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Borderzine, journalism across fronteras, is a web community for Latino student journalists, a two-way bridge connecting the classroom and the newsroom. It creates an unprecedented national dialogue around issues of newsroom diversity and shifts the new voices, perspectives and experiences of Latinos in the U.S. from the borderline to the centerline.

Borderzine builds leadership in the media field by providing training in multi-media journalism to Latino students and opening doors to careers in English and Spanish news media through internships.

Borderzine provides Latino students with a competitive edge to enter the news industry, and engages newsroom editors and top management in the process of helping to develop future newsroom talent leading to a more diverse news force.

Borderzine is a project of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), with participation by the Department of Communication and the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies.

The web publication is made possible by a seed grant from the Ford Foundation, and a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other sponsors include, Scripps Howard News Bureau, Scripps Howard Foundation, Al Día newspaper, and Crucial Web Hosting.



Editorial Board

Cuban-born Zita Arocha is a bilingual print journalist and senior lecturer in the UTEP Department of Communication. She was most recently at the Freedom Forum as coordinator of training for the Chips Quinn Scholars Program for young journalists of color. For over 20 years she worked as a reporter for the Washington Post, the Miami Herald, The Miami News and the Tampa Times. A freelance contributor to various national publications, she earned a master’s degree in English and comparative literature from the University of South Florida, and is currently pursuing an MFA in bilingual creative writing at UTEP. She is working on a memoir: Made in Tampa: A Cuban-American Childhood. She is project director for borderzine.com.

Dr. Thomas E. Ruggiero is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at UTEP. During his career as a daily newspaper reporter, he worked at the San Jose Mercury News, The Herald Mail, Md., The Record Herald, Pa., The Press-Enterprise, Pa., and The Medford Mail Tribune, Ore. His research interests include: New Media Technologies, Media Ethics, Intercultural Communication, and Journalism/Communication Education. His published research appears in communication journals such as Communication Education, Communication Quarterly, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Mass Communication & Society, and Communication for Development and Social Change Journal. He is co-director of the annual Dow Jones Summer Journalism Workshop for High School Students at UTEP.

Costa Rican-born David Smith-Soto brings more than 30 years of experience in bilingual print journalism, newspaper management and international public relations to UTEP. At UTEP, he teaches digital photography and bilingual writing. A bilingual writer, editor, journalist and photographer, Smith-Soto has served as Managing Editor of The Winchester Evening Star, Editor of El Nuevo Dia of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Latin America Staff Writer at The Miami Herald and Managing Editor of El Miami Herald. He joined the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. in 1985, serving as Chief of Publications and Associate Deputy for Public Relations, retiring in 2000. Smith-Soto earned a BA in English from the University of Maryland and an MFA in bilingual creative writing at UTEP.

Dr. Barthy Byrd has more than twenty years experience in broadcast journalism in seven major U.S. markets and more than 25 years experience teaching at the university level. She received her BA and MA degrees from New Mexico State University and her PhD from the University of New Mexico. She is an associate professor and director of the electronic media sequence in the Communication Department at UTEP.

Kathleen Flores has worked for more than 20 years in higher education. After receiving her BFA from Texas Tech University she began working for UTEP in 1978, where she has been the editor of NOVA magazine and Horizons. Kathy became the editorial advisor for the student newspaper and magazine in 2002, and was named director in 2004.

Development, Research and Design Team

Brandon Carrillo, Graphic and Web Designer

Brandon designed and programmed the latest iteration of the Borderzine website over the summer of 2009.

Lourdes Cueva Chacón, User Interface Designer

Cueva Chacón received her Masters degree in Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Since then she’s been pursuing a career in Usability, Information Architecture and Interface Design in Raleigh, NC and now in El Paso, TX. She is also interested in the information needs of Latinos in the U.S.

For Borderzine.com, Cueva Chacón did research on the target audience, author/editor information needs, required interaction with the CMS, editing and publishing processes, and main features required for the online magazine.

Charlie Moreno, Web Developer

A native El Pasoan, Charlie is a professional freelance web developer and graphic designer. He specializes in medium to high end websites using various Content Management Systems (CMS) and E-Commerce solutions for organizations, small to medium sized businesses, and entertainment professionals that require an easy to manage online presence with a customized look and style to cater to the latest web trends. His client’s can expect a full featured website, integrated database system, sleek and custom design, and an administrator backend that enables them to utilize the internet’s full potential by managing their website’s content such as text, photos, and videos.

For Borderzine.com Phase 1, Charlie Moreno was in charge of customizing the CMS, programming and customizing programming and function scripts, setting user access and privileges, and developing the back-end for the magazine. You can visit Charlie Moreno’s website at www.Charlie-Moreno.com


Angel Cancino, Program Assistant

Cancino received his MBA with a concentration in General Management from the University of Texas at El Paso in December 2013. He has worked in the marketing and advertising departments for several Hispanic media companies in the U.S., El Paso marketing agencies, and the first business incubator in El Paso, TX.

With Borderzine.com, Angel has held several internship positions assisting the Director since 2010 in advertising, marketing, logistics and event planning. As program assistant for Borderzine since January of 2012, Angel coordinates the annual Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy for college journalism instructors, the DJNF high school journalism workshop at UTEP, and other Borderzine projects. He is also responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s strategic communications and managing Borderzine’s social media platforms.


John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Ford Foundation

Scripps Howard News Bureau

Scripps Howard Foundation

Al Día newspaper, Philadelphia, PA

Crucial Web Hosting


Zita Arocha, Director



500 W. University Drive

El Paso, TX  79968

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