Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
We are living in very complicated times and sometimes what happens around the world is so difficult to understand. That is why journalists need to become storytellers, truth-tellers that are close to the audience. Journalists that read, call, write, call again, talk to people, listen to their stories in order to understand what is happening. And when they understand what is happening from all points of view, they tell it to the audience, in a simple way, in an engaging way that helps them to understand what is happening and why it is happening.
That is what I want to do in my new project Dobleu-H Podcast, a product that emerged from my reports about the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement for the UMFM news show on 101.2fm in Colombia and that now people can listen on Spotify and Apple Podcast. I have the Colombian journalist Maria Alejandra Rodriguez joining me to moderate thoughtful conversations with the main characters of some of the most difficult situations facing our culture today.
We are so glad to find a format that allows people to listen to the content at any time of the day, from anywhere, without having to wait for a specific time to listen to the show on FM; because in Colombia we do not have a culture of the podcast. Even though there are some well-known podcasts that are available every week, there is a huge percentage of the population that does not even know what the word “podcast” means. Now we want to explore this format so we can put into practice the producing ways we have seen in the United States.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
The podcast is the most interesting story. I did not even know that I was going to produce a podcast. I was doing my reports about the protests in the United States in response to the killing of George Floyd. I started to contact my sources in Colombia to speak about racism in America and also some activists and protesters in the US through Instagram. When I finished the report I found out that I made a great product with really important and essential voices and I did not want it to be just on the radio for one hour. I wanted people to be able to find the report, listen to it whenever they wanted to, and maybe help them understand what is happening here. That how or why in four days we create Dobleu-h podcast.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
In my opinion, the most important skill journalists must have is listening. We need to listen to people, to their stories, walk in their shoes to understand what is really important, which is generally located in the other end of the body, in the head.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I have been so lucky because in most of the shows I have been part of, I have had bosses that have let me do what I wanted. I have been able to explore, create, change, recreate and I think that has helped me to develop many skills. One of those people with whom I am so grateful is Liliana López who was the director of one of the first shows I did on television a couple of years ago. She never said not to me. She always trusted me, without selfishness. She shared her knowledge with me. I admire and love her so much.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I think that is my question every time I am going to start a new project. How am I helping the planet? How am I changing the world? Is it useful? And I am so glad to say that in different projects I have had the chance to make visible different initiatives like foundations and institutions or organizations that work to help the planet and children, for example. As a journalist or correspondent of a news show, I have also become the voice of the voiceless. I remember our live coverage, for UMFM 101.2fm Colombia, of an avalanche that killed so many people in Manizales, CO. We were on air for more than 36 hours without stopping. We tried to do anything we could to help those people. A couple of months later we won an award given by the UCP in Colombia.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
I do not have one favorite lesson quote but I agree with the author of a book I was reading a couple of months ago that says that If everyone does what they have to do, things will happen or change. And I think that applies to everything in life. At home, at work, for us as members of society. We need to do our part, be responsible (at home, at work, in our society) and many other stages and situations.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I am as marcomosquerar in social media.