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.
Borderzine note: Our publication is more than a website that covers life along the border. It is a training tool that gives aspiring journalists from El Paso and Ciudad Juarez a real newsroom experience in multimedia reporting. This month we are asking readers to help us in our mission by making a contribution on Borderzine’s behalf to NewsMatch. Thanks to NewsMatch and two other organizations that support diversity in news, every dollar donated before Dec. 31 will be tripled.
An estimated 3,000 people gathered Saturday morning, Oct. 26, to see Borderland family members and waited their turn along a small strip of damp land just a few feet from the Rio Grande to see their kin who many hadn’t seen in years and hug them for three minutes under the watchful eye of security officials.
Many family members live just a few miles apart, but it might as well be worlds apart. In at least one case, a woman saw and hugged her father for the first time in 31 years.
Little Havana – a neighborhood immediately west of Downtown Miami – was once the placeholder for thousands of political exiles who fled Cuba. Now, the enclave remains home to many Cubans, but also is home to bars and restaurants like the Ball and Chain, El Pub, La Carreta, Versailles and other popular spots where locals and tourists alike gather for a taste of the old country. Several Cuban cigar shops dot the landscape, but the now diversified neighborhood has become a spot to see and be seen. One of the area’s many highlights is Domino Park where primarily Cuban men gather to play the game, often accompanied by families seeing the ivory pieces move across the table as other play chess.
Dino Chiecchi’s remarks to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists during the NAHJ convention July 2018 regarding results of the national survey on job satisfaction among Latino journalists. Among the most startling news gleamed from this survey is that nearly one quarter of the respondents – many of them NAHJ members – said they are considering leaving journalism within five years. And another 32 percent said they were not sure if they’d remain journalists. Let that sink in – 54 percent of respondents are at the very least unsure if they will remain journalists or they will be gone in five years. These numbers are staggering and should be a wake-up call for this board, and for recruiters and media leaders.
The world of journalism is changing – morphing into something not anticipated just a few short years ago.
With those changes, the workplace has evolved into something entirely different from what we used to know and opportunities for advancement also might have changed.
So, how’s it going? Have the changes been good to you, your career? Are you better off now than you were before the digital revolution? Are you still getting the job satisfaction and opportunities you received prior to the industry’s evolution to a more digital platform?
We’d like to know – anonymously, of course. We are polling members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and other Latino journalists to find out.
Two researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso, professors Maria de los Angeles Flores and Zita Arocha, are conducting a survey among Latino journalists to determine how the changes have affected opportunities and job satisfaction.
Researchers will continue to collect data through the end of December and the results of the survey will be presented at the NAHJ 2018 conference in Miami.
“It is essential to identify the obstacles that Latino journalists face daily to generate dialog within their respective organizations on effective approaches to better train, retain and promote journalists of color,” Flores said.
The results will be forward to media leaders and media organizations after they are presented in Miami.
The survey will improve the organization’s ability to “comprehend, assess and map the frontier of the industry for journalists at any level in their career,” said NAHJ President Brandon Benavides.