San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

La Nación investigative reporter recognized for excellence in journalism

The Gabriel García Márquez Prize for Journalism will recognize Giannina Segnini for excellence in journalism during the prize’s activities in Medellín, Colombia, on Wednesday.

Founder of La Nación’s Investigative Unit, Segnini has been making headlines in Costa Rica for years exposing misuse of funds by the Catholic Church, revealing payments to members of then-San José mayor (and current National Liberation Party presidential candidate) Johnny Araya’s staff by a Canadian transnational corporation.

Segnini, however, is undoubtedly best known for an investigation that landed two Costa Rican ex-presidents, Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría, in jail on corruption charges.

The prize’s board of governors recognized Segnini for “elevating the standards of journalism as a public service, pursuing journalistic investigations into relevant cases of corruption that have had an outstanding impact on the public life of her country and, at the same time, have become an example of professional excellence for journalism in Latin America,” according to a statement on the organization’s website.

The investigative journalist is also known as a pioneer of data journalism.

“The technological effort that the investigative team at La Nación has done under Segnini’s leadership has permitted the discovery of deliberately hidden relationships between facts and persons, and abuse of power. In this way, she has given strength to great journalism’s oversight, in accordance with the information demands of a complex and globalized world,” the board’s statement said.

During her journalistic career, several other prizes have recognized Segnini’s accomplishments, including a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, awards from the Press and Society Institute, Transparency International for Latin America and the Caribbean, and a special mention from Columbia University’s María Moors Cabot Prize. 

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