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Cronkite News – Borderlands is an immersive reporting program in which students cover immigration and border issues in the U.S. and Mexico in both English and Spanish for professional media outlets and Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS.
The Borderlands bureau gives students real-world experience reporting on Latino communities and their cultural, political and economic issues. The bureau is led by veteran journalists Angela Kocherga and Alfredo Corchado.
Kocherga is an Emmy-winning broadcast journalist who has covered border security, drug smuggling, gun running and immigration issues as well as the economic, political and cultural influences of Latinos in the U.S. Corchado, longtime Mexico City bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, is the author of “Midnight in Mexico,” a 2013 memoir that chronicles a reporter’s search for home amid the backdrop of his native country’s deadly drug violence.
Students work full days at least twice a week out of a state-of-the-art newsroom in the Cronkite School, and they travel across the region, the U.S.-Mexico border and into Mexico to produce multimedia-rich stories. Their work is distributed to professional news outlets in both the U.S. and Mexico.
The Borderlands bureau builds on two other classes at the Cronkite School that are part of the school’s Latino reporting specialization. The classes are a Latino seminar and a depth reporting class taught by Rick Rodriguez, the former executive editor of The Sacramento Bee. Each year, Rodriguez leads students on a reporting trip to another country.
In recent years, his class has traveled to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico and has produced work that has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Award for reporting on social justice issues. The projects are made possible by a grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and support from the Adelaida and Barry Severson Cronkite Global Initiatives fund.
These student projects include: Hungary: Europe's Borderland | Nicaragua: Channeling the Future | Chiapas: State of Revolution | Two Borders | Puerto Rico: Unsettled Territory | Stateless in the Dominican Republic | South Africa: At the Crossroads of Hate and Hope | South Africa Documentary | Borderlands Photo Essays | Divided Families | Divided Families Documentary | Children of the Borderlands | South Africa Project.