John Carlos Frey

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John Carlos Frey
Born Juan Carlos Frey
November 3, 1969
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Alma mater University of San Diego
Years active 1996–present

John Carlos Frey born in Tijuana, Mexico, is an Emmy Award winning, Mexican-American freelance investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His investigative work has been featured on 60 Minutes, PBS, NBC News, CBS News, The Weather Channel, Dan Rather Reports, Fusion TV, Current TV, Univision and Telemundo to name a few. John Carlos Frey has also written articles for the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Salon, Need to Know online, the Washington Monthly, and El Diario (in Spanish).

Frey is currently a Reporting Fellow at the Investigative Fund and a Special Correspondent for The NewsHour on PBS.


Frey was born in Tijuana, Mexico.[1] His father was Swiss-American and his mother was naturalized US citizen of Mexican descent. His family moved to San Diego, California, where he attended parochial schools, and later studied film and graduated from the University of San Diego. Early in his life, Frey sought to hide his Mexican heritage. “I wanted to pass as American, I didn’t want to accept that I was part Mexican”, Frey said. “It was really easy to leave my culture behind.”[1] Frey's mother was once picked up by US Border Patrol agents and deported because she was unable to convince them of her legal status.[2]


Before becoming a documentary filmmaker and journalist Frey was a Hollywood actor for ten years. His acting career includes roles in The Practice, Days of Our Lives, Married With Children, JAG, Weird Science, Party of Five and Freaky Friday among others.[3]


Frey's independently produced documentaries include Invisible Mexicans of Deer Canyon, The Invisible Chapel, The 800 Mile Wall, One Border One Body and Life and Death on the Border.[4]

Frey was the main correspondent for the February 15, 2013 episode of PBS's "Need To Know", titled: "Outlawed In Arizona" highlighting a years-long dispute over a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson, Arizona.[5]


  • 2015 Society of Professional Journalists - Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Documentary
  • 2015 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Medal for Best Investigative Reporting for Television
  • 2015 George Polk Award for Best Television Reporting
  • 2015 Editor and Publishers Award "Eppy" for Best Investigative Report
  • 2014 Emmy Award Recipient for Best Continuing Coverage of a News Story
  • 2014 Emmy Award Nomination for Best Continuing Coverage of a News Story
  • 2014 IF Stone Award (Izzy) for Outstanding Independent Journalism
  • 2014 National Headliner Award for PBS "Dying to Get Back"
  • 2014 National Headliner Award for Washington Monthly Article, "Crossing the Line"
  • 2013 Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a News Magazine
  • 2013 Emmy Award Nomination for Best Report in a News Magazine
  • 2013 Sidney Award for Socially Conscious Journalism
  • 2013 Clarion Award for Best Television Investigative Feature
  • 2013 Society of Professional Journalists - Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Investigative Reporting for Television
  • 2012 Scripps Howard Award for Broadcast Journalism


  1. ^ a b De Sainz, Pablo (2003-05-02). "The Gatekeeper: A film about undocumented people". La Prensa San Diego. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Arizona: A State with Hate". The Huffington Post. 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  3. ^ "John Carlos Frey - IMDB". Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "About Us". Gatekeeper Foundation. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Ray Suarez (February 16, 2013). "Outlawed In Arizona". PBS. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 

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