Natassia Paloma feeling at home in return to El Paso to anchor KTSM newscast

After a broadening of horizons tour around Texas, the newest primetime anchor at NewsChannel 9 was ready to come home. Natassia Paloma, 30, is an El Paso native and a UTEP graduate who returned to her hometown to introduce her son Nathan to her biggest inspiration, her grandmother Palmira. “I definitely want him to be raised in the way I was raised. I was raised very humble and raised to be aware of people are going through,” Paloma said. “To really feel with your heart so I want my son to be raised in this culture and I want him to be bilingual and I want to raise him around the people in here.“

Palmira was instrumental in Paloma’s path to become a journalist.

El Paso news anchor Estela Casas shares her breast cancer battle

Estela Casas announced Sept. 14 she had just joined a group every woman dreads. The local celebrity and KVIA-TV news anchor has breast cancer, and announced it to her viewers to call attention to the disease. Casas has been part of El Paso’s viewership for 35 years and through her long career she has become a respected and admired personality, far more than a news anchor. This is not the first time that Casas has shared news about her medical experiences and procedures with the public.

National Press Club shocked to see acclaimed Mexican journalist who sought asylum from death threats facing deportation in Texas

EL PASO, Texas – While many people prepare to celebrate the holidays, Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez Soto remains in an immigration detention cell after seeking asylum because he fears he’d be killed if he returned to his native Mexico. Gutierrez Soto, honored for his courageous reporting by the Washington, D.C. –based National Press Club and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, sits in a U.S. Citizenship and Immigraton Services (USGIS) cell in El Paso awaiting his fate. He was detained Dec. 7 when an immigration judge determined he would be deported. “I can’t explain with words how shocking it is to see someone who has been honored in Washington and then the next time we see him he is in prison clothes,” said William McCarren, executive director of the National Press Club, a non-profit organization that represents more than 3,100 journalists worldwide.

Latino journalists, please tell us how its going for you at work

 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.

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

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 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.

Area media leaders share insight for students interested in journalism

Local area media editors and producers advised students during a job-seeking seminar to take opportunities and get their foot in the door even if the ideal job isn’t available yet in today’s changing media environment. “Take anything. Take it, get yourself in that newsroom,” said Wendy White Polk, managing editor at El Paso Inc.

She stressed that getting the proverbial foot in the door is important even if it’s not the position student journalists are seeking. “That’s how you can then learn the operation, you can get to know the people, you can make suggestions for story ideas, you can volunteer to write something, you can bring some knowledge for your community or your neighborhood or your high school or whatever group you belong to, to help broaden the story. Make yourself indispensable, but get paid,” Polk said.

Creator of Facebook Live addresses antisemitism and ‘fake news’ at UTEP event

The University of Texas at El Paso hosted media innovator and former Facebook executive Randi Zuckerberg Feb. 21 at the Undergraduate Learning Center who spoke to an intimate crowd about her Jewish background and the proliferation of “fake news” during and after President Donald Trump’s successful campaign for president. During her talk to a crowd of over 100 people, she discussed a variety of topics such as the roles and responsibilities of media in people’s daily lives. She also discussed the rise of “fake” news and how we now live in a world where media’s focus has become getting the news out “faster, quicker, better and then check it later.” Zuckerberg is a graduate of Harvard University and a 2011 Emmy nominee, who has become an important figure in the world of media, having created the Facebook Live streaming video service and launching Zuckerberg Media, whose mission is to inspire tech-savvy entrepreneurial girls and women by creating content.

The Hispanic Link archives project: Four decades of Latino political and news history worth preserving online for the future

Before alternative news media outlets like the Huffington Post provided an outlet for communities to tell their stories to a national audience, Hispanic Link News Service acted on behalf of the Latinos nationwide by covering political news through a Latino lens. Started in February 1980 in the basement of a Washington, DC apartment building by veteran journalist and editor Charlie Ericksen, the Link provided over 30 years more than 5,500 columns and broke the national op/ed-page barrier of nationally syndicated newspapers. While Ericksen edited and mentored dozens of talented young Latino journalists in his downstairs newsroom, his wife, companion and Link cofounder, Sebastiana, provided emotional and physical sustenance to scores of “Linkies,” until her unexpected death several years ago. Until it stopped publishing in 2015 when Ericksen, in his 80’s, retired and moved to Southern California to be close to his children, the scrappy sometimes irreverent but always fact-filled and insightful newsletter often took to task the politically well-connected and powerful, including mainstream news media leaders, for ignoring this growing group’s issues, interests and contributions. Now his sons, Carlos and Hector Ericksen-Mendoza, are intent on preserving and making available online all of the Link’s work, including columns, newsletters, taped interviews and photographs.

El Paso Times’ 1st woman president in 135-year history ready for the digital age

Lilia Castillo Jones is driven, has quickly forged relationships with members of the community and, after many years of media industry experience, is taking the helm as the first woman president of the El Paso Times in its 135-year history. Jones began her appointment at the Times in September and quickly began making her mark. “Lilia has a strong commitment to the important role the media plays for the community,” said Robert Moore, editor of the El Paso Times. “She is passionate about generating the revenue we need to do the important journalism for El Paso and the New Mexico communities we serve, she also has a wonderful sense of humor.”

In addition to being president of the El Paso Times, Castillo Jones oversees the seven partner newspapers based in New Mexico and their web sites, including the Las Cruces Sun-News and others.She is responsible for the revenue and digital growth of the organization’s advertising and circulation products. Castillo Jones said the El Paso Times is committed to providing strong digital and newspaper marketing solutions for business owners.