Joy Diaz

Senior Reporter, City Government

Joy Diaz has been a reporter with KUT on and off since 2005. Since joining KUT, Joy has covered education, healthcare and immigration. She is now a Senior Reporter covering the city beat.

Originally from Mexico, Joy moved to the U.S. in 1998 when her husband Luis was transferred from his job in Mexico City to train workers in a telecommunications plant in Virginia. While there, Joy worked for Roanoke's NPR station WVTF.

Joy speaks English and Spanish, which is a plus in a state like Texas. She graduated from Universidad de Cuautitlán Izcalli in Mexico City with a degree in journalism. In 2008 she took a break to devote herself to her two young children, before returning to the KUT studios. She loves reading, painting and spending time engaging with the community.  

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Image via Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

It's college application season, and for many colleges the due date is next month. That means now is the time for writing essays, rounding up letters of recommendation and – lest we forget – figuring out how you're going to pay for a college education.

Image via Pexels/Karolina Grabowska (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Since 2009, chickens are legally free to roam a paved road in Bastrop called Farm Street – there's even a sign that says so. The stretch of road is home to an historic chicken sanctuary. But now there's so many chickens migrating into other roads in people's yards, it's creating considerable chaos.

Ken Kesselus, the mayor of Bastrop, says he doesn't give one cluck – if they wander away from safety, they might be fair game.

mage via Flickr/Josh Zakary (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Thousands of migrants continue to pour into Europe daily. Most are headed for Germany; the country leads the European Union in the number of migrants and refugees it has resettled.

In the United States, Texas plays that leading role.


From Texas Standard: Imagine you turn on the radio one day and you hear a sound like that emergency broadcast signal. Only this time, the announcer does not say "This is only a test."


From Texas Standard: A Google-sponsored pitching event gives budding entrepreneurs the platform they need to get start-up capital.

Image via Flickr/Ashraf Saleh (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It seems that every year, we hear how college is becoming more and more expensive.

Image via Flickr/TexasEagle (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In Texas, there's been a job opening for what you might call a monarch over Monarchs. The formal title is "Monarch Outreach Specialist."

The challenge? To get the Monarch butterfly to return to Texas, where their numbers seem to have been dropping.


Image via Flickr/Beverly Yuen Thompson (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard: Last year 43 people – all students at a teachers college – disappeared during a school trip. How much closer are we to knowing what actually happened?

Nathan James/flickr

From Texas Standard: 

Marco Rico from Dallas never had a daughter. So when his granddaughter was born, he was over the moon.

Benhur Arcayan/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

It's been almost 30 years since Lidia Guerrero last embraced her son in Argentina. Back then, her teenager Victor Saldano was a teenager. He left home, telling her "he wanted to see the world."

Twitter/Ahmed Mohammed

Ahmed Mohamed is a 14-year-old who loves tinkering with electronics. On Monday, he brought a homemade clock to school. After he showed it to a few of his teachers, the clock was confiscated. Ahmed was then questioned by police and taken to a juvenile detention facility in handcuffs – accused of making a hoax bomb. He was wearing his NASA t-shirt at the time he was arrested.


It is Hispanic Heritage Month – a heritage that runs so deep in Texas that the original contracts of the first Anglo-American settlers who came to what would become the state of Texas were all handwritten in Spanish.

When somebody asks you where you were on Sept. 11, 2001, how do you answer?

If you were in New York City, there's a health organization that might be looking for people like you.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) marked 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed the law that created the agency, a part of Johnson’s Great Society program.

Joy Diaz/KUT News

A creative writing competition for English- and Spanish-speaking children is accepting submissions through Thursday.

It's the second year the Austin-based non-profit Voces Latinas has sponsored the event. The group says last year's competition was an experiment of sorts, but its success made the group want to do it annually.

Patrick Dentler/KUT

The number 110 gets thrown around a lot in the context of Austin's fast-paced growth – that’s the estimated number of people that move to Austin on a daily basis.

Sure, when you’re on the road it may feel like every one of those neophyte Austinites is right there on the road with you. But, while 110 people a day is impressive, so is the number of people leaving the city.

Heather Kennedy/Flickr

There are lots of things we power with batteries these days, from interactive children's books that use tiny batteries, to toothbrushes that run on bigger batteries, to our mobile devices with their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

But when a battery's life ends, we're faced with the question of what to do with it. Right now, Austinites can drop off their used batteries at any of the city's library branches to be recycled. But what happens to those batteries after they're dropped off? 

Kathryn Decker/flickr

Have you ever applied for a job where they ask you to check a box if you have a criminal record?

Over the summer, Austin's District 4 City Council member Greg Casar put together a group to look for ways Austin businesses could change that practice, or, “ban the box.”

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Ten years ago tomorrow, Hurricane Katrina made landfall and displaced thousands along the Gulf Coast. Many of the storm’s survivors came to Austin, to the Austin Convention Center. Timothy Jones was one of the displaced, but his first home in Austin wasn’t the convention center. It was a hospital and now, a decade later, he’s still recovering from his own trauma the storm left in its wake.

Joy Diaz/KUT

This week, Mayor Steve Adler announced a push to house all of Austin's homeless veterans by Veterans Day. The initiative, called House our Heroes, will focus on assisting the 200 servicemen and women who now live in Austin's streets.

Austin's total homeless population, however, is much larger than 200, and some advocates hope Adler's initiative is the beginning of a movement that could end all homelessness in Austin.