Meet Bryan Mena, The Prospector’s new editor

Bryan+Mena+is+a+political+science+student+at+the+University+of+Texas+at+El+Paso.+He+is+The+Prospector%27s+new+editor-in-chief.

Hugo Hinojosa

Bryan Mena is a political science student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is The Prospector's new editor-in-chief.

Bryan Mena, Editor-in-Chief

I never thought that I would one day be leading a newsroom as editor-in-chief during a global public health crisis.

Yet here I am – pandemic and all.

Not to mention that the national economy is still in shambles and that this past summer was a time of nationwide political upheaval because of police brutality and racism.

We’re all living through some of the toughest times in history, which means that there’s never been a more important time to be a journalist.

I’m excited to be The Prospector’s new editor-in-chief for these next two semesters because our publication has a sacred duty to fulfill and it’s truly an honor to lead that charge with the help of some very talented student journalists.

Student journalism matters and it always will. It takes pure grit and resilience to be able to juggle story assignments, homework, family obligations and in some cases, a full-time job – all at the same time.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t compete with the El Paso Times or El Paso’s various television stations. None of that means that we can’t be of high caliber and top-shelf quality.

During my time as editor, The Prospector will continue to produce unique and original multimedia content around the clock. We will continue to produce groundbreaking enterprise stories and for the first time in its history, The Prospector is going to roll out a business section.

Under my watch, The Prospector is going to ramp up the amount of meaningful investigative stories it produces because that’s what UTEP’s community deserves.

The Prospector is going to continue to be the phenomenal student publication that it’s always been, but I am going to push our journalists to do even more.

We’re going to do our jobs with pride and excellence because journalism is all about serving the public and we are never going to lose sight of that.

As our valuable reader, I welcome you to give us feedback. Tell us what we need to know about UTEP. I welcome anyone and everyone to send us pitches, columns, letters-to-the-editor, anything. You can reach us at [email protected] or by sending us a message on social media.

I am more than ready take on this challenge of being The Prospector’s new editor during the most difficult time in recent memory because of my burning passion for journalism.

I have experience covering important business stories for El Paso Inc., like the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the local hotel industry and how ride-share drivers in El Paso with preexisting conditions were faced with the tough decision of quitting their full-time jobs or risking their health by working as COVID spread.

This past summer, I worked full-time for 10 weeks as a reporter intern for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram – one of the largest newspapers in Texas – where my byline regularly made it to the front page.

From COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Hispanics in Tarrant County to a prestigious medical award that many critics called systemically racist, I worked to uplift so many voices and issues through my body of work at the Star-Telegram.

I joined The Prospector in the fall 2019 and I’m forever grateful and still a bit surprised that I was trusted enough to be hired as entertainment editor from the get-go.

I’m not majoring in journalism,  or anything related, so I will forever be grateful to Valeria Olivares, the former Prospector editor-in-chief, for taking such a gamble on me.

I’ve taken full advantage of that opportunity and it has brought me to where I am today.

I would not have come this far if I had never gotten the Terry Scholarship, which has been fully funding my studies at UTEP.

I went from scrubbing the toilets during my night shift job at Circle K as a community college student to finally pursuing my passion of being a storyteller.

I’ve faced several obstacles in my life like depression, anxiety, self-doubt, abuse, and a few other things.

But I’ve survived all of those challenges and I’m grateful for all the lessons they taught me.

I’m grateful to have this job because I know I will be able to make a profound impact with the help of an amazing team.

Bryan Mena may be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @bpmena.