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 JournalismJobs.com about her experience.
JournalismJobs.com: 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.
JournalismJobs.com: 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.