Now that she’s cooped in her house due to the quarantine, Caitlin Hernandez has to keep busy so she won’t catch a case of the quarantine blues. Whether she’s updating the COVID-19 landing page, researching for her journalism internship or photographing with her girlfriend, everything she’s currently doing has a purpose.
Hernandez is the managing editor of the Courier, as well as a writer and a photographer. She covers a variety of stories, from features to breaking news. On top of all that, she is an intern at KPCC. While she originally covered census coverage and early childhood education, she has shifted to report on COVID-19.
KPCC is a radio station, based in Pasadena Calif., that reports on news and topics that affect the Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, Fullerton, and Irvine areas.
“My biggest goal with journalism is to get information out to communities that’s accessible and easy to understand,” she said. “so I’m game for anything that accomplishes this and challenges me.”
Hernandez realized she loved writing early on at PCC. Before that, she knew she wanted to work in something that would contribute to her community. Her goal with journalism is to provide accessible and “easy to understand” information to all groups. Combined with her enjoyment of her photojournalistic work, she has proven to be a strong and reliable asset.
“Journalism just fit perfectly into this,” Hernandez said. “Photography was a bonus for me since I’ve always liked being visually creative, too.”
The current COVID-19 situation has proven different, but not difficult for Hernandez.
“I think I’m doing okay,” she said. “The shift to online has been a lot, mentally. I get headaches from being on the computer for so long now, which is annoying. I was really worried, but so far, I’m still on track for all A’s.”
With her heavy workload and the current COVID-19 dilemma, Hernandez reminds herself to take mental health breaks. She has found her newest hobby: coloring in her Star Wars book with some vodka on the side.
Victoria Ive, editor-in-chief of the Courier, has worked closely with Hernandez since 2019.
“Caitlin has been a really great resource for me,” Ivie said. “Right when she started at the Courier, I noticed how quickly she wanted to be more hands on and get experience in the newsroom. Last semester alone she was helping with Lancerlikes, taking the photo and writing class, doing design and illustration for the Courier podcast and was assistant news editor. She took on a lot of responsibility and she has a lot of drive.”
Ivie referenced Hernandez’s featured work in the Los Angeles Cleared out gallery, which displays how the current pandemic has affected L.A., when discussing Hernandez’s evolution of work.
Though this is only her second semester, Hernandez has repeatedly shown her dedication to journalism through breaking news coverage of the LA Youth Climate Strike, campus disturbances, and the COVID-19 outbreak.