Alicia Barrera is doing something you don’t see happen much in television news. The Emmy award-winning reporter is switching from Spanish-language news to English-language. She’s leaving Telemundo 40 and is headed to KSAT 12 in San Antonio.
I met Alicia a few years ago and realized she is in television news for the right reasons. It’s about news not about her being “on television.” Yes, some people get lost in that part of the business.
I also admired she grew up with immigrant parents who made sure she learned how to speak proper Spanish. It would come in handy when it was time to break into television news.
Alicia started in English-language news in high school in North Texas when she was part of the Coppell High School news team. After graduation she went to study at Our Lady of the Lake University in the Alamo City. During an internship at the local Univision station she was able to stay on to do freelance work. She later got a part-time job as a production assistant with Telemundo San Antonio while still a full-time student.
She graduated from college in May 2015 and a month later she landed a full-time job as an MMJ at Telemundo 40. For more than three years, Alicia covered a variety of breaking news stories on the border and also filled-in anchored. Along the way she won a few Lone Star Emmy awards.
A few months ago, I heard KSAT news director, Bernice Kearney Bonner was looking for someone to fill a reporter’s job. I thought Alicia would be a great fit, but I wasn’t sure if she wanted to do English-language television. Full transparency, Bernice and I have known each other since she was in college. She was my intern when I was at KENS-TV.
In 2018, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored Bernice with its presidential award.
My goal today is to get more Latinas in newsrooms around the country. We are still “missing in action” in English-language newsrooms everywhere. I started the Facebook group, Latinas in Journalism to help open doors. It’s a place where news managers can find Latina journalists from those coming out of college to veterans with several years under their belts.
I asked Alicia if she was interested in going to San Antonio. She knows how to shoot and edit her own stories. She does excellent “Facebook Lives.” I thought I’m sure she can do it in English too. I asked Alicia to put together a video reel (audition video) in English and the rest worked out. Alicia starts this month as a reporter at KSAT 12.
I am not a TV agent. I’m just a freelance reporter who volunteered my time and efforts to help a fellow Latina journalist get a better opportunity with a top-notch boss. I hope I encourage other journalists to open doors for other in the business. News managers don’t know what they are missing if you don’t put the person in front of them.
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