Globalist contributor and former apprentice Esmy Jimenez had always loved writing and poetry. As the daughter of migrant farmworker parents who lacked the educational opportunities she had, it was also a priority to find a secure job that paid the bills.
So when she saw a paid training opportunity to become a published journalist with The Seattle Globalist last winter, the 22-year-old from Prosser was more than thrilled:
“Someone said, ‘I will invest monetarily in YOU becoming a journalist, despite you telling me you don’t have a background in journalism.’ That’s incredible!”
For Esmy, The Seattle Globalist removed a financial barrier for her to enter the field of journalism. Despite the rising cost of living and mounting college debt for many recent college graduates, the unpaid journalism internship is still a standard practice at most media outlets.
“That makes it incredibly hard for someone new to break into a field,” says the University of California alumnus. “Even if they have the talent, make the time and put it in the effort to learn, finances are a tangible barrier that keeps many people from pursuing new opportunities.”
Breaking into journalism at 22 with The Seattle Globalist’s Youth Apprenticeship Program, Esmy was able to pick up in just a couple of months the real-world skills required to report and write on the issues that mattered to her most. Last June, she was published in the Globalist (and her first legit media outlet) for the first time: a profile of labor rights organizer Maria De Los Angeles Solis.
“After writing that piece, I realized journalism ripples out powerfully and that we, as journalists, have the power to decide what will start that ripple,” says Esmy.
“Being part of a team like the Globalist developed my confidence as a writer while also redefining what it means to be a writer, who has access to writing, and who’s writing is missing from certain conversations,” says Esmy, who went onto publish more stories that impact her and her community, from profiles of first-time voters in the U.S. as a part of the Globalist’s New Voters series, to her own story returning to Mexico for the first time as an undocumented Mexican American woman.
Now Esmy edits and curates the Monday and Tuesday editions of The Sightline Daily, a roundup of Cascadia-centered news from the Sightline Institute, which is an influential statewide climate policy advocacy organization and think tank.
Since her apprenticeship with the Globalist, Esmy has also been published in La Raza del Noroeste and Femme Feminism. In building her portfolio, Esmy felt inspired to apply for the Grist Justice Fellowship and New York Times Student Journalism Institute for their summer program.
She looks forward to pitching more multimedia stories and hopes to also be published at community dailies that reflect her small-town experience growing up in Eastern Washington, including The Yakima Herald.
“It’s important to have The Seattle Globalist around for aspiring journalists and leaders because our community deserves a seat at the table when it comes to covering news; journalism isn’t something that should be exclusive to a specific few,” Esmy says. “With most newspapers and media outlets being owned by a limited number of corporations, we need independent organizations like The Seattle Globalist to lead the way and include stories from the margins by centering them in media.”
The Seattle Globalist elevates diverse voices through media. We’re building a pipeline of diverse journalists like Esmy through media trainings, a paid apprenticeship program, and intensive editorial mentoring. You can help break down barriers that have historically kept immigrants, women, and people of color out of journalism.