Jesús Aguado, Journalist
Meet La Biblioteca
By Jade Arroyo
In this series we will be highlighting the personalities who make up La Biblioteca, one person at a time. This time we interviewed Jesús Aguado, journalist and colleague at the newspaper Atención San Miguel.
“My job is to write, write, write, write.” This comment begins the interview with the energetic, multifaceted man behind the front page of this weekly paper. Jesús, head of the News Department, also does the comprehensive job of researching news and scouting out relevant situations in the community, develops informative and timely notes, and serves as a photojournalist.
“The relevance is the impact that events can have on society, whether positive or negative. I check news, find out what’s going on, and what is about to happen. I point out what is wrong and what is good in this town. I do field work if necessary, interview, and do some public relations. In the end, what counts is how I write my notes. I do them in English and Spanish.”
After five years at Atención, Jesús has reached a deep understanding of how to function as a revealer of the news and follow his communications profession. He has spent 15 years practicing journalism since he started as a teenage radio host known to listeners as “X Man.”
Originally from San Miguel de Allende, he is the fifth of nine children. He grew up in a rural community, under the fruit trees, surrounded by pets and wells of crystalline water. His family is dedicated to Mexican popular music, and his sisters have a group in which all play an instrument, such as drums, bass, or guitar, and sing.
Jesús has worked since he was 8 years old. He was a caddy at the Malanquín Golf Club, assistant in construction work, waiter, salesman, and more. “My vocation began when I met communication,” he says.
As a boy, Jesús was very shy. When he started his study of locution in high school, he discovered another facet of his personality. He worked in radio for four years.
After high school he studied communication sciences, and then his skills exploded. Later, he worked for four years at City Hall, in charge of the Institute of Transparency and Access to Public Information department. This was a radical change and a challenge because he had to work really hard, learn how the government system operates, and understand the inherent bureaucracy. “Working in government is the best and the worst thing that happened to me. I discovered many things about the way the system moves. I learned much about the law and how the information should be free for citizens to obtain.
The arrival of Jesús at Atención was somewhat fortuitous. The reporter at the time, Jesús Ibarra, was his English teacher, and one day he told Jesús that the bilingual reporter position was available. Jesús Aguado applied and got the job.
“Journalism is not learned in school, sitting in a chair. You learn on the street, with experience, and through talking to the people who live the realities and news,” Jesús commented.
The most important thing he learned at the newspaper is to write without judgment, which he considers a key element in professional performance.
The biggest challenge? At the beginning it was English. He had a lot of support from many people, specially Mark Mullek, and got over the language barrier.
In his career he has faced censorship more than once. There were not only subtle but also personal threats, such as someone trying to intimidate him after a failed bribery attempt.
He considers that journalists need to be even more committed, to give the information as it is. Several digital media that have emerged and are very dynamic, but they need to verify information and be sure to give people truthful and complete information.
Another facet of life for Jesús is teaching., which he has done this for four years. He loves to teach high school students between 15 and 18, especially literature and writing. Jesús tries to teach his students to be aware of the context in which they are living, to start treating them as adults.
Jesús is thespian interests are obvious: he’s an actor in his everyday life. It is almost a tradition for his class to stage a play to live the drama beyond the books. For example, lately they did a presentation of The House of Bernarda Alba, with remarkable success, since boys had to play some of the female roles.
Jesús is a man of many influences. Varied cultural experiences and exposure to several fields of activity converge in his education and personal development. With the same ease, he participates in social cocktails or sits down to eat tortillas on the ground floor in an old rural community, talking to others while wearing boots and a hat. Despite his being so outgoing, it’s hard to know him: there are many Jesúses.
He always adapts to the environment wherever he is in a creative way, making use of inherent qualities of a thespian: “I feel I’m an actor.” He loves movies, country music (idolizes Dolly Parton), long naps, and chardonnay, and he adds, “I could not live without nopales with salsa and ballads in the rain.”
His future plans are to finish his master’s degree in education, to travel, to learn as much as possible that can reflect in his work, and to continue reading, and wrting.