Juan Manuel Benítez has worked as a New York City-based bilingual journalist for more than two decades, covering politics, climate change, and the Latino community. In 2003, he joined NY1 News as a reporter, launching its Spanish-language sister station, NY1 Noticias. There, he hosts a current affairs show, Pura Política, and the weekly podcast Off Topic/On Politics. Both stations are now part of Spectrum News, a network of more than 30 local news and regional sports channels.
Benítez has extensively covered the administrations of mayors Michael Bloomberg, Bill de Blasio, and Eric Adams, as well as countless political campaigns, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 primary for the Democratic presidential nomination. He has also served as a moderator and panelist in many electoral debates.
Over the years, Benítez has also worked as a guest host for WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show and as a columnist for publications like El Diario La Prensa. He has also been a political commentator for MSNBC and other outlets. He started his career in journalism as a reporter for Hispanic Market Weekly.
For more than a decade, he was an adjunct professor at CUNY’s Craig Newmark School of Journalism, where he designed its bilingual program.
His climate change coverage has taken him to places like The Netherlands and has earned him a New York Emmy Award. He is also the recipient of The New York Press Club and The New York State Associated Press Association awards. He came to New York as a La Caixa fellow.
Benítez has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Anglo-German Language and Literature from the University of Extremadura. He has also been a student at the University of Heidelberg, the University of Lisbon, and Kalamazoo College.
Born in Badajoz, Spain, he lives in Harlem with his husband, Tazjuan Starr.