(Left) Victor Morales on assignment. (Right) Matt Mireles in New Orleans, reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
School of General Studies students Matt Mireles and Victor Morales were accepted into The New York Times Student Journalism Institute's inaugural program for Hispanic students. Students admitted to the program, which is offered in cooperation with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, will work in a fully functioning newsroom in the Miami area from Jan. 3-13.
Participants in the program will cover real stories and sharpen their skills in reporting, editing, photography, and design alongside experienced professionals from such publications as The New York Times and The Boston Globe. They will also maintain a website, http://www.nytimes-institute.com/, and publish a special edition of the newspaper featuring the program's best work.
"What excites me about the institute is that I'm going to be around people who are truly multimedia professionals," said Mireles, who in June won the first-ever Eric Breindel Award—as well as several others—for his Columbia Daily Spectator article "The Faces of Iraq." "Everything I've done with multimedia so far has been me operating essentially in a vacuum. ...I'll actually be able to work first hand with the people who actually create this stuff for a living.
"I want to do something fairly unique in journalism. While I'm originally a writer, I have started to delve into photography and multimedia. Now I want to be able to write, shoot, and produce multimedia for all my stories. There are only a handful of people doing this right now, and those that are tend to be strong photographers but weak writers, or vice-versa. I have yet to see anyone who can 'do it all' with the same level of dexterity across mediums. My goal is to be that guy. I don't just want to write for The New York Times Magazine, I want to shoot for them and then produce multimedia for their website."
A former staff writer for the Spectator, Morales broke into journalism as a freelancer while he was still working as a private investigator in California. He freelanced for The Eastside Sun and The Orange County Register, where he also worked on the Breaking News desk, covering public safety and crime news.
"I am most excited about working with and learning under Don Hecker and The New York Times staff," he said. "Anytime you work with someone from a top-tier daily, you have to become a full-fledged disciple.
"I hope to land a metro spot at a top daily newspaper after graduating. But I would not discount daily newspapers in rural areas. Rustic life is more meaningful to me."
The Institute admitted 20 students from across the country to the program, which follows a program for students at historically black colleges and universities launched by The Times Company in 2003.
For more information on the program, visit http://www.nytimes-institute.com/.
Matt Mireles' personal website: http://www.mattmireles.com
Multimedia presentation of The Faces of Iraq — (Note: this presentation contains extremely graphic imagery)— http://www.facesofiraq.com
This article originally appeared on the School of General Studies web site.