Caso Cerrado: The public records are yours!
Underwritten by Google News Lab

The best journalism stories often begin with a public records request. Reporters who successfully request data and documents from government agencies understand that the practice is both an art and a science. They are not only well-versed in public records laws, but they're also strategic in how they interact with government agencies. 

NAHJ presents a panel where members can learn both the art and science of obtaining public records. This session is for NAHJ members who want to level up their FOIA/PRA game. Come learn from four experienced journalists who will share their advice and strategies when it comes to requesting public records.

DATE/TIME: Saturday, May 14, 2022 – 12:00 PM ET / 9:00 AM PT

DURATION: 75 mins

Erika Carrillo, Investigative Reporter, Univision Miami, @ErikaCarrilloTV

Ana Ley, Metro Reporter, The New York Times, @La__Ley
Diana R. Fuentes, Executive Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors, @ddfonline
María Inés Zamudio, I
nvestigative Journalist at WBEZ, @mizamudio




Erika Carrillo has worked as a journalist in South Florida for 19 years. She led the investigation unit of Univision Miami for the last 7 years.

Carrillo’s investigation about corruption in the City of Sweetwater, in Miami-Dade County, exposed how police officers and public officials worked in  cahoots with a towing company to impound vehicles and overcharge residents to recover them. The investigation led to a RICO case. The complaints and testimonies that Carrillo obtained were part of the evidence in a probe by the FBI and the Florida State Police.

Her investigation “Condo Nightmares” exposed systemic fraud and mismanagement in condominium associations in Florida. The series led to a Grand Jury investigation and state legislative reforms in 2017.

Carrillo’s investigation “Florida: paraíso de belleza y muerte,” exposed the lack of data and regulations of cosmetic surgery centers. Her findings were presented before the Florida legislature to reform the state law in 2019.

Erika was born in Colombia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communication and Journalism from La Universidad de la Sabana in Bogotá.

In her native country, she worked for five years as a Public Order reporter, covering conflict among the armed forces, guerrilla groups and paramilitary groups, and the peace negotiations with former presidents Ernesto Samper and Andres Pastrana.


Ana Ley is a Metro reporter covering transit for The New York Times, focusing on its sprawling network of subways, buses and commuter rail lines as well as the people who ride, operate and repair the system.

Before joining The Times, she was a reporter and then an editor at The Virginian-Pilot, overseeing a group of city and state government reporters. In 2017, her stories exposed predatory toll road practices and triggered refunds and settlements for thousands of drivers as well as the demotion of a CEO at a multi-billion dollar transportation company. She was a 2021 Livingston Award finalist for her stories on the enduring legacy of racism in Virginia politics.

Ms. Ley was born in Reynosa, Mexico, grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American. She is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Diana R. Fuentes is a second-generation Texan with more than 35 years of journalism experience, from police reporter to publisher and just about everything in between. Her award-winning career began in 1977 as a copy desk apprentice at the Laredo News on the Texas-Mexico border. In addition to Laredo, Fuentes has worked in Austin, Beaumont, Del Rio and San Antonio. She has covered and edited investigative and breaking news stories across Mexico and the United States.

As Executive Director of IRE, Fuentes oversees an organization dedicated to improving the quality of journalism with more than 5,500 members from around the world. IRE sets the standard for data journalism and investigative journalism training. She leads a staff of 14 professionals and numerous graduate students. 

Fuentes has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a governor of the Headliners Foundation of Texas and is past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. She is treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists – San Antonio Chapter.

She has served on the national boards of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, now the News Leaders Association. She is a past president of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists.

A proud Latina, Fuentes’ first language was Spanish.
María Inés Zamudio is an award-winning investigative reporter. Zamudio covers immigration for WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR station. Prior to joining WBEZ, she worked for American Public Media’s investigative team. Zamudio has worked as an investigative reporter in Chicago and Memphis for over a decade.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. We hope to see you soon virtually!

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