Twenty Years of Journalistic Justice: Interview with Univision Anchorman Jorge Ramos

Article excerpt

Jorge Ramos has been the anchorman for Noticiero Univision since 1986. Among his many recognitions, he received the Maria Moors Cabot Award from the University of Columbia and has won eight Emmy Awards for excellence in journalism (including the first one ever presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to honor leaders of Spanish-language television). He was honored in 2002 with the Ruben Salazar Award by the National Council of La Raza for his positive portrayal of Latinos.

Ramos received the Latino Book Award in 2006 for his book Dying to Cross (Morir en el Intento). He is the author of six other books, many of which have become bestsellers: Behind the Mask (Detras de la Mascara), What I Saw (Lo Que Vi), The Other Face of America (La Otra Cara de America), Hunting the Lion (Cazando al Leon), his autobiography No Borders: a Journalist's Search for Home (Atravesando Fronteras), and The Latino Wave (La Ola Latina).

He writes a weekly column for more than forty newspapers in the United States and Latin America that is distributed by the New York Times Syndicate, provides two daily radio commentaries for the Radio Univision network, and collaborates with the largest Spanish-language Web sites in the United States.

Ramos is one of the most respected journalists among the fifty million Hispanics in the United States and in the thirteen Latin American countries where his newscast is seen every night. He has covered five wars (El Salvador, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq) and has been a witness to some of the most important news stories of the last two decades, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, September 11, and the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina.

He has interviewed some of the most influential leaders and writers in the world: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George Bush Sr., John Kerry, John Edwards, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, Felipe Calderon, Vincente Fox, Ernesto Zedillo, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Subcommander Marcos, Carlos Menem, Andres Pastrana, Ernesto Samper, Octavio Paz, and Isabel Allende.

Ramos is an immigrant. He came to the United States as a student in 1983. In November 1986, at age twenty-eight, he became one of the youngest national news anchors in the history of American television.

Ramos holds a degree in communications at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City and has a master's in international studies degree from the University of Miami. (1)

Nelly G. Nieblas and Celina Moreno interviewed Jorge Ramos on 6 December 2006. Nieblas, a native of Los Angeles, CA, will receive a master's in public administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2007. Nieblas has worked for the Mexican Education and Health Department and for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington, DC. Moreno, a native of San Antonio, TX, will receive a master's in public policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2007. A graduate of print journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, Moreno most recently spent a year working with the Intercultural Development Research Association, an education research and advocacy not-for-profit organization.

HJHP

As the face of the country's leading Spanish television network, how do you define Univision's mission?

Ramos

The most important thing is to keep the Hispanic community informed about Latino issues, about U.S. issues, and about international issues. It is my belief that being informed allows you to make better decisions. Let me give you an example. If the Hispanic community knows that we [the Hispanic Community] are 15 percent of the population in the United States, yet we only have two senators, one governor, and twenty-four members of Congress, they immediately realize that there is a disparity, a problem. …