Efecto Cocuyo: Collaborative journalism and citizen activism against disinformation
Empodera.org interviews Shari Avendaño, Venezuelan data journalist and illustrator. She studied Social Communication at the Central University of Venezuela and since 2017 she has been working in the Venezuelan digital storytelling media Efecto Cocuyo. She always wanted to support the processes experienced by citizens, to understand and help people to give dimension and meaning to the reality in which they live. That is why she became a journalist covering microeconomics, public services, electoral processes, human rights violations or the hospital crisis. She also publishes annual issues of Las venezolanas que brillaron, where she gives visibility to women whose talent, drive and social commitment stand out.
"I believe in independent journalism, far from the interests and ties of power. The media that bet on that will set the tone for what the future of independent journalism will be"
When the Data Verification and Fact-checking Unit of Efecto Cocuyo (EC) was created in 2018, Shari was one of its members. From there she contributed to create and implement her own verification methodology, which earned her to be chosen by the fact-checking portal Chequeado to spend two weeks in its editorial office in Argentina. She participates in EC's Training Unit, where she teaches verification and fact-checking workshops. In 2019 he signed an investigative work called Venezuela sin datos, which earned him a nomination for the Gabriel García Márquez Award. Since 2020 Efecto Cocuyo participates in a collaborative program sponsored by the Peruvian research portal, Salud con Lupa. There, it published a report on how Venezuelan migrants of the Waraos ethnic group experience the passage of COVID-19.