Archive for the ‘Profiles’ Category

Photo Courtesy: Jesus Chairez

Photo Courtesy: Jesus Chairez

Many of the bravest journalists today are those who work in Mexico. How often do we hear that one has been tortured and murdered?  Many live a life looking for the truth and end up losing their lives in the process.

One person I’ve admired for a long time is Alfredo Corchado. He’s the Mexico Bureau Chief for the Dallas Morning News and also a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

On March 27th, Alfredo talked openly about his new book “Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness.”  He gave me his first interview on his first book and what it took to write it.

Alfredo was born in Mexico, and came to U.S. with his family when he was a little boy.  He realized at a young age that he eventually wanted to go back to Mexico. He never imagined it would be as a reporter.

When Alfredo was first assigned to Mexico, he promised his parents he would not cover the drug cartels.  He decided to cover immigration issues and the other Dallas Morning News reporters at the bureau could cover the drug cartel assignments.

But today the bureau is only one person–Alfredo. He admitted he has yet to tell his parents that he wasn’t able to keep his promise to them. They know he has written a book. His mother was a great help, because she kept many of his reporter notebooks full of information.

Here’s part of the March 27th interview I conducted before members and guests of the Society of Professional Journalists, Fort Worth Chapter.

Over Easter he plans to sit down with his parents and tell them everything.  We wondered–will this book put him in more danger in Mexico? Find out what he has to say.

 

 

Alfredo has received several death threats, and has left Mexico for safer grounds. But he always goes back.  Why? Stay tuned for the rest of our interview.

Thank you to journalist Yezmin Ali Modad who shot the interview with her smartphone.

For your information–Alfredo’s book will be out in a few weeks. You can pre-order it. (AMAZON)

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

Bob Mong loves news.  He loves news so much that the Executive Editor of The Dallas Morning News was willing to share his knowledge about the industry on a Saturday morning in Dallas. 

Mong is full of passion, know-how and wisdom when it comes to running one of the largest newspapers in the country.  He’s been the newspaper’s Executive Editor for the past 10 years.   Mong’s also honest about the Dallas Morning News when it comes to its shrinking revenue, shrinking staff and even its lack of diversity in leadership roles.

On August 20, Mong shared much of his experience with the members of the Hispanic Communicators DFW.  That’s the local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.  Mong was only supposed to talk to us for 30 minutes, but he stayed for almost an hour and a half.

Mong’s insight was interesting, his honesty refreshing and his advice inspirational.  Here’s a video glimpse of Bob Mong’s visit with the Hispanic Communicators DFW.

An Inside Look into The Dallas Morning News from Rebecca Aguilar on Vimeo.

I hope other news executives can take a thing or two from Mong’s insight.  He knows the Dallas Morning News lacks in diversity in leadership roles, and he knows he needs to change that at the newspaper.   Kudos to him for hiring a veteran Latino journalist for the Editorial Board.  Mong is right, he could have left that position empty and saved money, but he didn’t.

I also applaud Mong for being committed to Al Dia, the Spanish Language counterpart to the Dallas Morning News.   He realized the Spanish language community in North Texas needed a newspaper, and he made it happen.   He’s given it time to grow in readers and now it’s bringing in revenue.   Why several other major newspapers in the U.S. don’t have their Spanish language spin-off baffles me. 

Mong also gives us journalist’s hope that jobs are still out there.  He says we just have to find them and make sure that we’re on top of our game.  We have to learn all the latest multimedia tools and keep our journalism interesting.   As Mong put it “manage yourself to success.”