June 25, 2018

Jean Guerrero M.F.A. ’15 Takes Home an Emmy

Alumna Jean Guerrero and her team won an Emmy for their reporting on the U.S.-Mexico border, focusing on the real and human impact of everything from existing barriers, policy, and the proposed wall by President Trump.

Tackling one of the most prominent current issues, M.F.A. in nonfiction alumna Jean Guerrero took home a local Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Pacific Southwest Chapter in the category of public, current, and community affairs. Guerrero and her team at KPBS and inewsource were honored for the TV elements of their America's Wall serieswhich explores the real and human impact of the U.S.-Mexico border barriers that already exist.

"It was a true honor to have our work recognized by the Academy at such a critical time," says Guerrero. "The ceremony was a wonderful opportunity to see the great journalism of other reporters I know being recognized as well, especially those doing really important work in Spanish-language broadcasts. It was a pleasure to see them rewarded for their hard work as well. I think the work of truly bilingual journalists and journalists of color is more important than ever."

The America's Wall series is about the impact of existing U.S.-Mexico border barriers, focusing on people in the Southern California area. The series profiled people whose lives revolve around the existing wall for different reasons: a self-described vigilante who patrols the border to protect the U.S., a farmworker who searches the border for dead and dying migrants, a Border Patrol agent who seeks to stop the flow of illegal immigration and drug trafficking, a muralist who endeavors to transform what the wall symbolizes, and a U.S.-citizen mother who visits her deported husband in Tijuana with their children. As President Trump fights to build his promised wall, the people whose lives have been shaped by the existing one yield insights about its real and diverse human impacts. The series also obtained never-before-seen records showing the exact GPS coordinates and construction date for every stretch of existing fencing, allowing for a visual representation of the impact of construction over time.