Hispanic Heritage Month: A Conversation with Jayme Lozano

Hispanic and Latino journalists are historically underrepresented in newsrooms, with estimates that they make up around 11% of staff. Report for America seeks to change these statistics. We currently partner with five Latino-owned newsrooms. Roughly 21% of our corps members identify as Hispanic or Latino, and many of them cover beats specific to Latino communities. This Hispanic Heritage Month, we spoke with a few of these corps members to understand what drives them, and why their heritage is an important part of their coverage.

Meet Jayme Lozano

Jayme Lozano is a Report for America corps member covering rural news in West Texas for The Texas Tribune. For Lozano, it feels rewarding to be a Hispanic journalist, especially in Lubbock, where there aren’t many journalists of color.

It also comes with its own set of challenges. “One of the biggest challenges I face is feeling like I have to prove why I deserve to have a voice in Texas news,” she says.

Lozano finds the most rewarding part of her work comes with writing meaningful stories. This summer, she wrote a story about how a coffee shop owner in Lubbock, the biggest city in Texas to ban abortion within city limits, decided to give out Plan B for free to women who need it. The coffee shop also began drawing the ire of protesters from the area’s anti-abortion movement.

Destiny Adams unpacks emergency contraception kits in her Tumbleweed + Sage Coffeehouse in Wolfforth. Adams keeps the Plan B kits in stock so her customers can easily obtain them. (Mark Rogers/ Texas Tribune)

“It meant a lot [to write this story,] because there are a lot of women of color here who can’t afford resources like Plan B, but now know of this coffee shop that can help.”

Read more of Lozano’s stories below:

  1. To save water in Texas, these nonprofits are paying farmers to leave it in reservoirs
  2. Texas’ cotton industry is facing its worst harvest in years — costing the state more than $2 billion
  3. West Texas farmers and ranchers fear the worst as drought, heat near 2011 records

Lozano adds that her journey through journalism hasn’t been the easiest. “Years ago, my first job in journalism was on the line because of a corporate buyout. I held on anyway and made myself indispensable. Now, I truly feel indispensable at the Texas Tribune, where I’m also paving new grounds for future journalists as their first West-Texas based reporter.”

Her advice to young journalists navigating the complexities of the field?
“When moments seem like they couldn’t get worse, just keep going.”

Want to follow Jayme’s reporting? Follow her on Twitter: @Jayme_Lozano.

About Report for America
Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities across the United States and its territories. By creating a new, sustainable model for journalism, Report for America provides people with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and restore trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.