First release under new FIRE Policy

A Gambian fishing boat
Photo credit: Fábio Nascimento / The Outlaw Ocean Project  

A FIRE-supported story released in The New Yorker's March 8 print edition has become the first success of FIRE's new policy to support only stories for which the outlet legally protects the freelancer.

The story, by investigative reporter Ian Urbina, revealing troubling global implications of fish farms, was released online here, with associated back-story and videos here.

Conservationists have often hailed fish farms as the best hope for slowing ocean depletion. Urbina’s reporting from Gambia shows that the lucrative production of fishmeal for the farms is actually decimating fish stocks, in addition to causing pollution and other threats to local populations.  

Urbina received a FIRE Virtual Newsroom and grant for the piece, the first one published under FIRE's new policy.

The policy ensures that outlets receiving a FIRE-supported story protect the freelance reporter, as they would a staff reporter—a standard The New Yorker had met for Urbina.

More on the new policy below or here; and more on Urbina's story at the nonprofit journalism organization he directs, The Outlaw Ocean Project