Photo by: Elaine Cromie
Carolina Hidalgo likes covering criminal justice reform and immigration issues. Hidalgo’s passion about these issues might hit somewhat close to home, her being a person of color and her parents being immigrants from Colombia in the U.S.
Hidalgo enjoyed writing when she was in high school in the Bronx and she figured she would be obtaining a major in English, until she realized that she enjoyed nonfiction more than fiction. A new journalism program had opened up in a university in Long Island and she decided to join it. Aside from holding a degree in journalism, she also majored in sociology.
Hidalgo focused on online journalism at first, writing was her primary medium. When she saw that people were telling stories through images, such as with sound slides, she decided to start taking her own photos to tell her written stories differently. Hidalgo later worked for the Tampa Bay Times during a two-year internship and at Naples Daily News where she would do video as well. More recently, she was hired at St. Louis Public Radio. She has discovered a new love, Hidalgo now enjoys telling stories through the person’s voice in addition to filling up the gaps with her own narration.
Photo by: Verónica G. Cárdenas
The fact that Hidalgo covers immigration at work happened organically. Because St. Louis, Missouri, is a city with few immigrants compared to larger cities, St. Louis Public Radio did not have an immigration reporter. Immigration issues were not covered as much until she started pitching stories about those topics. Hidalgo knows that it is important to cover those stories because Latinxs live there; they are part of the community. She is grateful for that opportunity at work because if she had been working in a larger city, they would have probably assigned those jobs to someone else and she would only be taking the photos.
Hidalgo says that, “People of color are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system,” and therefore she feels the need to cover those stories along with immigration ones. She is currently the only Latina reporter working at St. Louis Public Radio.
Issues related to the criminal justice system happening in San Diego and El Paso is what encouraged her to apply to the Adelante Fellowship. After this reporting trip, she has broadened her understanding on these topics.
Verónica G. Cárdenas, 2019 U.S.-Mexico Border Fellow