I can trace my interest in the news and in broadcast media to a challenge that I faced very early in my life. When I was only five years old, my mother and I were kidnapped in a taxi in the violent streets of Bogota, Colombia. Our kidnapper jammed his revolver against my head and swore to shoot me if we tried to escape. I owe my life to my Mama, whose courage and intelligence saved our lives and got us out of Colombia and away from its corrupt government and infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar.
Even after we were safely removed from it, the violence and injustice of life in Colombia were never far from our thoughts as we worried about the family we left behind there. I’d rush home after school and tune to the world news where I’d witness bombings eating away at my country. Wide-eyed, I would sit inches away from the screen, where I’d quickly scan through crowds of people, many of them injured and bleeding to see if any of the victims had been my beloved “Abuelita,” my grandmother.
News fascinated me. It was a bridge between my new life and my old one. I was amazed that I could watch the war in my country without being in danger myself. There was something mystical and, enigmatic about television that I wanted to understand and that fascination and appreciation has stayed with me.