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The day Arizona Governor Brewer signed SB 1070 was the day that I decided to leave "traditional" journalism to pursue a career as an independent journalist reporting on issues that impact the Latino community. My hopes are to tell stories that accurately portray the community and bring a balanced and fair dialogue to the negative rhetoric.

Recently, I moved back to my hometown of Chicago after having worked at CNN for 4 years and another 4 at Univision. My career in mainstream media has been full of ups and downs – a bit of disillusion and a bit of triumphs. What motivated me to become a journalist was a need to raise awareness for social justice issues and give the voiceless a voice. Bringing a bit of balance to the Latino discourse has been one of my missions especially now, when xenophobia reins king.

During my tenure at CNN, many were the times I fought with my superiors about our negative and slanted coverage. I blame the media for the xenophobia that exists in our country. We haven't had an honest dialogue nor balanced coverage of immigration or our ethnic communities. Latinos have been inaccurately portrayed because it's sexier and easier to cover from a black and white, us vs. them perspective. As I saw it at CNN, journalists bring their own biases to the issue without fully understanding or researching the facts. They themselves believe the malicious rhetoric.

Growing up in Chicago's Little Village community instilled in me a sense of community pride but mostly a love of great story telling. I still remember afternoons with my grandmother hearing stories of Pancho Villa, and the Mexican revolution. The great that occurs in our communities such as, the struggling mother raising her two daughters, the college student who graduated despite the odds, the community mourning and supporting each other because a youth was killed, the teacher pushing their students to excel, the neighborhood grandmother who truly lives up to the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” are hardly ever covered. There is so much in our communities’ more than just drugs, gangs and violence - there’s love, hope, passion and inspiration. So, my journey begins as an independent journalist reporting on issues that are ignored because they don’t fit the stereotype.

Hence, our conversation begins....

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