By Joe Camacho
The final episode for Proyecto U will air on Univision/KWEX 4:15 p.m. May 4. The live show will feature student-produced broadcast packages on topics that range from accomplishments of teen mothers to video game usage.
Proyecto U was launched as part of the multi-year, national education campaign “Es el momento” (The moment is now), which is aimed at improving academic achievement for U.S. Hispanics, according to a Univision’s press release. In 2012, Proyecto U received two Emmys for community service and news production.
Students involved in Proyecto U receive academic credit. Students are enrolled at local universities as well as Brackenridge high school. Those enrolled receive training from broadcast professionals and produce four newscasts. Three shows are pre-recorded and the final show is broadcast live.
Communication junior Lucia Espino is one of 18 students selected to produce the newscasts this semester. She said the internship at Univision has given her real-world experience in the broadcast journalism field.
“The communication you need to have with your production team and pressure of deadlines is just like in real-life,” Espino said.
As a part of Proyecto U, Espino has produced news content, reported news and anchored pre-recorded segments. Saturday she will present her next news package live from the studio.
Univision producer Lillian Pastor said the process within Proyecto U is competitive.
Proyecto U interns are assigned stories during Thursday’s editorial meetings. They are given a week to produce a two-minute story but not all will make the final cut.
Live reporters and anchors are chosen based on how well they speak spanish, Pastor said.
Born in Mexico City, Espino’s primary language was Spanish.
“I knew being bilingual would open more doors, but I never realized how important it was until I started my internship with Univision,” she said.
Although she never imagined herself anchoring a show or being a live reporter, Espino said she learned success in journalism requires the ability to perform multiple tasks.
“I’ve wanted to work behind the scenes, or so I thought,” Espino said. “Now that I was able to experience what it takes to produce a newscast, I believe I can -and should- do it all.”