Making Puerto Rico a more aware, attentive, and informed country is the goal that journalist Bianca Graulau, 32, has set for herself by disseminating reports that delve into the island’s problems. Her stories present emblematic characters who rescue the territory and the Boricua culture, and forceful denunciations against the economic and political powers that promote speculation on the Caribbean island. With almost a million followers on her social networks, the reporter has become a high-impact figure: at the end of 2022 she directed a documentary project with the Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, with the title The Blackout – People Live Herein which they denounce the power outages and the gentrification of certain areas of the country.
Born in Puerto Rico, she immigrated to the United States in 2008 to study journalism. “I studied at Syracuse University in New York and later worked in different parts of the country, both in English and Spanish, until 2020, when I decided to return to Puerto Rico,” she recalls. It was in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic that she made the decision to leave a secure job in the American media to return as a freelance journalist to her homeland, along with her family. “I think a lot of people had moments like this during the pandemic, transformative moments that pushed us to do things we thought were impossible. My learning in all of this is there, in daring to believe in your passion and taking the step”, comments the young journalist during an interview conducted by videoconference.
As women who have to face so many challenges in a world that is made for men, it is important that we stand up and support each other.
There are many stories from Puerto Rico that she has made known to the public through a way of communicating that, as she says, “escapes the traditional journalism taught at the university.” A multi-channel communication that she carries out mainly through her platform of Youtube and their profiles TikTok and instagram. “Journalism is done where people listen to you,” says Graulau, who in 2022 launched a successful video-podcast project called Going Deeper with Bianca Graulau. In this space, he has dealt with different topics through various interviews with Puerto Ricans who stand out in his fields of action. in one of his episodes, chat with Democratic politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), of Puerto Rican descent. “I have a lot of admiration for the Puerto Rican women that I interviewed in this video-podcast, talented and brave women, and I think that as women who have to face so many challenges in a world that is made for men, it is important that we stand up and support each other. “, it states.
Denounce the distortions of the system
Graulau not only does interviews, but also detailed reports in which she denounces, supported by other professionals, how the island is becoming a tax-free investment paradise for wealthy foreigners. An example of her are her investigations on Law 60 for export and trade services and for individual investors, promoted by the United States Government. This norm, in practice, encourages the privatization of public resources of the island’s communities, which materializes in the gentrification of areas such as the Puerta de Tierra neighborhood, in the de facto closure of public beaches and in the concession of basic services (such as electricity) to foreign companies (such as the case of Luma Energy).
Thus, Graulau’s is a journalism that touches powerful interests, with names and surnames, and that demonstrates the courage of those who, like her, independently face the distortions of the system. “To date I have not received threats, but this thought is often in my head and I am aware that there is a certain level of risk in this type of work, that is journalism,” she says.
To date I have not received threats, but this thought is often in my head
To finance himself, Graulau resorts to the support of his followers on the platform Patreon (crowdfunding website for creative projects) and specific financing from private companies. “The sponsorship of private companies continues to be a challenge, because, on the one hand, I want to maintain my editorial independence, and, on the other, it is difficult to affiliate with a company without knowing if I agree with all its practices,” he explains.
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