It’s been a challenging year for storytelling on the border. A mass shooting at a local Walmart killed 22. Migrant caravans were intercepted at the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez crossings. Thousands of migrant children separated from their parents. A rising crescendo of hate-filled anti-immigrant political speech that goes on and on.
But there’s a saying in Spanish, lo que no mata engorda, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The phrase reflects the can-do spirit of our border journalism students who have soldiered on with strong reporting and digital storytelling that reflects the day-to-day reality of a rich, diverse and thriving cross-border community. Journalism that provide our readers with needed depth and context, and a counterpoint to the negative political narrative.
We are rightly proud of what we do and hope to do more with your help.
Last year your donations to Borderzine through the NewsMatch fundraising campaign for nonprofit newsrooms helped us raise nearly $30,000 – money that helped send student journalists to summer internships at the Washington News Journal in Delaware, Santa Fe Reporter, San Antonio Express-News, Greenville News in South Carolina, and Texas Highways, to a study abroad program in Cuba and to help buy digital cameras, lenses, microphones, sound recorders and tripods for their reporting.
We hope to surpass last year’s contributions this time by reaching $50,000, which will allow us to fund more student internships, pay for them to travel and attend journalism conferences and trainings, buy more professional sound recorders for podcasting.
The match works like this: Every dollar you donate is matched 1:1 by NewsMatch. And while one-time contributions in any amount are most welcome, we are being challenged and encouraged to engage more recurring monthly donors, again in any amount – $50 a month for 12 months = $600 which turns into $1200 – an amount that covers four weeks of internship pay for one of our students. Donations are accepted on our or directly at .
Now allow me to brag a bit about the uniqueness of our students who are reporting from the borderline which has become the frontline of the immigration wars fought by the White House and the Congress.
As news of the mass shooting in El Paso spread on social media and cable news, current students and recent graduates began receiving phone calls and emails from major news outlets seeking assistance with interviewing and reporting on the ground in El Paso. Some were tapped to contribute to national stories with text, photos and video.
Imagine my pride at seeing the byline of an alum, now a reporter for the El Paso Times, as a contributor on a front-page New York Times story about the mass shooting.
As I watched the TV news the day of the shooting, I recognized two former journalism students, notebook and camera in hand, covering a press conference with El Paso Police in the Walmart parking lot. How gratifying it is to know some Borderzine alums now work, not just in border news outlets, but also at CNN, Associated Press, the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, Univision, Telemundo, and in smaller newsrooms in cities across the country.
That’s why we do what we do. As the old pop song says, you ain’t seen nothing yet.