Berger Aims to Reach “Good Morning America”
By Christian Clark
Julian Berger, 16, is inspired by his Hispanic role models, Sarah Batista & Gio Benitez, both journalists, as he aims to positively represent his Latino heritage in the field of journalism.
Since first getting involved in broadcast journalism in the 6th grade with his middle school production, The Nightly News, Julian has had a desire to share his story and to value the minorities that have entered this country.
“I’ve always wanted to have a voice for the minorities,” said Berger. “We should be more opening (to minorities).”
Julian has always had an eye on Sarah Batista, part of WBTV-Charlotte, who had decided to leave after a stint on the station. “She didn’t like reporting the negative views,” said Berger.
She worked with him at Concord High and later became an important catalyst in the development of creating his very own Spanish News Network. “She was always there for me,” said Berger.
As the relationship between the two blossomed, Batista gave Berger the opportunity to meet his other role model in Gio Benitez, part of ABC News, on Good Morning America. Seeing both journalists succeed on the highest level has made Berger extremely proud of his heritage.
“It shows that minorities can be in journalism too and we can have a voice,” says Berger. “I am not ashamed to be Hispanic in any way.”
Despite the successes by these individuals, Julian still realizes that there are some misconceptions about Hispanics that need to be addressed. “I have to tell people ‘No, I’m not Mexican, I’m Puerto Rican.” “Mexico is not the only Hispanic country.”
Although Julian doesn’t feel as if he has to prove himself to others, he often times believes clarification will lead to better understanding of what the Hispanic culture is truly about.
“I try to inform others about who we really are,” Julian said. “There is a stereotype that (Latinos) are part of gang violence, drugs, but that is not always true.” “Every ethnicity has good and bad people.” “We shouldn’t highlight the bad but focus on the good.”
As Berger dives in to further explore the Carolina campus, the Chuck Stone Program, and the field of journalism, said he believes there is still a place for journalism and for people like himself, too.
“That is the reason I came to Chuck Stone: to learn the skills and techniques to have a voice for the minorities,” Berger said. “Journalism is evolving like other jobs.”… “I was attracted because you are learning something new all the time.”
Julian hopes to graduate Concord High and then travel to either New York or Miami for college and intern in a large city. There he plans to make connections to, one day, see his dream of being a news anchor on “Good Morning America” come to fruition.