Looking forward to the future of journalism

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for July 9, 2017

Lost Immigrants

Investigative stories across Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable.

Lack of sharing, limited resources impede identification of migrant remains | San Antonio Express-News

“Funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, reporter Aaron Nelsen and photographer Julysa Sosa traveled more than 3,000 miles for three weeks chronicling a caravan of Central American mothers and other family members on a heart-wrenching journey: trying to find out what happened to their loved ones, who disappeared while making the dangerous trek to the United States. But many are denied even the bitter closure of burial because lack of shared DNA databases, international conflicts and shifting immigration policies are preventing the identification of an untold number of remains.” Story by Aaron Nelsen Read more

How Mexican cartels launder drug money in San Antonio (Hint: Check the North Side)

Express-News reporter Guillermo Contreras wrote a story detailing a federal investigation of two Mexican brothers: Mauricio and Alejandro Sánchez Garza. Federal officials allege the brothers laundered drug money in San Antonio for Mexican cartels.

Mexico in Crisis: Q&A with John MacCormack

John MacCormack, reporter at the San Antonio Express-News

Known as “Johnny Mac” in the newsroom, John MacCormack is a talented, colorful reporter. He likes telling a good yarn, both in person and on the front pages of the San Antonio Express-News. One time I heard him on the phone telling a source: “What are you going to give me so I don’t write … Read more

Express-News reporters win national honors

Reporters Todd Bensman and Guillermo Contreras, my colleagues on the special projects team at the San Antonio Express-News, won an award from the National Press Club for their series of stories about gunrunning to Mexico called Texas’ Deadliest Export. According to the press club: Related: Call an investigative reporter in San Antonio, Texas “Reporters Todd … Read more

U.S. denying sanctuary to Mexicans fleeing drug war

Investigative reporter Todd Bensman has been writing about Mexican immigrants who are fleeing the drug war but are denied political asylum in the United States. For his first story, he interviewed a Mexican lawyer who said he was brutally tortured by a drug cartel. Today’s article tells the story of a family from Juarez: In … Read more

Exposing the gun buyers for Mexican drug cartels

Day 2 of “Texas’ Deadliest Export” is out. The series shows how easy it is for Mexican drug cartels to buy guns in Texas. Sunday’s story by Reporter Guillermo Contreras focuses on the straw buyers — the people with clean criminal histories who buy guns that wind up being used in cop killings and gun … Read more

Gunrunners’ land of plenty: How cartels buy firearms at Texas gun shows

Express-News Reporter Todd Bensman wrote an outstanding article in Sunday’s paper about Mexican drug cartels buying assault weapons in Texas to battle rivals and Mexican police. Bensman’s story showed how cartels hire people with clean criminal histories to buy firearms at Texas gun shows and gun shops. Bensman traced the path of several guns found … Read more