By RUTH BEHR
Danyelle Khmara is a Pima alumnus and, for nearly a year, a journalist at the nonprofit group Arizona Public Media. Since her graduation in 2015, she has dedicated herself to making an impact through a career in journalism.
“I was at Pima and trying to figure out what I wanted to make a career in. I took my first journalism class and fell in love with it. I loved the idea of telling people’s stories, holding those in power accountable and informing my community.“
Khmara’s focus is usually on the U.S. – Mexico border, typically involving topics such as the environment, migration, human rights, culture, economics, crime and politics. But while her work tends to take her far from home now, Khmara began at Pima as a student writing for the Aztec Press, including a story covering how the college had at one point retracted student work study awards mid-year. After the article was published, PCC was motivated to reimburse students whose awards were retracted.
While Khmara has long since graduated, she still attributes much of her foundation to former Professor Cynthia Lancaster, saying she had a huge effect on her during her time at Pima.
While journalism as a whole is slowly becoming unpopular, even vilified, Khmara has said that we need “young and hungry reporters with fresh perspectives”, but acknowledges that the industry does a poor job of making it sound appealing.” Still, she loves her job and stands by its importance.
“As always, without robust and local journalism, Democracy doesn’t function properly. I think having people who have experience in collecting and disseminating fair and accurate information is needed to have an informed electorate so that people can vote in their best interest. Despite the industry changing and becoming a weak shell of what it once was, the need for it has not altered.”