Students to Present Innovative Projects on Border Issues
UA School of Journalism students have received firsthand experience researching and reporting along U.S. borders in an innovative course taught by Celeste González de Bustamante.

University Communications
Nov. 21, 2016

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Journalism assistant professor of practice Mike McKisson and journalism student Maritza Dominguez fly a drone in Montana along the U.S.-Canada border. Students are learning how to use digital and drone technologies to report on important cultural and soci
Journalism assistant professor of practice Mike McKisson and journalism student Maritza Dominguez fly a drone in Montana along the U.S.-Canada border. Students are learning how to use digital and drone technologies to report on important cultural and social issues along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. (Photo: Celeste González de Bustamante/UA School of Journalism)


Once a week, a group of students in a University of Arizona School of Journalism course has traveled to the cities of Nogales — in Arizona and in northern Mexico — to meet people and research stories about this binational community.

Stephen Oliver looked at immigration issues in the class, which is cross-listed in the School of Journalism and Latin American Studies.

Mark Flores explored the alternate economy associated with street vending.

Collaborators Emma Lawlor and Noah Silber-Coats worked together to study housing rights in Sonora, Mexico, and also the rise of Bacanora, an agave-derived liquor made in Mexico.

In the class, taught by Celeste González de Bustamante, an associate professor in the school, and supported by UA 100% Engagement funding, students are learning about and examining issues and events that are sometimes overlooked in mainstream news coverage along the nation’s borders. In addition to examining historical context, the students use technology tools such as 360 video and drones to produce multiplatform journalism projects that will be published online.

The students will present their work during "Reporting in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands," an event to be held at UA Special Collections on Nov. 28, from noon to 2 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Brenna Bailey, an undergraduate majoring in journalism and taking the course this semester, said: "What we are reading and seeing online, it's just not the full story. And, as a journalist, it makes me want to change that."

This semester, much of the class also traveled to a community on the U.S.-Canadian border situated directly north of the cities of Nogales: Sweetgrass, Montana, and Coutts, Alberta, in Canada. In doing so, students were able to explore similarities and differences between the northern and southern border communities.

The class is supported by a number of collaborators. Mike McKisson, an assistant professor of practice in the School of Journalism, is providing instruction on drone journalism and 360 video production. University Libraries Borderlands curator Véronica Reyes-Escudero and librarian Mary Feeney introduced students to the historical and contemporary resources at Special Collections and the library. Al Litzow, a 1973 graduate of the School of Journalism, provided financial support.

The class is an ambitious undertaking, but students and faculty agree it's worthwhile.

"As a faculty member, the best part of this class is being able to work individually and alongside the students," Bustamonte said. "Being on the ground and on the border throughout the semester has given the students a much more informed view and understanding of the U.S.-Mexico border."

Extra info

What

'Reporting in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands'

Where

UA Special Collections, 1510 E. University Blvd.

When

Noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28

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La Monica Everett-Haynes

University Communications

520-626-4405

leverett@email.arizona.edu