About objectivism in journalism…

This is a topic I have been wanting to discuss for a while now. One of the first things they teach you in college about journalism is how to be objective and the importance of unbias reporting. As a journalist you have to be truthful and make sure all side sof the story are told, or at least to let your audience you tried to contact all parties involved in the incident or ocurrence you’re telling. And for a long time, I follow this rule blindly. For me, there was nothing more importantly than telling the truth in my stories.

Today, I still believe in this value, however, I realized oftentimes, when it comes to reporting about certain groups of people, especially minorities, we forget to take into account the context surrounding them. I am not talking only about immediate context but also about historical context.

For instance, back in 2020 when protests over police brutality and social justice erupted all across the country after the video of George Floyd being killed by police officers reached the masses, the way many news companies decided to cover them was very short-sighted. I watched particularly how Spanish speaking media failed to put into context the reason of the protests and the very complicated lead-up to it.

Another example I can think of is the way many local news choose to cover stories of minorities in their respective comunities. Many local tv stations are guilty of overcriminalizing minorities using “objectivity” as the excuse. When I hear journalists in the industry talk about how important it is to tell a story the way it is, especially when it involves minority communtities, they often times fail to realize the damage we are contributing to the constant negative rethoric surrounding communities of color. A rethoric rooted in a white supremacist narravite that has existed for many years.

Now, I do believe we can continue being truthful and objective storytellers while acknowledging the historical context and oppresive narratives regarding people of color. It is not an easy job by any means, because it entails having to dismantle our own beliefs and biases as human beings and even professional, but it is a rewarding one. At the end, journalists purpose can be both informing the audience and educating them on the systems we live in so that we can break free from them.

Women of Color in Newsrooms

We cannot deny representation of women of color in the media is higher than it has ever been in years past. There have indeed been more stories in television, Hollywood, local and national news, and other forms of media that women of color can look up and relate to, but is not nearly enough. I realized after graduating college the media industry still has a long way to go.

I find fascinating the relationships among people and power dynamics and sometimes, the almost unperceptible difference when it comes to people of color. In this article, I want to focus on women of color in the media specifically for two reasons: first, because I was inspired by my own observations and experiences as a Latina in the media industry, and second, because I wanted to connect one of my areas of studies (journalism) with my passions (social justice, culture, and critical race theory).

Now, I can only write as far as my limited research allows me , but I believe I do have some insights I want to share in the almost year out of college. I recently read an article about the phenomenon of “diversity dishonesty.” This concept refers to how companies would promote its so-called diversity by hiring a few people of color in its staff, but in reality actual anti-racist practices and equity are rarely seen inside their offices and company policies. It also refers to the hierarchy of power, and how the higher you go up, the whiter it gets. At first I thought “Finally! Someone puts it into words!” And then I realized my own ingenuity, and in a sense, innocense and even ignorance. Of course I doubt people at this point have not tried to speak out about this issue. I even have had very insightful conversations with co-workers of color who have experienced first-hand the impacts of an opressive system.

One thing I have also noticed is the somehow strange silence or almost non-existent complaints from women of color, who most likely have experienced the most backlash or subtle racism. I can infer this silence is due to the double-morality of woman and emotions in the workplace, especially if they are people of color, but I am sure it varies depending on the person, since I usually do not like to generalize. I am certain there are many factors going into women being more “submissive” or just picking their battles when it comes to discrimination.

Perhaps is my stubborn youth that makes me feel hopeful for the future. But somehow I do believe things can go in the right direction. It won’t be easy in the absolute, but I have already seen great journalists who are also women of color that I look up to in my newsroom. And like them, there are many more across the country, who are working against the odds and do not let a system based on white supremacy, like most institutions in the United States, erase their identity and cultural background to fit in. They are breaking models and doing things their way. I aspire to one day be as fearless as they are.

Omicron: Pandemia 2.0

La nueva variante del virus COVID-19 se ha convertido en una de las preocupaciones principales de los expertos médicos y autoridades del gobierno. La variante Omicron causó la más reciente ola de infectados en los Estados Unidos. Omicron ha confirmado ser más contagiosa que el virus original.

Sin embargo, muchas personas han estado actuando bajo la impresión de que la pandemia ha sido controlada o simplemente irresponsablemente. Después de casi dos años, el mundo está listo para regresar completamente a lo que era considerado normal en un mundo pre-pandemico. Y en muchos estados, pareciera que están en un mundo pre-COVID, tal vez debido a la fatiguez de un año de encierro o por la idea de que si la persona está vacunada es inmune al virus, cuando en realidad las vacunas solo sirven como una herramienta para fortalecer el sistema en contra del virus y evitar que los síntomas empeoren al nivel de tener que estar hospitalizado.

