Latino media grapples with how to cover the Nury Martinez scandal
On Aug. 7, it made the papers across the country: National Geographic magazine released its cover story on Nury Martinez on the condition of anonymity. There are no photographs, but a picture of Martinez is featured among those who were asked to talk about their experiences. Martinez’s face is not in the story.
Martinez is Nury Martinez, 39, a journalist with close ties to conservative talk radio and the alt-right. His blog, Latino Rebels, was taken down after an article in The Boston Globe, and his Twitter account, @NuryMartinez, was deactivated after he made a call during which he attacked two Latino journalists, including a college student, who he said “insulted” and “humiliated” him.
On Twitter, Martinez referred to these two people – Alex Jones and Juan Thompson – as the “Nazis” and “white supremacists.” According to his Twitter account, when an account has been suspended, Nury Martinez has the right to continue to use other accounts, which includes The Daily Caller, FoxNews.com, The Washington Times, and The Hill.
When National Geographic published Martinez’s story, his name had to be withheld because of a potential conflict of interest. He works for Latino Rebels, and the magazine’s executive editor, Maria-Paola Suarez, is a Latina who sits on the board of the Latino Rebels organization. But when the magazine ran the article, both of them were quoted in it.
“We were surprised,” Ms. Suarez told BuzzFeed of her reaction to publication of the story. “We had all agreed that we wanted the story out there.”
The magazine also interviewed Martinez. Ms. Suarez did not know he had been suspended until after publication. “Nury is a very open person and is not the kind of person you would usually talk to,” she said. “He is a very humble person.”
But there were concerns about publication that raised a few questions: Who is this person, and why is he being used in stories about Latinos in America? Are they talking about a man with a history of racism?
“At first we didn’t know if he would be featured in the story. We talked to him about it. He was very open, and we were happy