¡En Mi Opinión...!
"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty" is what Edward R. Murrow said back in 1954 referring to what we now know as McCarthyism. I can't help but think of his words as I read today an article in the New York Times about a new law in Arizona where now nothing surprises me anymore.
A new Law went into effect in Arizona, January 1st, labeling as "brainwashing" and making it illegal a Mexican-American studies class in the Tucson Unified School District. "It's propagandizing and brainwashing" quoted Arizona's Attorney General in a recent NYTimes report. [ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/us/08ethnic.html ]
But this is not new, it's just one more punch to the face of Latinos and Latino culture, heritage, and contributions to history and our free society -may be not in Arizona- in the United States of America.
Almost ten years ago Arizona lawmakers were already legislating against studies such as Bilingual Education when AZ-Prop 203 passed and effectively limiting ESL, English as a second language, education.
Here's a report I produced back then for Phoenix's KTVK-3TV Spanish language channel "Mas Arizona."
Interestingly enough back in the 60's, it was Arizona, the first to offer bilingual education, but it seems now many in that state continue a "witch-hunt" against all things Latino, and others belligerently and eagerly want to follow. The times, it seems, have managed to turn Latino contributions, education, heritage and the desire of the American Dream into some kind of an evil pest that must be stopped and killed with the stroke of the legislative pen of misguided politicians.
And so it is here I think of Edward R. Murrow and his reports about Senator Joseph McCarthy: "McCarthyism came to be synonymous with the term witch-hunt, the act of making serious but unsubstantiated charges against people in public life." [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism ]
Edward R. Murrow reports are credited with playing a roll in McCarthy's demise "His belief in journalism as an active part of the political process and a necessary tool within democracy has forever altered the politics and everyday life of the American people." [ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/edward-r-murrow/this-reporter/513/ ]
Back then the "Red Scare" which exploited people's fears of Communism is perhaps today's "Brown Scare" as in Latinos invading our country, illegals taking our jobs, and accusing their American born children of stealing our citizenship. In the process what could be better than to also silence Mexican-American studies. Next thing you know, there may be a related book burning event in Tucson's main square.
But... En Mi Opinión... in my opinion, there's hope or at least light at the end of the tunnel... I appreciate and encourage more reports like the NYTimes story that prompted this blog, and I trust today's journalists continue to do their part.
I now leave you with more....
While at SXSW 2010 in search of the latest tools, gadgets and tech that are being used or can be applied to Journalism efforts, I ran into the coolest thing, and you don't have to pay to see it. A FREE Cell Phone Solar Charging Station outside SXSW, on Trinity between 4th - 5th outside Austin Fire-Station No.1.
Check it out! At these bright yellow pumps anyone can stop by and connect a cell, laptop, iPhone whatever you need to charge, and it's all free. And it's Eco friendly too, the pumps are powered by solar panels.
BTW... I mentioned you don't have to pay to see it because of the outrageously expensive registration fees at SXSW, credentials this year go anywhere from $300 to $900 + dollars!! Certainly not something everyone can afford... Shame on SXSW for making this event where Social Media Openness is king so inaccessibly expensive for those who actually make social media possible "The People!" You would think they already make plenty with so many sponsors, and could make more accessible registrations for those of us actually using this technology in the public interest.
UPDATE: Sept. 18, 2009 "The Women of Fuerza Unida" has been nominated for a 2009 Emmy by The Lone Star Emmy chapter [ nominations ]
A "Latinos in America" featured profile
1990, one of Texas's Levis Strauss factories closed leaving hundreds of
workers, mostly women, without their livelihood. To many, it was the
only job they ever had. From their loss, a support group was born. A
group that later became a leading center to empower women in San
Antonio, Texas through education, social work, and community activism.
Produced, shot, edited by Patricio Espinoza with the assistance of associate producer Bernessa Jakle, The Women of "Fuerza Unida" story aired with PBS DocuBloggers, KLRU, Austin, Texas.
* Thank you to Sean Cunningham and Domenique Bellavia, the force behind Docubloggers, a program ahead of its time that embraced community contributions and opened the door to our stories. Budgetary challenges unfortunately closed the show earlier this year. We hope this nomination would spark new interest to support these efforts.
The inspiration piece to this story was originally produced as part of the Ford Salute to Education award recipient profiles commissioned by MPR, Muñoz Public Relations.
Produced by Patricio Espinoza, espiBlog.org. All IKE stories coverage here was featured by CNN, CNN International and iReport.
San Antonio, TX- Sep, 13, 2008.- Texas National Guard convoys are heading to Houston, Galveston and Ike affected areas. CNN iReporter Patricio Espinoza, and espiBlog independent journalist & blogger, captures the first images of the Texas military search, rescue and support task force. Major J. Michael Spraggins, with the TX National Guard explains as "Task Force IKE" heads to Houston from what once was Kelly AFB, now known as Port San Antonio where about five thousand of Ike evacuees are already in shelter.
