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Borderzine is a bilingual, online news magazine covering life on the U.S.- Mexico border that is powered by UTEP multimedia journalism students. Based at The University of Texas at El Paso Multimedia Journalism Lab and Innovation Studio, the award-winning program gives students hands-on experience following ethical practices using journalism and technology skills essential to careers in today’s communications industry.
For 15 years, Borderzine has reported insightful stories of our border community as we train and support the development of the next generation of talented multilingual, multicultural journalists in UTEP’s multimedia journalism program. This year Borderzine staff participated in the Texas Newsroom Latino Voter Engagement Project public radio collaboration, which won the 2023 Regional Edward R. Murrow Excellence in Innovation Award. Our program’s accomplishments were also featured in a case study by the Center for Community News.
Borderzine student journalists learn as they report stories for TV, radio, newspapers and online media on a range of topics from immigration and government to health, education, border economics and culture. They learn how to use public records and data analysis skills for the kind of insightful reporting communities need to be well informed.
This work is important because cutbacks in traditional media newsrooms mean there are fewer internship opportunities for aspiring journalists. This makes our project even more vital to prepare young Borderlanders with the experience and portfolios needed to succeed in local, state and national media as well as with businesses and non-profit organizations across myriad platforms.
Our fundraising provides for technology and professional experience, as well as access to conferences and learning opportunities for student journalists and faculty to make the UTEP multimedia journalism program a leader among Hispanic-serving Institutions. Now, we are about to launch several new projects to take the UTEP multimedia journalism program to the next level:
- Multimedia Innovation Studio – The university is completing a capital project to convert the old darkroom in Cotton Memorial into a large studio space for broadcasting, podcasting and innovative content creation. We have basic studio equipment but need funding for editing bays and production gear.
- Drone photography – Aerial cinematic techniques are becoming more mainstream and demand for aerial video content is increasing among audiences and producers. It provides a simple way to boost production value and can help multimedia journalism and digital production students have a competitive edge in the work force.
- Website migration and redesign – The Largo platform the Borderzine.com website uses was once a leader in the non-profit news industry. But now it is no longer supported and can’t be updated. Migrating to a new platform is an opportunity to redesign our site with a content management system to ease publication, increase audience engagement and, for the first time, provide a revenue-generating opportunity.
Community support like yours helps drive Borderzine’s national reputation as a leader in informed reporting about life on the U.S.-Mexico border and in developing a pathway of job-ready multicultural student journalists. Graduates of the program work in local media and at major news outlets including the Associated Press, Univision, Telemundo, CNN, NPR, Time, ESPN, Dallas Morning-News, Houston Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, and many others.
As news deserts continue to expand, many communities around the country are left without critical access to reliable information. Information that’s backed by sources, facts and research. You can count on us to deliver accurate reporting that brings our community together and gives our students high quality skills and values that they will take to their professional careers representing the Borderland at home and across the nation.
If you value the work we're doing in this challenging time for the future of quality journalism, please donate today. Make a difference in supporting our mission and continue to build our program.