Fronteras: The Changing America Desk
is an unprecedented, multimedia collaboration among seven public radio stations
. It is led by KJZZ in Phoenix, Arizona and KPBS in San Diego, California, and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB
) as part of its Local Journalism Center
initiative. From Central Texas to Southern California, and from Las Vegas to the Mexican border, Fronteras covers an area of about 9 million residents and reaches an audience of about 1 million listeners. There are multi-lingual reporters
based in San Antonio, Texas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Las Vegas, Nevada; and in Flagstaff and Tucson, Arizona. In addition, we have three reporters in Phoenix, and two reporters and a social media editor in San Diego. Our leadership includes a Managing Editor in Phoenix and a Senior Editor in San Diego.
Fronteras stories deal with the complex and controversial southwestern border with Mexico, including security, immigration, drugs and weapons smuggling. We also seek to show that the border is far more than a smuggling corridor. Our mandate is to broadcast and publish stories from throughout the Southwest that go beyond breaking news and the sensational to find the people and stories that are real, relevant and alive.
In the spring of 2011, we produced a groundbreaking series on the Drug War At Home
, with 13 multimedia stories looking at spillover violence, cultural impact and the mechanics of moving drugs north. Some recent stories have shown a collaboration in the development of an anti-venom vaccine
and the struggles facing Mexican border schools with the enrollment of English speakers
. We also explore the changing demographics of the Southwest, including the new immigrants who make up our populations and shape our cultures in a series on the 2010 census
. In all of our communities, we are exploring the controversies surrounding redistricting
and how new immigrants are represented on the local and national political stage. We're also looking at generational changes in the region and the impacts on our communities in a series of stories called Retirement Redefined
Fronteras is committed to exploring parts of the country and the world off the radar screens of most media. Our reporters regularly travel to northern Mexico
, deep into rural Native American reservations
, and as far away as Guatemala
. These efforts have helped inform listeners across the region how their communities are changing.
Besides reaching a diverse audience through radio, television and the Internet, our stories regularly appear in other media, including Marketplace, NPR, PBS Newshour and the BBC. These efforts over the past year show that Fronteras: The Changing America Desk is well on its way to reaching the goal of setting the news agenda for the Southwest.