Whither diversity? Marina Fang asks – and answers – a very tough question.
by Marina Fang
For more than a decade, Claudia Forestieri was a reporter and producer for Telemundo, telling stories about Latinx communities around the country, from the Bay Area, to Chicago, to Miami, to Los Angeles, where she now lives. The work was important and meaningful to her. But she began to wonder how she could become a different kind of storyteller: telling more complete stories over a longer timescale.
“With news, you usually only get the tragic end, or the beginning, or the middle. You don’t even know because you’re just having one piece of the story,” she said. “At first, I was a general assignment reporter, and then I started doing more special projects, like more in-depth series and special reports. And those were wonderful, but it still wasn’t as satisfying as, like, seeing a well-told, well-written film or a series.”
A huge fan of TV, she started to consider becoming a TV writer. She thought about her favorite shows and the ways pop culture can resonate with viewers on a personal, visceral level and provide comfort in hard times. And just like her work in journalism tried to make sure Latinx communities were more represented on the news, she wanted to make sure they were also more represented in TV and film.
While still working at Telemundo, she started to take TV writing classes on the side and work on sample scripts. In 2013, she applied and was accepted to NBC’s Writers on the Verge, one of many diversity programs that help aspiring TV writers from underrepresented groups launch their careers in the industry.
In TV writing, these programs, which are facilitated by major TV networks and studios, generally involve a series of workshops and seminars over a few months or a year….