Noah Glick produced this story for the Mountain West News Bureau as part of the America Amplified: Election 2020 initiative, using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism.
Glick reached out to Latino college students in this community because they are a key voting bloc in the 2020 election.
Read more about what Glick learned in this Q&A:
Q: What did the people you talked to say about the experience of being interviewed for public radio?
Most people were a bit apprehensive at first and not really sure what to expect. They really wanted to know what the goal of all of this really was. But, after talking for some time, they all became much more relaxed and said they felt really good about being able to share their stories.
Q: What surprised you about this type of community engagement?
I was most surprised at how open people were with me. I thought asking personal questions about their family, struggles, economics and race would turn some people off, or make them feel uncomfortable. I was pleasantly surprised to see how open and willing they were to speak with me, once we got going.
Q: What lessons do you have for others who want to do the same?
Take your time with this. A lot of people don’t trust the media right now, and that’s OK. Explain clearly what you’re trying to do and be upfront and honest about everything. This type of engagement is only possible through mutual respect and trust.
Q: Do you plan to go back to this group for more conversations? When and how? Absolutely! Every person I spoke with was very interested in following up. I will likely meet in the same place in a couple of months.