Whether it was the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War or even New Mexico’s own Manhattan Project, nuclear tensions have been a longstanding component of international relations. Across each of these situations, journalists have been at the forefront of carefully understanding and reporting nuclear crises.

Trinity Site
Trinity Site

It’s preparation the UNM Department of Communication & Journalism is ensuring today’s journalists still have. That’s why it is co-sponsoring a major conference with the non-profit organization Atomic Reporters, titled: Covering the Atomic File: Interactive Workshop for Journalists to Bring Better Reporting to Renewed Nuclear Tensions. 

From June 7 to 10, journalists are invited to Albuquerque to learn about historical perspectives on nuclear policy, as well as how to cover it and break down complicated, technical terms to the public. It’s an opportunity especially built for New Mexico. 

“New Mexico provides a particularly relevant space for this event. For instance, participants will learn about the history and the social, health, and economic impact of the Trinity nuclear test in 1945 for south central communities,” C&J Department Chair Ilia Rodriguez Nazario said.

In addition to Rodriguez Nazario featured at this unique event, local speakers are coming from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. Covering the Atomic File is also welcoming experts from the National Security Council, the International Red Cross, Stanford University and George Washington University.

“The program features a valuable combination of lectures on history and international politics regarding nuclear proliferation with exploration of strategies to make scientific and technical information accessible to the public in ways that ensure accurate, independent, and contextualized reporting. These values are central to the mission of journalism education,” Rodriguez Nazario said.

Planes at museum
NM Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Most importantly, of course, the consortium will be filled with reporters– both longtime writers and new recruits. 

“We welcome this collaboration between C&J and Peter Rickwood and Atomic Reporters as a unique opportunity to share expert knowledge and mentorship from veteran journalists with a younger generation of post-Cold War reporters facing old and new geopolitical scenarios and tensions regarding nuclear threats and policies,” Rodriguez Nazario said. 

Alongside speeches, workshops and panels, attendees will also get the opportunity to explore the New Mexico Museum of Nuclear Science & History, as well as the Trinity Site at White Sands Missile Range.

It’s an exciting, jam-packed three-and-a-half day process. Learn more about UNM’s role in facilitating highly important discussions at the Department of Communication & Journalism.