Workshop to Train Journalists to Put Face on Immigration Reform

The University of Texas at El Paso’s Borderzine, Reporting Across Fronteras invites journalists to attend its first McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute (SRI) on Immigration Reform the last weekend in September.

The goal is for visiting journalists to acquire the reporting tools and a substantive understanding of immigration policy and research to write compelling, nuanced and well-researched stories about the human face of immigration in their communities.

“The institute will prepare this group of journalists to report the true impact of immigration politics and policy at the ground level by showing them how to put a face on one of the most significant news stories of our time,” said Borderzine Director and UTEP Senior Lecturer Zita Arocha, who will oversee the institute.

Participants will connect with immigration experts and policymakers and analyze national immigration demographics. They will also hear experiences and examples from border analysts and journalists including Alfredo Corchado, Dallas Morning News Mexico bureau chief; Angela Kocherga, Belo KVUE border bureau chief; Paul Overberg, USA Today database editor; D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center senior writer; and Sandra Rodriguez Nieto, El Diario reporter.

“We liked UTEP’s approach to the teaching, its location on the border and its ability to marshal the resources of Borderzine to share what workshop participants learn and the reporting they do,” said Wendy Wallace, who coordinates the McCormick SRI program at The Poynter Institute.

Fifteen journalists will be selected for this intense three-day training. The institute will convene on Thursday evening, Sept. 26, with a welcoming ceremony. The three-day workshop will begin early Friday morning and conclude at noon Sunday, Sept. 29.

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation will provide funding for tuition, housing, food and transportation.

“UTEP has a deep knowledge and understanding of the sophisticated socio-economic issues surrounding immigration,” said McCormick Journalism Program Director Clark Bell. “Journalists from across the country will be eager to take advantage of the learning environment offered by El Paso and the University.”

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 5. To apply, visit For more information, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 575-642-2124.


About Borderzine:

Borderzine, Reporting Across Fronteras, is a web community for Latino student journalists, a two-way bridge connecting the classroom and the newsroom. It creates an unprecedented national dialogue around issues of newsroom diversity and shifts the new voices, perspectives and experiences of Latinos in the U.S. from the borderline to the centerline.

Borderzine is a project of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The web publication is made possible by a seed grant from the Ford Foundation, and a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other sponsors include Scripps Howard News Bureau, Scripps Howard Foundation, Al Día newspaper and Crucial Web Hosting.