Syra Ortiz-Blanes

El Nuevo Herald

Reporter Profile

Syra Ortiz-Blanes covers the presidential election through a local Hispanic/Latino lens for El Nuevo Herald in Miami. Ortiz-Blanes, a Puerto Rican journalist with a background in print and radio, covered hurricane evacuees in Philadelphia through a multimedia series she created on her own called “Las Voces de María” (The Voices of Maria), which raised thousands of dollars and secured housing for a displaced family and resources for hurricane survivors. Since then, Ortiz-Blanes has reported on Latinos in the U.S. and beyond. She graduates from the Columbia Journalism School in May 2020. During her time there, she spent a month in Puerto Rico covering gender violence in the wake of the 2020 earthquakes. Before Columbia, Ortiz-Blanes was the podcast coordinator and assistant editor for The Philadelphia Citizen, a solutions journalism media outlet. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Documented NY, WHYY (NPR), and others. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania magna cum laude and was selected as a Kelly Writer’s House Junior Fellow.

Beat: Presidential election through a local Hispanic/Latino prism

This beat takes a hard look at the presidential election through the local Hispanic/Latino lens. What are the issues of most urgency for the Spanish-speaking audience? What promises are being made by the candidates? Who is reaching out the most often and campaigning the hardest for this vote? What are Hispanic voters looking for in the next president. How does the Hispanic vote differ within the diverse community—Cubans tend to vote one way, Colombians another, for example. Why? How will Hispanics organize themselves to make sure their vote counts? What strategies are underway to get out the Latino vote? Are there issues that more prominently affect Spanish speakers? Do young Hispanics vote like their parents? What are the similarities and differences?