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Meet Stephanie Martinez of News Quickies in Playa Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Martinez.

Stephanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Barranquilla, a small coastal town in Colombia. I moved to the United States when I was 16. Not the best age to do so but so it happened, and I was excited about it. Once in college, I often became frustrated at not feeling 100% comfortable neither with English nor Spanish. I count in English but dream in Spanish. I explain things better in English (occasionally) but feel more comfortable in Spanish. I curse and fight in Spanglish. I forget words, stumble at times and have an accent. It’s a mess. As a bilingual journalist, I’ve had to switch from reporting in English to Spanish and vice versa many times. Without a doubt, having a “bicultural brain” has made my job harder. It took a lot of convincing and inner “pep talks” but I now see it as the blessing that it is. It’s not a nuisance; it’s Stephanie. I was inspired by theSkimm to show others that if I understand the news, anyone can. Topics like politics, law, economy CAN be easy to grasp. In March of this year I decided to create News Quickies to, not only prove this, but to also embrace who I am: a millennial and an immigrant.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not a smooth road at all. There have been sleepless nights, permanent muscle tension due to work overload and lots of coffee. I think that my biggest obstacle has been having anxiety. I never mention it, and no one would be able to tell, especially because of my profession, but it started when I moved from Colombia to the US. The cultural shift really had an impact on my life and gave me general anxiety. Fortunately, I started treating it when I went back to school to get my master’s degree.

News Quickies – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My grown-up job is TV news reporter. I freelance for Univision 34 and create documentaries on the side. I love investigative stories, crime (I know!) and social issues. However, last year I started something called News Quickies. News Quickies are very short (less than 90 secs), fun and casual video explanations of today’s top headlines. They have a conversational tone, deviating from traditional news outlets and styles. I break down the latest news into digestible tidbits, making it easier to keep up with current events.

I also started doing the top 5 news of the week, a video recap of no more than 3 minutes with the top headlines. “Top 5” has the same “easy to digest” style. What sets this project apart is that, as of now, there are none others like it. There are similar programs, but they are usually more satirical or one-sided. I want News Quickies to be a fully-digital news outlet where new generations can get a straight-to-the-point explanation that is mostly neutral. I say “mostly” because I do make faces! However, as a news reporter, I do put both points of views out there and let the viewer decide.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is when your job feels like your hobby. Let’s be real, you can’t wake up every single day excited about doing your work, but if most of the days you are, then that’s success to me.

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