A look back at the June 2023 workshop for journalists in New Mexico, organized by Atomic Reporters together with the University of New Mexico and Outrider Foundation, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
New Mexico Work shop
Thirty years from the end of the Cold War the threat of nuclear weapons use has returned with Russia’s war against Ukraine. To bring more understanding and better reporting to an existential threat that shows no signs of going away, Atomic Reporters invited US-based staff and freelance journalists, working for national and international media, to participate in a three-and-a-half day intensive workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from June 6 to 10, 2023. New Mexico is a nexus of nuclear activity in the US: the nuclear age was ushered in at the Trinity test site in 1945 near Alamogordo, where the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated.
Without basic knowledge about nuclear weapons journalists are prone to fall prey to false claims, as in the failure of the press in 2003 at the time of the US led invasion of Iraq when disinformation from US and UK administrations about non-existent weapons of mass destruction went mostly unchallenged by journalists.
Some 25 journalists took part in the New Mexico event, working with senior journalists and prominent experts to learn more about nuclear history, policy, the impact and effects of nuclear weapons, non-proliferation and risk reduction. As part of the workshop, participants were also given the opportunity to visit Trinity Site, where the world’s first nuclear weapon was detonated.