February has been a big month for the Denverite newsroom and we’re excited to announce the arrival of another new reporter! Esteban L. Hernandez grew up in Aurora and went to CU for journalism. He’s been working at the New Haven Register covering city government, immigration, the opioid crisis and more.
He’s joining us to write about Colorado politics, the suburbs, a bit of city government here and there, and other stories around Denver.
It’s already been quite a busy week in Denver — and Esteban’s been busy talking to lots of people about the shape of the gubernatorial race — but I managed to ask him a few questions over our work chat to help introduce him to Denverite readers.
Dave Burdick: Hi Esteban, I’m going to interview you while I edit this story you just wrote. How’re you liking being back in Denver weather?
Esteban L. Hernandez: The weather has been sporadic, which I always remember was a thing in Colorado. It’s still jarring considering it was snowing just a week ago. So I like it. But it needs to settle down and decide if it wants to be hot or cold…
DB: It will most certainly not do that. What are some of the things you’re proudest of working on when you were in Connecticut?
EH: My proudest work involved stories that helped me connect to people, not just sources. I am really proud for helping bring more attention to the opioid epidemic in Connecticut, and for stories I wrote involving addiction treatment, which can be a hopeful reminder of people’s perseverance amid such a tragic situation. I’m proud of the work I did with covering New Haven’s Latino community, especially when it came to writing stories about immigration and its effects on families.
I am also weirdly proud of a few meeting stories I wrote. I was proud of making something that’s usually dull sound interesting (a story I wrote on the city’s budget vote in 2016 comes to mind). I took a lot of pride of making boring subjects interesting.
DB: Of course we love that stuff at Denverite. So that’s exciting for us. Let’s go back a little further — when did you know you wanted to be in journalism?
EH: It started in high school — I went to Hinkley High School in Aurora (Go T-BIRDS!). I joined the staff at my high school newspaper, The Talon, my senior year, looking to work on my writing. After I started, I landed an exclusive interview with the school principal. I forgot what I asked, but I remember feeling really excited when he told me I did a good job (who knows if I did). I knew I enjoyed writing, but I didn’t realize until later that it’s the storytelling that was so captivating to me.
DB: And now that you’re back, is there any one place — a restaurant, some other attraction maybe — that you’ll be hitting up as soon as you can?
EH: I want to see the buffalo (yes, I call them buffalo) in Commerce City. And I am really excited to rediscover Denver’s restaurant scene, but more specifically, I want to find the best tacos in Denver (send me your recommendations to @EstebanHRZ on Twitter).
DB: Anything else you want to tell Denverite readers?
EH: I’m really excited to be back in Colorado. This place is my home and I’m looking forward to covering it. It will take some time, but I am truly interested in finding people who are willing to share their stories with me. It’s good to be back.
The best way to keep up with Esteban and the rest of the Denverite crew is to sign up for the morning newsletter — readers have been telling us it’s the first thing they read every day, and that they think it’s the best way to stay in the know in Denver. Try it out!