The Nation: A Debut
Project Word’s debut article appeared in The Nation magazine in June 2009. It was a quintessential success story, highlighting the broadest range of services that Project Word makes available to writers and editors.
Teo Ballvé, a Bogota-based investigative reporter editor at the small but highly regarded journal NACLA: A Report on the Americas, had been struggling to publish in higher-circulation magazines. He had an important story idea: farmers in northwestern Colombia had lost their land to paramilitary thugs, and were organizing to claim it back from the narcotrafficker-linked palm oil companies that now held the land (many with support of the US). Ballvé wanted to tell the farmers’ story. He wanted to find it a home.
In 2008 he called on Project Word. Over the course of about a year Project Word helped him pursue his reporting, develop his narrative, secure funding from The Nation Institute, and produce a winning draft for The Nation. The magazine’s editors took it from there (no writer can have more than one editor at a time). Because Ballvé was able to document questionable involvement of the US Agency for International Development, the piece became widely read, spawning follow up stories in a range of US and Latin American media. The article was subsequently nominated for awards by The Inter American Press Association, Overseas Press Club, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.