Online Documentary series explores the dynamics of America’s relationship with Mexico

Timely web series, Facing North, explores the dynamics of America’s relationship with Mexico through the lens of the San Diego/Tijuana Border.

Composed of fourteen short, 2-3 minute videos, the series examines the unique relationship between the neighboring cities of San Diego and Tijuana through interviews with academics, activists, migrants, border patrol agents, entrepreneurs and historians on both sides of the border. Through this kaleidoscope of voices and perspectives, Facing North challenges our assumptions about the long-standing, complex and often tense relationship between the United States and Mexico. Watch now

In many ways, San Diego and Tijuana comprise a single region, encompassing one of the largest border areas in the world; in other ways, they are harshly divided and worlds apart.  By putting human faces on issues such as immigration, border security, global economics and history, Facing North offers a timely look at a region that copes daily with the ramifications of the increasingly strained relationship between both nations.


About the Filmmaker
Andrew Bracken is a documentary mediamaker working with audio, video, and interactive media. He is the creator, producer, and host of the KPBS podcast “My First Day.” A recipient of the San Diego Foundation’s Creative Catalyst fellowship, he has received support for his work from Latino Public Broadcasting, KPBS, and the Berlinale Talent Campus.  Facing North, about the multi-dimensional relationship between San Diego and Tijuana, won a San Diego Film Award in 2017. Other works include To The Other Side and The Two Eyes, the Nose, and the Mouth. His work has been shown locally at such institutions as the San Diego Latino Film Festival, the San Diego Art Institute, America’s Finest Film Fest, and the Digital Gym Cinema. A graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, he now lives in San Diego with his wife and two mischievous kids. To learn more, visit

About Latino Public Broadcasting
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is the leader in the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural media that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. Latino Public Broadcasting provides a voice to the diverse Latino community throughout the United States and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Latino Public Broadcasting produces the series VOCES, PBS’s signature Latino arts and culture documentary showcase and the only ongoing national television series devoted to exploring and celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino cultural experience.  Between 2009 and 2016, LPB programs won over 85 awards, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award as well as two Emmys, two Imagen Awards and the Sundance Film Festival Award for Best Director, Documentary. In addition, LPB has been the recipient of the Norman Lear Legacy Award and the NCLR Alma Award for Special Achievement – Year in Documentaries.  For more information, visit

Decibel: Capitol Coffee Talk feat. Girls Girls Girls!

Get a preview of the Texas Legislature’s upcoming Special Sessions with hits like “One More Day of Summer Vacation,” “Kleenex: One Box Per Child,” “That Sounds Like A Song,” and more!

Musical improv troupe Girls, Girls, Girls joined KLRU’s Judy Maggio and KUT’s Ben Philpott for this special (session) coffee talk. Watch the video below:

Make sure to like Decibel‘s to be the first to know when content like this comes out.

Decibel: Do cars get hot enough to bake cookies?

If you’ve ever gotten into your car after it’s been sitting out on a hot and sunny Central Texas day, you know it can feel like an oven in there. But, does it get hot enough for you to bake cookies in there? KLRU’s Decibel went out and put it to the test.

Watch the video below and let us know in the comments whether you’d give car cookies a try.

Make sure to like Decibel’s Facebook page to join in on the conversation and to be the first to know when new content is released.

Cedar park student headed to PBS Newshour Student Reporting Lab Academy

Twenty talented youth storytellers from 13 states will convene in the nation’s capital this summer with the common objective to advance the future of journalism and public media. KLRU’s PBS Newshour Student Reporting Lab participant Isaac Hernandez of Cedar Ridge High School was named one of the fellows for the Student Reporting Labs Academy.

The middle and high school fellows are participants in the third annual Student Reporting Labs Academy. They will work alongside public media mentors to produce original digital content and sharpen their journalism and production skills. The fellows will also help program leaders develop strategies to engage young people with the news and current affairs, and ensure that diverse youth voices are active in the conversations about critical issues facing the nation.

During the 2016-17 school year, these young journalists contributed to the NewsHour’s broadcast and digital platforms with Letters to the Next President, stories of New Americans, 13 Reasons Why and two upcoming series on overcoming disabilities and America’s National Parks.

To learn more about the other students, please visit the official 2017 SRL Academy Tumblr.

Student Reporting Labs is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate: Let’s make it happen initiative, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award.

On social media, visit PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs on Facebook or follow @reportinglabs on Twitter.

The Talk on 5/12 and 5/14

Generations of black parents have had The Talk with their children about how to survive interactions with police. Earlier this year, The Austin American Statesman and KLRU-TV hosted a community discussion on the issue and on how our community can work toward positive solutions for change. The taped version of this discussion, ATX Together: The Talk, will be broadcast on KLRU Friday, May 12th, at 9:30 pm. Moderated by KLRU’s Judy Maggio and the Statesman’s Alberta Phillips the discussion features police officers, Austin city officials, and members of the community sharing their perspectives and potential solutions. Immediately before the local conversation, take a look at the national perspective on The Talk: Race in America starting at 7 pm Friday, May 12th. The two shows will also air on Sunday, May 14th, starting at 3 pm.

The Tarnished Violet Crown

The kaleidoscope of colors at sunset across the hills west of Austin is why our city is sometimes called “The Violet Crown”.  On a clear day, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. It’s one of many things I treasure about this wonderful place we call home. I’ve had a lifelong love affair with Austin, but just as we must face tough conversations with the people we hold dear, it’s high time to talk about racism. Austin prides itself on being progressive and welcoming, but people of color often don’t feel welcomed here, at all.

“It’s not truly a violet crown if everyone doesn’t have a chance to prosper”, Huston Tillotson University President, Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette told the packed audience attending a Leadership Austin Engage Breakfast, I moderated recently. She and AISD Superintendent, Dr. Paul Cruz took the stage as the Co-Chairs of the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities. It’s a long name. But some say the city has a long history of marginalizing  African Americans and Latinos.

Leaders on the task force tackled five main areas where inequities often bubble to the top: education, real estate and housing, health, finance and criminal justice. Task force members proposed ideas and solutions to at least begin addressing institutional racism and inequities in Austin. There are no magic bullets. These are just the first steps in a marathon that still needs thousands more runners heading for the finish line. The only thing you’ll need to train for that marathon is a big dose of self-reflection. Dr Cruz told the group, “Typically we  look out the window and say that’s what needs to change. But take a look in the mirror and say, what am I going to do to change that?”  

I see a middle-aged white woman when I look in the mirror. I consider myself lucky because I had  parents who fought for civil rights and educated me about deep-seated issues of race and inequity. Yet, I don’t know really know how oppression and discrimination feel. I’ve never been marginalized because of the color of my skin. 

Here’s what I DO know. We can’t start solving racism unless we each do our part. We must listen intently with open hearts and minds and do some serious soul searching. Small steps can make a big difference. Perhaps it’s as simple as hiring someone who doesn’t look like you or attending a service at an African American church.      

Dr. Burnette told the Leadership Austin audience, “ We all need to be agents of change. As long as you stay in your comfort zone, you won’t experience the magic.”

Let’s face it, wouldn’t it be magical if all the colors in the violet crown burned brightly and prospered?      

Get the the 70 page final report from the task force now

Meet Robert Costa, new Washington Week moderator

From Washington Week ….

Washington Post political reporter Robert Costa has been named the new moderator of Washington Week. Robert has been a frequent guest on Washington Week since 2014 and has been a guest moderator in recent weeks. Learn more about Robert’s life and reporting.

Plus, read the letter Robert Costa wrote to introduce himself to long-time Washington Week viewers.