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NMSU to host Sunshine Week panel discussion on border issues

New Mexico State University will host a panel discussion, “Shedding Light on a Dark Journey,” in honor of Sunshine Week 2019 at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Zuhl Library, third floor. The event is free and open to the public.


Flyer with image of a border wall.
New Mexico State University will host a panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Zuhl Library, third floor in honor of Sunshine Week 2019. The panelists for “Shedding Light on a Dark Journey” will discuss the challenges of reporting news about immigration on the border. (NMSU photo)

“This program will be an extraordinary view inside the daily lives of working journalists on the border,” said David Irvin, NMSU business and government documents librarian.

In its seventh year at NMSU, Sunshine Week is a national initiative that was created by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about the importance of open government.

“We see a surge in coverage about border issues at the national, state and local level. We are indebted to hard-working journalists like these to get those stories out of the shadows and into the press.”

The panel will include Lauren Villagran, Searchlight New Mexico; Robert Moore, independent journalist; and Diana Alba Soular, Las Cruces Sun-News. Villagran has covered immigration and border security in New Mexico, the drug war in Mexico and financial and energy markets in New York. A former border correspondent for the Albuquerque Journal, Villagran has reported for outlets such as the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News and Christian Science Monitor.

Moore’s work appears in outlets such as Texas Monthly, Washington Post and The Guardian. He has been the first to report on many border and immigration stories including the news about an 8-year-old girl from Guatemala dying in Customs and Border Protection custody.

Alba Soular has spent more than 14 years at the Sun-News, and she was recently named Healthy U Magazine editor. In 2018, she was a member of a USA Today team that won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for “The Wall: Untold Stories, Unintended Consequences.”

Irvin said they hope to include a public affairs representative from a federal agency. Walt Rubel will serve as moderator for the discussion about challenges of reporting news about immigration on the border. A question and answer session will follow. Light refreshments will be served. Parking at Zuhl Library is available after 4:30 p.m.

The NMSU Library, NMSU Journalism and Mass Communications and Tim Parker, NMSU alumnus, are presenting this event.

For more information contact Irvin at 575-646-6925.