Why crowdfunding a data journalism lab in El Paso is so important

Since 2008, Borderzine.com has told the stories of the people and culture of the Borderlands reported by multimedia student journalists at UT El Paso. In 2012, Borderzine was honored by the Online News Association for Mexodus, an unprecedented bilingual special project that documented the flight of people and businesses from Mexico during the peak of drug cartel violence. Now, Borderzine is partnering with professional newsrooms in El Paso, Las Cruces and Juarez to develop a Border Data Journalism Lab to be based at UT El Paso to build local expertise in using digital tools to examine the systems and policies affecting our region

As more and bigger data are being collected by governments and organizations it is increasingly important for journalists to be able to obtain, clean, analyze and present information in this digital world. And, in our location on the U.S.-Mexico border, data journalism can be a powerful tool in telling the stories of the border and a changing America. For example, data journalists could examine issues in health care access and the impact of chronic illnesses on the border to better identify challenges and potential solutions in health disparities between Latinos and other populations.

Changing the world a story at a time

 

El Paso – Want to get people to take action to fix a social problem? Entertain them with a story, Anu Sachdev says. Sachdev, a UTEP Communication graduate who is now program manager for “edu-tainment” specialists PCI Media Impact, came back to El Paso recently to show UTEP students and faculty how storytelling is shifting the audience view to pay attention to social global issues. Speaking at a brown bag session Oct. 30 at the Sam Donaldson Center for Media Studies, Sachdev emphasized an entertainment education approach to social change locally and globally.

Borderzine wins one 0f ’50 States for Good’ grants from Tom’s of Maine

Borderzine, a bilingual journalism training program based at The University of Texas at El Paso, has been selected as one of 52 winners from across the country in the seventh annual Tom’s of Maine “50 States for Good” community giving program. Borderzine was selected to represent the state of Texas and will receive $20,000 to fund its mission of transforming U.S. newsrooms into more inclusive workplaces that reflect the nation’s demographic diversity by placing more young journalists of color in news internships and jobs. “This generous gift from Tom’s of Maine advances in significant ways Borderzine’s mission to prepare a young generation of multicultural journalists that reflects and interprets the real story of immigration and the borderlands for the rest of America,” said Zita Arocha, director of Borderzine and associate professor in UTEP’s Department of Communication. Specifically, the funds will be used for a combination of internships, technical support for the Borderzine website and recruitment efforts for Borderzine’s annual high school journalism workshop. The contest’s process began with community members taking to social media pages to share #OneWaytoHelp their communities, amassing nearly 10,000 submissions.

Borderzine and Univision 26 showcase the next generation of bilingual journalists

EL PASO – A special collaboration between Borderzine and Noticias Univision 26, one of the biggest media outlets in the borderland, gave the opportunity to four bilingual students majoring in multimedia journalism at UT El Paso to showcase their journalistic abilities. Journalism students Mabel Gutierrez, Sara Villegas, Esther Jurado and Daniel Alvarez worked with Channel 26-KINT TV on a special assignment focusing on the university and student life. All four of them shot, edited and wrote their own stories which aired on the Spanish-language TV station. The constantly shifting media landscape in the contemporary world has created a new type of journalist. Multimedia journalists, or MMJ’s, are able to produce a stories on their own that used to be done with a crew of two or more people.

Cal State LA celebrates the life of the martyred border journalist Rubén Salazar

California State University, Los Angeles, celebrated the 87th birthday of the late Mexican-American journalist Rubén Salazar with the inauguration of an exhibit entitled “Legacy of Rubén Salazar: A Man of His Words, a Man of His Time” that will be on display at the University’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Library until March 26. Salazar was a Mexican-American journalist who was struck and killed by a tear gas canister fired by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputy during the National Chicano Moratorium March on August 29, 1970. He was 42. “Rubén Salazar was with our people by reporting accurately, fairly and perceptively about our people when he was working as a reporter. Today Latinos become larger in numbers, but not necessarily better understood by the media or our society,” said Dr. Felix Gutierrez noted Chicano and Mexican-American history and journalism scholar.

Diversity champion Dori Maynard remembered as ‘amazing force for good’ in journalism

By Mallary Jean Tenore, ivoh.org

The journalism world is mourning the loss of Dori J. Maynard, who passed away from lung cancer on Tuesday. She was 56. Maynard was president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, which her father co-founded. During her time as president, the institute offered diversity training to journalists around the country and launched programs aimed at empowering community members to tell personal narratives. “You can hardly put into words how important the work Dori and the Maynard Institute did to train young people of color for careers in journalism and how the institute trained the media to write fair stories about communities of color,” Bob Butler, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said in a comment on the institute’s website.

Ebola coverage too important to be a competition, editor tells journalists

After reports of an El Paso hospital closing its emergency room over a possible Ebola case burned like wildfire through social media Friday, Bob Moore, editor of the El Paso Times, posted the following cautionary note on his Facebook account:

“Something important to remember about reports of the closure of the Del Sol ER and any possible connection with Ebola:

Hospitals across the country have been dealing with concerns about possible Ebola cases. They react with an abundance of caution, as is appropriate. But in every case except those tied to the case in Dallas, tests have all turned up negative. We in the media should be informative but not alarmist.”

On Saturday the hospital released a statement saying its emergency room did not close. It explained that a patient’s symptoms and answers during a screening process triggered infectious disease protocols.

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.

Street Photography exhibit, rare Beatles print Oct. 23 to help journalism students

Borderzine.com, a digital publication based at UT El Paso that focuses on achieving diversity in news media, announces an exhibit of photographs by  journalism professor David Smith-Soto at the Glass Gallery of the Fox Fine Arts Center on the UTEP campus, October 23 to 31. An opening reception of the exhibit at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23 will help celebrate the 6th anniversary of Borderzine, an award-winning web news portal and online community for Latino student journalists. Attendees will learn about the online publication’s future plans and programs, and have an opportunity to help send UTEP multimedia journalism students to news internships throughout the United States. A celebration of photojournalism

The 24 prints from Smith-Soto’s 60-years of street photography were taken during his travels as a journalist in Latin American, European and U.S. cities.  They include images from Oaxaca, Ciudad Juarez, Guatemala, Tangier, Paris and Madrid.

Message to news media: Embrace diversity if you want to survive and thrive

Editor’s note: This commentary is part of Borderzine’s continuing series about the growing urgency to transform newsrooms into diverse work places. By Hugo Balta

Diversity doesn’t happen easily. It is slow progressive change. The pundit who asks, “why don’t they just hire more _____,” fails to understand the fiscal constraints in which media companies operate under. Newsroom budgets continuously contract in the ever-changing new technology economy.