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Mexican Journalist María Antonieta Collins Showcases Talent During Vicente Fernández’s Funeral

María Antonieta Collins luce su genialidad durante cobertura de funerales de Vicente Fernández

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There are news reports that transcend politics and touch the hearts and minds of the audience in such an emotional way that not just anyone can — nor should — lead them. Renowned Mexican reporter María Antonieta Collins is the card Univision pulls every time a human interest story comes knocking at the door, whether it’s from show business, religion, drug trafficking, immigration. or any other source.

Reportera Collins, as she calls herself, is an icon of television reporting in U.S. Hispanic television.

I have had the privilege of working with her on numerous assignments, and I can assure you that if there is one woman who is disciplined and willing to go the extra mile in her work, it is María Antonieta Collins.

She was the first journalist to announce the death of Vicente Fernandez live from the hospital where he was hospitalized. She had decided to arrive at 3 a.m. at the door of the medical center, where she remained on guard until it was time to go on air on Despierta America en Domingo.

Collins is a woman capable of considering the feelings of everyone around her. Aspects that go unnoticed in the minds of other colleagues are always in hers. Precisely for that reason, even though she was expecting the death of don Chente, she decided not to wear black so as not to show the mourning of an icon to a family that still had hopes of a miracle.

Once the death was announced by Collins, the Mexican media picked it up.

At that moment, the continuous reporting began, in which María Antonieta was the main narrator. As she has been so many other times: during papal trips, elections in Mexico, Chapo’s escapes, earthquakes, deaths of popes and conclaves. The Veracruz reporter represents that journalism that gets its shoes dirty and goes where others don’t go—covering the story as no one else would.

Show business tends to be above political ideologies. Figures such as Juan Gabriel, José José or Vicente Fernández surpass all this, so does María Antonieta Collins.

María Antonieta Collins luce su genialidad durante cobertura de funerales de Vicente Fernández
Family, friends and the public attended the posthumous tribute to Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez on Monday in the city of Guadalajara, in the western state of Jalisco (Mexico). (EFE)

MAC — as she is called by those close to her — and Jorge Ramos were the key pieces of this coverage, because as Mexicans they understood that this news touched the hearts and minds of a public that migrated to the United States, but brought with them the legacy of Vicente Fernandez: his music.

Rarely does this reporter allow herself to mix her emotions or anecdotes during a news report. This was one of those occasions. Her anecdotes with Chente were truly enriching.

“María Antonieta, I would like you to end this broadcast reflecting on how unlikely it is that someone from Huentitán, Jalisco, would end up becoming a world icon,” Ramos asked Collins.

“It was necessity. It was hunger, but it was also the hunger to be somebody. He’s that man who persevered and didn’t accept that the doors would never ever close. And that’s why he set a great example. He continued to be the humble mariachi who went from table to table saying: ‘hey, can I sing for you’. Who asked for $20 at one stage to raise enough to pay for the medicine for his mother who was dying of cancer. He is that Vincente who put his son, when he had no money to take him to an incubator, on hot water bottles to keep him alive. He is that man who taught us something: that as long as they kept applauding him, he would keep singing,” said Collins.

At the end of one of the transmissions, Jorge concluded: “It is a pleasure and an honor to work with you, María Antonieta. I certify. It is a privilege to learn from a master.

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