Laura Figueroa HernandezWhite House Correspondentlaura.email@example.com
Education: University of Florida
The first day I walked onto the grounds of the White House complex and into the White House Briefing Room, I couldn’t help but get goosebumps – here I was walking the same path as generations of other reporters.
My job is to find unique Long Island and New York angles, and to explain in our coverage how the administration’s decisions are impacting things back home.
The moment spoke volumes to me about how much Newsday cares about its readers getting the complete picture of how decisions in Washington, D.C., impact everyday life on Long Island. During a time when so many local newspapers are pulling back reporters from bureaus, Newsday continues to invest in making sure we have all of our bases covered – from Amityville to Albany to Wyandanch to Washington.
It's my job as Newsday’s White House correspondent to find unique Long Island and New York angles, and to explain in our coverage how the administration’s decisions are impacting things back home. So often I have found “there’s always a Long Island connection” – from writing about White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s Long Island roots to profiling Navy Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, a Long Island native who was tapped by former President Donald Trump in 2020 to lead the federal government’s collection and distribution of medical supplies during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve also written about former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s upbringing in Nassau County, and the Jericho roots of the high-profile D.C. attorney Mark Zaid representing the anonymous whistleblower who set off the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
My favorite stories involve helping readers understand how the laws passed in Washington are impacting their lives. I’ve written several Q&A pieces about the stimulus payments that were doled out during the pandemic and the temporary child tax credit expansion passed as part of the pandemic relief package. Often I found myself fielding emails from readers who were missing checks, or had questions about their payments and I was happy when I was able to point them in the right direction or where to seek help for their specific case.
I grew up wanting to be a journalist to help people. I remember being in elementary school and reading an article in a New York City tabloid about a wheelchair-bound individual who could not leave a walk-up apartment without help. The coverage of the person’s story helped spur action that led them getting into a wheelchair-friendly, first-floor apartment. It was the first time I was able to connect how words and pictures on paper could directly help someone’s life.
I am thankful for the opportunities Newsday has given me to help in my own small way since I joined the newsroom in 2012 as a politics reporter.
Honors and Awards: UNITY/United Nations Reporting Fellowship, 2011; Florida Press Club- First Place General Excellence in Minority News Writing, Second Place General Excellence in Business Writing, Third Place General Excellence in General News Writing; Florida Society of Newspaper Editors-Second Place Business Reporting, 2006