Journalism in July or “JIJ” is a scholarship summer program that recruits 20 students from high schools in the El Paso-Las Cruces area to teach them news gathering and writing skills and how to use digital tools to tell stories on the web. The program runs July 12 – 19 on the UTEP campus.
During the seven-day residential workshop, student journalists stay in campus dormitories. UTEP faculty and volunteer media professionals teach news reporting and writing as well as video, audio and digital photography practices. Students will visit print and broadcast media outlets, and ultimately produce a bilingual, multimedia student web magazine filled with written news and enterprise stories with digital photography and video.
You can read the stories produced by last summer’s workshop participants in their web magazine, Exposure.
“Our high school students are not only immersed in the practice of reporting and writing for the web but also learn the latest multimedia journalism techniques and technologies to tell local stories, said UTEP Professor of Practice Zita Arocha, co director of the workshop with digital news media guru Kate Gannon, who also teaches at UTEP. “They also establish relationships with local news professionals to create a network of support and mentoring that will help them for the rest of their lives.”
Journalism in July alumni have gone to pursue journalism majors at UTEP and at other important schools around the country such as the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Phoenix, AZ, and Columbia University in New York, NY. “
Genaro Cruz, a past graduate of Journalism in July who now studies multimedia journalism at UTEP, said the summer program opened the door to a career in news media.
“JIJ was my first experience with journalism and it gave me confidence to look for an opportunity to attend UTEP,” said Cruz who also works at a local Spanish broadcast media outlet. He attributes his success in the journalism field as “something that without JIJ would have never happened.”
The program offers tuition, housing, meals and transportation to the 20 selected students.
The workshop is primarily funded primarily by Dow Jones News Fund and also has received support from local sponsors such as the Hervey Foundation, El Paso Community Foundation, El Paso Electric Company, El Paso Times, among others.
You can download the student application in English by clicking here. (Solicitud en espanol) Application deadline is April 17 and students are required to include a letter of support from their high school journalism advisor or teacher. Selected applicants will notified after April 27. After acceptance to the program, there is a $25 non-refundable deposit to hold the student’s spot.
For questions, please feel free to contact Journalism in July Program Assistant Vianey Alderete, at (915) 747-8475, and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Program Co-Director, Zita Arocha, at (915) 747-8798, or via email at .