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NAHJ Chicago would like to give a warm welcome to Mark Rivera. The Crystal Lake native has been hired as the new ABC 7 Chicago weekend morning anchor. He joins fellow NAHJ member Stacey Baca on the anchor desk…which makes us really proud!

Mark is currently the weekend news anchor/political reporter at WTSP-TV in Tampa, Florida. He was on the anchor desk the morning of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in nearby Orlando..anchoring six hours of wall-to-wall coverage.

Mark graduated from Crystal Lake Central High school and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His first day at ABC 7 will be December 11.

Mark is a great example of #MoreLatinosinNews. Check out his Q&A:

What’s it like to be back home? It means everything. Our family is here. We grew up here. It’s cliche to say, but it really is a dream come true. My wife and I are grateful and thankful to be back in such a vibrant community, and we are eager to do our part to make it a better place.
As a Latino journalist, why is diversity in the newsroom important to you? A newsroom must reflect the community it serves. It has to be full of people from diverse backgrounds who can consider the difficult stories we cover from a breadth of life experience. In a world that is full of noise, it is vital that journalists break through and provide context to current events – how they fit into the broader picture of our world, our country, our city, and how they fit into the individual lives of people who rely on us to shed light on the truth. That is a monumentally harder task to accomplish when you have one group of people from one background with one way of thinking running things. Diversity is the friend of the newsroom, journalism, and the truth at large.
What’s your background and how are you proud to bring that back to Chicago and represent? I am half Puerto Rican, a quarter English, a quarter German. As a kid, every other weekend, we would go to my grandma’s house for arroz con gandules and dancing. Then we would go to the other side of the family for potato salad, sauerkraut and the best lasagna you can imagine. Eclectic, right? That’s what I’m proud to bring back to Chicago. I’ve lived with the love and support of two incredibly different cultures and value them both. Culture makes us better people. It makes us appreciate the diverse communities we live in all the more. And it makes us better at our jobs. I am proud to represent my mix of backgrounds in a city where there are so many people who see the world from more than one perspective.