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How columnist Fabiola Santiago's multiple lives as a journalist shaped her voice

Fabiola Santiago is the featured columnist at the Miami Herald. She's in front of One Herald Plaza in the 1990s.
Courtesy of Fabiola Santiago
Fabiola Santiago is the featured columnist at the Miami Herald. She's in front of One Herald Plaza in the 1990s.

The easy access to instant opinions makes what Fabiola Santiago does all the more valuable.

Fabiola is the featured columnist at the Miami Herald. In a world of knee-jerk reactions, she provides the exception: the calm, considered opinion.

Fabiola provides a critical voice for Miami. That means she’s putting herself out there — writing about controversial topics, like abortion, politics and immigration.

But she also writes about the personal. The death of her father, a Cuban exile who never returned home. Her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Fabiola understands Miami in a deep way. She came here as a child and saw a southern city remade by immigrants. She was among the first journalists to report on the Mariel boatlift.

She’s not just an opinion machine. She’s a former arts and culture writer, and she’s a novelist, too. And she was a mom and a journalist at a time when she had few role models.

She’s lived the kind of life you need to learn to cut through the noise.

On the Aug. 28 episode of Sundial, she joins us to talk about her career and life — and how she became the journalist she is today.

On Sundial's previous episode, Ana Sofía Peláez joined us. She is the author of "The Cuban Table" cookbook and executive director of the Miami Freedom Project. She told us about her goal of making sure that progressives in Miami have a seat at the table.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.