When he was a correspondent for Te-lemundo in Mexico, Rubén Luengas rejected many offers to work in Los Angeles, until a chief executive convinced him of a project he couldn’t resist: a news program that would advocate for immigrants.
“This concept shook me, it was the one thing that finally convinced me to come to the United States, because that was what I was looking for, to give voice to those who do not have a voice, people who are stigmatized. And I believe I have accomplished this,” said Luengas with pride. He came to Los Angeles ten years ago to become the news anchor of “En Contexto,” a program that since its start, has created controversy for breaking barriers on objective and balanced news, which marks traditional news programming.
“I have many critics, even within the company that I work for, they criticize me for not doing orthodox journalism and they handle false values of what is objective and balanced news. They want me to make a less political and critical program, but I will not betray the people that have believed in me and who want this type of journalism to continue,” said Luengas, who was born in Mexico and studied Communications at UNAM.
In addition to expressing his points of view in a straightforward manner, Luengas touches issues in his program that other news shows would not dare to. “One of the differences that “En Contexto” has is the news we cover. Priority is given to local news in the local Spanish and English speaking news, but we actually live in a globalized world. For example, the tsunami in Japan became a local issue after people worried about radiation in California. We live in a world that is small and what I would like is to put news in context, that is, to not turn a page immediately without adequately reflecting on an issue. It is difficult to meet this because of a lack of time to put everything in context, but at least it provides us with a guideline,” he said.
Despite the risks and bitterness that is sometimes left behind from covering news, Luengas said he feels happy to have chosen this career. “I feel very happy because it is a profession, it is something that comes from within and brings with it outer motives and that has to do with my parents’ education – both were very adamant of denouncing injustices and helped people progress.”
Luengas says that he has tried to instill these family values to his two children, who are 15 and 10 years old, both born in Mexico. The journalist confesses that one of the things that makes his children most uncomfortable are the negative stereotypes that are managed in the United States. “They don’t like it when people think that all Mexicans are drug traffickers”, he said.
In order to avoid having his children feel bad, Luengas tells them not to worry about those comments. “I tell them to try to understand that these ideas are a product of misinformation and that they should simply be ambassadors not of their country but to all humanity. Like the Lebanese poet Gibran Jalil Bran said, ‘the entire human race is my tribe’ and I try to instill this on them,” he said.