Beyond the Border

Journalism students in Arizona and New York trade places, traveling to Manhattan and the U.S.-Mexico border to explore immigrant issues with sensitivity and depth.

Even before attending the Dart Center’s 2010 Academic Fellowship Program at Columbia University, New York University Journalism Professor Yvonne Latty knew she wanted to expose her students to the realities of multi-platform reporting in potentially volatile border regions. When she heard another fellow, Celeste González de Bustamante, speak about challenges of reporting near the Arizona/Sonora border, her plan began to take shape.

“I knew immediately that I wanted to figure out how to get my students there,” Latty said in a recent e-mail interview. “I thought we could do important work, and as the daughter of a Latina immigrant it really resonated with me.”

The result was “Beyond the Border,” a collaborative cross-cultural student journalism project conceptualized, organized, and implemented by Latty, a professor at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and González de Bustamante, associate professor at University of Arizona’s School of Journalism.  The two professors designed the project, according to their proposal, “to train some of the nation’s top future journalists by giving students tools to report in cross-cultural settings, as well as teaching them how to create journalism that puts issues and events in historical, economic, social and cultural contexts.” 

 After weeks of preparation, Latty took a group of her students to Arizona in October 2010 to find innovative ways of moving beyond cultural stereotypes and telling compelling multi-media stories about people living in the border region. González de Bustamante and her students followed in November with a trip to New York, where they worked with NYU students to report on Latino communities often affected by histories of cultural conflict and trauma.

This special package includes an interview with González de Bustamante and Latty about how they conceived and implemented their project and their thoughts on the challenges students faced in reporting on conflict and trauma. Here are some samples of student work: Samples of student work can be seen here:

Beyond the Border, a special project published in the Tucson Weekly newspaper, features reports from the University of Arizona students on immigrants living in New York City.

The Border Project is a short film documenting the NYU student reporting trip to Arizona (you can also watch the complete video below). Examples of NYU student video reports on immigration issues in Arizona can be seen here.

For a full description of the project and the people involved, see the project's website, Beyond the

“Beyond the Border” was funded in part by stipends from The Dart Center Academic Fellowship Program. 

The Border Project from NYU Journalism on Vimeo.