Mike "Sarge" Preston, Program Director and DJ at KOFX 92.3

The faces behind the voices of radio disc jockeys

EL PASO – While you listen to your favorite song during your commute to work, there is a small team of radio disc jockeys pulling levers, pushing buttons, flicking switches and orchestrating the entire three-four minute performance. This is an inside look into the lives of three DJs and the DJ booth. Sarge Preston, Jojo Garcia and Victor Cruz are three local radio DJs at KFOX 92.3. The three DJs have a combined 91 years of experience. Their time spent on air is a very small part of their daily job responsibilities but it is also the favorite part of their workday.

With my youngest daughter at a field trip. (Photo courtesy of Francis Regalado)

My college degree is in sight despite all the obstacles

EL PASO – Ever since high school, I was categorized as one of the students who could never get a college degree, but now I am only months away from earning my diploma at the University of Texas at El Paso, part of the first generation in my family to graduate from college. In high school they had two kinds of plans, the advanced and the general plan. The advanced plan was for those students identified as college material and the general plan was for those students tagged only as high school graduates. My first D in geometry prompted the counselors to switch me to the general plan. Although they said I could still attend college, they pulled me out of geometry and put me in consumer math, which was an interesting class but not a class I feel I really needed.

Veteran White House correspondent, Sam Donaldson at the University of Texas at El Paso. (Robert Brown/Borderzine.com)

Sam Donaldson – From El Paso to covering the White House and back to his alma mater

EL PASO — The legendary, the tenacious, the former White House correspondent Sam Donaldson has earned many titles along his successful trek in journalism, but it all began in this southwestern border city. Donaldson, 78, is a veteran reporter for ABC news who does not hesitate at the opportunity to visit his former University of Texas at El Paso to talk about his passion for journalism and politics. Donaldson is best known for serving three times as ABC’s White House Correspondent covering presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton. He covered the war in Vietnam, the Watergate trials and was the first anchor of ABC’s Sunday Evening News. “I enjoy talking to people who are interested in the news business and interested in the things that I have done from the stand point of learning about those,” Donaldson told Borderzine before taking the stage of UTEP’s Centennial Lecture Series on March 26.

Journalist, Mentor George Ramos, winner of three Pulitzers, dies at 63

The death of George Ramos, recognized journalist and educator, has created a void that aches in the countless hearts of those he touched in his lifetime. At age 63, Ramos had become the prime example of what devotion to journalism and the community he served really is. Who would have guessed that this Chicano boy born in Los Angeles would grow up to win three Pulitzer prizes? Ramos was once quoted saying, “I can’t just sit on my laurels. I didn’t get into journalism for the rewards.

Me gradúo y ahora… ¡Todo!

EL PASO — Hace unos días platicaba con un amigo sobre mis sentimientos de incertidumbre hacia el futuro fuera de la universidad. Le comentaba como, de cierta forma, me arrepentía de haber tomado cinco clases por semestre, clases de verano, cursos extras, y demás por lo cual me comentó, “Es carrera, no carreritas.” Me quedé boquiabierta y comprendí que tenía razón. Como quisiera haber escuchado tal refrán hace cuatro años. Entusiasmada por la vida universitaria, estudié más que nunca. Desde el primer día me dediqué a mis clases al cien por ciento, sentía que me podía comer el mundo entero.

Juárez journalists win the 2011 Knight International Journalism Award by exposing the epidemic of violence and fear brought on by the drug war

EL PASO – Juárez journalists, Rocío Idalia Gallegos Rodríguez and Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, were awarded the 2011 Knight International Journalism Award last week for their investigative work on El Diario De Juárez, in the world’s most violent city. The award symbolizes a “valuable recognition” of the work of journalists in Ciudad Juárez, Rodríguez said. She hopes that it also will change the commonly believed notion that Mexican reporters on the border have been silenced by the lawlessness in the embattled city. Joyce Barnathan, president of the International Center for Journalism said, “These extraordinary journalists dare to tell stories that few have the courage to address. Because of them, we have an essential understanding of the tragedies faced by citizens in México.”

Rodríguez’ and Gallegos’ investigative reporting has done much to expose corrupt government officials and the ruthless drug cartels battling for control in Juárez and other parts of México.

Freedom of the press cowers under fire in México

EL PASO — The June 20 shooting deaths of a journalist, his wife, and their 21-year-old son in their home in Veracruz, México, underscore the assessment by a Washington human rights organization that México no longer has a free press. Freedom House dropped México’s ranking to a “partly free” country citing the innumerable threats to the country’s media independence in the current climate of drug-war violence. México was listed as “partly free” in large part because of the self-censorship, violent and deadly attacks on journalists, and a feeling of fear that has taken over the nation. The murders of Miguel Ángel López Velasco, 55, a columnist for the daily newspaper Notiver and his son Misael López, a photographer for Notiver are more atrocities in an unrelenting series of criminal actions against Mexican journalists. Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights estimates that in the past 10 years 83 Mexican journalists have been killed or have disappeared.

La muerte de la noticia: Muchas crónicas quedan sin publicar debido a los asesinatos de periodistas latinoamericanos

Análisis de Tyler Bridges

Read this story in English

Dos vehículos utilitarios interceptaron el automóvil de Valentín Valdés Espinosa en el centro de Saltillo, México. Unos matones armados obligaron al reportero de asignaciones generales de 29 años de edad a entrar en uno de los autos. Sucedió poco antes de la medianoche del 7 de enero de 2010. En los días precedentes, Valdés Espinosa había informado agresivamente sobre el arresto de varios narcotraficantes en esa ciudad norteña de México para su periódico, El Zócalo de Saltillo, y había cometido el pecado cardinal de identificarlos por nombre. En otro artículo, Valdés Espinosa había identificado a un agente policial que fue arrestado por estar en la nómina de los narcotraficantes.

Killing the news: Stories go untold as Latin American journalists die

Analysis by Tyler Bridges

Lea esta historia en español

Two SUVs intercepted Valentín Valdés Espinosa’s car in downtown Saltillo, Mexico. Gun-wielding thugs forced the 29-year-old general assignment reporter into a vehicle. It was shortly before midnight on Jan. 7, 2010. In the preceding days, Valdés Espinosa had aggressively reported the arrest of several drug traffickers in the northern Mexico city — and had committed the cardinal sin of identifying them by name — for his newspaper, the Zócalo de Saltillo.

Sam Donaldson — The new media wields a double-edged sword

EL PASO, Texas — Innovations in technology —more specifically the Internet— have changed every aspect of media, transforming journalism into a swift double-edged digital sword, according to veteran ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson. Donaldson told students at his Alma Mater, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Tuesday that, “Everyone today thinks they are a journalist. Everyone shoots off their mouths on the Internet. To some extent this is a problem. I would prefer to listen to someone who is presenting stuff that is factual.”

The borderland native attended Texas Western College, now UTEP, and began his TV career in 1977 as a correspondent for ABC News.