Skip to main content

About Borderless Magazine

We believe in the power of immigrant voices.

For decades, the media’s coverage of immigrants has been racist and harmful. From using dehumanizing labels like “illegal immigrant” to treating extremist anti-immigrant groups as sources of expert opinion, journalists have frequently amplified hate and endangered the lives of people seeking a new life in this country. At the same time, newsrooms have failed to reflect the diversity of the communities they cover and undermined the reporting led by members of immigrant and BIPOC communities.

We believe that immigrants’ voices are powerful. They should be at the center of any coverage about immigration. Journalists can and must do better.

Borderless Magazine is reimagining immigration journalism for a more just and equitable future.

We are a member-supported newsroom working to dismantle racist and harmful media coverage of immigrants. We do this through our reporting and by making sure immigrants and people of color are better represented in newsrooms.

We grew out of a rapid-response journalism project called 90 Days, 90 Voices, which began as a Medium blog in February 2017. With the support of Chicagoans who demanded more and better local reporting on immigration, we incorporated as a nonprofit and launched Borderless Magazine in October 2019.

As a nonprofit and multilingual news outlet, we:

  • Report and publish stories in our online magazine
  • Mentor emerging immigrant and BIPOC journalists in our Pathways program
  • Give journalists from other news outlets the tools they need to report on immigration issues fairly and accurately through our Immigration Reporting Lab

We are changing lives.

Our reporting is shining a light on the immigrants fighting injustice and the wrongdoings in our region — from ICE arrests to abusive landlords to local jails holding immigrant detainees.

Our work has been cited in a Senate hearing on DACA recipients, helped temporarily shut down the Chicago Immigration Court over concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and raised tens of thousands of dollars for transgender asylum seekers. Our reporting on race, refugees and the environment has been included in curriculum for Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District.

If Borderless Magazine shut down tomorrow, 73 percent of our audience said “they would feel that they’ve lost a source of news they cannot find anywhere else.”

– October 2021 Reader Survey

As members of the Institute for Nonprofit News and the Local Independent Online News Publishers, we hold ourselves to the highest ethical and editorial standards. We are the winners of the Chicago Society of Professional Journalists’ “Best Start-Up” of 2017 award and were finalists for the Chicago SPJ’s 2018 awards for “Best In-depth Reporting in a Community Newspaper” and “Best In-depth Report or Series” as well as SPJ’s 2019 award for “Best Illustration.” We were also finalists in the 2021 national Nonprofit News Awards in their Breaking Barriers category and our executive director Nissa Rhee was a finalist for the Emerging Leader of the Year award.

Community is at the center of everything we do.

Including how we’re funded. As a nonprofit organization, the financial support we receive from our members makes it possible to continue to educate the public about immigration and provide critical information to immigrants about issues that impact them.

We bring immigrants into every step of our reporting process — from how a person’s story is told to who is writing or photographing the story. Ninety percent of our stories are reported, photographed or illustrated by immigrants or first-generation Americans. Our team includes immigrants and first-generation immigrants from Mexico, Colombia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Singapore, India and Iraq.

We provide a public service.

We believe our work should be free and accessible to everyone. That’s why we don’t have a paywall. And that’s why we translate every story we write into Spanish. Forty-four percent of our readership are Spanish speakers.

We know the work of changing newsrooms and the public conversation around immigration is difficult. That’s why we spend close to 1,000 hours per year mentoring and training young BIPOC journalists in our Pathways program. They have gone on to work for places like NPR, Apple News, NBC News and CatchLight.

Our stories are free to republish, and you can find our work in places like the Chicago Sun-Times, Block Club Chicago and Univision. We also offer professional journalists, news outlets and journalism networks training on how to better report on and WITH immigrants. We have been invited to share our expertise at Google News Initiative’s Digital Growth Program, the Institute for Nonprofit News’ annual conferences, TEDx, and the Collaborative Journalism Summit.

Want to join us?

Borderless Magazine NFP is a 501c(3) status organization and donations are tax-deductible. Our EIN is 83-12664334.