What it cost when Jorge Ramos swam the Río Grande
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When well-regarded, veteran reporter Jorge Ramos did a segment on crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, a different story emerged, Latino Rebels pointed out. It wasn’t, “immigrants swim the Río Grande,” but rather, “Jorge Ramos gets his feet wet.”
In the same way that a white reporter does not actually “become Black,” or a paid writer with no children never “survives on food stamps,” Ramos never swam across the Río Grande for his life as a migrant fleeing from poverty or violence.
He did not swim in the middle of the night. He did not swim for his life. He did not even swim alone — his crew and protective Border Patrol agents accompanied him. And when he was done, he did not continue on a long, harrowing journey through the desert without ever knowing whether he’d make it.
Ramos’ journey, if you can call it that, was most likely intended to bring attention to the story. Or perhaps it was meant to rack up more views. But Fusion is failing as a self-described news organization if it cannot capture attention without sacrificing journalistic values by substituting real stories for its anchors’ staged one. Fusion must’ve missed the memo that in this content-saturated market, integrity is a more valuable currency than the U.S. dollar — and far more difficult to earn.
But the ones paying the price are those whose experiences were belittled and insulted when their stories were substituted with fame and privilege to catch attention.