St. Cloud State University students reach out with Spanish language newscast

1:50 PM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
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  • SAINT CLOUD, Minn. -- "Three, two, one."  A student director rolled the tape revealing "Noticias UTVS En Español,"  UTVS News' most recent addition to it's television news lineup.

    "I think it's very important because it reaches out to a whole different level of the community that is not very well represented all the time," said UTVS General Manager Chelsea Johnson.

    The newscast is the brainchild of Emilio Ramos De Jesus, who came up with the idea last spring in his freshman year. 

    "We start out with a recap of the week, local stuff, straight hard news; we also include national and an international block," said De Jesus, who serves as producer and anchor of the program.

    De Jesus is looking to a career in journalism, and his dream is to pursue it in his native language, Spanish.   De Jesus saw an opportunity in Saint Cloud, with its growing Latino population.

    "It's just kind of one of those things where you can't wait for someone to create something for you, so go ahead and create it and take advantage of it if you can," he said.

    Putting the newscast together turned out to be the easy part.  De Jesus can pull from his own work, and also stories students produce for their 12:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. newcasts.  He also invites newsmakers in the community into the UTVS studio for the weekly newcast.  He's even interviewed guests in other countries via Skype.

    Behind the scenes was a little more troublesome.

    "We have one Spanish speaker in our control room, so everybody else was like, 'When do I take the video?'" said Johnson.

    De Jesus improvised.  "I had to come up with different techniques for the prompter, cues and thigns like that so they know what stories I'm reading."

    Julia Allen, the station's marketing director, runs the teleprompter for the program, and she's become fairly adept at following along.  She says because there aren't a lot of Spanish language speakers at St. Cloud State, just the sound of the language can lead De Jesus to new recruits.

    "We'll be walking together on campus and he'll  say, 'Hold on, I hear somebody speaking Spanish,' and he'll run over there and talk to them," said Allen.

    De Jesus hopes the program will continue long after he graduates.  In the meantime, he sees it as something that can help not just the Latino community in Saint Cloud, and not just himself, but also the school. 

    "Hopefully people will decide to come to St. Cloud State specifically for this," said De Jesus.  "That's my goal, that this can continue into the future."

    For more information on UTVS news and its programs, visit




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