9 Media Outlets Team Up to Reunite Immigrant Families Separated at the US Border

“It turned out other publications were thinking through the same questions so we all decided to join forces,” says BuzzFeed senior editor Ariel Kaminer

Last Updated: June 29, 2018 @ 10:43 AM

Nine media organizations spread across four countries are teaming up in a joint effort to reunite  immigrant and asylum-seeking families separated at the U.S. border under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policies.

The initiative, spearheaded by ProPublica, was described as a “joint tip line” by one individual involved and will also utilize the resources of the American media companies BuzzFeed, Univision, TheIntercept, the Texas Tribune and Frontline. The international effort also involves Mexico’s Animal Político, El Salvador’s El Faro and Guatemala’s Plaza Pública, according to Nieman Lab.

The organizations have compiled a map of known detention centers where immigrants and asylum seekers have been kept — and are seeking to crowd-source information about detainees, including their names and ages, in English, Spanish and Portugese.

As of Friday afternoon, two days after launching the effort, the organizations had received more than 100 tips from families, detention center workers and community members, according to BuzzFeed senior news editor Ariel Kaminer said.

“Reporters and editors in our newsroom were talking about how, amidst all the heated debate about this policy, we could get actual solid information about which families have been separated and where they are being held,” Kaminer told TheWrap.

“It turned out other publications were thinking through the same questions so we all decided to join forces. We’re inviting people to use the online tool, which ProPublica designed, or to reach out to us through our tips line or secure messaging, to help us tell the stories of people who are affected by this policy and to hold accountable those who oversee it.”

In both English and Spanish editions on its website, ProPublica promised anyone coming forward with information could remain anonymous.

Anyone reading BuzzFeed who wants to come forward was urged to email tips@buzzfeed.com.