La Organización Mundial de la Salud, WHO por sus siglas en inglés, reconoce que los niveles de transmisión de esta variante aún no han sido determinados pero confirmó que científicos y expertos están conduciendo investigaciones sobre las nuevas olas en Africa del Sur para poder ofrecer más información al público.

Es importante recalcar que mientras más personas esten vacunadas, el riesgo de terminar en el hospital es reducido. Varios medios de comunicación han reportado que a pesar de que esta variante no impone los riesgos y niveles de mortalidad de las anteriores, han logrado varias olas de nuevos casos. Por lo tanto, agencia gubernamentales e instituciones han retomado precauciones para minimizar la cifra de contagios, por ejemplo, distritos escolares han anunciado que demoraran el regreso a clases en persona por unas semanas y compañías han pedido a sus empleados a trabajar desde sus casas hasta que sea considerado seguro retornar a las oficinas.

Hasta ahora, la mejor recomendación que los Centros de Prevención y Control de Enfermedades, CDC, por su sigla en inglés, es recibir la vacuna, utilizar tapabocas en espacios públicos y cerrados y realizarse pruebas en caso de que tengas síntomas.

Movie Review: Eternals

Marvel project proves to be one of the most divisive one

Eternals premiered last month and the newest Marvel movie has demonstrated to be one of the most beautiful cinematically and, in contrast to previous films, a very much character-driven one.

Marvel has graced many fans this year with not only four installments but also five tv shows on the Disney + platform. The Eternals is the third movie and sixth project from Marvel this year. Even though the first reviews were very much mixed, the general audience seems to have a discrepancy with the harsh critics from the first screeners. While cinema critics expressed a polarized range of opinions the rest of the world seemed to enjoy the unique film.
For a Marvel project, Eternals has the right amount of originality and good old magic and taste that the MCU brings to popular culture.

I am one of those who love this film. Starting with the breathtaking landscapes and frames to the in-depth dialogue and exposition of the characters and lore. Eternals became easily one of my favorite and top Marvel projects. I loved the dialogue and drama among the characters. The sense of family that is created by the writing and chemistry of the cast was one of the main selling points. We see the development and bond throughout centuries in contrast to their current position within the world and each other in the present. It is important to remember that the writers and producers told the story of ten whole new characters over two hours.

Of course, there were a few mishaps and I can understand why people would be left with a feeling of wanting more. I do think the main couple lacked the chemistry and flavor audiences usually fall for. Nevertheless, the movie compensated for it with the amazing scope of the movie. Moreover, two of the other Eternals ended up becoming one of the favorite Marvel couples of this year: Druig and Makkari stole the hearts both individually and together.

This movie granted us two post-credit scenes that open the door for the future of not only the Eternals but also another character, Dane Whitman, also known as the Black Knight by comic fans. Introduced as Sersi’s boyfriend, Dane works as the connection to humans for the Eternals but those who know about the character in the comics are excited for his future since he also has a family secret that we will learn more about in future projects. Also, we must talk about the cameo of Harry Styles as Eros, fellow eternal and Thanos’ brother. I am excited to see more of his acting, especially within the MCU.
I hope Marvel keeps on making projects such as this one, different and unique, even if they do not land exactly the way they want because taking risks is what makes great art.
Stay tuned because the Spiderman No Way Home is coming up and oh boy. Do I have thoughts!

Movie Review: Venom Let there be carnage

After a year of delays due to the pandemic, Sony studios finally came through with the release of the Venom sequel. And we nerds were in it for a treat.

The movie itself was entertaining, full of action with a combination of monsters and bromance. However, the post-credit scene was what left many fans astounded and excited about the future of the Marvel universe. But I will talk about the latest later on.

First let’s dive into the aspect of the movie that probably felt the most relatable to viewers, and that is the bromance between Eddie Brock and Venom. The symbiont and man exude chemistry and the film pretty much explores the complexity of their relationship the whole time. Now, we all love a good bromance and two guys breaking the toxic masculinity culture, but the arguments and dynamic between Eddie and Venom drew us all in and made us laugh. I love the way Venom had more depth as a character. We really had the opportunity to know more about him as a being and how it affects his relationship with Eddie.

Now moving on to the second best thing of the movie (in my opinion), Cletus Kasady. One of the things I loved about him is that you can see how he truly is a sociopath and the backstory with Shriek really make the audience connect a little more with the character (seriously, who does not love the crazy evil couple troop?). Carnage itself was scary and it did the job in terms of monstrosity. I really enjoyed how they complemented each other in the sense they really were selfish and had their own agendas but with a similar goal, which is revenge.

