 professionals selected to join DDIA’s 2024 Latinos, Media, and Democracy Program

DDIA is proud to introduce the 12 journalists / media professionals / content creators  who will participate in the 2024 edition of DDIA’s inaugural  “Latinos, Media, and Democracy Program: The Periodistas Edition.” 

The group, comprising nine reporters, two editors and one social media strategist focused on covering elections and democracy in the U.S. and Latin America will be given the opportunity to learn from and engage with experts from a variety of disciplines, taking part in briefings and workshops on topics ranging from U.S. Latino-specific disinformation trends to inoculation techniques to practical investigative approaches and strategic storytelling.

The twelve members of this cohort – nine women and three men – were carefully selected from a talented pool of applicants for their vision, passion, and approach to journalism and content creation that strengthens a healthier information ecosystem for Latino communities. 

A reflection of the diversity of Latino communities,  these professionals represent the regions and countries in which they were born, work, and live, which include seven U.S. states and Puerto Rico, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. 

Please join us in welcoming LMDP 2024 participants!

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Alex Arriaga is an Audience Engagement Editor at New York Focus, a non-profit news organization covering the New York State government. She leads the organization's strategies to reach audiences across the state, and has been researching the best ways to do so by conducting a statewide news survey and hosting community discussions about local news through a listening tour. She has a background reporting on immigration, criminal justice, voting rights and elections. 

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Barbara Nobrega Ramos is a journalist working for Globonews/TV GLOBO from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Clara Longo de Freitas is a neighborhood reporter at The Baltimore Banner. Originally from Brazil, she covers East Baltimore communities. She is an award-winning journalist and graduate of the University of Maryland, where she spent most of her college years looking into workers' conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and diversity and equity issues. 


Constanza Eliana Chinea is a journalist and an inclusive producer at Malcriá Media. She is currently the host of the Political Pendejadas podcast. Born in Puerto Rico, Constanza currently lives in Los Angeles and has been a contributor for the L.A. Times, KnockLA, The Young Turks, and Latino Rebels. She has also hosted/produced a Spotify Original podcast. 


Desirée Yépez is a reporter and digital producer for Radio Ambulante Studios and a freelancer for El País. She was born in Ecuador, and has won several awards as a journalist, fact-checker, and author. Deisée is based in California. As a reporter, she covers human rights, gender, and vulnerable communities. 

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Estefania Arellano-Bermudez is a regular contributor for El Central Hispanic News. She has written for the Telegram News and Planet Detroit.


Jesús Andrés Bastidas is a multimedia reporter for Noticiero Telemundo Utah, which airs live at 5 PM AND 10 PM on KTMW, which simulcasts on KULX, a station that serves the Spanish-speaking community in the state of Utah. As part of Noticiero Telemundo Utah, Jesús reports the latest events, covering current events from areas where the Hispanic community is a protagonist. 


Juan Ignacio Berro is an editor for the U.S. Spanish-language fact-checking service of Agence France Presse (AFP), where he coordinates a team of fact-checkers that debunk misinformation impacting Latinos and  Hispanics living in the U.S.. Based in Mexico City, Juan Ignacio was born in Uruguay. 


Liz Rebecca Alarcón is the Founder & Executive Director of Pulso, a non-profit media outlet reaching more than 1 million Latinos with history, culture and commentary by and for Latinos. As a media entrepreneur and political analyst with expertise in Latin America and the U.S. Latinos, Liz's writing and commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, MSNBC, Time Magazine, and The Miami Herald, among others. 


Michelle Zacarias reports for CALÓ News, a publication under the Latino Media Collaborative. She is an award-winning journalist selected for the inaugural cohort of Berkeley’s 2023-25 California Local News Fellowship. Born and raised in Chicago, Michelle currently resides in Southern California. She is passionate about covering Latine/x issues, anti-racism movements, queer identities, marginalized communities, and abolition. 

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Rafael Olavarria is a journalist at FactChequeado. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, he began his career at CNN en Español, working as a writer, associate producer, and breaking news anchor, among other roles. He later worked as a multimedia journalist at Univision Atlanta, where he led the fight against misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential elections. Between 2021 and 2023, Rafael won 12 Emmy Southeast Awards, including Best Daily News Reporter both years. 

