Jessica Elizarraras, a longtime SAAHJ member and former board vice president, is now managing editor of MySA.com – a homecoming to the newsroom where she first gained byline buzz in the San Antonio media market post-college. This time though, to SAAHJ’s delight, she’s returning to her old stomping grounds in a management position.
Elizarraras, 35, first came to the San Antonio Express-News newsroom in 2008 writing for the trendy 210SA publication, a now-defunct publication housed under the Hearst Corporation umbrella that includes MySA.com and the print daily. From there, she evolved into an award-winning food critic and culture journalist, first as part of the Taste and Lifestyles teams at the Express-News from 2009-2013, and then as senior editor at the San Antonio Current.
The Association of Alternative Newsmedia bookended her time at The Current with a first place award for food writing, and five years later, a second place award for editing. She also has been published by Eater’s national website, Texas Monthly and Bon Appetit. Most recently, Elizarraras was Chief Engagement Officer at Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.
“I’m excited to re-join Hearst and continue the work journalists have done at MySA in previous years,” Elizarraras said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to show the world exactly what San Antonio is made of.”
SAAHJ applauds Hearst’s decision to bring Elizarraras back to journalism, specifically in a management role as newsrooms often have difficulty retaining women and people of color in leadership and providing them with development opportunities.
The News Leaders Association found in its 2019 survey that people of color make up only 18.8 percent of newsroom managers at both print/digital and online-only publications. In recent years, the survey has also found that Latinas comprised about just 2.47 percent of the workforce in U.S. newspaper newsrooms.
Elizarraras, a proud native of Brownsville of Mexican descent, is a graduate of University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor’s in communications, and as noted by UTSA, has long been engaged in the community. SAAHJ members may know her from serving on the board as vice president, when we hosted the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2014 for their first ever national convention here in town. In addition to serving on our scholarship committee and signing up to join our new mentoring program, she’s also a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International-San Antonio and serves on the board of Foodways Texas. She previously served on the board of the nonprofit news organization, San Antonio Heron.