Institute for Justice and Journalism selects 12 fellows

Posted March 11, 2008

Twelve U.S. journalists from ethnic media organizations have been selected to take part in a fellowship program on immigration coverage organized by USC Annenberg’s Institute for Justice and Journalism (IJJ).

The Justice and Journalism Fellowships for Ethnic Media, supported by the McCormick Tribune Foundation, will conduct a weeklong program, “Immigration: Reporting the Full Story,” March 16-23. Activities will include field experiences along the U.S.-Mexico border and in-depth discussions with immigration experts and journalists from the United States and Mexico. The Justice and Journalism Fellows will gather again June 1 in New York City for a three-day program, funded by the Open Society Institute, at the IJJ-affiliated Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ) at John Jay College, City University of New York, joining another group of 12 Fellows selected by CMCJ from the New York region.

“Our Justice and Journalism Fellows will learn from immigration experts and journalists from the U.S. and Mexico, and the resulting in-depth stories will help the growing audiences of ethnic media understand the complexities and human drama of migration in the Americas,” said IJJ Director Steve Montiel.

Two of the IJJ Fellows work in broadcasting, two in magazines and eight on newspapers. They are:

  • Mariana Alvarado Avalos, a reporter for La Estrella de Tucsón.
  • Fernando Díaz, an investigative reporter for The Chicago Reporter magazine.
  • Paula Díaz, a reporter for Hoy newspaper in Los Angeles.
  • Dzung Do, a reporter for Nguoi Viet Daily News in Orange County, California.
  • J. Emilio Flores, a photojournalist for La Opinión newspaper in Los Angeles.
  • Karla Gomez-Escamilla, a reporter/anchor for Univision Arizona.
  • Damaso D. González, a reporter for El Diario/La Prensa in New York City.
  • Naomi M. Ishisaka, the editor in chief of ColorsNW magazine in Seattle.
  • Linda Lin, a news manager for Singtao Daily in Los Angeles.
  • Jorge Morales Almada, a reporter for La Opinión newspaper in Los Angeles.
  • Rodrigo París, the U.S. and International Editor for Rumbo Newspapers.
  • David Rodríguez, a reporter for Univision of Puerto Rico.

The Fellows will be joined in Arizona by eight of their editors and colleagues: Marco Flores of Univision Arizona, Rui Kaneya of The Chicago Reporter; Reynaldo Mena of Hoy, José Merino of La Estrella de Tucsón, Edwin Rivera of Univision Puerto Rico, Pedro Rojas of La Opinión, Jesús Del Toro of Rumbo and Benjamin Vu of Nguoi Viet Daily News.

During March 16-23, the IJJ Fellows and the editors will meet in Tucson and Green Valley, Arizona, with immigration experts and participate in field experiences in Sonora, Mexico. Arizona remains a focal point for immigration issues, all the more so because of a new law designed to penalize employers of undocumented workers and because of law enforcement controversies in Phoenix, Mesa and other cities.

Presenters at the fellowship conference will include law enforcement officials, community leaders and officials, academic specialists, U.S. policy and economics researchers, and Arizona and Mexican journalists. Participants also will receive coaching on writing techniques and attend sessions on ethics and advanced Internet research techniques. The field experiences will take place along both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border, where migrants typically enter the U.S. from Mexico – and where new fencing is being erected – with Fellows interviewing migrants, officials and Border Patrol agents.

The CMCJ program in early June will include sessions analyzing law enforcement and legal issues involving undocumented immigrants, as well as a field trip to White Plains, the largest city in Westchester County just north of New York City, where the municipality and local law enforcement have developed innovative programs for immigrants. In addition, the Justice and Journalism Fellows will discuss journalistic projects influenced by the Arizona-Sonora activities. In addition to publishing or broadcasting their fellowship project stories, the Fellows will write an account of the experience – “The Story Behind the Story” – serving as an instructive guide to journalists, journalism educators and students. Both the work published or broadcast by a Fellow’s media outlet and the Story Behind the Story will be featured on the IJJ web site, www.justicejournalism.org.

The Arizona program is being led by Montiel and IJJ associate directors Marc Cooper and Frank O. Sotomayor. The New York portion will be led by Steve Handelman, director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice, and Joe Domanick, who is a senior fellow for both IJJ and the Center, in collaboration with Juana Ponce de Leon, director of the New York Community Media Alliance, an organization uniting independent media in the N.Y. metropolitan region. Created with Ford Foundation funding, the Institute for Justice and Journalism was established at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2000 to strengthen journalism about issues involving justice and injustice.

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