NPR, WLRN team up to expand reporting on Latin America

By Mike Janssen

NPR and Miami’s WLRN are collaborating to boost coverage of Latin America, with NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro assigned to a new foreign desk in São Paulo.

In addition to Garcia-Navarro, the team of journalists includes Tim Padgett, a longtime reporter on Latin America and the Caribbean who previously wrote for Time and Newsweek and recently joined WLRN. Padgett’s primary task will be to coordinate coverage from Miami.

Four reporters on the staff of the Miami Herald and its sister Spanish-language publication, El Nuevo Herald, will also contribute. WLRN and the Herald have collaborated on news coverage for a decade.

The expansion positions NPR and WLRN to report on a country that has grown as a global superpower in recent years, said Edith Chapin, senior supervising editor of NPR’s foreign desk. Brazil has increasingly done business with China and India; a Brazilian diplomat has been tapped to lead the World Trade Organization; the country will soon host the World Cup and the Summer Olympics; and the newly appointed Pope will hold World Youth Day in the country.

“You have a large, diverse population . . . that is facing lots of interesting challenges and positioning itself on the world stage as an independent player,” Chapin said.

For WLRN, the reporting unit will help to address the concerns of listeners in Miami, where Latinos make up 64 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census. “Many stories in Latin America and the Caribbean become local stories here,” said John Labonia, g.m. of WLRN.

Garcia-Navarro, who calls Miami home when not traveling, will be available to contribute to WLRN’s coverage, which will air within newscasts and as special reports.

Read NPR’s press release.

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