Alejandro Lucero

MY STORY:

Utah Humanities aims to bridge political polarization across the state

MY BLOG:

Deciding to focus my story on political polarization wasn’t a hard choice. I have been taking many classes focusing on the freedom of expression and how it is important for a free flow of information for society to truly thrive. The problem as I see it today, is that faith in journalists is at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Rather than listening and trusting communication professionals to disseminate accurate and credible information, many people chose to believe reposts on social media that tend to have zero credibility. I wanted to investigate what a solution to this problem is, and what initiatives local organizations have taken to bridge this gap.

The hardest part about writing this article was developing the focus statement or nut graph. As I conducted my interviews, I realized that my perceived solutions to political polarization were off the mark. I believed that the Conversations held by Utah Humanities was the answer because it allows constructive dialogue for people who have differing opinions. It was only after speaking with Professor Kevin Coe, that made me realize the problem was structural and needs massive overhaul. Learning that was defeating in a way because I wanted to focus on solutions, not perpetuate problems. My solution was to revamp the focus into a question, and to end with what the Conversations do best, show the humanity in one another.

I appreciate all my sources being so accommodating and knowledgeable. Without their input and perspectives, I wouldn’t have been able to dive into the problems and solutions of political polarization. The only thing I would want to change, was being able to meet face to face with them, so we could have shared this information over a hot cup of joe.

I believe that this was a good start for my portfolio as a print journalist. I learned that the best ideas come to you on a Friday evening while walking across the street to a 7-Eleven, so always keep a voice recorder handy. I learned that grammatically no good I am sometimes, those pesky commas! I hope I can continue to grow and build off of this piece to become the dynamic storyteller that I aspire to be.

ABOUT ME:

A child watching TV at all hours of the day is as expected as the sun rising in the morning. But when I would begrudgingly watch the news with my grandparents, there weren’t many reporters who looked like me. Unfortunately, that is a trend that has continued.

I want to become a journalist to inspire other high-energy, storytelling, chatter box Chicano kids because I didn’t even know that this was an avenue perfectly suited for my abilities until I was 24 years old.

I am a student at the University of Utah studying communication with an emphasis in journalism. I also work as a videographer for ABC4 and a public affairs specialist with the Utah National Guard. I love writing, but I have also been drawn to photography since graduating from the Defense Information School as a PAO.

Regardless of the medium, I aim to prove that Latinos in the media don’t have to stick solely to the immigration beats. I plan on becoming a dynamic storyteller who brings life and care to every story I cover, while hopefully inspiring some mocosos along the way.