School of Journalism Offers Course for Journalists “Covering the Latino Community”

April 29, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — The School of Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin is offering an online course for working journalists on how to incorporate the voices and views of their communities' Latinos into their reporting.

The four-week course, "Covering the Latino Community," will teach journalists across Texas how to produce more balanced and comprehensive news stories through online reading material; a series of podcast lectures on topics from U.S.-Mexico relations to culture and education; and by teaching journalists how to use some of the free research tools available on the Web.

The course, which runs from May 5-30, is being taught by Guillermo X. Garcia, a 1971 University of Texas at Austin journalism graduate and city government and politics reporter for the San Antonio Express-News. A native of Laredo, Garcia has been USA Today's southwest bureau chief, the Orange County Register's Latin American correspondent and Cox Newspapers' Mexico City bureau chief, among many other journalism positions.

"The Latino community is the fastest growing demographic in Texas and the United States," said Lorraine Branham, director of the School of Journalism. "While this course focuses on how to better cover the Latino community, the strategies being taught apply to any minority group, such as African Americans or Vietnamese."

Garcia will post two to three 20-minute lectures online per week for students to download at their convenience. Assignments will focus on incorporating lessons into the reporters' stories for their news organizations. Garcia will be available to answer one-on-one questions via e-mail to ensure participants are getting the most of their experience.

The "Covering the Latino Community" online journalism course is made possible through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to improve journalists' in-depth knowledge of specific topics. As a result of the grant, the School of Journalism developed curricula—on campus and online—to explore Latino history and culture to enable journalists to cover the community with authority and sensitivity.

"Covering the Latino Community" is being offered in conjunction with the Texas Press Association and is free to its members. The course is open to other Texas journalists and students who may contact the School of Journalism for registration information, 512-471-1845. The course will be offered again June 2-30. For more information or to register, visit the Texas Press Association Web site.

More information about the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education can be found online.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, Moody College of Communication, (512) 475-8071.