Been a while since I checked in, so I thought I’d let anybody who reads this know that I’m now living in New York and working as the Senior Producer for Latino USA on NPR. It’s the third show I’ve been part of while it was in the middle of a launch/relaunch phase, and it’s very exciting if a little nerve-wracking to be at the helm. I’m also considering questions about myself, my identity, and my responsibilities as a journalist that I simply hadn’t had time for in a while.
What does it mean to be a Latino journalist? How does it mean I am, by default, the advocate for a minority population? Does it mean that I’ve assumed a certain amount of responsibility by determining coverage for the longest running radio show for Latinos? If so, is a weekly newsmagazine program really enough to cover each and every issue encountered by the Latino community?
There’s a lot of insecurity to deal with here. I think I speak Spanish pretty well, but I’m by no means fluent. While this shouldn’t negate my identity it does mean that I’m in a very particular position: my family doesn’t have a recent immigrant background. I’m not familiar with a lot of the Dominican and Puerto Rican slang of many of my new New York neighbors (is it maní or cacahuate? Conchas or pan dulce?). Can I adequately represent a demographic group living predominantly in the Southwest and California while being from Washington, D.C. and New York City? These are just a few of the things I’m obsessing over as I figure out my new role.
I can say that I’ve had a great time working up to this job, and there’s a phenomenal, dedicated staff behind Maria Hinojosa, who is a lot of fun to work with as well as very sharp and maybe the most sensitive interviewer I’ve ever met. Here are a few of my favorite pieces since I’ve joined the team: