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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Maria Hinojosa’s Brief But Brilliant Take on Being a Powerful Latina in the Media

William Brangham:

María Hinojosa is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Mexican-American journalist and the founder of Futuro Media Group.

As a Mexican immigrant, Hinojosa found that her background often gave her a different lens to the pressing subjects of the day. Tonight, Hinojosa shared her brief but specular take on the responsibility of being a powerful Latina in the media today.

Marisa Hinojosa, President and Founder, Futuro Media Group: People always tell me, Oh, Maria, you’re so obsessed with immigration because you’re a Mexican immigrant. And I’m like, really, I’m obsessed with this country’s ability to dehumanize.

The thing about the story of my coming to America is that there were two different versions of it. We boarded the plane to visit my father, but something happened to the immigration agent at the Dallas airport.

But I don’t know what policy was implemented in the United States under the Trump administration until I really understood what had happened. They started taking children from their parents. And my mother called me.

She was very upset. And I tried to calm him down. And then he said (speaking Spanish) He said: “My daughter, you don’t understand what I’m trying to tell you. Those moms, they were me. And that kid, it could have been you.” “

And it was like the official story of my arrival, that immigration agents tried to pick me up at the border at the airport in Dallas from my mother. When I heard the story of how I was almost taken from my mother, it made me understand exactly why I do what I do.

And that means I’m not going to stop. I was the first Latina to be hired at NPR. I was like no one else in that newsroom. I understood that I had this privilege to be hired as the first Latina at NPR, but so, I had a responsibility.

I want to make sure I can deliver a story about anything from baseball to Wall Street, to politics. But my secret sauce, what I know best and what I’m about to bring to the newsroom, is the life I live and I know. I challenge all my fellow journalists to actually go beyond their hearts more often.

I don’t think going beyond your heart as a journalist makes you a lesser journalist. I think it makes you the best journalist, if you can handle it.

My name is Maria Hinojosa. And this is my brief but brilliant being a powerful Latina in media.

World Nation News Desk
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