Innovating journalism education during a pandemic with a little help from our news network and donors

When COVID-19 first swept across the country this spring, news organizations began canceling internships for college students. That was devastating news for students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions like the University of Texas at El Paso who are trying to stand out in the media job market. Strong internships are needed for professional experience and important networking opportunities that can lead to better prospects at graduation. Fortunately, thanks to Borderzine’s dues-paying membership in the Institute for Nonprofit News, we were able to reach out to a wide network of digital media organizations around the country. The UTEP multimedia journalism program was able to place seven of our students in remote summer internships with INN members.

UTEP journalism student adapts to reporting from home

EL PASO – When health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic moved UT El Paso courses online in March, multimedia journalism major Exodis Ward wasn’t sure what to do for her next video story assignment. People were isolated at home. The city and school required social distancing protocols be followed. How could she cover a story without being in the same room as her sources? “It’s not very often that I draw a blank, so I pitched a very literal idea: How are reporters reporting from home?

ICE leaves crowd of migrants stranded in Downtown El Paso for Christmas; community rises to respond with compassion

EL PASO – Here’s a sense of the scene Sunday evening at the Greyhound bus station about two hours after ICE dropped off more than 150 destitute, scared and confused Central American asylum seekers. Mothers traveling alone with small children clinging to them. Fathers traveling with children who are never more than inches away from each other. Over and over they ask to use my phone. They have phone numbers memorized, or scrawled on worn scraps of paper for family or contacts in the U.S. I dial South Carolina, then New Jersey, Tennessee, California.

What is life really like in a Texas border city?

Life in a border city can be like a relationship status on social media. It’s complicated. More than 1 million people live in the El Paso-southern New Mexico region. Another 1.3 million live across the border in Juarez, Mexico. We are separated by an international boundary set along the path of a formerly meandering river.

Images of Latinos in U.S. culture to be examined in 1-night lecture, exhibit at UT El Paso

The UTEP Department of Communication and the Chicano Studies program presents a lecture and exhibit by Dr. William Anthony Nericcio that examines American visual culture reflecting images and stereotypes of Latinas/os. The event, Mextasy: Seductive Hallucinations of Latina/o Mannequins Prowling the American Unconscious , will be at  5:30 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 15 in Quinn Hall Room 212 at the University of Texas at El Paso. 

Mextasy is a traveling art show/exhibit based on the work of William “Memo” Nericcio and Guillermo Nericcio García. The show, originally curated by Rachel Freyman Brown, South Texas College, McAllen, Texas, had its last exhibition at Boise State University, for the Third Cinema Research Group and El Consulado de México en Boise, Idaho on April 11, 2014.  

Mextasy both reflects and expands upon Nericcio’s 2007 book with UT Press, Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the Mexican in America.

New Fox TV show “Bordertown” treats Latinos with respect, cartoonist says

 

By Ramon Renteria – El Paso Times

Award-winning Chicano cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz describes the new Fox network comedy “Bordertown” as a historic step for Latinos in American television. “This is the first time that Latinos are going to play at least half the characters on a primetime animated show,” Alcaraz said recently before speaking to students at the University of Texas at El Paso. “We finally have an actual mainstream show that treats Latinos with respect.” Alcaraz, a nationally syndicated cartoonist and political satirist, is among five Latino writers on the 13-episode series which is scheduled to air next spring. The writing team also includes Gustavo Arellano, a newspaper editor who writes the nationally syndicated column “¡Ask a Mexican!”

First look: The quest for Atari’s secret desert burial ground

El Paso filmmaker Carlos Corral is happy to share the dirt on a Southern New Mexico treasure hunt and a 30-year-old mystery for Atari video game fans. Corral worked as the location sound mixer for Lightbox Entertainment in the spring of 2014 when the production team came to Alamogordo, N.M. to learn what, if anything, legendary video game company Atari buried there. Atari went bankrupt in 1983 after releasing a cassette game called “ET The Extraterrestrial” that some say was the worst video game in history. Many believed that an embarrassed Atari dumped hundreds of copies of the game cassette in an Alamogordo landfill to hide them from the public. In a recent post on his blog, Corral shares photos of his experience on the set, including some of the artifacts that were unearthed.