Paul Overberg, database editor at USA TODAY, leads a workshop on immigrants demographics and the U.S. Census. (Ángel Cancino/

Borderzine resources for immigration reporting

EL PASO – Professional and independent journalists from across the country joined the Robert McCormick Foundation and Borderzine for “Immigration from the Border to the Heartland,” a specialized reporting institute that taught journalists about technology, data, immigration research and law enforcement. During the SRI, professional journalists shared the tools they use while reporting their beat, academics presented their research and advocacy groups talked about how they work with the community. From the three-day workshop, Borderzine gathered the following resources that can assist journalists who wished to cover immigration in their communities.

Border reporters, Angela Kocherga and Hugo Perez, reporting from Boquillas, México. Kocherga was part of a panel of border journalists that shared their experiences covering immigration. (Courtesy of Angela Kocherga)

Experienced border journalists share tips for covering tough immigration stories

EL PASO – Radio journalist Mónica Ortiz Uribe related how she was deeply moved when she witnessed the detention of a an undocumented woman from Guatemala who had crossed the border into Brooks County in South Texas with her two small children. “I had never seen an apprehension… that really struck me immensely,” said Ortiz Uribe. “She looked at me and I was standing with my microphone and my headphones, and she’s pleading saying ‘please tell them not to send me back’ and all of a sudden all this imagery exploded in my head… what has this women had gone through?”

With a chuckle, she added that she would never make it as a border patrol agent because “I’d probably have said to the woman, ‘No, no, váyase señora, váyase. It’s O.K. I didn’t see you.’”

Ortiz Uribe, who reports for the public radio news outlet Fronteras Desk, was one of four local journalists who cover immigration on an ongoing basis and discussed their experiences during a training workshop Immigration from the Border to the Heartland last week at UTEP for 20 radio, broadcast, online and print journalists. The workshop was sponsored by the McCormick Foundation and hosted by