Kate De La Torre hopes their journalism can be a beacon of truth in her community of Southeast Los Angeles. To her, a passion for reporting the facts is what it means to be a student journalist.
“I hope to achieve some sort of career within journalism where I’m satisfied with what I’ve done and that I’ve written about things that truly mean something to me,” De La Torre said.
De La Torre is a recent graduate of Maywood Center for Enriched Studies, where she helped build and write for the student-run paper the Wolfpack Times as a broadcast editor. This fall, they will be a freshman at Santa Monica College as a journalism major.
De La Torre said they’re excited for their future in journalism and they hope to help their community through writing stories that they’re truly passionate about and proud of.
It wasn’t until the forming of their school newspaper that a passion for writing developed and they began to see a future in journalism, even though they said they’ve always been a good writer. For a while before that, De La Torre planned on pursuing a career in art.
After her involvement at the Wolfpack Times, De La Torre became drawn in by the spontaneity and unpredictability of journalism, but art was still a passion they considered pursuing.
Ultimately the biggest deciding factor in De La Torre’s choice between art and reporting was the change she’d be able to affect in her community through their writing.
De La Torre believes the importance of journalism is in alerting the public of things happening right under their noses, because “so many things go unsaid.”
This sentiment is reflected in the stories De La Torre is most passionate about writing, which center around social issues in their community of Southeast Los Angeles. The stories range from domestic violence to the corruption of city officials.
Without journalists reporting on topics like the corruption of city officials, members of the community are left to be taken advantage of by people they are meant to trust. De La Torre believes it is her responsibility, as a student journalist in the city of Bell, to alert the public of everything they discover even if it causes backlash for herself.
“It’s important to communicate those things with the public so they’re always aware of what’s happening,” they said.
This belief is what led De La Torre to dropping art down to just a hobby, and diving head first into a career in journalism. The first step to that was applying to the HSI internship.
“I applied so I can be a little more prepared as I enter college with my journalism major,” De La Torre said.
David Lopez, a reporter at the Wolfpack Times, said De La Torre has an ability to be unapologetically herself and watching her work taught him to be bold within himself.
“[Kate has taught me to] be daring and don’t be afraid of going out of your element with your stories,” Lopez said.
Kate said in 10 years, she hopes to leave a lasting impact on her community. In the future, they hope to start a movement where transparency between city officials and community members is normalized, and social justice issues are being talked about on a larger scale.
“I can’t pinpoint it, but I do know that with whatever it is that I’m in, I want it to be impactful toward people in a positive way,” De La Torre said.