The Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy trains college and university journalism professors from Hispanic-serving institutions in media creation and editing for effective multimedia storytelling on the web. The participants work in teams to create multimedia story packages that are published on the bilingual border life magazine website Borderzine.com. The Dow Jones News Fund sponsors the annual training based at the University of Texas at El Paso campus. The program was launched in 2010 and has trained more than 100 instructors from across the nation. More about Borderzine | Mas sobre Borderzine
Storytellers hit the streets
The Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Training Academy is a hands-on “boot camp” that captures real stories from the community around UT El Paso. Teams of trainees have covered agriculture stories on the far eastern edge of El Paso county, participated in ride-alongs with the U.S. Border Patrol, documented the craft of bootmaking, navigated the fiesta atmosphere of swap meets and even captured a cross-border cattle drive in southern New Mexico. Those are just a few of the assignments and exercises our teams have undertaken. See a collection of our stories over the years in the section below.
The University of Texas at El Paso unpaved parking lots, roads and walkways, and transformed the space into paradise, according to landscape architect Christine Ten Eyck. The Centennial Plaza project, which created a common area featuring native vegetation, arroyos and bubbling fountains in an amphitheater setting, was part of a $25 million renovation project timed to the university’s 100-year anniversary. University officials said the plaza, “will continue to contribute to a sense of community, and offer students greater opportunities to excel.”
A major feature of the plaza is a Bhutanese lhakhang, a temple that had been installed on the mall in Washington, D.C., in 2008 as part of a cultural exchange. It was transported beam by beam to El Paso, and opened in April. Artisans from Bhutan painted lush Buddhist scenes on the altar, walls and interior columns.
Maricela Reyna and her family pay property tax on their home, located in an
El Paso County colonia. Yet they lack access to municipal water and gas services. Instead,
they hire a tanker truck to deliver water each week, and buy propane for cooking. City trash trucks do not run down the unpaved road outside Reyna’s home, either. Instead, she shells out $80 a month for a private hauler to take the family’s waste.
EL PASO — Although the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition can’t move mountains, they’re hoping a petition can move the boundaries that protect them. The coalition’s “We the People” petition aims to preserve the undeveloped land owned by the city of El Paso to the west and the east of Franklin Mountains State Park—making the land part of the park. The petition, said Jim Tolbert, member of the Franklin Mountain Coalition, garnered more than 6,000 signatures. He plans to present it to the Public Service Board next week. “Privately owned land is not part of the petition,” Tolbert said.
EL PASO — San Elizario, Texas is a newborn city with a long history. The area was established in the mid-18th century as part of the Spanish colonial mission trail, but it’s only been officially incorporated since November 2013 and its first mayor took office on May 22, 2014. The rich history of San Elizario is largely agricultural and according to Mayor Maya Sanchez, honoring those roots and protecting the rural community is critical. “My family goes back five generations in San Elizario. It’s an agricultural community, historically has been.
EL PASO — Wake up and smell the craft coffee, El Paso. The national craft coffee craze has slow-dripped its way into town, and three entrepreneurs hope locals perk up, take notice and embrace the new brew. Sales of craft or specialty coffees have given the U.S. industry a jolt, helping to drive up revenue 7.4 percent last year to $11 billion, according to the research firm IBISWorld. The trend of drinking a $3-$8 cup of java made from premium, exotic beans from around the world and lovingly roasted on the spot by certified artisans has been piping hot in cities such as Seattle, Portland and Dallas. In the last year, the trend has percolated into El Paso where it is slowly catching on.
EL PASO — Natural. Healthy. Green. Whatever term you choose, organic food is a growing industry in the El Paso area. Nearly a dozen local restaurants offer organic fare but, even more importantly, they are working with local farmers to source their foods.
On a Saturday morning in early June, a UTEP classroom buzzed with anticipation as students sat in front of computers and watched demonstrations on the brave new world of multimedia journalism. Their teachers were seasoned pros in the arts of sound recording, social media, videography, web programming, and much more. The students themselves were professionals in a different regard; they were university professors who had traveled from all over the country to participate in the fourth annual Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy hosted by UTEP. By the end of their five-day intensive program, the group of journalism teachers had learned to beat the El Paso summer heat as well as how to use the technology available to them to educate upcoming generations of reporters. The group included representatives from the University of Arizona, San Diego City College, Arizona State University, North Texas University, California State University at Long Beach, Texas State University, Texas Christian University, Illinois State University,Central Michigan University, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Florida International University and the University of Oklahoma.
CANUTILLO, TX – Down a dusty road 15 miles outside El Paso, the Castro family continues a centuries-old Mexican custom of charrería, a colorful pageant similar to American rodeo. The Castros have built five lienzos, or arenas, in the area since 1970, when their father, Omar Castro II, began constructing them. The family operates a horse ranch and lienzo, along with a dance hall, in Canutillo, Texas. The sport of charrería dates back to the 1600s, when Spanish conquistadors brought equestrian contests to Mexico. Ranch hands learned events, or suertes, while working with horses.
EL PASO – In Segundo Barrio, the traditional way is the best way. Especially when you’re taking about “pan dulce.” Since 1951 customers have been returning to Bowie Bakery on the corner of 7th and Park in downtown El Paso to get their “esponjas, marranitos, polvorones and empanadas de piña.”
Located on the city’s south side, the Segundo Barrio is home to more than 8,000 people, according to City of El Paso statistics. A morning drive through the neighborhood would typically encounter a variety of colorful murals as well as locals looking for day labor. The bakery has been in the Marquez family for the past 42 years and is now owned by Juan Marquez who continues the family tradition of making El Paso’s favorite bread. The bakery, known for its “sabrosos panes de dulce” and family-oriented service, has played host to presidents, members of congress and other dignitaries looking for the best baked goods in El Paso.
