Digital journalism major writes his own story on path to graduation

The head of digital journalism Jesús Cano, who is going to graduate in May 2022, has found a job in the Bay Area news team. (Photo by Cary Edmondson)

Jesús Cano considered a career in teaching, but when he discovered journalism – especially sports writing – he got stuck.

Kano was 16 when his byline first appeared on The Mercury News for a story he wrote about a football game at Pittsburgh High School. He would continue to contribute letters to the East Bay Times as a teenager as well.

“This was the newspaper I grew up reading,” said Cano, who was born in Pachuca, Mexico but grew up in Pittsburgh, a city in the East Bay. “When I went to BART, in game A, I sometimes read it on the way there. “I was always fascinated.”

Seeing his name printed in a large publication consolidated his goal of becoming a beat reporter for the San Francisco Giants or Oakland A’s. The opportunities and contacts he has created so far have helped pave the way for a part-time job as a sports pensioner at The Mercury News since January 2021.

“If you can make money by writing about sports and going to games, then that’s what I want to do,” Kano said.

In May, the head of digital journalism and editor-in-chief of the student newspaper The Collegian will graduate from the State of Fresno. The achievement is exciting and bittersweet for the first-generation student who left Mexico at the age of 10 months with his mother and grandmother to go with his father to the United States.

“The fact that Jesus “My graduation is my greatest pride,” said Leticia Hernandez, Cano’s mother. “He will be the first in my family to graduate from college. I see all his achievements and I think it was worth the sacrifice to come here. “I have no words to describe how happy I feel when I see him realize his dreams.”

Cano is the recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. His father, Aaron, spent more than a decade in the United States working as a floor installer before being deported to Mexico in 2016. They have not seen each other since the chaotic morning, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement staff showed up at their home to get his dad.

That year was difficult, Kano said, but he was determined not to let it affect his schooling or stop him from doing journalism. Kano developed an interest in writing about sports in high school. A mentor helped him learn what lede is (journalistic language for the main paragraph of a story) and what it means to build relationships, Kano said. He started writing about his own high school sports and then expanded to cover the entire Northern California online edition of the competition called Prep 2 Prep, which helps aspiring high school sports writers gain experience and get published.

Nate Smith was the site content manager when Cano was hired. Cano’s high school did not have a journalism department, so “he was very raw in his writing at the time, but “he knew some sports; he was very willing to work hard and very willing to see great progress and influence what he did,” Smith said.

Kano graduated from high school and went on to Los Medanos College where he was a sports editor for the campus newspaper. He contributed to Delta Sports Magazine and found more opportunities to cover high school sports and publish in the major Bay Area newspapers.

He took a year off during the pandemic and then moved to Fresno State. Cano first visited the University on a band tour when he was 13 years old. His father was an escort. It was Cano’s first trip out of Pittsburgh and his first hotel stay.

“The weather was good. The sunset was nice. The atmosphere was right,” Kano said. “There was something about it. [Fresno State] that pulled me. “

Fresno State student Jesús Cano interviews Bulldog player Abraham Montano at the Bulldog Stadium.

Fresno State student Jesús Cano interviews Bulldog player Abraham Montano at the Bulldog Stadium. (Photo by Cary Edmondson)

The sport of Fresno State, the atmosphere of the Bulldog Stadium with athletes such as Derek Carr and Davante Adams starring for the football team at the time, and the support of the Red Wave caught Cano’s attention. Then, a few years later, he returned to visit a friend who was a student – he went to a softball game, played a few games at the Bulldog Bowl, had some tacos in Fresno and said he knew Fresno State was where he wanted to end his college degree.

Kano became a student reporter for The Collegian, then a sports writer and is now the managing editor. Working for the school newspaper saved his journalistic career, he said. There was a time, during the pandemic, where Cano said he felt no ambition or urge to do anything. But his work at The Collegian and the atmosphere of collaborating with other student reporters motivated him to help them evolve and improve the newspaper from week to week.

“Over the years, he went from Pittsburgh to Los Medanos and Fresno State, and made it clear that he was not finished and was not going to leave because he was having a hard time at first,” Smith said. “I gained respect and admiration for how much he worked… It’s a big family for us. “My children are very close to him now, which is why we are all very proud of him for what he has accomplished.”

Kano plans to return home after graduation and work for The Mercury News, which helps him get his foot in the door. As an employee, she helps with schedules, scores and reports.

“I am happy for myself, but also for my mom, my dad, my sister, my grandmother,” Kano said. “Everyone has personal struggles. You can not let the bad things in life determine your life. If I had given up, I would have lived my life thinking that I did not bother to do this thing. “I’m happy that I was able to make my mom and dad’s dream come true.”

Celebrating the Order of 2022
In the coming weeks, FresnoStateNews.com will feature stories of inspirational students graduating this spring. The opening ceremonies for the eight colleges and schools of the University along with several celebrations of kinship will take place from 20 to 22 May. Visit commencement.fresnostate.edu For more information.

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