CNN executive Ramon Escobar spoke about diversity in journalism Saturday during the 15th anniversary of the University of Arkansas' Lemke Journalism Project.
Escobar, the vice president of talent recruiting and development for CNN Worldwide, gave his free talk to the public and hosted journalism sessions for the high school students on campus over the weekend.
"I know what it's like to grow up Latino, the child of immigrants and in Arkansas," Escobar said. "When I was young, I was fortunate to have mentors who encouraged and inspired me to pursue my dreams. I must return the favor and help others and be a shoulder for them to stand on now."
Escobar's parents, who are from Colombia and Spain, moved to Little Rock, where Escobar attended high school. He has held numerous media positions in his 25-year career, including executive vice president of network news for Telemundo and vice president of live news programming at MSNBC before joining CNN Worldwide in 2012.
As part of the Lemke Journalism Project, aspiring journalists from high schools around the region spend Saturdays in Fenruary and March at the Lemke Department of Journalism to focus on multicultural reporting. More than 30 students from area high schools are participating this year. During the program, they will produce a television show and write stories for The Multicultural News, a newspaper that will be published and delivered by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in April.
"Nearly every member of our faculty has had a role in this far-reaching outreach project," project director Gina Shelton said. "We go out in the community seeking prospects, then show them the impact they can have through writing about things they live every day."
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