Montse Ricossa will be heading to Telemundo Wisconsin

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Montse Ricossa at her Alma Mater Augustana College. Photo Antonio Varela / Hola America News
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Being a reporter carries a certain burden. Reporters don’t just present the news; they often represent the community and at times even influence public opinion. Montse Ricossa, reporter with KWQC, is a young professional who is trying to represent the Latino community and, in some way, help change certain attitudes through her work.  

Ricossa was born in Mexico City, Mexico. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was of kindergarten age. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and became interested in journalism while she was attending High School. She explained that her family often watched news in her house and while watching other reporters on TV, she decided she wanted to be a reporter, but not just any reporter, she wanted to be a bilingual reporter that could serve as that bridge between the Spanish speaking and English-speaking communities, the reporter that can share her Latino experience to the mainstream public.  

“I wanted to be a reporter, but I wanted to be a bilingual reporter,” Ricossa stated.  

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With her dream and goal well formed in her mind, she participated in the student council and broadcasting club in her high school. After graduating high school, Ricossa chose Augustana College to study in journalism and that is what brought her to the Quad Cities.  

Montse Ricossa at her Alma Mater Augustana College. Photo Antonio Varela / Hola America News

When she entered her Senior year at Augie, she applied for a job with KWQC in Davenport. Even though it is not very common for a journalism student to get a job while still in school, it certainly is not unheard of.  

“I applied. They said come and I did,” Ricossa said.  

She added that she told her employer that she wanted to pursue her dream of being a bilingual reporter. They gave her the chance to do exactly that.  

KWQC has been around for about 70 years now, but Ricossa is the first bilingual reporter representing the Latino community at his particular station.  

She remembers that it was hard at the beginning to find that balance between being a full time student and a full-time reporter. In spite of difficulties, she was enjoying it all.  

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“It was exciting,” she remembered. “I focused on the job and enjoyed my senior year in college. I got to do what I exactly wanted to do.”  

She started her job with KWQC in 2019, right before the pandemic changed everything for everyone in the entire world. Launching her career as a bilingual reporter was not exactly a cake walk. After her first appearance she started getting many xenophobic comments and even threats for speaking Spanish on some of her videos. She tells us that the great support she received from the Latino community in the Quad Cities was what got her through those difficult times. Although she still receives negative comments daily, and as horrible as it sounds, she already got used to them, she still finds strength and support in the Latino community of the Quad Cities even today.  

Montse Ricossa explained that besides helping KWQC reach better Latino audiences through translation from English to Spanish all the news and regulations regarding COVID-10 during the pandemic, she also has a podcast called Descubre with Montse, where she presents topics that are important to minority communities.  

Most recently, this young determined bilingual reporter received an Emmy award for her reporting on the day when Breasia Terrell’s remains were found. She explained that the report that got her the Award was very emotional. She wanted to show how the Quad Cities community was shaken and devastated by this horrific case. She added it was very difficult and emotional for her to report this as well.  

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Ricossa is proud of her Award. She stated that like any reporter she dreamed of getting this recognition, but not even her wildest dreams she imagined that she would receive it so early in her career.  

Now with this first recognition to her name, she is taking the next step on the career ladder in journalism. She applied and was offered an anchor position with Telemundo Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI. She will be the newscaster at 11 AM Monday through Friday. The 30 minutes program will be shown in Spanish all over the state of Wisconsin.  

“This is an opportunity to grow,” Ricossa said. “This is the next step in my career and Telemundo is the best fit.”  

She explained that it will be a big change because she will anchor the news show for five days a week. Right now, she is anchoring on weekends only. This will be a bigger city and a bit closer to her family who still resides in the suburbs of Chicago.  

“I am getting ready to pack,” Ricossa said. “But I hope there will be someone else who can continue what I did here.”  

She is hoping that KWQC management will see the importance of having bilingual reporters on staff.  Her last day with KWQC-TV 6 will be March 23 and on April 4 she will be starting her next step up towards her career path. She is hoping one day to work as a journalist in Chicago.  

As she is preparing to move to Wisconsin, she wanted to express her gratitude to the amazing Latino community in the Quad Cities that had her back for the past 3 years.  

“Quad Cities has been an incredible stepping stone for me” Ricossa shared. “I loved my time in the Quad Cities. And the community is absolutely incredible. I find myself very lucky to have their support.”  

She is in particular very thankful to Juanita Zertuche and everyone at Mercado on Fifth. She assured that all the outpouring of support of Latinos is something that keeps her positive in spite of all the xenophobic comments she receives even to this day.  

“Montse will be missed in our Hispanic community. She has been supportive and committed to be a positive voice for Hispanics. Her Podcast and Spanish news has been much appreciated and valued!” expressed Juanita Zertuche, organizer along with her husband Abel of the East Moline Mexican Independence Parade and Fiesta.

“She has been a trailblazer in her field of Journalism and we wish her much success in Milwaukee! It was an honor to have her support with the Mexican Independence Parade and Fiesta”  Zertuche added.

“I’m so thankful for my time and the support I’ve received as KWQC’s first bilingual reporter, ” Ricossa shared her gratitude. “I hope I’ve been able to show our media and community the importance of having representation in news. I also hope I’ve inspired some Latinos to pursue their dreams, no matter how big or small. Sí se puede!” 

To be a journalist is a very responsible position. Being a bilingual reporter adds a degree of difficulty because a bilingual reporter has to represent and connect. No matter the difficulties, Montse Ricossa is on her way up in the world of journalism. She will make a fine bilingual journalist in the city of Chicago one day and maybe even at the national level.  

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