Overall, this movie was really entertaining and it made me more excited for not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or multiverse?) but also for the universe that Sony is creating with movies like Morbius coming up, as well as the collision of both universes, which leads me to the mid-credit scene. Folks, I think many fans will talk about this last sequence for a long time, even after the release of the long awaited Spiderman No Way Home in December and what it means for the future of the Marvel franchise.

For those whom have not seen the movie, this will be my spoilers alert warning since I will be explaining the post-credit scene. After the main credits end, we see Eddie and Venom in what it looks like a cabin in some Latin American or Spanish speaking country watching a telenovela. Then they started talking about how old Venom is and the secrets that he holds. During the conversation Venom asks Eddie if he is ready to know all he knows when suddenly, a weird phenomenon happens and they are in the same room but different, the Tv turns on and… we see the Daily Bugle with J. Jonah Jameson reporting on the identity of Spiderman, Tom Holland’s Spiderman. Yes folks, this is not a drill, we can officially say that Venom is now in the MCU! Now, how big of a role or when we will see them again remains a mystery but for now I am really excited to keep speculating with all my nerd fellows!

The new congressional map of Colorado is here: Here is what you need to know

The new congressional districts of Colorado are set for the upcoming year with a new addition.

Colorado declared the new map with the congressional districts on Tuesday, September 28 and the feature that is grabbing people’s and the media attention is the new district added to it. The newest district 8 encompasses parts of the north suburbs of Denver such as Greeley, Thornton, Brighton, Westminster, Commerce City, Longmont, and Mead.

The map is waiting for the approval of the Supreme Court and it gives comfortable advantages to each of the members of Congress from Colorado: the Democrats Joe Neguse, Jason Crow, Diana DeGette, and Ed Perlmutter and the Republicans Ken Buck, Lauren Boebert and Dough Lamborn.

There is a large population of Latinx families living in the new district and the competitiveness of the district has put some politicians on edge. After a vote in 2018 that lay out a new process on the drawing of congressional districts, the new system has created a new map that allows four safe seats to the Democrats and three safe seats to Republicans, and the new competitive north district.

The commissioners used data from the Census to design the new district, and many long discussions and almost 200 drafts later, they came to an agreement of 11-1 on their top choice.

What this new map means for the upcoming elections and the communities is still yet to be seen. One thing that has been noted it is the anxiety that has provoked in many elected officials due to the uncertainty of which party will win it over. For now it is a waiting game while the Supreme Court reviews it

Las temperaturas bajan con la llegada del otoño

El miércoles 22 de septiembre es el comienzo oficial del otoño. Sin embargo, las temperaturas se adelantaron unos días. El lunes 20 de septiembre la máxima fue de 68 grados Fahrenheit, pero muchos sintieron las mínimas temperaturas en los 40 grados.

Este año ha traído una cantidad de desastres naturales a una velocidad alarmante como ejemplo del cambio climático y calentamiento global que la Tierra ha estado experimentado por muchos años. Científicos y expertos en el área han expresado su preocupación por la evidente situación en que el planeta se encuentra. Muchos de ellos, junto con activistas del medioambiente están alzando sus voces más fuertes que nunca y demandan a las agencias gubernamentales y la sociedad a tomar medidas y evitar la extensión del daño hecho.

A principios del 2021 se anunció que ya habíamos cruzado el punto sin regreso con respecto al cambio climático y los fatales efectos en el planeta Tierra, además de las terribles consecuencias para las estructuras y hábitats naturales.

A nivel estatal algunas de las secuelas han sido la mala calidad del aire durante el verano, los incendios forestales en las montañas y temperaturas más altas de lo normal.

Second Shooter of STEM school is sentenced to almost 1,300 years in addition to life sentence

Friday, September 17 marked the end of the trial of Devon Erickson, two years after he and another student entered the STEM Highlands Ranch High School and shot several students, killing fellow classmate Kendrick Castillo during the altercation. Castillo intervened and lay down his own life to save his classmates.

The fatal shooting occurred in may of 2019 and left a scar in not only the community of Highlands Ranch High School, but also in the state.

After a long hearing court of testimonies from survivors, parents and teachers. The 18th Judicial District Court Judge Theresa Slade declared Erickson guilty of first degree murder with extreme indifference, first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder and 30 counts of criminal attempts at first degree murder, in addition to 12 other charges related to the shooting.

