Joseph Olmo

In May of 2019, I was sitting in Terminal B at Washington Dulles International Airport, eagerly waiting for that one-of-a-kind boarding call “ding,” to let me know that my flight to San Salvador, El Salvador was ready for boarding. It wasn’t my first time visiting the country, but there was something special about that trip — had I been asked by a TSA Officer if my trip was for business or pleasure, I would have excitedly said “business” — I was headed on my first international assignment as a journalist, to cover the inauguration of then-President-Elect, Nayib Bukele.

Sitting and awaiting that boarding call, I was feeling inspirational. So, I grabbed my laptop, went to Google, and typed in “reporter quotes.” A quote from our former First Lady Jackie Kennedy was one of the first to pop up: “being a reporter seems a ticket out to the world.” Reading it with a smile, I thought, What better timing…

My journalism career started in 2018, when that childhood impulse to have a microphone in my hand and a story to tell had finally reached its limit, and I knew that something had to be done to get my feet wet in reporting. I discovered a grassroots and crowd-sourced local news page on Facebook – The Arundel Patriot – and noticed that several reporters were making the rounds in Annapolis, Maryland and interviewing candidates for our local elections. The Editor-in-Chief of that site was kind enough to allow me to dive right into her citizen-journalist organization, and assigned me to conduct interviews with new candidates and incumbents running in the Midterm Elections that year.

While out and about, I met a producer for Central America TV (CATV) — a news agency that re-airs content created within Central America in the United States. Shortly after, I began hosting political talk shows (in Spanish), and reporting on breaking news in Congress. I was then sent, in 2019, to cover the presidential inauguration in El Salvador. 

When I got back from El Salvador, I continued covering several political events for CATV, including the 2020 State of the Union Address. I also became a correspondent for Tu Salud Tu Familia, a health and wellness series that airs on Telemundo 44 (WZDC). And then, in fall of 2019, I started reporting for DCW50, WDVM’s sister station in Washington D.C. 

As a journalist, when I first read Jackie Kennedy’s insightful quote, I couldn’t help but think that not only is reporting a “ticket” to the world, it’s also a ticket to our communities, to the people we, as local news journalists, tirelessly serve by informing them through our stories. It doesn’t matter if we’re traveling across the world or if we stay right here at home, what truly matters is the impact that our stories can have on the lives of the people who watch and depend on them. And that “ticket” comes with a lot (I mean, a lot) of responsibility; the responsibility of transparently and objectively keeping you informed with trustful and fact-checked news. The responsibility of being there when no one else can be. And, most importantly, the responsibility of being cognizant of our mistakes, which we, as journalists, like everyone else, are bound to make — to learn from them, grow from them, and continue our faithful mission of informing the uninformed. 

I’m honored to be behind the desk, #EarningYourTrust, one story at a time. 

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