Laura Gomez is the co-founder of a multimedia company that is a bilingual news source based out of Houston, Texas, and a self-proclaimed “tomboy.” She was born in Medellin, Colombia; her family moved to New York when she was one, and finally made Houston, Texas home when she was around seven.
Gomez’s childhood was filled with sports. Her Dad was a semi-professional soccer player and she used to watch boxing with her uncle. She wanted to play soccer but her parents didn’t allow it. “They viewed it as a boy’s sport. They didn’t want me to get hurt or bruises. So they allowed me to play basketball. They didn’t know how aggressive basketball can be,” stated Gomez.
In middle school she played basketball; but, in 8th grade she got her wish and was able to play soccer. “I wanted to go professional, but if you want to go professional you need to start early. Also, back then women soccer wasn’t that popular. I wouldn’t get paid a lot.”
Gomez then decide to be a sports reporter. She studied Journalism at the University of Houston. “Journalism in the classroom gave me the guidelines, but it is different when you start. Young journalists need to realize that journalism is changing.”
In 2012, she started her career at a Houston Spanish newspaper. Being a sports reporter in a male-dominated industry has presented some obstacles for Gomez. She is usually the only Hispanic in the room and younger than the rest of the reporters. “They try to diminish your work by asking questions they don’t even know the answer to,” explained Gomez, “I just have to introduce myself really strong. Letting them know that not all Latina reporters show cleavage and say, ‘caliente.’”
One of her favorite moments as a journalist was when she traveled to Mexico to cover a major soccer team. “I spoke to the coaches and players and toured the stadium. I was like, ‘wow, I am a sports reporter.’”
Gomez career took her to Univision Radio, Associated Press, ESPN Radio, and the Boxing channel.
About two years ago, she was laid off. She paired up with a fellow journalist to create 90 Seconds Media. The focus is to tell local stories in English and Spanish. They create videos for local charities as well. But like most startups, Gomez has her side hustle as a freelancer reporter. “It takes about two to three years for your business to make money, so you have to do something to take care of yourself.”
Laura Gomez is one modern-day reporter.
Hugs and Smiles,