The following is a re-cap of IKE LIVE shots for CNN
San Antonio, TX Spt.13, 2008.-Ike has come and gone... but devastating damages, millions without power and thousands without a home are left behind. One of those evacuees is 71 years old Leo Rodriguez. He escaped Ike's fierce floods to San Antonio, Texas. Leo got here Thursday.... and by now, him, his wife, grand children three dogs, one cat and two birds are ready to go home, but they have no idea if there is a home to go. Patricio Espinoza, reports.
San Antonio, TX Spt.14, 2008.- A day after Hurricane IKE forced many to leave everything behind, Patricio Espinoza talks to evacuees, and San Antonio's Mayor Phil Hardberger, as thousands more could head their way if power in areas like Houston is not soon restored.
Back in the 90's I started this blog... didn't know much about that back then, but as times changed and our traditional media opportunities, coverage and jobs seem to shrink, one thing has remained constant... the ability for us all to use the internet to pretty much do what you want to do... I chose to tell stories in the public's interest, and kept my craft and journalism work alive regardless of the times and economic challenges.
Today I'm happy to share that espiBlog.org "My Reporter's NotePad" has received a 2009 LoneStar EMMY Nomination for Advance Media Awards, in the category of Breaking News "Hurricane IKE" - Winners to be announced May 21: http://tinyurl.com/ojsosl The entry is in competition with traditional broadcaster's new media work in 19 Texas markets including top stations in Houston, Dallas, Austin & San Antonio.
The stories were only intended for my blog, but eventually found it's way to other outlets including ABC.com, CNN and CNN iReport, CurrentTV and PBS Docubloggers. And viral sites like YouTube where some gather over 50,000 page views. These particular set of stories aired with CNN and CNN International via iReport. But this nomination goes far beyond this reporter's humble blog. It is in fact, I believe, a testament to what ONE Journalist can do with today's ready available digital tools. It is a sign of the times we live in, and I'm just happy to be part of it.
It is worth noting that this Journalist is, too, one of many in our country today between lay-offs and cutbacks. My blog and work of the heart wouldn't be possible if it wasn't because of many who have supported this effort. Among them Typepad, where this blog is hosted. Last year, they began a program for Journalists in transition, and waived all their hosting fees for many of us, including this blogger.
Muchas gracias a mi queridos padres, my wife Bernessa, who has held my camera often times when I could only hold on to 5 things with one hand, and my brother Pablo for his constant support and advice.
Thank you friends and colleagues,
"Backpack" Digital Journalist @ Large
CNN iReport: http://www.ireport.com/people/
Check out our student project that made air @ PBS Austin.
I recently put together a workshop with NAHJ's Student Chapter @ TX State University San Marcos where students had the opportunity to a get a "hands-on" day with seasoned news professionals covering the recent Cesar Chavez march in San Antonio, TX. We used the latest DV tools for shooting and editing, as well as later uploading all materials to the web. And to add to the students success... PBS Austin, KLRU Docubloggers picked up the stories for air time. To do so, they asked me to edit the pieces together with intro's to the student's stories. Here's the final product, and what aired a couple of weeks ago.
John Nulan was an Army crew chief once, later he was homeless, and now he struggles to survive on a fixed income. He uses public transportation, and walks the streets of our city wondering when someone would do something about his needs, and those of the poor people of San Antonio. John wants the candidates for Mayor in San Antonio, Texas to listen and to know his vote counts too!!
I put this story together overnight about a recent incident regarding the local 2009 race for Mayor. I covered elections as part of my digital journalism project SA4Mayor.com. Lacking video, and only access to Skype for interviews, there were not too many elements to put together the video report. Well almost, check it out...
Working on a freelance field producing assignment for ABC, GMA, this weekend I interviewed the Texas family whose H.S. son has contracted "swine flu", and this morning when we went back to do a Live shot, the family had received news the Father and daughter were also confirmed positive. All, however, are doing very well and have been -per health dept.- on "TamiFlu" since Thurs. The family lives in Cibolo, about 30 minutes north of San Antonio towards Austin.
Here's how our freelance crew handled the field coverage: We wore N95 face masks, gloves, and used hand disinfectants. We also decided to dispose of ear pieces used during the interview, and have sanitized all equipment only as a precaution.
We had to set up lights, camera, communications and sound for four people while wearing the protective gear, not fun under the Texas humid weather. We used a boom mic rather than individual lav mics, also on the side of caution. That said, our crew was also very careful, and used an abundance of tactfulness to make sure the family felt comfortable at all times during the whole process.
We are happy to report the Texas family is doing well, and were very gracious throughout. They also wore masks during the interview for our protection. This was an ABC Exclusive interview, you can see the complete story at ABC.com.
Here's part of GMA live report from the same ABC website: