From a corner of her bedroom in San Fernando Valley in California, Guadalupe Baltazar is attending her first NAHJ conference with much hope that the experience will help her achieve her dream of becoming reporter at a Spanish-language network.
She joined NAHJ in January and is among many new members who helped the organization reach a record high of 4,000 members.
“I found out through Instagram and I decided to join because of the resources and the tools that NAHJ provides”, said Baltazar, a junior at California State University, Northridge, studying broadcast journalism.
As a first-timer at the conference, Baltazar says its virtual setting wasn’t ideal but she remained optimistic about the opportunities.
“I decided to attend the conference because it’s knowledge we, as students, need in order to become better at what we do,” Baltazar said.
Her conference experience has been tricky at times. The time difference between the west and east coasts has prevented her from attending as many live sessions as she wanted. But sessions offered on-demand help her catch up on what she missed. She was also unable to afford pre-training because of she had other expenses, including summer classes.
“I feel like it is difficult to connect with other attendees,” Baltazar said, who hopes to attend the conference in person next year.
For now, she’s making strides toward a career in journalism with a news-themed Instagram account that boasts more than 43,000 followers where she posts hard news and entertainment. Her posts include interviews with various journalists from Univision, including Luis Sandoval and Astrid Rivera.
“It has empowered me to keep going and to not let anything stop me,” Baltazar said.
Denisse Quintanilla is a senior at Monmouth University, where she studies Spanish and communications with a concentration in media studies and production. She is an intern at CNBC En Español and is pursuing a career in broadcast journalism. Reach her at denissequintanilla9 [at] gmail [dot] com and on Twitter @denisseqtv.