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From OHIO’s journalism camp to Telemundo co-anchor: How this 2019 alumnus made it happen

As Ohio University celebrates 100 years of journalism instruction, alumnus Steven E. Hernandez (BSJ ’19) represents the past and future. Drawn to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism by its high school journalism workshop, Hernandez is a bilingual broadcaster in Cleveland who streams news in Spanish directly to viewers via the internet. 

Scripps alumnus Ken Klein caught up with Hernandez, whose motto is “with every person, there is a story.” This conversation has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

KK: You were born in New Jersey and grew up in the Dominican Republic. How did you get to Athens/Ohio University?

SH: It all started a year before college when I visited the E.W. Scripps High School Journalism Workshop in 2014. I was in high school, but I knew I wanted to do journalism. I wanted to attend a summer workshop to get a head start. Ohio University was the only place that accepted me for a workshop. As a college student, I got four years of experience at WOUB.

A photo of E.W. Scripps School of Journalism alumnus Steven E. Hernandez
Steven E. Hernandez

KK: Explain your TV job in Cleveland at 19 News and Telemundo, and the digital innovations there that are changing delivery of TV news.

SH: I play a bilingual role at the station, where I turn in an English-language report for 19 News during the day, and co-anchor the 6 p.m. Telemundo newscast in Spanish. For that Spanish newscast, I also control an OTT
(Over The Top) system to play videos, change camera shots, control audio and everything in between. It’s a lot of work, but it’s crucial in order to inform a huge Spanish-speaking community in Ohio that has been in need of local news for so long.

KK: Fill in the blank . . . if you're bilingual in journalism, you can ______

SH: Open doors, in every sense of the word. It provides opportunities you never thought were possible. It helps inform and nurture an audience that needs its information to be shared, and it gives you insight into stories that other reporters or stations may struggle to understand or even find.

KK: You visited Shaker Heights High School on behalf of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. What did you find there?

SH: I was happy to find young students asking a lot of deep questions and getting the support to follow through with them. I didn't have a newspaper club or class growing up, but these students don't shy away from asking big questions and publishing what they find. That's the kind of momentum that will help them wherever they go.

KK: Your interests outside the job include playing guitar. As a student at Scripps, were you impressed that then J-School director Bob Stewart played guitar in a band?

SH: It's awesome! Never got the chance to set up a jam session with him while I was on campus, but the offer is still on the table!

KK: You interned at Major League Baseball in 2018. Can you explain the excitement generated by Cincinnati Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz?

SH: Elly is just electric. When you have a rookie with the confidence and athletic skill to steal home plate against the Brewers, all you can do is sit back and watch. You can always count on Dominican baseball fans cheering on one of their own wherever they go, and I'm no exception!

KK: Any advice/tips for current and prospective journalism students? 

SH: You are just as worthy of being in the room as everyone else. There are going to be times, especially when you start out, in which you may not feel like you fit in. But remember you're there because you've earned it. Trust in yourself and you'll lay a strong foundation for years to come!

August 14, 2023
Ken Klein