El Paso, Texas –– A team of UTEP student reporters working with an experienced bilingual journalist will develop and publish a multimedia project for Borderzine.com examining the exodus of middle-class Mexicans and businesses from the northern border and other parts of Mexico because of increasing levels of crime and drug violence.
The project, called “Mexodus” and funded by a $25,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, examines the economic, education and cultural impact of the growing out migration from Mexico to El Paso and other areas. According to one estimate, more than 400,000 Mexican citizens have fled the country in the last three years. Mexico recently reported more than 28,000 drug war-related deaths since 2006.
“We are proud to support projects like this one at UTEP which reinforce best practices in investigative journalism and multimedia in a university classroom setting and set a high standard for similar student projects elsewhere,” said Bob Ross, President and CEO of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
Dr. Frank G. Perez, chair of the Department of Communication at UTEP, said the project enhances the general public’s understanding of a significant border topic. “We are thrilled the foundation is giving students an opportunity to produce quality journalism working with professional journalism mentors.”
The team of 12 UTEP student reporters will spend two semesters in a class led by veteran journalist and editor Ana Lourdes Cardenas to produce the multimedia package of stories in English and Spanish. “The goal is to give students the opportunity to obtain real world journalism experience in the classroom while reporting on a difficult issue,” said Cardenas, a former city editor at Al Dia newspaper in Dallas who has worked as a print and TV journalist in Mexico.
The student reporters will receive training in best practices and investigative journalism techniques. Borderzine.com will publish the project in late spring or early summer, and several established news media outlets also have agreed to run the stories.
Borderzine.com is web magazine dedicated to preparing young bilingual multimedia journalists for jobs in 21st Century news media. It is a project of the Department of Communication and Sam Donaldson Center at UTEP.
For more information, contact: Zita Arocha, 575-747-8798, firstname.lastname@example.org.