Putting the focus on food

Alex Amend, Pulitzer Center

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Nigeria, India, Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda and Tajikistan. These countries are all facing serious food security issues. They're also the focus of a comprehensive reporting initiative this year by journalists funded with Pulitzer Center travel grants and in collaboration with a wide range of print and broadcast outlets.

A key partner is The Project for Under-Told Stories at Saint John's University in Minnesota. The project was begun by veteran television journalist Fred de Sam Lazaro, who teaches at St. John's when he's not traveling the world for outlets ranging from The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and Wide Angle to Religion and Ethics Newsweekly..

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The food security reporting initiative has already produced some excellent reporting. Sharon Schmicle recently reported on a new strain of stem rust that is threatening wheat crops in Kenya and Uganda -- and the world -- forThe Washington Post. She also created an audio slideshow for the Pulitzer Center. Fred de Sam Lazaro and David Hecht's reporting from Nigeria has already appeared in GlobalPost and will be featured soon in additional broadcast and print outlets. David has also posted some terrific stories and photos to our Untold Stories blog.

There's plenty more yet to come. Fred is currently reporting in India and journalists Ilan Greenberg and Carolyn Drake are in Tajikistan. Sam Loewenberg leaves shortly for Guatemala. Stay tuned to Untold Stories for their reports from the field, and for updates on published or broadcast work. In early April we'll launch Dan McCarey's interactive web portal, showcasing all the reporting as well as tools for students, and on April 7 we'll join Fred for a forum at St. John's sponsored by The Project for Under-Told Stories. Details coming!