Alejandra Matos is a sophomore at UTEP majoring in Print Media with a minor in Graphic Design. She plans to continue her education upon graduation from UTEP and attain a graduate degree in Investigative Journalism.
Alejandra became a summer intern for Borderzine in 2009. She graduated from Franklin High School in El Paso, Texas, where she was the editor in chief for the newspaper and yearbook and received multiple reorganizations and awards from the National Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
[Natural Sounds: Rumbling of military Stryker and soldier giving commands]
ALEJANDRA MATOS (Reporter): Riding in a military Stryker with a group of soldiers was not something that Kristian Hernandez imaged he would ever be doing as a college journalism student. But on the morning of May 8, he and several other UTEP students experienced what it is like to be an embedded reporter with the military, as part of a training program on Ft. Bliss designed to train soldiers who will be deployed to Afghanistan later this year. KRISTIAN HERNANDEZ: “It’s a unique experience. We get to go into Ft.
El Paso — When Patricia Vega headed to work Thursday morning in her navy blue Ford Explorer, she never imagined she would be the stage for a ballerina dance spectacle in the middle of Interstate 10. “I saw traffic started slowing down near Hawkins, so I hit the brakes when all of a sudden what I thought was a woman came running towards my car with her hands extended out telling me to stop,” said Vega, who works at the University of Texas at El Paso. “All of a sudden the person jumps on my windshield and I can hear her walking around on the top of my car.”
The person was actually a man, dressed in a tutu and tights. “I just thought, ‘my God what is this person doing,’” Vega said. “He was dancing around like Shakira.”
Worried that she would run the man over, Vega slowed down.
8:37 A.M.: Day two of the ASNE/IAPA Summit has started. First panel is entitled The Role of the Mexican Government. The panelists are Gustavo Salas Chavez, Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression, Mexican Attorney General’s Office and Raul Plascencia Villanueva with the Human Rights Commission. The moderator is Eric Olson, Senior Associate for Security Policy. 8:41 A.M.: Villanueva is not present.
2:09 P.M.: Conference has started. Andres Gyllenhall, Vice President of News and Washington for McClatchy Newspapers and Alfredo Carbajal, Managing editor of Al Dia, Dallas Morning News welcoming attendees. 2:11 P.M.: There are about 40 people in attendance. 2:12 P.M.: Angela Kocherga, Border Bureau Chief will now present a video from the El Paso/Juarez region. 2:13 P.M.: The video is a feature on journalists who report from the violence-stricken city.
As the sun rises over the nation’s capital, Charlie Ericksen takes the elevator down from his seventh floor apartment to his office on the first floor. In that office on N Street, Ericksen is touching the lives of aspiring journalists and changing the way mainstream media covers the Latino community. Ericksen, 80, is the managing editor and founder of Hispanic Link, a syndicated bilingual news column published by dozens of news outlets nationwide. He founded the Link in 1980 because he felt the Latino community was not getting adequate coverage and opportunities from other news outlets. In 1979, there were three Puerto Rican reporters nationwide, according to Ericksen. Many issues, he said, were seen from the perspective of “black and white,” and mainstream media rarely covered stories that affected Latino residents.
COVERAGE OF LATINOS
Although the Hispanic community is receiving news coverage in major media outlets, the information listeners and readers receive is often “event-driven,” with Hispanics just one of many elements. An analysis by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Hispanic Center covering Feb. 9-Aug. 9, 2009, found that 18% of the stories studied (645 out of 34,452) “contained substantial references to Hispanics. The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court gained the most news coverage, followed by the Mexican Drug War, H1N1 outbreak and Immigration.
TOUGHER ACTION SOUGHT
The Society of Professional Journalists has issued a letter to several U.S. and Mexican officials demanding stronger measures to ensure the safety of journalists in Mexico. Since 2000, 59 have been killed in that country. The drug wars there claimed 2,600 lives in 2009, by official estimates. SPJ president Kevin Smith and its international committee chairwoman Ronnie Lovler wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States Arturo Casamitjana, and other officials, noting that as the violence increases, so does fear-motivated self-censorship. Editors and reporters from newspapers in Nuevo Laredo and Cuidad Juárez informed SPJ that they no longer publish articles “beyond what’s on the police reports.”
The complete letter and an accompanying news release can be found on SPJ’s website: www.spj.org.