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Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Just a Thought" Column continues in La Prensa of SA, 4-13

Just a Thought: SA Hispanic Reporters
By Steve Walker

Last week I was privileged to be interviewed by Chris Duel, local talk show host and long time radio icon that includes a stint on KTSA Radio. Besides doing commentary on the Spurs games, and acting in local commercials, he also does a daily scheduled talk show for an hour, five days a week on the internet. That show is called Talk Now SA.

Every day he invites local various guests and/or celebrities to discuss the current local issues and comment on everything from politics, sports, to community happenings and then some.

This past week after I was on his show it struck me the number of local radio TV and newspaper reporters who are doing well in the field to include those who have gone on to national recognition. Many of them are Hispanics.

One name that comes to mind is ABC News Reporter John Quinones who does an ongoing segment, “What would you do? In the scenario he tapes unsuspecting people on hidden cameras forced to confront racism, rudeness and unacceptable behavior by those around them to see if they will say something to those (actors) who behave badly.

Many viewers here may remember his reporting for ABC affiliate KSAT-12 back in the day. A couple of years ago he returned to San Antonio to actively participate in that year’s Fiesta. At that time I was able to photograph him at one of the after parties.

This year the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists is honoring him with the Henry Guerra Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Journalism for his continued outstanding journalistic work. Recently he filmed a segment on Cesar Chavez recalling that his own parents were migrant workers who knew Cesar Chavez very well. The story ended with a highlighted photo of him with Chavez in his later years. Like me, Quinones interviewed Cesar Chavez years ago.

Another local successful Hispanic Broadcaster is Fox News Meteorologist Alex Garcia who was my News Director in Victoria in early 1983 when I was a reporter there. In the 90s when I taught at McCollum High School I had numerous speakers address some of my speech classes.

Garcia was one of the first invited speakers who graciously accepted my invitation to speak to my students. He encouraged them to stay in school and get their diplomas and pursue their chosen career.

Then there is Vanessa Macias who besides appearing as a contestant on “Amazing Race” in 2012 and in car commercials, serves as spokeswoman for various sports organizations. She also co-hosts her own talk show in the morning. Two of my previous appearances on Talk Now SA included her as a guest. I have also been on Talk Now SA once with La Prensa Editor in Chief Nina Duran.

Besides serving as Editor in Chief of La Prensa, Duran is an adjunct instructor at Northwest Vista College teaching Mass Communication, Introduction to Advertising and Writing for Radio, TV. She also appears bi-monthly on S.A. Living on News 4 WOAI.

Another local Hispanic celebrity/reporter is Rita Verreos, who has completed a number of stints as a fill-in traffic girl for KENS-5 a couple of years ago. She was also a contestant on the 14th season of the CBS “Survivor,” reality show, serves as Mistress of Ceremonies for many charity events as well as appearing in commercials.

San Antonio has a rich legacy of superb reporters to also include KSAT-12 Reporter Jessie Degollado who like 2014 recipient John Quinones received the 2012 SAAHJ Henry Guerra Lifetime Award in Excellence in Journalism. In 1982 before coming here in 1984, she was the five o’clock co-anchor for KRGV where I worked as a street reporter.

Remembering the old adage attributed to Newspaper Columnist Walter Winchell in 1932: “Be nice to those you meet on the way up because you will meet them on the way down” rings true. Perhaps we all should take that to heart.

And as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”  

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist.

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