Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa spoke to the University of Nevada, Reno, community about the representation of the Latino community in news and self-confidence on Tuesday, April 10.
Hinojosa’s presentation is titled “Our Historic Challenge: Latinx in Media, Politics and Society.” Hosted by the Gender, Race, and Identity Department at the university, Hinojosa dove into the topics of the Latinos in media, Immigration from a Woman’s Perspective, a Critical Look at the Media in a Post 9/11 Reality and A Leading Latina on “Owning Your Voice.”
“I really wanted to bring in her voice,” assistant professor in History and GRI Emily Hobson said. “One of the things I appreciate about her work as a journalist is the ways that she works to really represent a very rich breadth of issues as issues of Latinx life and also the lives of immigrants and people of color in the United States. […] She also really works to represent the full, rich, range of people lives.”
In 2010, Hinojosa founded an independent nonprofit organization, Futuro Media Group, in which multimedia content emphasizing the voice of diversity in America is produced. Moreover, she is the anchor of award-winning NPR affiliated show “Latino USA” and of her PBS show “America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa.”
“We are all actors and characters in American history right now,” Hinojosa said during her talk. “As powerless as we may feel and though we may even be targeted because of who we are even that becomes a part of the story of the history of the United States today.”
Through her work, Hinojosa has been praised for sharing the stories of those who live in America and are facing the ever-changing political and cultural platform in the U.S.
“I really appreciated her combination of discussion of both fear and hope,” Hobson said. “Real candor about the fear that people are experiencing but also just a deep abiding investment in hope for change and the idea that we can all find power just not individually but within each other.”
For a majority of her talk, Hinojosa focused on the representation of Latinos in media. She retold the story of a conversation she has with late Nobel-prize winning author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel: a story she had once told a Trump Advisor in a viral video from the MSNBC “AM Joy” show.
“He [Wiesel] was the one who said ‘There’s no such thing as an illegal immigrant, the first thing the Nazis did was to declare the Jews illegal people.’” Hinojosa said. “You can’t be an illegal human being.’”
The talk concluded with Hinojosa emphasizing the importance of believing in yourself and finding the power to never doubt what one is capable of accomplishing.
“Seeing someone who looked like me and could relate to my experiences better prepares me for the world I’m about to step into once I graduate,” UNR senior Jazmin Orozco said. “It’s also critical for me, and other Latinas, to know that there’s people who look like me, who come from the same roots as me, and who face similar obstacles out there who have found a tremendous amount of success in the career — it really affirms my decision to become a journalist and gives me the confidence I need to become successful too.”
Karolina Rivas can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @karolinarrivas.