UTEP Alumna Named First Latina Managing Editor at Houston Chronicle
UTEP alumna Alejandra Matos is making waves as the first Latina managing editor at the Houston Chronicle, the largest newspaper in Houston, Texas. Leading audience and content strategy for the Chronicle, she is also the first Latina to join the renowned paper’s masthead, or leading editors of the publication, in the paper’s history.
“Ale Matos is the definition of UTEP excellence,” said Richard Pineda, Ph.D., associate professor, who taught Matos during her time at UTEP. “As an undergraduate, she approached every class and every assignment with laser-like focus and tremendous intensity. Even in her first year at UTEP, I was absolutely convinced she was going to have a successful career in journalism.”
Matos set the foundation for her career at UTEP, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism in 2012. As a budding journalist, she completed internships every summer during her undergraduate education, including with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she later earned her first full-time job post-graduation.
“I cannot emphasize enough to people who are going down the journalism track how much real newsroom experience is important to your career,” Matos said. “Getting out into the newsroom and into the community is the most important thing you could do … It really set me up when I got my first job at a place where I interned while I was at UTEP.”
Matos always knew she wanted to be journalist. After her time with the Star Tribune, she went on to work for the likes of the Washington Post, the New York Times and other well-known publications.
“Watching Ale move up through media organizations has been a treat,” Pineda said. “She recognizes she is setting the standard for Latinas and isn’t afraid to shoot for the stars, working as hard as possible along the way. She has developed strong skills as a mentor and it’s not surprising to me that she’s been selected for this position. I predict she’ll be transformative for the Houston Chronicle.”
She got her start in reporting, including with her new home at the Houston Chronicle, covering education and politics in Texas before working on the content development team at Wirecutter, the product recommendation website of the New York Times. But after a few years there, she longed to return to local news and to continue with her passion for audience development. She landed at Hearst Newspapers, supporting the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News with their audience strategies.
This all led to earning her dream role with the Houston Chronicle.
“You dream about it for many years and for it to happen, it’s a little humbling but super exciting as well,” Matos said.
In her new role, Matos will lead the Chronicle’s audience development teams as well as their Austin-based politics team, weather teams and data teams, allowing her to marry her love for reporting, data and connecting with audiences.
“We work really hard to connect with our readers and make sure that they understand the community they live in, the issues that are facing everybody here, and I'm really excited to get that to more people,” Matos said. “There's so much news coming out of Houston and Texas, and really being able to tell stories for the community and for our audience is really exciting.”
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Last Updated on December 15, 2023 at 12:00 AM | Originally published December 15, 2023
By Julia Hettiger UTEP Marketing and Communications