From investigating poverty in Alabama’s ghettos to exploring women’s violence in India, award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa said being a woman, an immigrant and a Latino has shaped her worldview.
“These stories are all of our stories,” she said in the Futuro Media Group
Futuro Media Group is Hinojosa’s non-profit production company.
Hinojosa will speak about her experiences with immigration, urban reality, women and Latinos at 7 p.m., Thursday, in the University of Idaho Student Union Building Ballroom.
Hinojosa is the former senior correspondent of NOW — a PBS news show that was recently cancelled. She is now the anchor and executive producer of NPR’s Latino USA, an anchor on PBS’ Need to Know series, an anchor on her own talk show, a freelance investigative journalist and the founder of The Futuro Media Group, a production company devoted to reporting the injustices in the new, diverse America, said Kenton Bird, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Media.
Carmen Suarez, chief diversity officer and associate vice provost for Student Affairs, largely influenced choosing Hinojosa for the event that celebrates Latino Heritage Month and gives students a different perspective on minorities in the media profession.
“She’s a very well known national figure. She’s an NPR reporter, she has worked with Bill Moyers, she runs her own show, she has her own media company — so she has a lot to offer to a lot of different people,” Suarez said. “She’ll also be talking about timely topics that we should all probably be interested in.”
Hinojosa’s reputation of covering issues that often go unreported by the mainstream media has won her many awards including four Emmy Awards, the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, Studs Terkel Community Media Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for her documentary “Child Brides:
Hinojosa was born in Mexico City in 1961, and came to the U.S. as an immigrant later in her life. She has since dedicated a portion of her career to investigating and reporting on immigration issues, Bird said.
“I think her reporting reflects that empathy with people who are challenged by the complexities of coming to this country,” Bird said. “I will not be surprised if she speaks a little about the failure of Congress to pass immigration reform.”
Not only will Hinojosa speak at the 7 p.m. event, Suarez said there’s also a full schedule of appearances planned for her Thursday visit.
“We focused on how we could best maximize her time here,” Suarez said. “We’re grateful she will be addressing the Broadcast News class in JAMM, she will be meeting with different student, staff and faculty leaders for a general discussion, and she’ll meet with media representatives from The Argonaut and
Coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Leathia Botello, took a leadership role in planning and coordinating Hinojosa’s visit and said she was thrilled to plan an event featuring a successful and diverse woman.
“She’s a voice for not only our Latino students, but a role model for campus,” Botello said. “Here’s a woman who has gone out and covered really tough stories, who has made a name for herself in –what I would say — a male-dominated career field.”
Bird said students and members of the community should attend the event because it will serve as a reminder that there is a lot of in-depth and important news reporting that goes on beyond the mainstream media outlets.
“I think for both future producers of news content and future consumers, to know that if you dig below the surface, you’re going to get many more perspectives and much bigger picture of what’s really going on in this country and planet.”
ASUI Vandal Entertainment, the School of Journalism and Mass Media, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Northwest Public Radio are sponsoring the event.