Modern Life David and Goliath

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Last week, the Stony Brook University School of Journalism hosted Sandra Rodríguez Nieto as part of the “My Life As…” lecture series.

Prior to her presentation she sat down with myself, a few students from the advisor board and faculty members. I was blown away by her humility and calm disposition. This is a woman who went toe-to-toe with murders and dirty politicians—she was living the plot of a HBO show.

In one of the most dangerous places for journalist, Nieto did what she felt was the right thing to do. It wasn’t about glory or having her byline printed on the front page. No, Nieto did her journalistic responsibility. She pursued a story because it was something the public needed to know.

“The story of my city wasn’t being told,” Nieto said. “Journalism can truly change.”

Hearing Nieto’s stories of her work in Ciudad Juárez, reminded me of the power journalist have. If Nieto had taken bribes or gave in to threats, her work would have been watered-down garbage. She became a voice for the entire community and was able to spread other’s stories.

The petite, soft-spoken woman sitting in front of me didn’t seem like someone I’d choose to stand up against drug cartels. But, I suppose neither did David against Goliath.

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