Andreas Rivera

MY STORIES:

MY BLOG:

Following a specific beat has helped me understand what I will be doing as a journalist for most likely the entirety of my career. I realize that I will need a specialty, since it is no secret that the general “everyman” reporter is a dime a dozen and has trouble getting jobs in the media business. I need to have a skill and/or field of expertise to make me stand out in the job market.

Covering the Asian beat has made me think more about diversity and made me realize that everyone isn’t fighting the same fight. As someone coming from a Mexican and South American heritage, how I look at diversity, discrimination, social classes, etc. is completely different than from how someone with an Asian background sees these things.

Other things I’ve learned while covering this beat is that Asian stereotypes seem to be more acceptable in society than most other racial stereotypes. I’ve noticed this while watching television and the movies. A typical portrayal of an Asian person in popular culture usually incorporates: martial arts, excellence in math, long ponytails, buckteeth, slanted eyes, ridiculous accents, and ninja/samurais. It is more common to see these, than say, stereotypical images of a black man eating fried chicken and watermelon, or a lazy Mexican napping under a sombrero. Those examples you may see in edgy comedy, but are generally unacceptable; however, I see the stereotypical Asian in just about every form of media.

I’ve also realized that there are some people who don’t believe that there is a battle to fight, regardless of their ethnic background. They believe that the battle has already been won and we are a completely diversified, “color-blind,” society. Although I don’t fully agree with them, I find it very interesting. Roger Tsai from the Utah Asian Chamber of Commerce asked me, “Is it really a good thing to be color-blind?”

ABOUT ME:

I was born to be a writer. At least that’s what my aunt once told me when I showed her my latest homemade comic book when I was 6. The comic was about a witty hero, Ricky Raccoon, and his friends and how they would stop his evil brother, Robo Raccoon, from taking over the forest. Somehow I’ve always known that writing was in my future. Even when my mind wandered to other things like being a professional wrestler, being a paleontologist (dinosaur hunter), or a detective, it all came back to writing.

I was born in West Jordan, a suburb of Salt Lake City. I grew up with a huge imagination thanks to the tons of books and comics my parents supplied me with. It was around the beginning of middle school that I turned my full attention to writing again, and I wrote short stories for the school magazine.  One was a Harry Potter fan fiction, another was about a desperado in the old west, and another was about a group of teenagers escaping a shadowy figure in an old factory.

Upon entering Alta High School, I didn’t really know what to do as a career. It was by accident I ended up on my high school’s yearbook staff. Gathering up facts and telling a story from them was fun to me, and the next year my teacher suggested I join the newspaper staff. To this day, some of my favorite stories were published in that paper, which incidentally won an award for best school newspaper of the state. Ironically, sports section was my least favorite beat to cover, but I won an award for an article about our girl’s soccer team winning state.

I am currently a student at the University of Utah, majoring in mass communication. I am also writing for the Daily Utah Chronicle as a part-time news writer. It’s a fun job and is introducing me to the field.

Experts talk about the decline of traditional media, and they talk about the difficulty of getting a job in this industry. I have been told that I am making a mistake by going into a field that is slowly going down the drain. Even those close to me have questioned my decision, but I do believe I have a future in writing; writing for a newspaper wether it is paper or online, writing fiction novels, or even about a witty raccoon and friends trying to save the world.