Efecto Cocuyo is an independent Venezuelan media platform that delivers critical reporting and hard-hitting investigations in an era of media complacence and growing limitations on citizens’ ability to stay informed. Our team combines the energy of young writers with the experience of award-winning veteran journalists to cover stories that are increasingly being ignored by corporate media. These include the growing challenges for Venezuelans to obtain basic goods, the growth of poverty after more than a decade of prosperity, and the elusive search for justice by relatives of 43 people killed during opposition demonstrations in 2014.

We run a community-driven newsroom that seamless integrates social networks into the reporting process by using our Twitter and Facebook communities to generate story ideas and keep us up to date on breaking news. This structure is the inspiration for our name, Efecto Cocuyo, which in Spanish means “Firefly Effect.” Our platform is the product of millions of tiny sparks, which together can illuminate an entire nation. Our strength-in-numbers approach is also reflected in our reliance on crowd funding as a means of financing. Using platforms like Indie Go-go helps ensure that we are not beholden to economic interests.

Efecto Cocuyo is committed to holding powerful public officials accountable in a system that increasingly protects them from public scrutiny. We are equally committed to criticizing opposition leaders who have repeatedly set back our country’s democracy over the years through maneuvers including a 2002 coup, an oil-industry shutdown, and a boycott of parliamentary elections.

Venezuela’s media landscape has changed sharply over the last two years. Private media that once challenged the government and exposed corruption have watered down their coverage in the wake of secretive changes in ownership. This is the reality that Venezuela’s news consumers face today. Hundreds of reporters unwilling to work under such conditions have quit their jobs in search of new opportunities.

Our founders are two such reporters. Laura Weffer, who in 2014 led an investigation of murders by rogue intelligence officers that paved the way for arrests of security officials, left the country’s best-selling newspaper Ultimas Noticias after realizing this sort of work was no longer welcome there.

Luz Mely Reyes is a relentless investigator who has broken news on Venezuela’s cooperation with Iran and the activities of Colombian guerillas in the country. Last year she was arraigned by state prosecutors after President Nicolas Maduro lashed out at a story about gasoline shortages published by daily newspaper 2001 where she was worked as Editor in Chief until she decided to start Efecto Cocuyo.

Efecto Cocuyo relies on individual donations to maintain our operations, but we need funding for special projects. This year’s parliamentary elections will be the first since private media began tacitly siding with the government. We want to hire reporters to provide post breaking news analysis, investigative report and comprehensive content about crucial information. We also want to build a data-reporting investigations team that can uncover corruption by state officials. And we are planning to hold a series of workshops for young reporters with a focus on the provinces, where the country’s economic crisis is being felt the most.

Share with us:

– www.efectococuyo.com

– Twitter @EfectoCocuyo | @LuzMelyReyes | @Laura_Weffer

– Facebook El Efecto Cocuyo

– Youtube

– Whatsapp +584123209349 / +584143080907


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