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A New Era for Miami Dade College Student Journalism as Newspapers Merge to Form the Largest Community College Newspaper in Florida

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Pictured, from left to right: Manolo Barco (adviser for The Reporter), Alexandra de Armas (North Campus bureau chief), Monique Madan (editor-in-chief of The Reporter), Julie McConnell (Kendall Campus bureau chief) and Lazaro Gamio (Wolfson Campus bureau chief).

Miami, September 29, 2010 - The student newspapers at Miami Dade College (MDC) have long served as an incubator, producing some of the country’s top journalists.

Its alumni have garnered Pulitzer Prizes and worked at some of the most prestigious newspapers in the United States, among them: USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, The Miami Herald and the Chicago Tribune

MDC hopes to continue that tradition as it merges its three award-winning student newspapers, creating the largest community college newspaper in Florida, with a circulation of 10,250 copies per print cycle and with a strong online presence reaching many others.

The consolidated paper — dubbed The Reporter — will debut on Monday, Oct. 4. It will feature 16 pages, print on a biweekly schedule, and will be supplemented by a website with video and audio content.

The Reporter will be distributed at all eight MDC campuses and will have newsrooms at the North, Wolfson and Kendall campuses functioning much like the regional bureaus of major media outlets.

“This is an exciting chapter for student journalism at MDC,” said Manolo Barco, who will serve as the paper’s adviser. “We feel that the merger allows us to better serve our students and positions us to be among the elite community college student newspapers in the country.”

Barco worked as a criminal justice reporter at the The Dallas Morning News in Texas, and as a staff writer at The Miami Herald. He also worked in the college’s media relations department giving him a broad perspective on news and news making. For the last three years, he served as adviser to the Falcon Times and Metropolis student newspapers. He was also instrumental in launching MDC’s acclaimed Journalism Speakers Series that has featured top journalists from across the country.

Monique Madan, who served as a high school intern at The Miami Herald, will be editor-in-chief of The Reporter.

“It’s a privilege to be charged with continuing the legacy of the student newspapers at MDC,” Madan said. “Our staff will work diligently to preserve the quality that the previous newspapers provided. They will always be part us.”

Madan recently had a column published in the Herald’s editorial section that garnered lots of praise.

Launched in 1961, The Falcon Times was Miami Dade College’s first student newspaper, serving the students at the North Campus. It was followed by the Catalyst in 1966, based at the Kendall Campus. The Downtowner, which served the Wolfson Campus, originated in 1970. It was renamed the Metropolis in 1984.

Prominent alumni of the MDC student newspapers include Pultizer Prize-winner and author, Liz Balmaseda; Emmy Award-winning CBS4 News anchorman, Eliott Rodriguez; Miami Herald Metro Editor, Jay Ducassi and the executive editor of the Daily Business Review, Eddie Dominguez.

Through the years, Miami Dade College’s student newspapers have won 19 National Pacemaker Awards and received hundreds of honors from the Florida Community College Press Association.

For more information, please contact Manolo Barco, the adviser for The Reporter, at 305-237-1255. 

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.