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Introducing the Class of 2020: Isabela Vazquez

The National Press Club Journalism Institute is spotlighting the next generation of journalists, students graduating from college or Master’s programs this spring into a challenging job market, in hopes they’ll meet future bosses and colleagues here, who will reach out and support them in building journalism’s future together. 

Name: Isabela Vazquez

School: St. Mary’s University 

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Resume: Managing editor, The Rattler

Thesis: How rap music criticizes political environments in Russia

Languages: French, Spanish, Italian

What have you learned from your involvement with student media on your campus?

Vazquez: I have learned the importance of student media due to its hyper focus on a community. Student media gives students a voice when other media outlets would not care. This allows for students to take control of their education, their environment, and make the university their own.

What have you learned from your internship experience(s)?

Vazquez: One of my favorite internships was working with a local arts centre as their community engagement intern. I helped organise a community arts festival complete with local vendors and live performances. From that internship, I learned the importance of local media and how to reach out to them so they cover community events.

What’s been your best moment in journalism?

Vazquez: My best moment in journalism was fulfilling a dream of covering concerts. I had a band’s management reach out to me asking to interview, cover, and photograph the band. I was able to interview them before their show, take photos during the show, and then later on write stories about it. I have always wanted to be a music journalist or a band photographer so it was really great to have that experience under my belt.

What’s the wackiest story you’ve worked on?

Vazquez: I think the wackiest story I have worked on was during my time as lifestyle editor. I went on a three-day juice cleanse so I could write about the experience. Overall, it was pretty alright. I don’t think I saw any benefits from it but it definitely made me love water by the end of it.

What do you want to accomplish in your journalism career?

Vazquez: I would love to work as a foreign correspondent for a major news publication. I want to create a series where I interview Russian youths about what is like to grow up in Russia post-USSR and how they are redefining what it means to be Russian. I think as Americans we tend to demonise Russians but forget they are people who are also working for a fairer country. I think journalism has the potential of creating empathy between countries if we choose to see it that way.

If you could meet any journalist and ask for her/his advice, who would it be and why?

Vazquez: There’s two journalists I’d love to meet and ask for advice, one is Anna Politkovskaya and the other is John Oliver. Politkovskaya, because I am [a] huge fan of her work and the sacrifices she made for the sake of reporting the truth. She is everything I want to be as a journalist: objective, honourable, and willing to go the extra mile. Oliver is the second because he makes complicated news easy to understand and accessible for a greater audience. This form of journalism is more important than ever because everyone is able to understand and become informed about national and international ongoings.

What do you want potential employers to know about you?

Vazquez: I have known I wanted to be in the journalism field since I was a child. I have been preparing for it by learning several languages, always working on my writing, and taking any leadership opportunity. I truly believe journalism is one of the most important jobs out there, especially now. I want to be part of the change and evolution of news reporting.

When you aren’t practicing journalism, how do you spend your time?

Vazquez: When I’m not practicing journalism, I’m usually knitting or taking photos. Knitting really takes my mind off work and helps exercise my hands. I love doing photography because I love having a memory to hold onto.

If you’re a senior studying journalism, or know one, we’re accepting information here for students to feature in the future. If you’re a supporter, you can contribute here to scholarships for journalism students