UTEP’s Borderzine wins prestigious national journalism grant for bi-national media project to tell real story of the borderlands

EL PASO – Borderzine – the University of Texas at El Paso’s award-winning web magazine – received a $35,000 grant from the Online News Association to fund a binational journalism multimedia project between the communities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Students from UTEP, El Paso Community College and the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez will work together on the project called “Engaging Community Across Borders Through Media.”

“It’s an ambitious project to engage border residents from the U.S. and Mexico sides to better relate to the rest of the world the reality of the border minus the usual stereotypes,” said Zita Arocha, professor of practice at UTEP and director of Borderzine. Local media from both sides of the border also will participate in the project with the goal of helping communities identify solutions to common binational issues such as immigration, transportation, environmental challenges, socio-economic development and health and medical needs, Arocha said. Key media partners include KTEP, El Diario de El Paso, El Paso Times, El Paso Inc., Ser Empresario, KVIA, Univision, Telemundo and KFOX. More than a dozen students from UTEP, EPCC and UACJ will work as a team to produce multilingual content about the borderlands – from podcasts to video stories to an e-book designed to dispel common myths about the region, Arocha said.

Borderzine among 150 newsrooms in national fundraising campaign supporting quality journalism

Washington, D.C. – The Borderzine Reporting Across Fronteras project at UT El Paso is among more than 150 nonprofit newsrooms across the country that will participate in this year’s NewsMatch, the largest grassroots fundraising campaign to support nonprofit news organizations. The national call-to-action will launch on Nov. 1, 2018. In 2017 NewsMatch helped to raise more than $4.8 million from individual donors and a coalition of private funders. This year the number of nonprofit news organizations participating has jumped by more than 40 percent.

Sin Fronteras, Without Borders Photo Submission

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Borderzine’s work covering Border Life and increasing diversity in newsrooms by showcasing the best photojournalism by college students. The theme of our contest is Sin Frontiers – Without Borders, but is not limited to pictures about the border. Far from it. The theme of the contest is wide open. We want students to capture in their photos anything that is without borders.

Festival gives El Paso a taste of the Middle East

EL PASO – The annual Feast of the Middle East is an opportunity for border residents to sample great food and learn more about the culture of their neighbors who trace their roots back to the Mideast. Parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 120 Festival, work for months to prepare authentic specialty dishes and arrange live Arabic music and folk dance for the weekend festival. Guided tours of the church will be available. The 2018 festival will run from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 3 on the church grounds at 120 Festival Dr. Tickets are $2.

12 Journalism professors selected for Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy 2018

Twelve journalism instructors from U.S. Hispanic Serving Institutions will travel to the U.S., Mexico border region to participate in the ninth annual Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy in June at the University of Texas in El Paso. Thanks to a grant provided by the Dow Jones News Fund, Borderzine organizes this annual workshop training geared to 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:

Daniel Evans, Florida International University
Mary Jo Shafer, Northern Essex Community College
Lillian Agosto-Maldonado, Universidad del Sagrado Corazon
Julie Patel Liss, Fullerton College
Nicole Perez Morris, Texas A&M-Kingsville
Kelly Kauffhold, Texas State University
Sara V. Platt, University of Puerto Rico
Geoffrey Campbell, UT Arlington
Jesus Ayala, Cal State Fullerton
Lorena Figueroa, El Paso Community College
Darren Phillips, New Mexico State University
Dino Chiecchi, UT El Paso

The week-long multimedia-journalism academy has a proven track record of eight successful years helping journalism educators acquire a new skills in digital storytelling that they can use to help prepare prepare the next generation of Latino college journalists. “The trainers at the academy understand what educators need to learn about new and emerging technologies to better prepare their students for the fast-changing future” said Linda Shockley, Deputy Director of Dow Jones News Fund. “This quality of instruction at absolutely no cost to participants and their universities is priceless.”
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.

UTEP students experience Cuban culture first-hand in study-abroad course

During eight days in June 2017, UTEP students learned about Cuban media, art and culture during one-on-one exchanges with visual artists, writers, journalists, economists, communication students and ordinary Cubans during a study tour of Havana. UTEP Professors Zita Arocha and Dr. Irasema Coronado led the group of students from various majors such as political science, communication, multimedia journalism and theater arts. Highlights of the study trip included a day of learning about environmental and digital journalism at the Centro Internacional de Peridoismo Jose Marti and the above intimate conversation with editors and journalists at Cuba’s Educational Television station. Communication majors Guillermo Villaseñor-Baca and Tania Moran produced these multimedia stories about the trip, which most called a “life altering” and “transformational” experience.

NAHJ and UTEP launch national survey of Latinos working in English- and Spanish-language news media

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and University of Texas at El Paso researchers today are launching a national survey of Latino journalists to determine the level of job satisfaction, prospects for career development and advancement, and current working conditions amid the rapid transformation of the nation’s new media. The survey is available online at http://www.utep.edu/liberalarts/evaluating-job-satisfaction-of-latino-journalists-in-multimedia-newsrooms/

Researchers will continue to collect data through the end of December and the results of the comprehensive online survey will be presented at the NAHJ 2018 conference in Miami next summer. “We seek participation by all Latino journalists working in news media – English and Spanish, legacy and digital media,’ said UTEP professor Dr. Maria de los Angeles Flores, co-author of the study with Latino media expert Dr. Federico Subervi, and support from Zita Arocha, director of Borderzine.com at UTEP. “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 added. NAHJ President Brandon Benavides said 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.”

“We have made a commitment to better equip our members with tools and resources helping them to stay ahead of the curve and to do so begins with possessing a certain basis of knowledge,” he said.

2nd UTEP journalism professor named to NAHJ Hall of Fame

UTEP associate professor of practice and the incoming executive editor of Borderzine, Eraldo “Dino” Chiecchi, has been named to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame for 2017.  Chiecchi is one of five of the nation’s top journalists, academics and documentarians who will be inducted into the NAHJ Hall of Fame during the group’s annual convention in September in Anaheim, California. Zita Arocha, Borderzine’s founder and an associate professor of practice in journalism at UTEP, was inducted into the NAHJ Hall of Fame in 2016. NAHJ’s class of 2017 includes Chiecchi, current multimedia professor at University of Texas at El Paso; trailblazer of diversity Federico Subervi, Ph.D.; journalist and documentary producer Andrés Cediel; NBC Bay Area reporter Jodi Hernandez and Pulitzer Prize winner Nancy Rivera Brooks. The gala honoring these individuals will be Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the House of Blues Anaheim during the Excellence in Journalism Conference.