Get to know the CNET family: Q&A with Laura Martínez

Meet the CNETer known as "Taco Queen" among her peers. She's also a compulsive texter who learned a big lesson from the pavement.

Lee Koo Community manager / CNET
Laura Martínez Senior Editor / CNET en Español
Laura Martínez was a senior editor of CNET en Español. She has lived and worked as a journalist in Mexico, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires and New York. She was the founding editor of the U.S. Hispanic edition of 'The Wall Street Journal' and editor in chief of VNU's 'Marketing y Medios magazine. She is also the founder of Mi blog es tu blog, a daily commentary on Hispanic marketing, media and pop culture.
Laura Martínez
6 min read
James Martin/CNET

Take a look behind the scenes at CNET to get to know some of our staff members better and learn what they do to make our site a success.


Me and CNET.

Sally Neiman/CNET

Hello, everyone! I'm here with another Get to know the CNET family installment. I have with me Laura Martínez, senior editor of the CNET en Español team. I had the pleasure of working with Laura when we were launching CNET en Español four years ago -- she not only helped with translations, her great sense of humor made the stress a lot easier to deal with. Thank you, Laura!

Laura occasionally crosses over to the CNET English site to write articles. Her story that will forever be stuck in my head is this: "My name is Laura. I'm a compulsive texter. I just fell flat on my face." The headline alone is hilarious! I give her props for not only having the guts to write about her incident, but the great interaction she had with CNET readers. Plus, wanna know why she was given the "Taco Queen" title by her workmates? Read on to find out.

Q: What's your job title and what do you do?

A: I'm a senior editor at CNET en Español. I'm based in New York City, but I work with a team of bilingual writers, editors and video producers in Mexico, Spain, Venezuela and San Francisco. We translate a lot of content from CNET.com but we also create our own original content, targeting Spanish-speakers in the US, Spain and Latin America.


Happy Hour with my adoptive CNET family in New York.

Q: What's a fun fact about you related to work?

A:  I'm the only person from the entire CNET en Español team working in the New York City office, which is kind of sad, because I don't get to see my colleagues on a daily basis. The good thing about that, though, is that I have been sort of "adopted" by the CNET.com staff here, so I get to hang out with them, join their meetings and happy hours so I don't get lonely. My love -- and undisputed -- knowledge of tacos have earned me the title of the office Taco Queen.)

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?

A:  I am three hours ahead of my teammates in the West Coast; one hour ahead of my Mexican correspondent and six hours behind the one in Spain, so juggling everyone's work on time and efficiently is a bit challenging, but fun. Beyond time zones, translating, creating and editing tech stories continues to be my biggest challenge, not only in terms of going from English to Spanish and vice versa, but making sure things are explained clearly and (hopefully) in a fun way.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

A: I get to work with the most fun people ever and because it's tech, there is never a dull moment. But perhaps more importantly: While the bulk of my job consists about editing other people's work, I am fortunate enough to work on more personal projects and human-interest stories, like this story about The Family Reunion Project, a startup that helps immigrants reunite with their families back home using virtual reality technology. I also get to write about not-so-serious stuff like mariachi music for geeks. Last but not least: Being fully bilingual, I get to see my stories published in both English and Spanish!

Q: What was the first tech gadget you owned?

A:  A Fabulous Fred (Google it). Yeah, I'm that old…

Q: Besides your phone, what's the most influential tech item in your life?

A: My Fabulous Fred! After growing up playing with dolls, and stuff like My Little Kitchen and then Barbies, here came a … machine! The Fabulous Fred was a sort of electronic puzzle that was many games in one: An electronic organ, a music machine, a memory game and a roulette. I would spend hours playing with it (and I can tell you my mom was not pleased at the constant, annoying noise.) As far as toys went, I thought this one was fun but mostly helped me exercise my brain.

Q: Are you a Mac or PC person and why?

A:  Mac. Because in Spanish "MacOS" rhymes with TACOS!


CNET ES girls: At the CNET party in Las Vegas (CES), January 2017.

Laura Martinez/CNET  

Q: What's your favorite CNET video?

A: One about VR porn. No, really. CNET en Español went inside the Kink.com Studios to find out how the adult content producer uses VR in their movies. It's so interesting, it went to become CNET en Español's most viewed video ever!

Q: When you grow up, what do you want to be?

A: A full-time writer.

Q: If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

A: 33. So I will have my mom, like, forever.

Q: What's your go-to karaoke song?

A: Any Shakira would do. I love her, not only because she has a great voice, but because she sings in English *and* Spanish. Give me the right audience (and the right amount of white wine) and I will go from Gypsy to Gitana and back again.

Q: If you had to put one song on an endless play loop, what would it be and why?

A: Anything BUT Despacito. Seriously. I'm done listening to this song -- and its 1-million versions (especially the Justin Bieber one).

Q: What's your favorite TV show?

A: Seinfeld (is there anything else?).

Q: If you weren't working at CNET, where would you want to be?

A: Somewhere in the Mexican Pacific Coast, playing guitar, drinking wine -- and tweeting...


With my colleague Marta Franco and a photobomb by our manager (Gabo Sama) in Barcelona.

Laura Martinez/CNET

Q: Soup or salad? Why that and not the other?

A: Tacos.

Q: Who would you most want to be stuck in an elevator with?

A: Don Draper (Mad Men's Jon Hamm) -- not because he's dashingly handsome, but because I hear he's a great conversationalist. 

Q: What's your life motto?

A: Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do the DAY AFTER tomorrow.

Q: Favorite and most ridiculous app ever downloaded?

A: Flappy Bird. I became obsessed.

Q: If you could have a magic power, what would it be?

A: Play tricks like Scott Stein.

Q: Do you speak any foreign languages?


Taco immersion with the CNET staff: I taught my colleagues NOT to celebrate #SantaCON, but #SanTacon.

Laura Martinez/CNET

A: English and French. Spanish is not foreign to me.

Q: What is in your pocket right now?

A: Guitar pick; Metrocard; $5 bill.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Tacos, and not only because I'm Mexican.

Q: Who is your favorite actor or actress and why?

A: María Félix. Because she was gorgeous and couldn't care less about what people thought of her.

Q: If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?

A: Guitar. Bike. Rollerblades. Passport. Phone. In that order.


 Ikaria, Greece: My happy place!

Laura Martinez/CNET  

Q: Where do you like to vacation?

A: Greece, Mexico and France. 

Q: If you had to pick a place right now, where would you want to be?

A: Amorgos, Greece. It was the first Greek island I ever saw and it made me fall in love forever with the country. Since then, my boyfriend and I have gone back every year and are now planning our fourth visit in October.

There you have it, Laura Martinez aka the Taco Queen! I hope you enjoyed her Q&A and got to know her better. If you're a taco connoisseur, or also had run in with the pavement as a distracted pedestrian, give Laura a shout out in the comments section. I'm sure she'd love to talk shop about tacos and share war wounds with you. Thank you all for reading and thank you, Laura! Peace out folks!

If you missed any previous CNET staff Q&As, you can find them all here.