We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristina Escobar and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cristina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
About five years ago, I became an entertainment journalist with the goal of advancing Latinx representation. I saw that artists and art from my community were not getting the attention they deserved and the results were more cancellations and fewer second chances. In addition, our communities’ specific needs, particularly around how we understand ourselves within the umbrella of Latinx/Latino/Hispanic, were not being met by existing stories. Even well-meaning decision-makers did not understand the nuances of Latinx communities.

We, the “Latino” community, needed to be louder and more organized. So I decided to do just that. I started by partnering up with another Latina in the industry, Nicola Schulze, and together, we co-founded LatinaMediaCo, an indie publication uplifting Latina and femme Latinx perspectives in media. As you may know, media criticism is overwhelmingly white and male and LatinaMediaCo is the only organization working with both a gender and Latinx lens to change that fact. Our theory of change is that storytelling is key to how we understand ourselves and the world and that when Latinas and femme Latinxs are not a valued part of the conversation around which stories get told, how, and by whom, our humanity gets lost.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I write at the intersection of race, gender, and pop culture. I’m a regular contributor to Latino Rebels, POPSUGAR, and Roger Ebert with a portfolio that also includes work in more than a dozen publications such as the AV Club, Glamour, NPR, Refinery29, Remezcla, and Vulture. As such, I’m a Rotten-Tomatoes-approved critic and member of the Critics Choice Association and Latino Entertainment Journalists Association. My work has been cited by the Los Angeles Times, NPR, and Vox to name a few.

Both as a writer and an editor, I am not interested in whether something is “good” or not. Quality is both deeply subjective and largely boring to me. Instead, I want to know what is important about a given piece of art – what it has to say about our society, how it adds to our cultural conversation, and what ways it subverts or reinforces expectations.

In terms of getting here – no, it was not easy! But the longer I kept at it, the more I saw my craft, profile, and impact grow and that’s been nourishing to say the least.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite spot to recommend to out-of-towners is Pizzeria Mozza on Highland. It’s got the fun of Hollywood glamour, great food, and a beautiful space. In terms of things to do, I love the arts district downtown and the chiller parts of Venice. LACMA always makes for a great day… but honestly, mostly I’d just hang out with my friends and our families.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I like to think of myself not as self-made but as community-made, nourished by my family, friends, and colleagues to get to where I am today. My parents taught me to look at the world critically and strive to make it a better place. My colleagues helped me build the skills to do it. My friends held me accountable along the way. And my husband and kids inspire me daily to try. I am the summation of their investments in me and I step out for myself and to honor them.

It’s also worth noting that when Nicola and I began building LatinaMedia.Co, we made sure to reflect that outlook – we’re not an elite space but rather a community-grounded one, nurturing new writers and helping them build their careers.

Website: latinamedia.co

Instagram: cescobarandrade

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/escobarcristina/

Twitter: cescobarandrade

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.