EL PASO — Three groups of business students with names like Corporate Eight, Innovation and Crazy Mariachis presented their semester’s project last week to a panel of judges at the College of Business Administration. The students, part of professor Denisse Olivas’ Multicultural Marketing class this semester, were eager to showcase their rebranding projects to their client, Borderzine.com. The judges included a professional team from Eureka!, a local design and ad company, and two borderzine staff members, Webmaster Lourdes Cueva Chacón and Program Assistant Ángel Cancino.The purpose of the projects was to help the organization get more page views, broaden the target audience and provide suggestions for the redesign of the site. The winning group was Corporate Eight, composed of students Valeria García, Brianda Herrera, Eduardo Perales, Pete Ramirez, Linda Gonzalez, María Chavez, Roxana Cabral, and Carlos Perez.“I think it’s a great opportunity to learn more,” said Brianda Herrera, a senior marketing major and member of the winning group “I think it’s a perfect implementation of our knowledge but also to go out there and research a real company, a real brand, a real magazine.” Olivas said she devised the hands-on project to teach her students the necessary skills that they will need once they entered the professional business world. She was first contacted by Cancino to help with the rebranding project for the website that features student multimedia stories about borders.
SAN FRANCISO – In a night full of online journalism superstars, Borderzine’s bilingual Mexodus project won the Online Journalism Award for Non-English Small/Medium projects at the ONA conference here September 22. Mario Tedeschini-Lali, deputy director for innovation and development at Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso in Rome, and Rosenthal Alves, director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at The University of Texas in Austin, presented the awards for Non-English projects. Alves declared Mexodus the winner by reading one of the judges’ comments – “It gives a broad and deep look at life and death issues and amazing collaborative efforts by student journalists and their teachers,” Alves said. For months, students and professors from universities across the U.S. and México requested public records, reported and created multimedia stories that exposed the journey of thousands of middle class families who fled Mexico to escape the violent drug war. The project was led by the University of Texas at El Paso.
A student project that explored the migratory effects caused by drug violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and a comprehensive reporting package on the ongoing development of Paraná state in Brazil won the Online News Association’s 2012 awards for non-English projects during the ONA’s latest conference in San Francisco. “Mexodus,” published by Borderzine, a bilingual student publication of the University of Texas in El Paso, aimed to document the flight of families and businesses from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico to its sister city of El Paso, Texas. The mass migration followed a surge in drug violence and petty crime in the Mexican border city. Students from four universities in Mexico and the U.S. contributed to the nine-month project and published around 20 stories in both Spanish and English. “Retratos Paraná,” published by the Curitiba-based daily Gazeta de Povo was a four-month project in which a team of journalists traveled across more than 6,200 miles in the Brazilian southern state of Paraná to paint a detailed picture of the developing region.
Awareness of Borderzine continues to grow with this story in Columbia Journalism Review about the five-year-old multimedia website that publishes stories about borders and assists Latino college journalists in honing their multimedia skills and landing internships and jobs in 21st century news media. Please read the well-reported story and pass it on along to friends and others who share the vision of a future where the nation’s newsrooms adequately reflect the dynamic demographic diversity of our country and the world. Adelante,
EL PASO – As the traditional delivery of news by newspapers and television stations weakened during the past decade, swept aside by the Internet and the Great Recession, a new medium driven by the college journalism classroom has gained strength in local news coverage. Our Internet magazine, Borderzine.com, published by the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) as the keystone of its journalism curriculum is a good example of this new media concept that marries journalism training, local coverage, and funding from nonprofit organizations. The transfer of some traditional revenue sources to Internet media has forced some “old” media to cut staffs and curtail coverage. Some were forced into bankruptcy. While my alma mater, The Miami Herald is still in business, its publisher has announced that the majestic Herald building on Biscayne Bay was sold to a Malaysian resort developer and the newspaper will have to move out.
At this holiday time my mind turns toward reflecting on the road that Borderzine traveled this past year and where it’s headed as it marks its second anniversary this month. There are many accomplishments to celebrate. Viewership of the website is steadily climbing, hitting more than 11,000 unique views in early November with the Borderzine coverage of the murder in Juarez of two UTEP business students. Page views for all visitors rose from 5,000 for the month of January to 20,000 for the month November. Student-produced content from UTEP and other partner universities is growing (over 350 stories have been posted (read and commented on) since March 2008, and we’ve seen similar increases in Spanish language stories, as well as videos and audio slideshows. Each well-written and reported feature story contains digital photos produced by the story’s author. Borderzine students did live blogging of a national journalism conference at UTEP about the growing danger to Mexican journalists covering the drug violence.
El Paso, Texas –– A team of UTEP student reporters working with an experienced bilingual journalist will develop and publish a multimedia project for Borderzine.com examining the exodus of middle-class Mexicans and businesses from the northern border and other parts of Mexico because of increasing levels of crime and drug violence. The project, called “Mexodus” and funded by a $25,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, examines the economic, education and cultural impact of the growing out migration from Mexico to El Paso and other areas. According to one estimate, more than 400,000 Mexican citizens have fled the country in the last three years. Mexico recently reported more than 28,000 drug war-related deaths since 2006. “We are proud to support projects like this one at UTEP which reinforce best practices in investigative journalism and multimedia in a university classroom setting and set a high standard for similar student projects elsewhere,” said Bob Ross, President and CEO of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
Borderzine.com is a contender for Top Hispanic Digital Media Innovation for 2010 by Portada magazine. Help share our success with the rest of the world. Cast your vote here today. It may help put us over the top, and mark yet another milestone for the best in multimedia journalism by Latino students. Adelante,