Lori Lizarraga, ex-9NEWS journalist, to co-host NPR’s “Code Switch”

Lori Lizarraga, the former 9NEWS reporter whose allegations of racial discrimination at the broadcast network prompted widespread discussions about race and journalism, is the new co-host of NPR’s “Code Switch” podcast.

The podcast, which began in 2016 and is hosted by journalists of color, explores how race intersects with every part of society from politics to pop culture to food and more.

Lizarraga — the daughter of Ecuadorian and Mexican immigrants and a graduate of Southern Methodist University — will join Gene Demby, B.A. Parker and Karen Grigsby Bates on the podcast.

“For years, I have introduced myself as a ‘race and culture reporter’ when the truth is where there are people there is race and culture,” Lizarraga said in a news release. “This beat is in everything and the folks at ‘Code Switch’ have pioneered an entire award-winning show proving, year after year, diverse stories told by diverse people are essential for everyone.”

In 2021, Lizarraga published an article in Westword detailing how she and two Latina colleagues were let go from 9NEWS around the same time. The article discussed instances in which she felt she and her stories were treated unfairly because of her Latina background.

Lizarraga’s article prompted discussion within the journalism industry and Denver community.

Latina politicians rallied in her support, holding meetings with the news station. A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing from a major shareholder of 9NEWS parent company TEGNA alleging racial bias among top brass was brought to light. TEGNA issued a company-wide change to the language its journalists use when reporting on immigration.

“For me and for my family, I am so excited to bring my Latinidad and my passion for storytelling to ‘Code Switch’ and its loyal listeners,” Lizarraga said.

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