Today, Tuesday, April 19, 2011, Telemundo’s executive vice president, Ramon Escobar, has taken the time to lecture selected journalism students at Florida International University.  His discussion explained everything a young journalist in the making should know, and the importance of using all resources to create a great story.

Escobar caught the students’ attention by first giving some background information about himself and the way he grew up.  Born in Colombia and having moved to a small town where he would be the only Hispanic in sight, really gave him that extra push he needed to succeed in our country.  Sure enough, he did. Escobar went on with his explanation of journalism. He defined journalism to be a “current, reasoned reflection of society’s events, needs and values, reflected on or published in print, TV or online.” He further explained each sub division of the definition. For example, society would cover anything from religion to culture and age.  An event can be anything that occurs, whether it’d be a planned national music concert or an unplanned natural disaster.  Lastly, the values in journalism can cover anything, however, without a biased opinion; journalists should never have a one sided story.

Ramon Escobar added that it is important to adapt to your surroundings wherever you may be, and to know everything!  He emphasized that in today’s day and age, due to the amount of technology around us, young writers think that stories posted on social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter are considered journalism. “Guess what,” he said, “It’s not.”  The best advice he gave the students was to make themselves available to all the news outlets out there and to broaden their horizons more than just social media.  A journalist can not be successful and create a good story without the knowledge of what the story is even about.

“Expand your minds and be multipurpose,” he concluded.

Charina Ferreira

It was an honor to have Ramon Escobar as our guest speaker on Tuesday. The Telemundo News Executive Vice President’s outlook on journalism is unique. As he said at the presentation, his definition of journalism is “a current, reasoned (analysis, discussion, thinking, logic) reflection published in print, television, or online of society’s events, needs and values.” He made it clear that Twitter and Facebook is not journalism, although it is a way to find out what’s going on in the world. He also made it clear that our reflection depends on our point of view. It can be distorted like a “circus mirror”.

He divided his definition of journalism into three parts: society, event and values. For society, he gave us the examples of religion, sexual orientation, geography, culture and age. All of these examples reflect the society we live in, which are many. He mentioned how his manner of speaking changes depending on the society he is in. Escobar speaks perfect American English when he goes to NBC, but speaks Spanish with a Mexican, Colombian or Cuban dialect depending on the person he is speaking to.

Next, he defined an event as something that happens planned or unplanned. The most striking word he defined in his own words was values. A journalist needs to be willing to dive into what values should be debated and steer away from rights and wrongs. Also, he mentioned how needs and values make the broadcast news world more interesting than simply providing events. News is needs, values and events. In ending his speech, he said, “the future of journalism is keeping people inform on needs and values.

Stephanie Alianelli

Ramon Escobar, the TeleMundo executive, spoke with candor, presumably to journalism students at the Florida International University’s North Campus, on Thursday, April 19, 2011. His words not only sound plausible, but commanding attention. His swagger, coupled with his versatility, embraces the simplicity and style of his delivery, which also grasps the realism of a profession he seems to cherish so dearly.

There has been this truthfulness extracted from this well-known journalist when he shares episodes of his dysfunctional childhood. He has attributed good storytelling to the perennial quality of becoming a successful journalist, but with his astounding and unflinching love-desire come hard times.

This guest speaker, who defines journalism as a current reasoned reflection of society’s events, needs and values, serves as a beckon of success to his diverse, Hispanic community. He has become an illumination of goodwill, desire, and a forward-motion of abilities that broadly, yet moderately, brings issues to a resolve. Mixed culture seems to have little to no impact on his social upbringing. In fact, it might have contributed only to his comfortably opened gay lifestyle, which ironically exemplifies the “values” aspect or journalism he has so eloquently defined.

Raymond Russell

Ramon Escobar- Executive Vice President of Telemundo.

Miami – Last Tuesday morning at FIU’s Intro to Journalism class, we had the opportunity to meet a prominent figure in the Hispanic media in a lecture that was addressed to explain students the importance of the media in the Hispanic world.

Ramon Escobar, Telemundo’s Executive Vice President, is as well member of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Professional Leadership Council’s (PLC) board.
With his help the PLC’s mission is to help FIU SJMC grow and keep being one of the best journalism and mass communication schools in the country.

“The State of Hispanic Media” was a motivating lecture that started with a narration of his life and his dreams and how these last changed from becoming a politician into pursuing a career in Journalism. Escobar wanted to be able to ask questions, and the media offered him that opportunity.

With an impressive career Escobar defines Journalism as a current reasoned reflection (published through the media) of society’s events, needs and values. He concluded his lecture leaving students with insightful advice to always check our sources before publishing anything to the world not to harm anyone’s reputations or lives.

Leonela Bravo

FIU received a special visit on Tuesday, April 19th, when Ramon Escobar, executive vice president of Telemundo Network News, visited the Journalism class instructed by Professor Jose Alvarado. Mr. Escobar was there to speak about his background in the field of journalism, and offered his own wisdom based on his personal experiences. He began by recounting his youth, born from Columbian parents and raised in Arkansas, in a world not so kind to those who look different. Escobar also spoke of his visit to the White House while in school, meeting other prolific reporters during the Reagan administration.

Eventually he moved into television journalism, and worked for stations such as MSNC, Univision, and most recently Telemundo. His defined journalism as a reflection published to meet the needs and values of society, and advised those hoping to break into the field to start now, on the side, and seek internship opportunities. All in all, it was a very informative visit, and one to take many words of advice from, considering the experience and value being presented. For those students taking the plunge into journalism this information will be essential and motivational to their efforts.

