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The Emmy-award winner returned Thursday for question and answer session

John Quiñones’ 1986 coverage of a Florida space shuttle take off was supposed to be boring, but became the start of a career full of emotional, hard-hitting stories.

That shuttle turned out to be the Challenger, which exploded during take off. Although shaken and emotional while reporting, Quiñones learned early in his career not to let his emotions get the best of him.

After speaking in the Union ballroom Wednesday evening, Quiñones spoke again in Olscamp 101 on Thursday morning, talking about his journalism career and answering audience questions.

During his speech, he talked about growing up as a Latino in America.

At age six, he spoke no English, but said he learned it quickly.

“English came rather easy to me and I loved writing essays and stories,” Quiñones said.

Quiñones said he started working the news at 14 when he was approached by a teacher who was impressed by his writing.

As an early reporter, Quiñones was assigned stories he didn’t find interesting, such as one about otters at a Chicago zoo.

“It was a little odd,” Quiñones said. “I didn’t even know what an otter was. It didn’t even do anything, it just sat there.”

As Quiñones got more experience reporting, he did many stories in Latin America. However, he said over the years international stories have had a weaker presence in the media.

Quiñones thinks one of the reasons for this is that people aren’t as interested in sitting down and watching the news,

“I think the American view is less informed,” he said. “People are no longer running home to watch the 6:30 news.”

One of the things that directs Quiñones in what to cover is what he thinks is important and what people should know, while more entertaining stories may draw more viewers, Quiñones said.

“What do you give the viewers? What they need, or what they want?” he said.

Junior Sarah Sanchez said Quiñones’ speech was inspiring to her as a journalism major.

“I would love to go out into the world and make a difference,” Sanchez said.

Junior Juan Pimiento, a member of the Latino Student Union, said he’s glad Quiñones spoke at the University because he helps represent Latinos in media.

Pimiento said he and other members of LSU sympathize with Quiñones’ story because they have similar backgrounds.

“We can actually relate to what he says,” Pimiento said.

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