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Challenges and Rewards of a Bilingual Latino Journalist in the US

Professor Tom Robbins, the investigative journalist in residence at the CUNYJ School at the time of my 2017 graduation, contacted me before we met. He asked if I’d be interested in sharing my views about journalism and Latinos in the US on a TV show. Former councilwoman and activist Ronnie Eldridge wanted to take an episode to talk with journalists, considering the hostil rhetoric the Trump administration has had with immigrants, with Latinos, and most media people.

I thought it for about a month or so, reminding myself how much I hate putting make-up, combing my hair and watching in face on camera. So, I took a deep breathe and sent Robbins an email to say I’d go. And, to say the truth, I think we did so much in an hour of production.

Photo: Vincent Verdi, CUNY TV Staff Photographer. Dec. 19, 2017.

I met Beverly Crane, one of Eldridge and Co.‘s producers, and chatted for a while with some other interviewees scheduled for that day. I had a smooth 30 minute conversation with Ronnie about my work, about what Latinos are doing differently in the media industry and how society can win-win from the complex transnational experience of bilingual journalists.

As I anticipated, I hated myself for two days. I questioned my participation and answers. And wished I’d be more mature and ready to do these kind of things. Me, old me. But, by the time the interview premiered on CUNY TV last Thursday, I felt so much better. Dominicanos in Canada, in NYC and friends and colleagues from Dominican Republic felt great to have someone represent their background and their mindset, put the voice out and say just some of what they have to say.

That made me feel awesome! What a great way to celebrate Juan Pablo Duarte’s Birthday, start the Dominican Heritage Month (Jan 26 – Feb 27) and share some of my work with all of you. Let’s keep up the good work.

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