David Escobar, FCRH ’23, a graduate student in Fordham’s public media master’s program, will join Report for America Corps this summer. Over the next two years, he will report on diversity in New York State’s Adirondack region for two newsrooms—a local magazine called Adirondack Explorer and the NPR-affiliated North Country Public Radio

“I’ve always been fascinated by small-town America and the different pockets of our country,” said Escobar, who is originally from San Francisco, California. “It’s really exciting to get to see a new place and build out my own beat in a new environment.” 

The diversity beat is brand new for these newsrooms, said Escobar, one of approximately 60 journalists who were awarded the competitive fellowship. He will work on stories that explore how demographics in the Adirondacks have shifted over time, as well as efforts to diversify the area. 

‘There’s This Switch That Goes Off In Me’ 

What draws him to journalism is the interesting people he meets along the way, as well as getting to understand them better, said Escobar. 

“I don’t really see myself as a very extroverted person. But there’s this switch that goes off in me when I get behind a mic or talk to people in the field,” said Escobar. “It allows me to be somebody who I never thought I could be … and helps me bring meaning to other people’s lives through the stories that I present.” 

Escobar, who double majored in journalism and digital technology and emerging media as an undergraduate, credited much of his success to his Fordham mentors, especially Beth Knobel, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and media studies, and Robin Shannon, WFUV’s news and public affairs director and morning news anchor.   

“They are the two biggest people in my life here. I owe a lot of my success to them teaching me and helping me find the right people to network with,” said Escobar, who will finish his master’s program this August. “Fordham [also]does a great job through its curriculum and programs like WFUV.” 

Becoming a Compassionate Storyteller

The University emphasizes cura personalis—and sometimes, that’s exactly what journalism is, said Escobar.

“You’re hearing people out. There needs to be more of that, in general. … That’s become a big problem in the industry: whose stories are we really hearing, and a lot of other editorial decisions like that,” said Escobar, who aspires to host a flagship public media show for a local station someday. “But when you just sit down with somebody and hear them out, they’re going to tell you amazing things.” 

“More people can benefit from quality journalism, and Fordham does a great job … training people to become compassionate storytellers.” 

David Escobar speaks into a mic at a WFUV recording booth.

Taylor is a visual storytelling strategist in Fordham University's marketing and communications department, where she documents University life through photography and video. Since joining Fordham in 2018, she has served as a writer, photographer, videographer, and social media manager, dividing her time between University Marketing and Communications and the Office of the President. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Stony Brook University's School of Communication and Journalism and her master's degree in public media from Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her work has appeared on NPR, NBC New York, and amNewYork METRO.