Responsibility to report

NPR’s Maria Hinojosa focuses on telling stories about overlooked communities

Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist, and during a career that now spans three decades, she has paved the way for journalists of color.

She was the first Latina in many newsrooms, including being the first Latina to anchor a PBS Frontline report on immigrant detention centers in 2011.

“I understood being the ‘other,’ and I think that has allowed me to bring that into the reporting that I do,” said Hinojosa, who recently spoke to an auditorium of aspiring storytellers and journalists at the Moody College of Communication.

Hinojosa grew up being the only Mexican American student in school. In college, Hinojosa said did not think she was good enough to be a journalist and doubted herself.

Now, she is best known for anchoring and serving as executive producer of NPR’s Latino USA. She has focused her career toward telling stories about communities that are often overlooked.

“I think one of the things we have to do is to really convince ourselves that we are not only worth it, but we have this responsibility to do this work,” Hinojosa said. “For me, journalism in this country is my life -- my mission.”

In 2010, she founded Futuro Media, an independent, non-profit media organization.

“I believe there are structural reasons that have, in many ways, kept journalists of color (out of) the main decision-making and how we are covering stories,” Hinojosa said. “We need young journalists to come into the newsroom and feel that they are empowered and help tell the correct narrative of the United States of America. We need them desperately.”

Lizzie Chen
Digital Content Coordinator