Monday, September 5, 2011

Lost labor: four Hispanic journalists leave Nashville jobs in 2011

(L-R) Chris Echegaray, Christine Maddela, Charles Maldonado, Amy Napier-Viteri

Four Hispanic journalists in Nashville media are no longer in the positions they held when I interviewed them earlier this year. I'm thinking of them this Labor Day.

Interviewing them was born out of the realization that we in Nashville have - or at least had - a wealth of Hispanic faces in the media. So I started a series here to learn more about them.

On January 11, I interviewed Chris Echegaray of the Tennessean.  He had previous gigs in Tampa, Florida, and Worcester, Massachusetts; he studied in Massachusetts and Alaska; and he has family in Cuba, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Spain. Some of his most prominent local coverage was of the death of Steve McNair.

On January 12, Charles Maldonado told us about his background in Detroit; his previous work in Motor City, Brooklyn, and Knoxville; and his family's ties to American journalism and to Venezuela. Maldonado was writing for the Scene and the City Paper.

On January 24, the story was about WKRN videojournalist Amy Napier-Viteri, who told us about her work for Telemundo in D.C., about other jobs in London and Madrid, and the branch of her family tree that stretches to Ecuador.

On February 15, I interviewed Christine Maddela, also of WKRN. Maddela has connections to Denver, Missouri, and El Paso - and to the political history of the Philippines.

Little did I know at the time that these four journalists - Echegaray, Maldonado, Napier-Viteri, and Maddela, were in the waning months of their then-current jobs:
Modern journalism is an important but difficult business, and job transitions are probably more likely now than ever. I am grateful that the timing worked out that I could speak to these four prior to their moves.

To Echegaray, Maddela, Maldonado and Napier-Viteri: this Labor Day, honors your past labor here in Music City. Thank you, and we wish you well.

I also interviewed Marielena Ramos, Eric Alvarez, and Jaci Velasquez, but as far as I know, they're still at their jobs at Channel 5, Fox 17, and The Fish, respectively. I still can't get Ray Ponce de Leon at the Contributor to return my e-mails...

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