1 minute read

Jorge Ramos: 1958—: Journalist, Author

Professional Pitfalls And Opportunities

Known for his tough questions regardless of the status of his subject, Ramos demanded free and democratic elections from Colombian President Ernesto Samper on camera. After further questioning him on alleged kickbacks from drug cartels, Ramos wisely suspended his travel to Colombia. When he considered returning, he received a grotesque funeral spray of flowers as a broad hint at Bogotá's climate of unwelcome. In a one-on-one interview with Mexican president Salinas de Gortari, Ramos asked whether Gortari had facilitated the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colossio. When interviewing Latino immigrants and refugees in the United States, Ramos asks questions that elicit stories of courageous emigration from drug havens and the shabby treatment and outright menace in a new homeland that refuses to consider Hispanics equal citizens. As a voice for the disenfranchised, Ramos treats these newcomers with compassion and unfeigned admiration.

One event cracked the professional facade of the hard-bitten reporter. On the night of the inauguration of Vicente Fox's political party in Mexico, Ramos allowed exuberance and joy to surface during the street celebration of the first peaceful Mexican political transition in over 70 years. Among 60,000 natives at El Zócalo plaza, Ramos sang the Mexican national anthem and exulted in his nation's maturity. At the heart of his emotion was a welcome to new times free of the lying, deception, graft, and assassinations perpetrated by the ousted PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party).

Ramos is not limited to writing and newscasting. He has scrapped with the debaters on ABC-TV's This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts, CNN's Talk Back Live, Nightline, FOXNEWS, and NBC News. In 1999 he used his fame to establish Becas de Periodismo, a scholarship program promoted by the Latin American Center of Periodismo (CELAP). Limited to high-achieving journalism students from Mexico and Central America, in its first two years the consortium benefited ten people from Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico.

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Jan Peck Biography - Personal to David Randall (1972–) Biography - PersonalJorge Ramos: 1958—: Journalist, Author Biography - Homeland Versus Aspirations, Immediate Stardom, Challenged The Comfortable, Professional Pitfalls And Opportunities, Citizen And Champion