I’m Luiz Fernando Toledo, a journalist using investigative and data techniques to bring impactful stories to life.
I hold two master’s degrees – one in Data Journalism, at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (New York), after being awarded a full scholarship, and the other in Public Administration and Government, at FGV-EAESP (São Paulo/Brazil), both with honors.
At Columbia, I’m currently leading a journalism project about environmental crimes in the Amazon Rainforest at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, after being awarded a Magic Grant. This project has been used as source by news outlets like BBC, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post and several Brazilian organizations.
I can report in Portuguese and English and work on local or cross-border projects.
Using programming languages, I can analyze huge databases and scrape thousands of web pages. I can also uncover public records with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
I have been teaching data journalism techniques and public records to Brazilian students. Since 2018 I have taught more than 2,000 students and professional journalists in several workshops and lectures presented in more than 10 Brazilian states, Washington DC and Oxford (UK). In 2022 I taught in a masters program at Insper university. I also coordinate one of the most popular newsletters about public records in Brazil.
Description of portfolio:
I have worked for a decade in major publications in Brazil and abroad, such as Estadão, TV Globo, CNN Brasil, Revista Piauí and OCCRP. During that time I received more than 10 journalistic awards, scholarships and fellowships.
I have also been coordinating and/or contributing to multiple projects that improve government transparency in my home country. I co-founded Fiquem Sabendo, a Brazilian NGO that fights to open public interest data. We’ve successfully released hundreds of public records used in over 2,000 stories by major Brazilian and international media (some examples are BBC, Mongabay, CNN, Deutsche Welle, El Pais, Folha de São Paulo, TV Globo and Estadão). Some of these stories resulted in investigations, helped to save public funds and were used in official investigations. The project is a member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) and received funds from Google News Initiative in 2021 and 2022.
Since 2020, I am also one of the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (Abraji) directors, one of the world’s leading associations of investigative reporters, and develop different projects there to help journalists get and use public data. One of these projects was awarded a six-month fellowship to study at the University of Oxford and my project became an online training on public records finished by hundreds of local reporters and editors.