Thursday, April 10, 2008

Interview with Dallas Morning News Reporter Macarena Hernandez

In April 2003, she gained national attention when former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair plagiarized her work. This is an excerpt of an interview with about her experience.
What have you learned about being the subject of frenzied media attention? Has Jayson Blair's misdeed helped or hurt your career?

Macarena Hernández: I learned a lot from that experience. And I was reminded of people's generosity. Politicians, celebrities and all the other media seekers are fair game. Given that the press gets such a bad rap, it is amazing average folks still trust us, because we do make mistakes. I now understand what some people mean when they say they've been misquoted. What a source says is not necessarily what they mean. And sometimes we -- the media -- chew on a story way longer than we need to. Ay, like this one. Hijo, it seemed like it was never going to go away. For a while after the storm, I considered leaving journalism. Once you've seen the restaurant's dirty kitchen, the food no longer tastes the same. If you bumped into Jayson Blair tomorrow, what would you say to him?

Macarena Hernández: I've been asked that question so many times, and still don't have an answer. I don't think about Jayson Blair, although folks occasionally bring him up. "So tell me, how did that Jayson Blair thing happen." Just like the Macarena song -- this too shall pass.


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