Telemundo journalist visits AHS

Journalist+Lori+Montenegro+spoke+to+students+about+broadcast+journalism+and+political+bias+in+the+media.+

Sarah Bergen

Journalist Lori Montenegro spoke to students about broadcast journalism and political bias in the media.

Be objective, be fair, give viewers the facts with the least amount of bias. This theme was emphasized to about 100 students that gathered to hear journalist Lori Montenegro speak today during Atom Time. Montenegro, a national correspondent for the Spanish news network Telemundo, spoke at AHS’ annual Meet The Press as students from publication classes, IB Spanish and government classes were among the attendees.

 

Montenegro’s accomplished career spans over the past 20 years, covering political issues such as the economy, wars in the Middle East and Telemundo’s signature issue of immigration reform. These topics were among her discussion as she explained her role as a broadcast journalist to a room full of eager listeners.

 

“As the first speaker of the year, I spoke to students to encourage and inspire them to make their own judgements and opinions,” Montenegro said.

 

Montenegro and her cameraman set up an interactive feature for students attending the presentation that turned out to be a favorite part for several of the attendees. As part of a simulated interview with actual cameras, lights and other equipment, students took part in “mock interviews” where they could interview each other one-on-one about issues that ranged from politics to pop culture. Guided by Montenegro, these interviews gave the students insight into the actual profession of broadcast journalism.

 

“[By participating in an interview], I learned how our generation’s social media is having an impact on news stations,” senior Abner Casillas said. Casillas was one of several students who had the opportunity to be interviewed as if he were an actual politician in a news conference.

 

During her presentation, Montenegro also talked to students about the heightened election season, remarking on polls and the media’s influence over public opinion.

 

“The media is doing a bad job [this election season],” Montenegro said. “It’s been hard to separate bias in the media. Don’t put all of your trust in the media and don’t let them influence your decision too much.”

 

Montenegro also touched on issues such as voter ID fraud, stating that a very slim margin of voter fraud actually happens each election season, making the need for voter identification laws unnecessary in her opinion.

 

Montenegro introduced her colleague and cameraman who has been working as a news videographer since he was 25 years old in his home country of Venezuela. He shared his story of covering several international issues, such as 9/11 and his several months covering the war in Afghanistan.

 

“He traveled to Pakistan for three months, back to the U.S., went to Afghanistan, and then a year after in Kuwait,” Montenegro said. “The most touching part of his trip is when he visited a children’s hospital for children with cancer and a woman gave him a letter to give to President Bush asking for his help.”

 

AHS’ Meet the Press is an event hosted several times throughout the school year by the journalism department. AHS parent Georgi Barker organized the event and the culinary department provided food to students.

 

“This year I actually thought [Meet the Press] was really fun because [Lori Montenegro] was so much more interactive,” junior Lailumah Faisal said. “Last year [the speakers] would just talk and it was interesting, but I feel like if you don’t engage the audience, they won’t pay attention.”