Women who paved the way: Maria Hinojosa


Courtesy of unitedchurchofchrist on Creative Commons

Maria Hinojosa has spent her career in journalism focusing on Latino issues and culture.

Emily Dvareckas, Photo Editor

In light of Women’s History Month, The Hawks’ Herald is featuring important women from throughout history. The last week of March highlights women who have paved the way in news media.

Maria Hinojosa was born on July 2, 1961 in Mexico City, Mexico. Her family moved to the United States when she was a baby, but she did not apply to be a citizen until she was 30 years old. Beginning in high school, Hinojosa developed strong political and social opinions. She originally wanted to be an actress and thus studied at Barnard College. Here, she found a love for broadcasting after becoming a producer on Columbia University radio’s show “Nueva canción y demás.”

By the time of her 1985 graduation, Hinojosa was the program director of the Columbia radio station. She graduated with honors and earned a degree in Latin American studies with focuses on political economy and women’s studies. She then became an intern at National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington D.C., and later worked as a production assistant at NPR.

Toward the end of 1986, she became an associate producer on NPR’s weekly Spanish news program “Enfoque Nacional,” which aired out of San Diego. Hinojosa became NPR’s first Latina correspondent until she left after getting a job as a producer at CBS. However, she moved back to Washington D.C. in 1988 and returned to NPR to work as a producer and reporter. Her stories began earning awards, such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award.

Hinojosa moved to New York in 1990 and worked as a general assignment reporter for NPR’s New York branch after a short stint at WNYC Radio. In 1993, she began Latino USA, a radio program she established on NPR. This radio program allowed Americans to learn about the Latino community since most mainstream media did not treat Latino stories as important.

In 2010, Hinojosa established Futuro Media Group as a way to celebrate all cultures in America. Hinojosa has changed the broadcasting industry as she continually pushes for more inclusion of Latino stories, as well as other cultures that make up America.

Her work of inserting Latino culture into the lives of non-Latinos has won her several awards during her career, such as the John Chancellor Award, Edward Murrow Award and Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.