#MediaMonday – Rebecca Aguilar
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Rebecca Aguilar, president-elect and chair of the Diversity Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. Rebecca is a freelance reporter who worked at KPNX-TV Channel 12 for nearly three years beginning in 1990.
She’s a multiple Emmy award-winning reporter who spent 28 years in television news and then transitioned into freelance work in 2008. She has worked in Toledo, Ohio, Chicago, Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and in 1994 she landed in Dallas. Along the way, she has been honored with 50 awards and nominations for her work in journalism.
Rebecca made history with SPJ when she became the first Latina and woman of color to become President-Elect in 2020.
Rebecca, time to share:
I live and breathe news.
I’m as passionate today about news reporting as when I started in Toledo, Ohio, in 1981. It’s exciting to be a journalist because every day we meet new people, and we find ourselves in situations where often we can help the “little guy” who has nowhere else to turn for help.
I often say, “The world is my office.” And I’m fortunate to have been in the front seat of some historical events: the Los Angeles riots, Mickey Mantle’s funeral, two Super Bowls, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster over Texas, Selena’s murder and funeral, and many natural disasters. Along the way, I have interviewed several politicians, celebrities, U.S. Presidents, sports legends and stars and even a serial killer.
As journalists, I love that we can create good change and find justice for people who have been wronged in life. My stories have resulted in putting crooks and scammers behind bars. I’ve helped shut down corrupt businesses and a Dallas area school district. I also helped change federal policies after one of my investigations revealed registered sex offenders were delivering our mail.
A credit my parents for inspiring me to become a reporter because they also believed in helping others. My parents, immigrants from Mexico, focused their energy on raising a family and helping working people get a fair opportunity. My father was a union leader at General Motors, and my mother was a migrant rights advocate. In our family, weekends in Ohio usually involved taking part in a march, protest, or rally.
My parents also believed in volunteering, and that’s why it’s important to me. Now that I’m a freelance reporter, I have time to volunteer to lead organizations like SPJ. My goal is to help journalists survive and thrive in a hard-to-predict business, which has us doing more with less.
I know this may sound crazy, but I do not plan to retire. I will be a storyteller and advocate for journalism until the very end.