As a former Spanish language journalist I’m sensitive to the news of my small but hard working tribe. So I read Adolfo Guzman-Lopez’s recent KCET post with sadness.
Two important journalists died in the last few weeks. Mike Wallace of the TV program “60 Minutes” re-shaped the one-on-one news interview. In L.A. Jesse Linares re-shaped the way Spanish language news covers the region’s significant Central American population. Wallace on a national stage and Linares locally shared a drive to get the story first, get it right, and hold to account those with power and influence.
Linares, the deputy editor of the weekly newspaper Hoy, died April 14 from complications of cancer. He was 49 years old.
49 is way too young for any man to pass, especially when seen from a perspective past that age, even more so when you share a large part of your life mining for the same thing, albeit in different mines.
Linares worked in Spanish language newspapers in L.A. for about two decades, more if you count his student newspaper days at L.A. City College. He worked as a reporter and editor at La Opinion. In 2004 he joined the new Spanish-language newspaper called Hoy, said editor in chief Reynaldo Mena. “I knew he’d been an editor at La Opinion but I told him the only open job was as police reporter,” he said. Linares took it and dutifully did his job.
It’s a good story, especially the part about Linares’ emphatic “¡A la yugular!” It’s sad when old reporters move on, it’s even sadder when the young ones are called.
[Photo courtesy kcet.org]