About Us


Borderzine: Reporting Across Fronteras

We are an innovative journalism education initiative and online publishing platform that prepares young bilingual journalists for jobs in 21st century news media.

Since 2008, Borderzine.com has published rich, relevant content about the borderlands produced by multicultural student journalists at UT El Paso and our partner schools across the U.S. and Mexico.

Our reporters and community contributors have covered provocative and relevant stories about national topics such as the status of immigration reform, unaccompanied minors from Central America, the impact of crime and drug violence on Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, and domestic violence protections for undocumented women. They’ve tackled regional topics such as tuberculosis, diabetes, bilingual education, and issues of language and identity, all from their unique bicultural perspective. They’ve also produced lighter fare: profiles of artists, boxers, businesspersons, politicians and human rights leaders on both sides of the Rio Grande.

By developing a steady stream of job-ready bilingual multimedia journalism graduates, we hope to reinvigorate the national dialogue about the urgent need for diverse newsrooms that reflect our nation’s complex identity, and help shift the new voices, perspectives and experiences of Latinos in the U.S. from the borderline to the mainstream.

We Are

  • An innovative teaching newsroom that trains and mentors bilingual journalism students with the reporting, writing and multimedia skills they need to be competitive.
  • A bridge from the multimedia classroom to the newsroom that has already helped Latino journalism graduates into internships and jobs in newsrooms with companies such as ESPN, Associated Press, Gannett, Media News, ImpreMedia, The Boston Globe, Scripps Howard, Univision, Entravision, Telemundo and Al Dia News.
  • A digital publishing platform based in El Paso, Texas for young multimedia journalists writing across borders of all kinds. We have published more than 1,000 stories in English and Spanish since 2008. Borderzine’s contributors so far are from the U.S.-Mexico border region, Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico,  Illinois, Tennessee, Chihuahua City and Mexico City.
  • A critical and continuing conversation and a working model for achieving diversity in U.S. News Media.

What We Do

Student journalism training – Borderzine is the capstone course of the Multimedia Journalism program at the University of Texas at El Paso. Here, students refine their skills in reporting and producing multimedia stories and blogs. Students experience a professional newsroom environment and publish on Borderzine.com and partner media outlets.

Internship placement –Through our extensive network for internship placement and post-graduate support, Borderzine has placed student interns with English and Spanish media outlets throughout the United States.

Program graduates – Since the program began in 2008, the Borderzine teaching newsroom has trained more than 200 Latino multimedia journalists. Alumni of the program are working as media professionals with broadcast companies, newspapers, magazines, online media, and non-profit organizations across the country.

Partnerships with Hispanic-serving institutions

Borderzine’s annual program, the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy has trained more than 60 media and journalism instructors from Hispanic-serving colleges and universities throughout the United States. Through this program we have created partnerships with University of Texas Pan American, University of Texas at San Antonio, Columbia College in Chicago, California State University Northridge, Imperial Valley College, Fullerton College, University of Central Florida, Florida International University, East Tennessee State University, and Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez among others.

Media partnerships

Borderzine stories and multimedia have been republished by MSN Latino, Voxxi, Hispanic Link News Service, El Paso Times and Newspaper Tree.

If you would like to partner with Borderzine drop us a line at borderzine@gmail.com

Training Workshops

Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training AcademyAnnual multimedia storytelling workshop for journalism teachers at Hispanic-serving institutions.

Journalism in July – Annual high school journalism workshop sponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund.

Community Training Workshops – Hands-on training on multimedia storytelling for local professionals.


Share your story ideas with us by emailing webmaster@borderzine.flywheelsites.com. Show your support for Borderzine’s mission of promoting diversity in journalism and training the next generation of journalists by donating here.

Special Projects

Mexodus – Winner of the 2012 Online News Association Award in Non-English Projects, in small/medium category

Immigration From the Border to the Heartland – One of seven specialized reporting institutes funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in fall 2013.

Immigration Reporting Workshop – All-day training seminar at the Investigative Reporters and Editors convention in San Francisco 2014.

Journalism Professor Stories on Border Life – The Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy is a hands-on “boot camp” for college and university journalism professors from throughout the U.S. who come to El Paso each spring to produce multimedia stories on life in the borderland.

El Paso’s Creative Economy  A TV news-style show produced by students in the UT El Paso journalism program.

