Linking Writers and Editors

Project Word helps magazines, newspapers, and other media produce important overlooked stories in the public interest. We serve editors and producers in two related ways. We provide well-reported stories featuring underreported issues, sources, and voices, with an emphasis on underrepresented communities. We also help diverse journalists to effectively draw on distinct backgrounds to report original stories "on location," often in remote communities, including their own.

Project Word stories cover a broad range of areas—from accountability and human rights, to community health, environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty, and biocultural preservation. It operates through three loosely organized programs:

The Free Speech Program

Identifies and introduces diverse viewpoints by ethnically diverse writers in the form of interviews, poetry, editorials, literature in translation, and personal essays, like this arresting account of the Caribbean indigenous Kuna peoples by Ruxandra Guidi, for Atlantic Monthly online.

The Native Voices Program

Identifies, develops, and introduces pieces related to indigenous communities and by native writers, including experts like Native American forest-restoration specialist Dennis Martinez. Writing in this op-ed in the Boston Globe, Martinez showed how a major World Bank climate program was willfully ignoring complex biocultural issues, to the peril of future generations, generating intense reader debate about the program.

The Journalism Program

Identifies, develops, and introduces reported stories like the highly regarded investigation in The Nation by Teo Ballvé, which revealed that narco-trafficker-linked palm oil companies in Colombia benefited from violent displacement of campesinos—with support from the US Agency for International Development. Ballvé's piece generated extensive media coverage in the US and Latin America and numerous award nominations.