LUIZ FERNANDO TOLEDO
Data/investigative journalist and access to information researcher
I'm a professional interested in open government, accountability and freedom of information issues to foster journalism, civil empowerment and improve democracy.
Stories I've written helped concretely to save public funds, start investigations in public contracts and private companies, influence the shape of transparency policies in Brazil and remove corrupted public officials.
My work has been published in the last decade by major news outlets in Brazil, such as CNN Brasil, TV Globo, G1 and Estadão. (check this link to see some articles and projects).
I started working in 2020 as a Latin America reporter/editor for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an investigative reporting platform for a worldwide network of independent media centers and journalists that covers more than 40 countries. I'm the first Brazilian member of the team. Our most recent work was #OpenLux, revealing more than R$ 700 billion in companies owned by Brazilian citizens in Luxembourg, including people investigated for crime and corruption.
I hold a master's degree in Public Administration with a research about sensitive documents in Brazilian federal administration at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV-EAESP) and a specialization in Political Science at Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (Fespsp). I was also recently approved to a Master of Science in Data Journalism at Columbia University with a full scholarship.
Access to information, training and research on public transparency
Besides writing and editing journalistic articles, in recent years I have been working to provide support to other journalists, researchers and other Brazilian citizens by developing projects and workshops to push public transparency in Brazil.
Since 2018 I have presented dozens of workshops about access to public data to more than a 1,000 professionals and students in person and online, in national and international conferences (to Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism journalist fellows, in Oxford; Coda.BR, a data science conference held in Brazil; Congresso Internacional de Jornalismo Investigativo, organized by Abraji and Congresso Internacional de Jornalismo de Educação, held by Jeduca, the Brazilian Association of Education Journalists); to newsrooms (Rede Globo São Paulo, Globoesporte, Correio da Bahia, Estadão and others) and private and public universities.
I was selected as one of the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) directors in 2020 and am writing reports and doing workshops about access to information. Abraji is one of the most relevant journalistic associations in Latin America and led the fight for a freedom of information act in Brazil.
In the same year, I was invited to attend News Trust Fellowship at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (University of Oxford) and developed, with Abraji, a project that helps journalists using freedom of information law by gathering international experiences.
I am one of the cofounders of Fiquem Sabendo, a data agency that discloses new public databases and public records in a prize-winning newsletter (5,000+ subscribers) called Don't LAI to Me ('LAI' is the Brazilian Freedom of Information Act) and whose content was already published in more than 2,000 articles in hundreds of local and national media outlets in Brazil since 2019. We are members of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN). Our work is independent and totally funded by our readers and projects related to our mission. We also organize Projeto Sem Sigilo, a task force to disclose hundreds of sensitive data from the Brazilian federal government.
I have a seat as a counselor for the Brazilian Education Journalists Association (Jeduca) and developed Jeduca nas universidades, workshops on how to use public records to cover education for 800+ students from 15 Brazilian cities in 2018 (in person). Jeduca also launched an online course in 2020, with more than 1000+ students and I was one of their instructors.
Awards, fellowships and scholarships
My portfolio was recognized in Sigma Awards Data Journalism (an European Journalism Centre prize) shortlists 3 times: once in 2020 and twice in 2021 (here and here). I received other 10 journalistic awards or honorable mentions since 2011 (Claudio Weber Abramo, a data journalism award in Brazil, Prêmio Estado for 4 times, a major Brazilian newspaper internal award for some of the best reporting of the year, Allianz, a major national public education coverage award, República, a Public Prosecutor's Office award, among others), two international fellowships (ICFJ's A Digital Path to Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Latin America in 2018 and the highly competitive Reuters Institute/University of Oxford's News Trust in 2021) and 3 scholarships (FGV-EAESP 2019, Jornalista de Visão/Instituto Ling 2019, granted to "young journalists with outstanding leadership profile, professional performance and academic performance" and Columbia University's.