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Winners of CCNMA’s 11th Ruben Salazar Awards announced

CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California today announced the winners of its 11th Ruben Salazar Journalism Awards recognizing work published or broadcast in California that exemplifies journalistic excellence while contributing to a better understanding of Latinos.

The awards—in the three categories of Print, Television and Radio—will be formally presented at CCNMA’s 30th Scholarship Banquet on June 11, 2010, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. There were no winners in the Photography or Commentary categories.

Radio Bilingüe reporter Zaidee Stavely won in the Radio category for her stories on an unusual number of babies born with birth defects in mostly Latino Kettleman City, Calif., home to the largest hazardous waste landfill in the western U.S. Judges comment: “The issue is presented in a very objective, complete manner and with a high degree of sensitivity. The production is excellent.”

There was a tie in the TV category. KKEY Telemundo reporter Jaqueline Hurtado won for her story “Silencio Inocente,” which explored autism, an illness little known and misunderstood by many Latinos. Judges comment: “It’s commendable that a local station produced such an excellent story on such an important issue.” Telemundo national news reporter Cristina Londoño and photographer Luis Arroyo won for their story “Campesinas Violadas,” which explored the abuses women suffer in the workplace. Judges comment: “Addresses a topic that affects women and shows how to confront sexual abuse by legal means. It does so with sensitivity and good production values.”

Alex Garcia and Diana Martinez, reporters for the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol newspapers, won in the print category for investigative articles on the arrest of day laborers in the city of San Fernando. The stories took a hard look at police arrests of day laborers in San Fernando and found the practice questionable at best. The articles helped bring attention to the arrests and helped to halt them. Judge’s comment: “This type of journalism is gutsy for a small community newspaper.”

The awards are named after the late Ruben Salazar, who at the time of his death in 1970 was a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and news director of Spanish-language television station KMEX in Los Angeles.

CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California is a 38-year-old Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization housed at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. The group is dedicated to the advancement of Latino journalists and to fostering fair and accurate portrayals of Latinos in the news media.