Journalism Showcase

ESPN’s “Journalism Showcase” – September 30, 2016

Max Bretos and Marly Rivera (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Max Bretos and Marly Rivera
(Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

EDITOR’S NOTE: ESPN celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15-Oct. 15. For sports coverage in Spanish, visit ESPNdeportes.com.

I think the better question is how can I help ESPN embrace Cuban and Latino Heritage? That is my responsibility, to tell them what is important to us, so we can cover the stories that resonate in our community and are of interest to the entire ESPN audience. – Max Bretos

ESPN is filled with talented Hispanic-Americans contributing across all platforms. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Front Row spoke with two of ESPN’s Hispanic journalists.

Max Bretos is a Cuban-American journalist who grew up in Miami. Bretos is a contributor to ESPN.com, an anchor on SportsCenter, ESPN Radio host of Coach & Bretos and host of the Max y Marly podcast with Marly Rivera. He also contributes to ESPN’s soccer coverage.

How did your Cuban heritage influence your journalism career?
Us Cubans were welcomed to the United States in our time of need and have now seen the wonders this country can do. That combination makes us aim as high as we can. That is instilled at an early age.

In what ways has ESPN allowed you to embrace your Cuban heritage?
Firstly, there is a comfort being Cuban at ESPN, for the main reason there are so many of us. Dan Le Batard, Jorge Sedano, Pedro Gomez, Eduardo Perez, CP Manny De La Fe and now Raul Ibanez. So, if I need to shoot the breeze, share cravings for Cuban food, or even do impromptu salsa sessions in the hallways, I am covered. In that sense, ESPN has allowed me to embrace my Cuban heritage.

I think the better question is how can I help ESPN embrace Cuban and Latino Heritage? That is my responsibility, to tell them what is important to us, so we can cover the stories that resonate in our community and are of interest to the entire ESPN audience.

I also am pushing for a Cuban cafe on campus to get our morning cafecito [Cuban coffee] and pastries, or late-night pork sandwich. All ESPN employees will thank me later!


Marly Rivera is a bilingual writer and reporter for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com and ESPN Deportes, a co-host of Nacion ESPN, and host of the Max y Marly podcast with Max Bretos. She was born in Puerto Rico and later moved to New York as a teenager.

What challenges have you faced as a Hispanic female journalist?
The biggest challenge for me is that I have had to fight a stereotype that has existed for many years about female journalists, particularly being Hispanic. Also, Hispanic culture has been slower to embrace non-traditional roles for women and being a sportswriter is still considered a “man’s job.”

My Hispanic heritage has fully informed the development of my career. Being bilingual, with Spanish being my first language, has allowed me to have a degree of comfort in communicating with many players who prefer to speak in their native tongue.
– Marly Rivera

In the beginning of my career, especially covering baseball, where a large percentage of the athletes are Hispanic, it also took me a long time to garner the respect I deserved from those athletes. I am very proud to say today that I am as respected as any male journalist of any race or nationality, but it was quite a trial by fire.

How does your career allow you to embrace your Hispanic heritage?
My Hispanic heritage has fully informed the development of my career. Being bilingual, with Spanish being my first language, has allowed me to have a degree of comfort in communicating with many players who prefer to speak in their native tongue.

It has also allowed me to relate to the frustration of being misunderstood or not being able to express thoughts adequately in English. Being from a Latin American country also has created an automatic bond for me with many athletes, especially because there’s a degree of camaraderie that is derived from someone who understands and can relate to the subtleties of being from a different background or culture. And in the end, this has earned me trust, which is the ultimate weapon as a journalist.

FiveThirtyEight’s Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Debates

Following this week’s momentous first Presidential Debate, FiveThirtyEight is gearing up to cover the upcoming Vice Presidential Debate between Democratic and Republican candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, which will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. ET.

On the day of the televised event, the site will publish several in-depth articles and interactive charts as well as a “Debate Briefing Book,” which will preview some of the issues and policies to be discussed by the candidates. Throughout the debate, members of FiveThirtyEight’s Politics, Economics and Science sections will live blog and post updates and insights across social media.
Following the debate, producer Jody Avirgan will host a live episode of the podcast FiveThirtyEight Elections on the site, where Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver and senior writers Harry Enten and Clare Malone will recap the debate and analyze the candidates’ performance, storylines and facts addressed throughout the evening. Additional post-debate stories will be featured throughout the week.
During the first Presidential Debate, FiveThirtyEight reached its all-time single day record traffic across all metrics, according to Adobe Analytics, including 8.2 million minutes and an average minute audience of 5,720.

By Ana Livia Coelho

Journalism on Display

  • Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh couldn’t be more different but the two have been close friends for years. ESPN senior writer Brian Bennett tells the story of their unlikely friendship on ESPN.com. No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 4 Michigan will face off this Saturday, Oct. 1, on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET.
  • With their city falling apart, Cam Newton and the Panthers are struggling to keep it together. NFL writer Jason Reid reveals the pressure Newton is experiencing, as the face of the Panthers, to speak out on current issues and to lead his team to victory amidst the turmoil in Charlotte, N.C., on The Undefeated.com.
  • Andy Katz and Rick Klein were joined by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez to discuss the loss of Jose Fernandez and his impact on MLB, Cuban Americans and Miami on ESPN Audio.
  • Panelists on Sunday morning’s The Sports Reporters (9:30 a.m., ESPN2; 10:30 a.m., ESPNEWS) will be Mike Lupica (host), Mitch Albom, Howard Bryant, and Jemele Hill.
  • ESPN’s sister network ABC will air a special tonight at 10 p.m. ET on 20/20. “Rear Window,” an investigation of the murder of Garrett Phillips, includes interviews with Phillips’ mother’s ex-boyfriend Nick Hillary and various family members. Anchor Elizabeth Vargas was the first to interview Hillary after he was found not guilty earlier this week.

By Molly Mita

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