Voice for the Voiceless: Rose Aguilar

Rose Aguilar in the stationJournalist Rose Aguilar ’95 believes in giving a voice to those not often heard. When she addresses immigration policy, the minimum wage, climate change, or another issue, the host of the Bay Area KALW radio talk show, Your Call, incorporates the personal experiences of everyday people as well as expert opinions.

First Aguilar had to find her own voice. As a Saint Mary’s communication major, she needed to participate in class and ask questions—ideal training for a journalist. A single journalism course led Aguilar to her career choice, and to becoming a CNET technology reporter and radio host after graduation. Later, wanting to focus on politics and social issues, she joined Your Call as a producer.

Aguilar also decided to take a six-month road trip to Middle America, which culminated in the book Red Highways: A Liberal’s Journey Into the Heartland. She explained, “I got tired of hearing liberals talking only to each other. Growing up in California, I didn’t know about other parts of the country, the conservative states. I had a book in mind but wasn’t sure what I would find.”

Afterward, Aguilar returned to Your Call as host. Today, however, she worries about the future of her field, saying, “Journalism is in crisis. Social media has a lot to do with it. People don’t read long articles anymore. They don’t even know about their own government.”

Yet Aguilar still loves journalism. She explained, “As journalists we have the power to hold the powerful accountable and to expose corruption. While it’s hard day to day, I’m more resolved than ever to give people a voice and to talk about the issues that matter.”