Professional reporter visits Prep’s Journalism Club

Rodrigo Torrejon stops by to talk about being a journalist


Screenshot from Journalism Club Google Meet

Rodrigo Torrejon visits the Journalism Club at Passaic Prep on Feb. 9, 2021.

By Nereida Delgado Garcia , Multimedia Editor

Professional reporter Rodrigo Torrejon from and The Star-Ledger newspaper visited the Journalism Club of Passaic Preparatory Academy on Feb. 9 to talk about and answer questions regarding his career.

Torrejon said he majored in journalism in college, but it wasnt until two years after when he began his journalism career. He first worked at the Suburban News, a community weekly newspaper owned by the North Jersey Media Group. 

“It was great. I had a really good editor, Trudy Walls, she helped me learn a lot about what I know about journalism,” he said.

Torrejon then went to The Record (North Jersey) to cover Hackensack. He would become a breaking news reporter as he liked the pacing and was unafraid to cover stories relating to crime, fires, explosions and more!

A year later he transitioned to the North Jersey beat for, where he currently covers both Passaic and Bergen counties. 

Michelle Carpinteyro, Features Editor of The Boulevard Online, asked, “What is one thing you wished you had known before you began your career?”  

“I wish I knew a lot of things before starting my career,” replied Torrejon. “It is a lot less of what you learn in class, journalism-wise, but more about meeting people and staying consistent.”

Torrejon emphasized how important it is to know the community you are covering and building trust with them. 

“If the area you are covering sees you often, they will trust you more and give you better information,” he said.

Bryan Perez, News Editor of The Boulevard Online, asked, “In the ‘Passaic says goodbye to firefighter who died from Coronavirus,’ you have the fallen officers’ love story. Was it hard for you as a person to get these quotes?”

Torrejon said covering the story of Israel “Izzy” Tolentino was difficult. 

“It’s always extremely difficult, and one of the parts I enjoy the least about my job is reaching out to family members of someone who has died, got sick or gone through something awful,” he said.

Torrejon shared how potentially intrusive and invasive it can feel to those who lost someone if they were to be asked about them. 

“I always prioritize their well-being over the story,” he said. “Israel touched so many people’s lives as a firefighter and as a friend. I actually had to cut a bunch of people out from the final story because I was getting so many great tidbits from people.”

The Boulevard Online would like to thank Mr. Torrejon for making time to talk with the Journalism Club!