Reporting in the West Bank, June 2016. Photo by Tatiana Flowers

Reporting in the West Bank, June 2016.
Photo by Tatiana Flowers

Being a first-generation Hispanic-American from a lower-income family has largely shaped the lens through which I see my world. My diverse experiences set the standard for the stories I want to tell – ones that reflect complexity, thoroughness and a civic-mindedness that often eludes the profession.

It is why I have been attracted to covering the struggles of the city’s Latino immigrant communities for the past year. But my interests have also opened me up to communities utterly unlike mine. Last summer, I interned at a news startup in Rabat, Morocco where I gained invaluable experience in practicing journalism in a country that goes to great lengths to repress the media, in navigating a culture with very different values and in identifying the human experiences that make for great stories. I also spent ten days in Israel on a reporting trip as a student at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

As a student at the J-School, I specialized in international reporting and visual storytelling. And I am drawn to video as a platform because I have found that video—especially in non-narrated longform— gives agency to people, changing them from “subjects” to storytellers. This, in turn, inspires empathy from the audience and draws them to engage with those stories.

Although I was set to graduate in December, I stayed for an additional semester after graduation to receive additional training in GIFs, motion graphics and animation, Virtual Reality, social video and studio portraiture.

I live according to an enduring understanding that my experiences coexist with diverse others, and with a hyperawareness that has instilled a restless inquisitiveness for people and their worlds. In short, this is why I love journalism.