Diego Romo

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MY BLOG:

Writing for Voices of Utah this semester has been a really rewarding experience. I have learned so much about the Pacific Islander community in Utah and I’ve met great people along the way.

I had no idea what to expect when I walked in the doors of room 2840, all I knew was that we were covering Pacific Islanders and that I was excited to hit the ground running.

My initial expectation for this beat was that it was going to be a fun subject to cover over the semester because I was going to be learning a lot. Before Voices, I did not have much exposure to Pacific Islander culture other than the stereotypical way in which their culture is presented in America: hula dancers, luaus, and leis. But, because I know all too well the American tendency to gather groups of very diverse cultures and fit them into a box, I knew that there was absolutely more to this story.

And I was definitely right.

I learned about that hardships that Micronesians face when attempting to secure proper healthcare in the United States. I learned about the long history of Pacific Islanders in Utah, a history that is as old as the state itself, and of the values of community and tradition over which Pacific Islanders value over anything else.

I really enjoyed that this class was a “community engaged” learning experience. It gave me the opportunity to meet people in the community and get to know them on a personal level. It also helped me to better understand the beat as a whole because I was able to experience firsthand the values of community, family and tradition that are most definitely alive within this culture.

A topic that I covered that really resonated with me this semester was the topic of culture. Through my research and interview process for my first and second stories I learned a lot about myself and my identity. A lot of the people I interviewed come from Pacific Island heritage, but grew up in a very Anglo community and were raised on American culture. I found that this left a lot of people feeling lost between the two cultural identities, not really fitting in to either of them. I relate to this experience because I am Hispanic, but grew up going to Catholic school and was raised in a predominately Anglo community. This experience definitely affected the way I felt about my cultural identity. I felt like an imposter among my people.

Going forward I’m happy to take the skills that I learned in Voices of Utah with me to better improve my career as a journalist and I know I will look back on this experience with pride.

ABOUT ME:

IMG_8321-2Diego Romo is a multimedia journalist based out of Salt Lake City. Born and raised in the desert heat of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Diego found an interest in storytelling very early in life. From the very beginning he was obsessed with the craft of writing and began to author essays for various state level and regional competitions. Through these essay contests, he discovered his passion for journalism and political science.

At age 16, Diego moved to Layton, Utah, with his family and it is here where he began to further explore storytelling through the lenses of photography and videography.

More recently, Diego has turned an internship with Deerfield Media into a full-time position as co-host of the “Mountain Morning Show” and news anchor for “PCTV Reports” on Park City Television.  He is wrapping up a Bachelor’s Degree in communication with a minor in political science and is set to graduate from the University of Utah in fall of 2018.