Carolina Estrada is an anchor and reporter for Univision 19, a member of Solving Sacramento. (Photo by Fred Greaves)

An interview with Carolina Estrada, reporter and anchor

Q&A by Kate Gonzales

Solving Sacramento, a journalism collaborative, launched in early 2022 with the goal of covering the region’s most pressing issues. Up first: the lack of affordable housing. The collaboration includes seven local media outlets, including Univision 19, and one civic-engagement organization. It is currently funded by the Solutions Journalism Network and fiscally sponsored by the Local Media Foundation.

Univision Sacramento, KUVS 19, has been serving the Hispanic community of the Sacramento region for decades. Univision 19 aims to inform and educate its viewers through community-focused stories. Recently, during the pandemic, Univision Sacramento was part of a campaign that took COVID-19 tests to rural areas of the Sacramento area for local farm workers to get tested and stop the spread of the virus. The local news team has won several industry recognitions, such as Emmy, GLAAD and Society of Professional Journalists awards.

Univision 19 Anchor-Reporter Carolina Estrada tells us about her organization’s involvement in the collaborative.

Why are you in this collaborative?

Univision Sacramento is committed to serving the Hispanic community. Latinos are a rising powerhouse, but they face barriers in finding affordable housing. Through Solving Sacramento, we want to make some of these barriers visible and provide resources to our viewers and followers.

Why does coverage of affordable housing in Sacramento matter?

It’s an important topic because, even before the pandemic, but now even more with everything that has happened, we have seen what a big problem it is, especially for minorities. In our case, the Latino community is one of the most affected by lack of affordable housing. Additionally, in terms of laws in Sacramento County, there are not a lot of protections for renters. It’s important to tell people what their rights are, to inform them, guide them through any problems that they might be having in this situation. Housing is a right for everyone and it’s important to talk about these topics and point out what’s not going well in our city so it can be fixed.

Why is a solutions journalism approach important to your work?

Journalism is shifting. People — more than getting the information that they can get from so many places — what they need is a guide. We’re that bridge between the community and the authority, being able to bring to them the options they have, and looking into, investigating, using all of these skills that we have that maybe they don’t have — including language barriers and other barrier. It’s important for us to not just expose the problems happening in our community, but also do what is in our power to help them and guide them. If we can bring them to a solution, that’s amazing. Or, at least, bring to them the options they have and inform them on their rights.

What other innovative projects or collaborations is your outlet involved in?

We have participated in a wide variety of projects and collaborations, such as the collaborative project Uncovered California by USC’s Center for Health Journalism. We have also partnered with local media outlets to cover certain topics that impact minorities in the region.

Tell us an interesting tidbit about your organization.

In the work we do, as part of Univision 19 here in Sacramento, we have a lot of contact with the community. We always try our best in all of our daily stories, even if that may be on a deadline, trying to apply the main points of solution journalism that we do every day. Even from the smallest topic. It can be housing, immigration, so many day-to-day topics, even transportation sometimes is rough for people. That’s one of the things that stands out about the work we do, which is we try to find these solutions for people. So far I think we have had a good response from the community.

Tell us about your role with the organization.

I am currently a reporter anchor and previously I was a producer. So I do a little bit of everything in our organization. I’ve been a reporter for the past year. As a producer, you get the full perspective of the newscast. But once you’re a reporter, you get to go out and talk to the community and hear about their issues, the things they’re actually facing day-to-day. So I think that has been a great experience for me, not just being behind the camera, but actually being out there in the community and having contact with them and being able to be that bridge that a lot of the times minorities need.