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Discourse Community Ethnography

News Gathering and Investigation
Jose D Junco
University of Texas at El Paso


My major is Multimedia Journalism. I picked this major because I just simply love
sports; I can talk about them all day, watch them all day, and even sometimes analyze it.
My favorite sport is football soccer. I would love to be the person covering all the major
events all over the world, especially the World Cup and the Champions League. The class
that I picked for this assignment is News Gathering and Investigation, which forms part of
the college of liberal arts here at UTEP. The class serves as preparation for future
journalists to gather news and be able to make reports on it.
The class teaches a format for feature stories; it also prepares the student for a
multimedia environment, investigates data, and introduces borderzine. The class is about
twenty one college students who work on Mac computers mostly all the time, they also use
sometimes smartphones and their own laptops. They all assemble inside a small lecture
classroom for one and a half hour on Mondays and Wednesdays starting at noon.
College students will need to submit their work in the format of a feature story. A
feature story is a special story of any human interest. An article that focuses on a particular
person, place or event, and it has a great detail regarding the topic being discussed. The
principal topic being discussed inside the class is immigration, also multinational stories
such as Mexican Americans involved in Film, Sports, or Politics. Since El Paso is located
on the border, it is crucial for the students to learn how to deal with these topics. The class
will also start introducing multimedia mechanisms to the students. Video, photography, and
audio are the ones that receive the most focus inside the classroom.
The teacher or the teachers assistant gets the status as the speaker inside the
classroom; if anyone else wants to talk they will ask any of the two by raising their hands

or waiting for their turn to talk. The teachers name is Ms. Zita Arocha. She is a bilingual
journalist and a senior lecturer at UTEP. She also runs the website She
worked for over 20 years as a reporter for the Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and the
Tampa Times.
In News Gathering and Investigation there are twenty one college students, mixed
of men and women. They will learn interviewing techniques for their future careers so that
they know what questions to ask and when to ask them for their future endeavors. They will
also learn in the semester how to research the needed topics for their interviews. They will
learn that research will be a journey of finding people, sources, to find the right answers for
your questions. Their basic goal is to report on subjects being given to them, and to inform
or make people aware of what is happening here in El Paso and in Ciudad Juarez by
publishing their articles on the borderzine webpage.
News Gathering and Investigation uses the borderzine webpage as their form of
documentation. It has a wide range of documents. The list goes from images, videos, sports,
film, art, music, blogs, news features, and chronics. They also bring their own USB`s in
case that some malfunction happens with the software of the webpage or to the computer.
Borderzine is a webpage of mainly four editors. There are two main editors on the
webpage, David Smith Soto, and Zita Arocha. David has been a photographer and
journalist for thirty years. He is also a senior lecturer here at UTEP, his class is Multimedia
Journalism. He brings to UTEP great years of experience at digital photography, bilingual
writing, multimedia journalism, newspaper management, and public relations.

There are also the web editor and the city editor. The web editor is Lourdes Cuevas
Chacon; she is a user interface designer. She designed the structure and features of the
borderzine webpage. She also teaches the class of Multimedia Journalism. In this particular
class she is the one that gets the stories ready for publication. The city editor is Luis
Hernandez. He is the teachers assistant and has been studying his career here at UTEP. He
was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He is currently studying Multimedia Journalism with a
minor in Film studies.
They mentioned in class that they maintain their sources for the interviews pretty
close to the chest, and that their sources may sometimes dont want to be revealed, to dont
include names because sometimes they maybe immigrants and they dont want any
problems. The class is focusing right now into some Latino issues that can be present right
now in the entire border of the United States and Mexico.
Their audience is mainly people forty years or plus who live here on the border and
want to know more about what is actually happening in the city. Borderzine helps with this
because as I mention they deliver news blogs, and even book reviews involving the
immigration situation.
The articles that are written for borderzine will always follow the AP style for
journalism. They will always contain small paragraphs because they are easier to read for
the audience. They will always cite their sources, mention where the story is coming. They
also use the AP style book for abbreviation.


College students will always be open for any negative comments in their articles
because this will help them improve in the future, and it is always good to be open to
critics. They will also receive feedback for all the articles that they will write in the future.
They must remember that the always need to be truthful in all of their articles; they dont
need to be printing lies. That isnt how Journalism works.
News Gathering and Investigation gain validity because of the four editors that are
helping the class improve week by week and will always be teaching the students new
things and how to approach the rules of journalism and apply them for a daily basis. They
will always bring the truth to their students so that they can publicize it and tell to others.
News Gathering and Investigation is a major level class for Communication Studies
and will prepare the college students for future jobs that involve interviewing, covering
events, and writing articles about any topic they want. With this class they will learn the
basics of journalism and hopefully will be ready for the future classes that involve more
focus on certain different subjects.


Hernandez, L. (2014). Contributors. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed March 10, 2014].
Junco, J. (2014) Notes of Class, Notebook.
Arocha, Z. (2013). About Us. [ONLINE] Available at:
[Last Accessed March 10, 2014].