Fernanda Santos isn’t afraid to tell the world where she’s coming from. Santos, a Brazilian journalist, a contributing columnist for The Washington Post and a journalism professor at Arizona State University, shares her story in intimate detail on her personal website.
“I climbed the journalism ladder step by step, using my multicultural heritage — I’m of Native Brazilian, Portuguese and African descent; my multilingual skills — I speak Portuguese, English, Spanish and French; my uncanny eye for details that matter; and my burning curiosity for everyday-life stories to distinguish myself.”Fernanda Santos
Santos is included in the ComingFrom.org collection due to her unique honesty and vulnerability.
In the “My Story” section of her website, Santos connects her passion for journalism and human stories with her life in Rio de Janeiro, where she witnessed “violence, inequality and immeasurable hope.” That’s part of where she’s coming from. She also tells readers about her time working at The Eagle-Tribune in Lawrence, Mass., the first majority-minority city in New England.
Knowing all this information, it’s easy to understand why she chooses stories about people navigating through different languages, identities and social hierarchies – because you learn that Santos is one of them. Santos writes about the life she knows and doesn’t parachute into communities for her stories. As a reader, that allows you to trust her work.
In the last paragraph, Santos moves away from presenting her journalistic work and tells about the major event that shaped her as a person: her husband’s death. She publicly explored her pain in a New York Times essay in 2019.
“Together, we’ve managed to plod through the muck, gulp for air and dive under these stormy waters we’ve sailed, holding our breath, and holding it, as we wait for the storm to subside, wait for the whirlpool to stop spinning. We’re still out there, swimming. We have each other as lifesaver.”Fernanda Santos
Rarely does one come across such open, personal statements on the About pages of journalists’ websites but your personal life shapes your professional life. Because Santos shared her “My story” with her readers, it cultivated a new level of connection and trust towards her work.