12 journalism professors travel to El Paso for the 2023 Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy


Twelve journalism instructors from U.S. Hispanic Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges are in the Borderland to the U.S-Mexico border region to participate in the 13th annual Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy June 2-8, 2023, at the University of Texas in El Paso.

Thanks to a grant provided by the Dow Jones News Fund, Borderzine organizes this annual training program geared to support multimedia journalism instructors who teach in institutions with a large minority population.

Here is a list of the 12 instructors who were chosen and their institutions:

  • Carlton Abernathy – Houston Community College
  • Dorothy Bland – University of North Texas
  • Mathew Eichner – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • Jenn Erdley – Prairie View A&M
  • Cheryl Gardner – Fresno State University
  • Vera Walker-Hawkins – Texas Southern
  • Rachele Kanigel – San Francisco State University
  • Lance Liquez – University of Texas at Arlington
  • Vinicio Sinta Morales – University of Texas at Arlington
  • David Shabazz – Kentucky State University
  • Miglena Sternadori – Texas Tech University
  • Kathe Lehman Meyer – St. Mary’s University

The week-long multimedia journalism academy has a proven track record of helping journalism educators acquire new skills in digital storytelling that they can use to help prepare the next generation of Latino and Black college journalists for a competitive media market.

The goal of this experience is to learn and practice news reporting using a variety of digital equipment, software programs, and platforms. Participating instructors are expected to translate this learning into training for their students, making them more competitive in the media industry.

The selected participants come from different teaching backgrounds, specializing in print, photojournalism, broadcast, and other platforms. As technology is changing so rapidly, it is essential for college instructors to expand their knowledge and increase their skills to teach multimedia journalism effectively. Media organizations are looking for journalists who know more than just write, take pictures, or create visual stories.

This hands-on training takes instructors to visit a people and places throughout El Paso to cover real stories and gain experience with the latest tools and an understanding of the amount of time multimedia productions can take  It also gives professors a chance to collaborate with peers that are struggling with the same challenges. Examples of work published from previous academy sessions can be seen here.

The program director is Kate Gannon, Borderzine director and an associate professor of practice in the UT El Paso Department of Communication; co-director Dr. Lourdes Cueva Chacon, Assistant Professor School of Journalism and Media Studies, San Diego State University. Trainer/coaches are NPR consultant and Project Director Doug Mitchell; Independent radio reporter and podcast host Monica Ortiz Uribe; and broadcast TV veteran and now high school journalism instructor, Andrew Valencia.

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