Martha Mendoza is an Associated Press National Writer. She has won numerous awards including a Pulitzer Prize for her work in covering and exposing modern slavery around the world. Over the years she has prompted Congressional hearings, Pentagon investigations and White House responses. Her work is something she feels is incredibly important but ethically challenging. At the 2015 Freedom from Slavery Forum at Stanford University, she explained how, “If you show their face, they can be eliminated as evidence.”
The problem with actively investigating and bringing to light the enslavement of people is that it can endanger those she is trying to help. Ethically, it is a difficult decision to decide on the timeliness of a story. If it runs too soon those implicated could be killed, but if the story runs too late some might not care or be able to help the situation. It is a dangerous line to toe and Mendoza, as well the Associated Press, realize that.
Her articles have exposed different kinds labor and enslavement across the country, even leading to the rescue of some that she had written about. Her work spans multiple countries and investigations. Often she has written about labor enslavement and saved many of those that she found in the process. Her work has brought light to issues that otherwise may have remained undetected. Mendoza works largely in Northern California now, focusing heavily on local issues within the area. While still assisting with foreign investigations, she stays local for the most part.