LATINO VOICES

Anchor Explains Her Spanish Pronunciation After Viewers Comment On It

"I know that change can be difficult."

A recently hired news anchor on Phoenix's NBC affiliate attempted to clear the air after some viewers asked why she pronounced Spanish words and names with a Spanish accent.

Vanessa Ruiz of 12 News told viewers Monday, "I do like to pronounce certain things the way they are meant to be pronounced, and I know that change can be difficult but it's normal, and over time I know that everything falls into place."

On Tuesday she wrote on the station's website that "certain words just sound better when said in their natural way. It really is that simple." She said she expected her delivery would rub some viewers the wrong way, writing: "I don’t intend to come to Phoenix and do things 'my way,' however my goal is to stay authentic to who I am while, hopefully, making our newscasts more open and inclusive to everyone, no matter where they come from."

The response on Twitter, like this message below from an Arizona state politician, mostly praised Ruiz ...

... but her on-air address didn't entirely translate into acceptance.

One Twitter user accused Ruiz of questioning viewers' intelligence. Another wrote that Ruiz believed she was superior to those who spoke only English and that it would prevent her from gaining viewers. And yet another chided her "arrogance" for thinking the community should accept her way of saying things. "You are the outsider," the user wrote.

Shrugging off the negativity, Ruiz wrote on her Facebook: "This definitely has people talking. And that's a good thing."

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