Juan Manuel Benítez is the host and executive producer of Pura Política, a Spanish-language political talk-show that runs weekly on NY1 Noticias. A multimedia journalist, he has been working as a political reporter for the local news station NY1 since 2003.
Besides covering New York City and State politics, Juan Manuel has traveled around the United States on assignment. He has also covered political stories in Cuba, México and Europe.
Following a family tradition, Juan Manuel is also a teacher and professor. In New York, he teaches graduate students at the journalism schools of Columbia University and City University of New York (CUNY).
After getting the prestigious La Caixa scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the United States, Juan Manuel graduated from Columbia University School of International Affairs (SIPA) in 2001. While concentrating in International Media, he worked at ABC News and the United Nations. He was the recipient of the John M. Paterson Award, from Columbia University Journalism School, for a documentary on illegal immigration in the United States. Right after graduation, he started working as a reporter for Hispanic Market Weekly. He also freelanced as a field producer for MSNBC and Discovery Channel.
In 1997, he graduated from the University of Extremadura, Spain, with a degree in Anglo-German Language and Literature, and a minor degree in Romanic Languages. He later spent a year at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, taking courses on media studies, and a summer at the University of Lisbon. In 1998, he went back to his hometown to teach English and French at a local school.
Juan Manuel was born in Badajoz, Spain.