Michael Paredes

Ramon Escobar is Telemundo’s News Executive Vice President.  He came to speak about his story on why he chose journalism as a lifetime career, and how he got there. Coming from Latin American parents, Ramon grew up in Littlerock, Arkansas. He pointed out that his parents simply learned the English language, as well as common American Society ways by watching television. Ramon studied journalism at the University of Missouri.

Throughout his University experience, Ramon had a lot of mentors to help him out, and he ended up working at Telemundo right out of school as a producer. A man from New Jersey brought him to NBC where he became producer at age 27, and then obtained a position at MSNBC as Vice President during the election of Bush vs. Gore, and during attacks of 9/11.

Ramon’s interpretation of Journalism is basically a subject to inform the public. He explains that journalism is a reasoned form of reflection in print, TV, or online, of society’s events, needs, and values.  The news of journalism can’t be news from out of nowhere, it has to be current and fresh. For reasoning, thinking was involved, logic was applied, there was research, and proof. Mr. Escobar explains the meaning of Journalism in the best way possible.

Ashley Schemer

Tuesday April 18th, an Intro into Journalism class taught by Professor Alvarado, was lucky enough to have Ramon Escobar, Vice President of Telemundo, come in and give a lecture.  Escobar has quite an impressive track record: sports producer at Telemundo, launching networks like TLC and Animal Planet, and with becoming VP of MSNBC during the Bush/Gore elections and 9/11.

During his lecture, Ramon Escobar broke down in great detail what defines journalism.  According to him, journalism is a current reasoned reflection in print, TV, or online, of society’s events, needs and values.  What really stood out was his ability to be charming, insightful and brilliantly revealing.  One important point he made was about reporting events.  Journalist must remember that you have to appeal to your audiences’ needs and values.  He also emphasized the fact that a journalist’s [priority] is not to give the people what they want. “We should leave that up to entertainment,” he said.

At the closing of his speech Escobar stressed to the room of aspiring journalists, the importance of checking your sources.  “You could ruin someone’s family…. reputation, [etc], by what you publish.”

Finally, Escobar said, very intensely, “Journalism…it’s a process that can enrich your society, if done right.  Journalism is a discussion about what the right answer might be.”

After walking out of the lecture I felt enriched and more knowledgeable about the importance of journalism and what it means to get it done right.

Michae Baisden

Ramon Escobar’s presentation was very insightful. I would have to say that I learned a lot from him about the world of journalism and the steps he took to get to the position in which he is in right now; Escobar is the executive vice president for Telemundo News. Escobar told the story of his life, how his parents came to America from Columbia, and learned English in Little Rock, Arkansas by watching tv. I enjoyed learning about how Escobar became interested in journalism. He shared an interesting story about how he met Ronald Regan, and decided that he wanted to exercise his freedom to ask the tough questions of the president, as opposed to perusing a career in politics. Escobar told us about several of the interesting jobs that he has had such as: being the Vice-President of MSNBC during the Bush-Gore election, launching networks such as TLC and Animal Planet, and producing Novelas for Telemundo. Escobar finished up his lecture by offering our class what his definition for Journalism is. Escobar defines Journalism as: a current reasoned reflection published in (print, TV, online) of societies events needs and values. I felt that I learned a lot and his presentation was very valuable.

Warren Krupp

 From the outside at the time, it looks as though President Bush had proper cause for declaring war on Iraq on March 3, 2003. After the 9/11 a bombing, anthrax scares, and frenzy of fear in this country over terrorism, in order to defend this great land, we have to fight against those whom would wish to harm it. Yet unfortunately like most things in life, not all is as it seems. Of course the media covered all these stories in depth, and the government could get away with saying that citizens seeing this constant coverage and no action would want something to occur.

 Yet in July of that same year, USAF Colonel Sam Gardiner released a 56-page investigation entitled, “Truth from These Podia”, which properly showed that most, if not all, stories linking the war in Iraq, terrorism, and 9/11 were false. This and such works as Bob Woodward’s State of Denial revealed falsity in the claims of Iraq’s possession of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein’s development of nuclear weapons, and Iraq’s purchase of nuclear materials from Niger. If any fault lies with the media, it’s for not always presenting the facts properly, and adding to the general confusion at the time. Years later we have come to realize that the war in Iraq was pushed forth from within the government. In many cases the media does have a tendency to fuel the fire, but sometimes organizations just use it as a scapegoat so they can get away with what they went and have someone to blame.

Michael Paredes

I literally dangled my head in shame a couple of days ago when a fellow classmate’s argument on September 11 was halted erratically before his point of reasoning was tested—…couldn’t say where the opposing student stand on the issue, who said, “We” don’t care to listen to any more conspiracy theories.”

The Mightier than the Sword’s author, like the dejected classmate, seemed convinced that something went wrong. Moreover, as conventional wisdom on reasonable doubt would have it, the burden of proof lies on the accuser, which creates the “why” factor in reporting the 9/11 incident. This has essentially raised the question of doubt.

In spite of journalists’ souring of incident, the “why” factor remains the pursued question. The speculations that “President George W. Bush wanted to bring freedom to the people of Iraq, control the production and distribution of the world’s oil supply,” said our textbook’s author likewise,  has done little to resolve the problem, in addition to him,“…wanted to weaken one of Israel’s fiercest enemies.”

Surely, citizens have the Iraqi War as George W. Bush appeasing his father’s unfinished job of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, which resulted in another presidential déjà vu. So, which of these lies do you choose?

Raymond Russell

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