Maria Hinojosa, 2012 Studs Terkel Community Media Award Winner

Maria Hinojosa
PBS and Latino USA on National Public Radio

Maria Hinojosa grew up in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood at a time when there were no Latinas like her on television or in radio.

Over the last 25 years she has made a mark in the world of broadcast journalism telling the untold stories in the spirit of Studs Terkel.

Hinojosa is currently the anchor and managing editor of Latino USA, broadcast on National Public Radio; anchor of the Emmy Award-winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One from WGBH/La Plaza; contributing correspondent for Frontline and Need to Know on PBS, and a weekly King Features Syndicate contributor. She also founded her own media company called the Futuro Media Group in April 2010. The mission of her company is to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism that respects and celebrates the cultural richness of the American Experience.

“We have to as journalists not only tell the difficult stories of injustice but all the stories of people who have figured it out and are getting along,” Hinojosa said.

In 2011, she also made a major PBS/Frontline documentary called “Lost in Detention” documenting the immigration policies of the Obama Administration that has resulted in more than one million people deported.

Hinojosa previously worked as producer for CBS Radio, as a reporter for National Public Radio, as an Urban Affairs correspondent for CNN and as a senior correspondent for NOW on PBS.

Hinojosa has won many awards, including two Emmy’s, awards from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of La Raza. She also received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her groundbreaking Child Brides: Stolen Lives. 

One of the first stories Hinojosa did in 1990, when she was the first Latina reporter to work at NPR, was about gang members in Queens. That turned into a book called Crews: Gang member talk to Maria Hinojosa.

“My first book was inspired by Studs Terkel’s own style of work,” she said.

Her second book is called Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son.

Hinojosa never met Terkel but recalls her sister bringing home a copy of “Working” when she was in high school. She discovered how he gave voice to the voiceless.

Hinojosa said receiving Studs Terkel Award holds special meaning for her.

“The mission of Studs was to see in the regular person someone who had a story of value,” Hinojosa said. “And everyone is equal and everyone has a voice and perspective. For me, that has motivated my journalism.”