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This News Anchor Just Shut Down The Haters Who Criticized Her For Her Accent

"I don’t intend to come to Phoenix and do things 'my way,' however my goal is to stay authentic to who I am."

Originally posted on
Updated on

Vanessa Ruiz is a journalist who recently got hired as an evening news anchor for 12 News in Phoenix. Ruiz is fluent in English and Spanish, and grew up in Colombia, Miami, and Spain.

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Ruiz has gained fans since starting her new gig in Phoenix...

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But also has gained some detractors. In her reports, Ruiz pronounces Spanish names of Arizona towns with an accent and some people aren't happy about it.

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The station's news director, Sandra Kotzambasis, told BuzzFeed News that a lot of viewers also questioned the way Ruiz pronounced the name of her colleague, weather anchor Caribe Devine.

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She said Ruiz had asked Devine if she would prefer she pronounce her name with its proper Spanish pronunciation, and Devine had said yes.

"People were asking why (Ruiz) rolled her R's," Kotzambasis said.

So, Ruiz decided to respond to her detractors. She took some time during her Monday night newscast to address the concerns.

Ruiz said that her reasoning for pronouncing words the way she does is simple: She thinks they sound better when they are pronounced correctly.

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"I was raised speaking both languages and for me, certain words just sound better when said in their natural way," she said. "It really is that simple. Nothing more, nothing less."

She added that she doesn't want to disrespect anyone, but she also wants to stay true to herself and her heritage.

I know it may surprise some of you and maybe even rub some people the wrong way. I get it and know I am always open to engage in thoughtful dialogue about it.

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.

Many viewers said on Twitter that they loved her message, and that they supported her 100%.

@VanessaR12News present the newscast your way! It's refreshing to c Latinos represent on local television & still true to their culture

Other viewers said that Ruiz had inspired them to pronounce Spanish words correctly as well.

@VanessaR12News has inspired me to start pronouncing Spanish words (including my last name) the correct way without shame or fear

Even a state senator chimed in.

Our news now more mature, culturally accepting and accurate. How is that a bad thing? I welcome @VanessaR12News to AZ http://t.co/YXRcumnrwf

Ruiz wrote on Facebook that she is glad that she could start a conversation about the issue.

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"This definitely has people talking," she said. "And that's a good thing."

Kotzambasis said the station is extremely proud that Ruiz spoke out, saying the station is committed to letting the anchors "be themselves."

"I am excited and I am thrilled and I support Vanessa 150%," she said.

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