Guest Speaker Jessica Weiss Comes to MLEC

By Luz Mosquera 

Journalist Jessica Weiss from Univision News shared her experiences with travel and freelance writing with the journalism class of Miami Lakes Educational Center on Wednesday.

Weiss’s journalism career began when she questioned what do as a history major and ended up in an internship at Washington D.C. writing for a small newsletter company. Seeking more than covering politics, she left D.C. and soon enough bought a one-way ticket to Argentina.

As an adventurous person, Weiss worked random small jobs to support herself as a freelancer for several publications throughout her years in Argentina, Colombia, and eventually, Miami. She wrote articles about many different topics and sold them to newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, the Associated Press, Fast Company Magazine, and Ms. Magazine.

Weiss admitted that it was difficult despite enjoying the traveling and adventure but it was in Latin America that she met her husband and gained the experience that allows her to write for major newspaper publications and digital companies today.

“I’ve always been drawn to human stories,” said Weiss regarding the kinds of stories she likes to cover, however, she also enjoys writing about the environment, business, and women’s issues.

By writing about the environment, Weiss feels satisfaction in informing people. As a female, the topic of women’s issues is important to Weiss as she sees gender inequality in everything from politics to the newsroom.

As a journalist, Weiss sees that there is still not balance in the newsroom. Despite the fact that there are more women working in journalism, the majority of leadership positions are still held by men.

“What does that mean for coverage?” She asked. “The newsroom is going to reflect the community.”

Not wanting to cover only politics doesn’t mean that Weiss hasn’t been keeping up with the election, referring to it as a scary and eye opening race and pointing out the double standard in this election— despite all Clinton has done in politics and for women’s issues, she now has to face “the epitome of sexism.”

She sees no clear answer as to whether people’s dislike for Clinton is because of her gender or her ideas, however, she believes that the impact from having a female presidential candidate has had an effect that will last even after the election ends.

“If anything, this election has shown us we need more women writing about issues that affect us,” she concluded.

Weiss ended by telling students not to be part of the “echo chamber” that the media can be by only putting ideas out to people who share them.

“People will only read you if they agree with you,” she said.

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