EL PASO – It’s always been about family—the generations that work at El Paso’s Lucy’s restaurants and the customers. “Three generations . . . actually four,” said Joshua Lepe, the grandson of Lucy Lepe, who founded the restaurant in 1978.
EL PASO – Border Patrol agents might soon switch from sitting in trucks along the U.S.-Mexico border to helping traffic move more efficiently on the international bridges. This scenario comes from the idea of Border Patrol agents collaborating with other government agencies and institutions. Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher in May announced a strategy plan to fight transnational crimes and drugs, support Homeland Security efforts and aid U.S. Customs and Border Protection. One possible outcome might be reassigning Border Patrol agents to Customs border crossings to reduce the long wait. “Currently Customs and Border Protection needs all of the staffing help that they can get – in particular at our ports of entry,” said El Paso City Representative, Steve Ortega, through an email statement.
SANTA TERESA, N.M. – Life in the borderland, as the greater El Paso-Ciudad Juárez area is called, isn’t always easy. But there’s a place west of the metropolitan area along the U.S.-Mexico border that has found a balance. It’s the rare kind that involves a lot of dirt, a little political red tape and a few moos. Cattle come and go from one country to the other at the Santa Teresa International Export/Import Livestock Crossing in southeastern New Mexico. The site is one of two along the New Mexico-Chihuahua border, and the exchange of livestock involves regulation from such agencies as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, SAGARPA (the Mexican equivalent of the USDA) and customs offices of both countries.
EL PASO – “One moment,” Juan Guzman Villalobos said as he grabbed more cowboy boots from his RV parked outside the Border Farmworker Center in El Paso, Texas. Juan’s excitement in displaying a mixture of exotic and working boots made him forget about his ride to work. After a few minutes he comes out holding on to a pair of well-worn boots. “I prefer the ones made with ostrich skin because they are the most comfortable to use,” Juan explained while lining his eight pairs of boots in the RV steps. He then points to a pair of boots crafted with alligator skin, then picks up another made out of cow hide embellished with tiger prints.
EL PASO — Lush alfalfa fields. Trees heavy with pecans. White cotton fields. Those sights may diminish next year if this year’s drought doesn’t let up soon. The Greater El Paso area has had more than 110 consecutive days without a trace of rain.
EL PASO — In the heart of El Paso is Segundo Barrio, a port of entry to the United States. It’s the first community people see when they cross the border from Juarez, Mexico. Located on the city’s south side, Segundo Barrio is home to more than 8,000 people, of whom 50.8 percent are U.S. citizens, 13.7 percent are naturalized citizens and 35.5 percent are non-citizens, according to City of El Paso statistics. Yolanda Chávez Leyva, chair of the University of Texas at El Paso history department, calls Segundo Barrio the “heart of the Mexican diaspora.”
“El Segundo Barrio is one of the most historic barrios in the United States,” Chávez Leyva said. “[It] grew out of the migration of mexicanos to the United States going back to the 1880s and it’s been the starting point for thousands of families across the United States.”
The neighborhood is “very important” to El Paso, she said, because it is where the urbanization of the city began.
EL PASO — The future of Segundo Barrio is not white or brown, but green. Such is the view of Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, a health and human services organization that contends economic power will decide the fate of this historic neighborhood in south central El Paso. It is a decidedly pragmatic approach for a non-profit born in the grassroots movements of the 1960’s and grounded in social justice. A visit to the La Fe “campus” reveals an organization that appears to be thriving. In 1992, La Fe consisted of one health clinic, 65 employees and a budget of $3 million, mostly federal funds.
EL PASO— A taxi driver, a shopper and merchants from downtown El Paso share their perspectives of the city’s history and their hopes for its future. The following video, audio and slideshow presentations were produced by the following participants in of the Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy held recently at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP): Jessica Retis, Bradford Owen, Mark Albertson and instructor Doug Mitchell. Downtown El Paso Merchants Tell Their Story
EL PASO — The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. In the following video, audio and slideshow presentations, El Pasoans give their views on the impact of the Revolution and the lasting meaning it still holds. Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy students, Elio Leturia, Elizabeth Marsh and John Freeman and instructor Lourdes Cueva Chacón, thank Mr. Roberto Rodríguez Hernández, Cónsul General of México in El Paso, the consulate staff, Dr. Kate Bonansinga, Director of the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, and the citizens of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez who shared their voices. Voices from El Paso
EL PASO, Texas — The United States Bowling Congress will wrap up its women’s international bowling championship on July 3 following a four-month-long tournament at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center. More than 30,000 women bowlers in nearly 6,000 teams from around the world will have competed in continuous play from March 27 to July 3. A year-long conversion of the convention center for the 100-day event created 48 bowling lanes and 20,000 feet of exhibit space. The USBC allowed members of the Dow Jones Multimedia Training Academy at the University of Texas at El Paso to interview, photograph and videotape participants and events of the tournament during the week of June 7. The following video, audio and slideshow presentations are productions of the students of the academy, Kirk Notarianni, Robert Muilenberg, and Gina Germani and instructor Kate Gannon.
EL PASO, Texas — Border patrol agents deal with everyday conflicts and apprehensions in the border areas. Chris Karadjov, Donna Pazdera, and Seok Kang tagged along with two border patrol agents, Joe Romero and Ralph Gomez. Contrary to what non-border residents may think, the boundary between the United States and Mexico is not a straight line or a simple division between the two places. The border bisects desert, mountains and urban areas. Each type of terrain calls for simple fencing in desert areas, tall steel mesh in more populated areas and plain rocks markers in mountainous areas or open desert, for example.