Mar 3rd, 2014 by Maria Burns Ortiz
That little person in the black sweater holding out a tape recorder is me.
I am a journalist and tech entrepreneur.
On the journalism end, I’m digital journalist with more than a decade of experience. I embraced blogging journalistically in 2003, pushed for Web-versions of my newspaper stories to run before they ran in the paper in 2005 and can attribute my use of social media to landing me jobs in 2006 (Thank you MySpace!) and 2010 (Thank you Facebook!).
As an entrepreneur, I’m co-founder of two startups: 7 Generation Games (ed tech) and evrybit (media innovation).
I wrote for ESPN.com in some capacity from 2006-2013, most recently I was the site’s first social media columnist. I also wrote a weekly column for Fox News Latino from 2010-2013, usually about the intersection of Latino issues and sports. I freelanced for a whole bunch of places. I began my career as an editorial assistant at Sports Illustrated, spent two years as a sports reporter at The (Fort Wayne, Indiana) News-Sentinel.
Before heading back west (I’m a California native, but spent 13 years living east of the Mississippi in places where it snowed), I was an adjunct professor in the Journalism Department at Emerson College and twice a guest lecturer at Tufts University.
I was the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Emerging Journalist of the Year in 2007, named of one Newspapers in Education’s “Faces of the Future: Hispanics Who Will Influence the World” in 2008 and selected for the Fulbright Commission’s Berlin Capital Program in 2009.
I’m currently living Silicon Valley, but constantly debating if it would be better to move to Santa Monica and live by the beach.
Jan 9th, 2013 by Maria Burns Ortiz
Happy New Year. I don’t really do resolutions, but one of the things I hope to do in 2013 is to update this blog more regularly.
The last few months were a bit crazy to say the least. I was teaching three college courses on top writing two weekly columns and one monthly column. This, of course, is in addition to having a pre-kindergartner and an infant. That alone would have kept me busy, but then my nanny got sick and ended up out for five weeks. I had a part-time fill-in, but it was a juggle to say the least. Surviving the semester involved lots of writing late at night and getting up at obscenely early hours to get everything done, fueled largely by coffee and the deadline adrenaline kick that allows journalists to get stories in on time when such a feat seems nearly impossible.
This go-round I’ve got my nanny back and am only teaching one course, but I’m not banking on tons more free time just yet. I’ve taken on some additional work and was recently appointed to the UNITY: Journalists for Diversity national board of directors. And my baby is now walking so I’m constantly chasing after her as well. But when — or maybe that’s if — I get some free time, I’ll do my best to update here.
Of course, you can always follow me on Twitter or check my archives on the right of this page to see what’s keeping me busy.
Jun 11th, 2012 by Maria Burns Ortiz
In honor of the Triple Crown, I ended up writing a trio of horse racing stories. I hadn’t really planned that as part of my coverage plan, but few people expected I’ll Have Another with jockey Mario Gutierrez abroad to make a run for one of sport’s most elusive honors.
A little over a month ago, I got an email from a PR guy asking if I’d be interested in doing a story on a jockey who would be riding in the Kentucky Derby. The jockey was from Mexico. I thought it would be a good fit for a Fox News Latino piece, and it was.
See: Kentucky Derby: From Mexico to the Biggest Stage
Of course, it became a much bigger story after I’ll Have Another/Mario Gutierrez won the Kentucky Derby. And it became exponentially bigger after the pairing won the Preakness, leading me to write a follow up column.
See: Triple Crown? Preakness Winner I’ll Have Another is Great for Horse Racing
With an end to the Triple Crown drought looking almost likely, I was tasked with doing another column ahead of the Belmont Stakes. It was going to be about how difficult it is to pull off the trifecta and how I’ll Have Another was well-poised to do just that. Then I’ll Have Another was scratched a day before the race. My column required a bit of 11th hour reworking, but I managed to pull it off.
See: I’ll Have Another & The Belmont: Hopes Dashed Again for The Triple Crown
Jun 2nd, 2012 by Maria Burns Ortiz
“I’m so sorry [I didn’t get back to you sooner/I’ve been out of touch/I’ve been slow in replying to my email/etc.], I just had a baby.”
I have used this phrase a lot lately. It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation.
My updates to this site have been a bit irregular in the last year and non-existent the last few months. But I have a good reason:
I am now out of the sleep deprivation fog (don’t confuse that for sleeping through the night) and back at work.
Sep 14th, 2011 by Maria Burns Ortiz
I had hit on how leagues and sports personalities utilize social media in my past columns, but hadn’t looked at how teams are using the space. The Jets have been especially progressive in their use of social media, and as I examined in this piece, those efforts have made the team a digital leader among its NFL counterparts.
See: The New York Jets’ social media takeoff