Jorge Ramos: Mexican-American Journalist and Media Pioneer
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Ramos has been praised for his broadcasting and analytical journalism work with Univision and his constant fight for immigration reform in the United States.
By Roland Rivera
Jorge Ramos Avalos was born in Mexico City, Mexico, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in communications from the Ibero-American University. In 1983, he arrived in the United States on a student visa and was able to take journalism classes at UCLA Extension. By 1986, he was working for Univision’s evening newscast “Noticiero Univision,” becoming the youngest news anchor at the age of 28. Despite being an immigrant, Ramos was turning his opportunities into success.
As a news reporter, Ramos has been on the frontline of significant worldwide events. Those include the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, terrorist attacks on the twin towers, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to name a few. Ramos has an extensive list of awards for his work in broadcasting and journalism.
However, he didn’t conform with what he had accomplished and was hungry for more. In 2007, Ramos began hosting “Al Punto,” airing Sunday mornings on the Univision network. The talk show which translates to “To the Point,” featured interviews conducted by Ramos with political figures, public affairs segments, and news in Latino/Hispanic communities.
Aside from his broadcasting and reporting work over the years, Ramos has also been known for posing tough and controversial questions when conducting interviews. He has interviewed prominent figures in history such as George W. Bush, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Felipe Calderon.
His interview style led him to be detained in Venezuela after President Nicolas Maduro didn’t like the questions he was being asked. Venezuela has had almost complete censorship in the media under the regime of Maduro. “You know you are not the legitimate president. So, what should I call you? For them you are a dictator,” Ramos said. He abruptly left the interview after 17 minutes when he felt provoked by Ramos' questions and was also shown video footage of Venezuelans rummaging through trash for food. “Another of his controversial encounters was with current president Donald Trump, in which Ramos was escorted out of an event for wanting to ask a question over immigration reform. “Get out of my country,” a security guard of Trump’s said. “I’m a U.S. citizen too,” Ramos replied. Ramos used this encounter as symbolism for other journalists to stand up against and challenge those in power.
Learning from his career
Ramos has faced adversity throughout his entire career. He would be frowned upon because of his accent or legal status (he is now a U.S. citizen). Politicians would despise him for his controversial questions and comments. Despite all of that and much more, he has persevered in the journalism and media industry With that opportunity, he wasn’t afraid to ask the tough questions and challenge political power. He can undoubtedly be considered a pioneer for the next generation of Latino and Hispanic journalists. “I think the best of journalism happens when we take a stand. When we question those who are in power,” Ramos said. Here is Ramos as a guest lecturer for Harvard University made possible by its first-generation Latino student organizations.
About the Author:
Roland Rivera will be a first-generation graduate from the University of North Texas in December 2020 and a future public relations professional.