Our values

We make every effort to ensure that projects meet the highest standards of fairness and accuracy.  To guide our practices, Borderzine embraces the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Transparency policy

Borderzine is committed to operating in a fully open and transparent manner.  Borderzine operates under the auspices of the University of Texas at El Paso, a tax-exempt entity under Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code.  In addition to information contained in the UT El Paso budget, Borderzine will independently disclose information about its finances.

We accept grants from private foundations and donations from individuals.  In some circumstances, we may accept grants from corporations or in-kind corporate contributions of data or equipment.  Funders will have no role in our editorial decisions.  We will not accept contributions from political organizations, advocacy groups or labor unions.  We will disclose all outside contributions of more than $5,000 on our website.

Borderzine staff

Borderzine Director Kate Gannon is an associate professor of practice in journalism in the UTEP Department of Communication. She is a journalist, writer, editor, video producer and social media coach – with expertise in digital content development and multimedia storytelling. She is the director of the annual Dow Jones Multimedia Journalism Training Academy at UTEP for U.S. college journalism instructors from Hispanic-Serving Institutions.  She has more than 26 years of experience working in community newspapers and digital media in El Paso and Colorado. She is a recipient of the Headliners Foundation of Texas Charles E. Green award. 

Emmy winning multimedia journalist Angela Kocherga is news director with KTEP and Borderzine. She has dedicated her career to covering the U.S./Mexico border and interior of Mexico for television, newspapers and radio. She served as both Bureau Chief in Mexico City and later on the border in El Paso for a group of leading U.S. television stations. She is a 2019 Maria Moors Cabot medalist from the Columbia School of Journalism for courageous reporting and contributing to Inter-American understanding. 

Spring 2022 Guest Editor is Stephanie Valle, main co-anchor with KVIA ABC-7.  Valle has been with ABC-7 since 2001, starting as an intern. After nearly ten years working mornings, she was named News Operations Manager and anchor for ABC-7 at 4 in March 2019. In January of 2020, she assumed the role as main co-anchor of ABC-7 at 5, 6 and 10. Stephanie previously was Executive Producer and anchor of the highest-rated morning show in the area, Good Morning El Paso, for five years. She also served as the reporter for GMEP and anchor for ABC-7 at Noon for five years before that.


Our founder

Zita Arocha is a Borderzine contributor and its founder. Cuban-born, Arocha worked for over 20 years as a reporter for the Washington Post, the Miami Herald, The Miami News and the Tampa Times. She was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Hall of Fame in 2016. As a journalism senior lecturer at the UTEP Department of Communication, Arocha launched Borderzine in 2008. She retired as an associated professor of practice in the fall of 2019.

Other participants

David Smith-Soto helped launch Borderzine as its first editor. He was a professor of multimedia journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso from 2004 until his retirement in 2016. Before his career as a professor, Smith-Soto 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. His first novel  Havana Hallelujah was named the first place winner in Adventure/Drama category in the 2021 International Latino Book Awards.

Lourdes M. Cueva Chacón served from 2008 to 2014 as the designer and digital content manager for Borderzine.com. She earned her Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2010 and her Master of Science in Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020. She has taught in different positions at The University of Texas at El Paso and The University of Texas at Austin. She currently is an assistant professor for the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University.

Dino Chiecchi  served as Borderzine editor from Fall 2017 to Spring 2021 while he was an associate professor of practice in journalism at UT El Paso. He is a 30-year veteran of the newspaper industry, having worked in reporting and management positions at the Associated Press, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, and he started his career at the El Paso Herald-Post in his hometown. A past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalist, he was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2017. He directs the annual border region Journalism in July high school workshop.

Fall 2021 guest editor Robert Holguin is prime time news anchor for KFOX-TV. He started his career as as a reporter for the Associated Press in Seattle. Originally from Vado, N.M., he returned to the Borderland for a post at the El Paso Times, where his award-winning reporting focused on the Mexican drug trade and the unsolved murders of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juarez. He also reported for USA Today in Washington, D.C. Holguin made the move to TV in El Paso in 2000 with KVIA-Ch. 7. In 2006, he joined KABC in Los Angeles as a lead reporter and fill-in anchor. He returned to TV news in El Paso in 2015. He is a graduate of New Mexico State University.