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Verónica Egui Brito reports for el Nuevo Herald and Miami Herald. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, she has dedicated her career to addressing urgent social and human rights issues. With a keen focus on her homeland, she has brought attention to pressing matters affecting Venezuelan society. Currently, she lends her journalistic expertise to covering news in the dynamic cities of Hialeah and Doral, two Spanish-speaking communities, along with their surrounding areas in South Florida. 


On March 5, 2024, DDIA launched its call for applications for The Periodistas Edition of the Latinos, Media, and Democracy program, an 8-week, no-cost, series of workshops designed to support journalists and content producers with the tools and knowledge they need to understand, cover, and counter disinformation in Latino communities in the United States.

The twelve participants selected for this program will be given the opportunity to learn from and engage with experts from a variety of disciplines, and will take part in briefings and workshops on topics ranging from U.S. Latino-specific disinformation trends to inoculation techniques to practical investigative approaches and strategic storytelling. 


Participants must fit into at least one of the categories described below

  • Be a  U.S.-based journalist covering politics or elections in the United States

  • Be a Latin America-based journalist covering the 2024 elections in the United States

  • Be a U.S.-based journalist covering entertainment, tech or social media

  • Be a U.S.-based journalist covering specific states or cities

  • Be a media content producer based in the United States or in Latin America producing content for YouTube or TikTok channels that are geared at Latinos

Participants should be journalists or content producers with between 1 and 5 years of experience, who are fluent in English (and preferably also Spanish or Portuguese), and are working with/for the Latino community in 2024. 

Skills, attributes, and experiences that may be particularly relevant to this program include:

  • Interest in the intersections of politics, election, democracy and disinformation

  • Interest in investigating and/or researching how disinformation circulates among Latinos and how (if) it impacts on their behavior

  • Interest in learning new tools and techniques to improve their reporting/content production

  • Interest in participating in a emerging cohort of Latino-centered content producers

  • Knowledge, networks, or experience related to issues affecting Latinos across the United States and the hemisphere.

  • Access to Google Meet for the period of the program


  • Be ready to dedicate at least 16 hours of time to the program between May and July 2024, being present (virtually or in person) in all sessions scheduled (in advance) by DDIA

  • Commit to producing and publishing at least one piece of content inspired by at least one of the lessons learned during the program, besides measuring its impact 

  • Commit to filling out pre- and post-session surveys as part of DDIA’s  measurement and evaluation requirements


LMDP 2024 will kick off with an in-person workshop in Washington, D.C., from Thursday, May 16 - Friday, May 17, 2024. On the first day, participants will be presented with key polling, focus-group, and narrative findings on Latino engagement with disinformation and effective countermeasures. On the second day, participants will take part in various meetings with key D.C.-based policy, tech and democracy stakeholders.

Subsequent sessions, taking place online between mid-May and early July, 2024, will cover U.S. Latino voting behaviors, media consumption trends, and the importance of depolarization techniques in fostering constructive dialogue online, as well as safely investigating hate and disinformation networks, understanding tactics used to misinform, and exploring AI tools for tracking and debunking false narratives.

Optional add-on sessions provide further opportunities for skill development, including fact-checking methodologies and understanding electoral integrity policies in the social media environment.

At the end of the 8-week period, participants will be asked to produce at least one piece of content using tools, techniques or strategies learned during the program.


The Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas (DDIA) – operated by and for Latinos and Latin Americans – is a hub for research and interventions geared at strengthening trust and connection between communities, media, and democracy. Our team is bringing together insights and actors across the Western Hemisphere to shape a more participatory, inclusive, and resilient digital democracy. We apply research at the intersection of information integrity, belief, and behavior to build trust, connection, and capacity with communities and to shape policy interventions that bridge-build and depolarize shared information spaces in the Americas.

In an era of tech solutions to tech problems, we center the human experience in research, capacity-building and policy solutions that contribute to healthy information ecosystems necessary for vibrant digital democracies. 

We envision a world where Latinos are surrounded by fact-based, reputable information that empowers them to make their voices heard across the ocean of content that is today’s Internet. Communities in the Americas deserve an information environment free of fear and repression, one that rewards connection, security, and fair participation in democracy.