Winners of CCNMA’s 14th Ruben Salazar Awards

CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California today announced the winners of its 14th Ruben Salazar Journalism Awards recognizing work published or broadcast in California that exemplifies journalistic excellence while contributing to a better understanding of Latinos.

Hannah Dreier won in the print category for her series of stories, “Philosophical Debate, Life and Death Consequences,” about an immigrant living in the U.S. illegally seeking a kidney transplant and the ensuing debate over the moral, political and financial obligations of the procedure. She wrote the stories for the Bay Area News Group last year, but is currently with the AP in Nevada. Judges comment: “It grabs the reader, forcing them off the fence to either side with helping save (the immigrant’s) life or call him a ‘felon’ for breaking immigration law. Well-organized, which allowed the reader to understand the impact that resulted.”

In the TV category, reporter/producer María Leticia Gómez and photographer/editor Edward González of KDTV-TV in San Francisco won for their series “Farmworker Shortage,” which provided a behind-the-scenes look into the Napa Valley wine industry and the struggles of immigrants in the U.S. illegally whose labor allows the industry to thrive. Judges comment: “A well researched, well reported story that gives an in-depth look at the situation in the California vineyards. While it ties in with the need for immigration reform, the advocacy is subtle.”

There were no winners in the Radio, Photography or Commentary categories.

Judging was done by retired veteran journalists in the Los Angeles area.

The awards will be formally presented at CCNMA’s 33rd Scholarship Banquet on June 6, 2013, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The honorees that night will be Teresa Quevedo of KMEX Univision34, Robert Lopez of the Los Angeles Times, Norberto Santana Jr. of Voice of OC, and Luis Torres, formerly of KNX Newsradio.

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 Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization founded in 1972. The group is dedicated to the advancement of Latino journalists and to fostering fair and accurate portrayals of Latinos in the news media.