During the hearing, all of the testifiers asked for the life sentence, stating that the defendant did not show any remorse for what he did and the pain and trauma he caused. Kendrick’s Castillo mother was the last one to speak. In an emotional delivery, Maria Castillo condemned Erickson’s actions and demanded life sentence for him as well.

“”We don’t want to forget Kendrick, but it’s an emotional journey that most people will never understand, and I hope they don’t”

John Castillo, Kendrick Castillo’s father

Erickson’s parents also testified, told him they loved him and that they pray for the families affected by the shooting everyday and hope they can find forgiveness in their hearts.

Erickson is the second shooter. Alec McKinney was also charged of first degree murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon on school property, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole plus 38 years in July of this year.

Hoy comienza el Mes de Herencia Hispana: un recapítulo de la celebración

Esta semana millones de personas celebran el comienzo del mes de la herencia hispana, y ya se pueden ver los colores, escuchar la música y sentir la alegría que caracteriza a la comunidad hispana. Sin embargo, la designación del mes de herencia de hispana es reciente. Este año se cumplen tan solo 33 años desde que se proclamó.

La primera vez que los Estados Unidos celebró la herencia hispana como festividad nacional fue en 1968, cuando el entonces presidente Lyndon B. Johnson declaró la Semana de la Herencia Hispana, empezando el 15 de septiembre, día en que se celebra la independencia en países como Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala y Nicaragua. Durante esta semana también se celebra la independencia de  México y Chile, que son el 16 de septiembre y el 18 de septiembre respectivamente.

El festejo de una semana fue aprobado por el Congreso de los Estados Unidos el 17 de septiembre de 1968 como una resolución y años más tarde, en 1974, el presidente Gerald R. Ford emitió una proclamación para instar a las instituciones y organizaciones a realizar actividades conmemorando la cultura hispana.

No fue hasta el año 1988, 20 años después de la proclamación del presidente Jonhson, que se aprobó la Ley 100-402, la cual amplió la celebración hasta un mes, desde el 15 de septiembre hasta el 15 de octubre. El presidente Ronald Reagan reiteró la conmemoración y con la Ley Pública cada año a nivel nacional los estadounidenses y ciudadanos en el país.

33 años más tarde, las celebraciones y actividades están en auge. Y durante el pasar de los años la comunidad crece, y por lo tanto, la cantidad de eventos de instituciones educativas, organizaciones sin fines lucrativos e incluso corporaciones aumentan, al igual que en los medios como la televisión, servicios de transmisión. Por esta razón, en los próximos 30 días estaré compartiendo historias y resaltando la contribución de mi comunidad.

¡Feliz mes de la herencia hispana!

Refugee Crisis and Evacuation Efforts

Since the takeover of the Taliban. Thousands of Afghans have been in danger due to their ties to the U.S. government and the oppressively leadership of the Taliban. It is important to note that this situation is not isolated, and that this occurrence is the product of a war that has been going on over 20 years between the United States and the terrorist group.

In the midst of this humanitarian crisis that the government has politized, groups such as No one left behind have been working to provide aid and resources for those who are trying to flee Afghanistan and the refugees who are coming to the country.

I had the opportunity to attend a townhall about this crisis and heard many experts and activists share their knowledge about the situation and how we can help at the local level from people working first hand with this community and agencies that provide service and guidance to refugees inside and outside of the country.

People like Richard MacNamee, veteran and director of MSU Denver Cybersecurity Center and who has been working on the process of resettlements for refugees in Denver and who explained how families are being transported right now from safehouse to safehouse while they find a way to get them to a refugee camp in another country, usually Pakistan or Tajikistan. They had to be translated within six weeks, which is the window given to avoid the upcoming harsh winter conditions.

Atim Otii, the director of Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs also added that many international organizations that were processing applications from refugees had to stop due to the restrictions imposed by the government of the United States.

People fleeing Afghanistan have had to experience many hardships that do not necessarily end when they arrive to another country. They go through traumatic events, which includes for many burning all their documents so that the Taliban cannot find them and see something worth of becoming a target, like working for any U.S. agency, for instance, mentioned Nike Puldra, a community member engagement present in the panel as well. And once they are in safer areas, they have to encounter another type of hostility: the experience of being a refugee in a foreign country and the fear of how people may receive you.

Metra Mehran talked about her own experience as a refugee and activist and also gave advice regarding how to best help the refugee community, a few of those tips were:

  • Provide hot meals to people in refugee camps.
  • Guide them with forms of payment, such as cards and ATMs.
  • Being informed about resettlement process.
  • Make an effort to talk to them and get to know their stories.
  • Help sharing their stories.

You can find about other ways to help for residents from Denver in any of these websites: