The Fruits of their Labor

Daisy Zavala on farmwork and journalism for and by people of color.


This week on the pod we talk with reporter Daisy Zavala, who wrote our heartbreaking farmworker profile “Essential, but Unprotected” (there’s also a Spanish-language version).

This is still a hell of an interview regardless of whether you’ve read the story or not — much of the interview is discussing the pitfalls of being a young professional journalist of color — but if you carve out 20 minutes and read the story first, you’ll understand why the conversation is so urgent.

First, it’s just vitally important to understand the hardship of farmwork on a good day, and the frequent danger of it.

Second, journalism is at an inflection point — simmering for years and brought to a boil by the strife caused by the pandemic and this summer’s unrest — about the voices we have traditionally welcomed and those we have traditionally excluded, or forced to “conform to established standards,” which is a euphemism, in this context, for “always center whiteness.”

It’s a great conversation.

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