Inspiring Latina of the Week: Journalist Maria Eugenia Alcón

In 2010, you received and Emmy for your work on “The War Next Door” on Mexico’s fight against the cartels.  How did you feel after receiving this prestigious award?

I was elated to be recognized for my work and honored to share that honor with my colleagues at NBC News like Mark Potter and Richard Engel and their respective teams who risk their lives to bring us the latest in the war on drugs across the border.  It is always wonderfully energizing to get an award for your work and I think it is even more incredible when I get a call or an e-mail from someone I have featured thanking me for telling their story. People inspire me every day.

You are obviously a very busy woman! What does a typical day look like for you at NBC Latino?

I get up at 6 a.m. to look at all the headlines and update our site with the latest Latino news from home. Twice a week I get up at 5:30 a.m. to go spinning, because after looking at a computer all day long, you have to do some serious exercise! Then at 7 a.m., I kiss my daughter good morning, shower and leave for work. I get to work at 8:15 a.m. for a meeting with editors at so I can pitch what NBCLatino is doing so they can include it in their coverage. Then right after, I lead our own editorial meeting where we talk about what we are covering for the day and beyond. Then I usually get to work on finding new stories and editing stories that we have on tap for the day.  

I make sure to create a plan of coverage for upcoming events and assign and talk to contributors about their upcoming columns. Throughout the day I copyedit all the stories and manage the home page layout. I discuss the direction of the stories with my producers and make sure we are all on the same page. I meet regularly with producers and editors from NBC News, MSNBC and our partner websites like The Grio, iVillage and to find ways to collaborate on stories and cross post. I head home at 6 p.m. to try to eat dinner before 7 p.m. with my family. And yes, I am the luckiest girl in the world, my husband gets home before I do so he usually cooks a magnificent meal. Usually after putting Anabel to sleep I go over stories for tomorrow and send out a note with the next day’s assignments because I know how important it is to start the day with a plan. If I am lucky, I get 6 hours of sleep.