Leave a legacy; mentor a journalism student

It’s no secret that journalism is a tough industry. That’s why CCNMA is calling on professional journalists to join our 2014 mentoring program to guide college students as they hone their reporting skills, apply for internships and prepare to graduate.

We’ll be launching this year’s program in the fall at ABC 7 studios in Glendale and are looking for professionals (print, photo, radio, broadcast, multimedia) like you to make this program a success. Help us show the diversity within the profession. If you’re a reporter, photographer, producer, editor, manager, designer, etc., then join us on Wednesday, Oct. 8. That’s when you’ll meet your mentor/mentee and begin what will be a mutually beneficial relationship.

Students should arrive by 5 p.m. Mentors should arrive at 6 p.m.

If you’re interested in participating as a mentor or mentee, email CCNMA Executive Director Julio Moran to sign up. For security and parking reasons, only those who have signed up by Sept. 26 will be allowed to participate.

Students from CCNMA’s Cal State Northridge chapter will be participating. Below, CCNMA President Yvette Cabrera discusses the mentoring program at a chapter meeting in May.




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In photos: 34th Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet


What a night. Our 34th annual scholarship and awards banquet was a night of good company, moving speeches and an amazing cause. We hope you had as much fun as we did.

Below you’ll find photos of the night, courtesy of Chris Jolly.

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2014 CCNMA Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the 2014 CCNMA Scholarship Recipients

George Ramos Memorial Scholarship

Alexander Corey
California State University, Northridge

Joel Garcia Memorial Scholarship

Stephanie Guzman
Arizona State University

Skip Morgan Memorial Scholarship

Jasmine Leyva
San Jose State University

Frank del Olmo Memorial Scholarship

Janel Pineda
Los Angeles
Dickinson College

Felíx J. Gutíerrez Memorial Scholarship

Adriana Ramos
Justin-Siena H.S./Napa Valley College

Amanda Villalobos
Santa Maria
San Francisco State University

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Winner of CCNMA’s 15th Ruben Salazar Awards

CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California today announced the winner of its 15th Ruben Salazar Journalism Awards recognizing work published or broadcast in California that exemplifies journalistic excellence while contributing to a better understanding of Latinos.

Leslie Berestein RojasLeslie Berestein Rojas, Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter for 89.3 KPCC in Pasadena, has won in the radio category for her story “DNA From LA Area Immigrants Could Solve Painful Mysteries From Guatemala’s Civil War.”  The story focuses on a project that uses DNA to identify the bodies of some of Guatemala’s roughly 45,000 wartime desaparecidos.

The judges said: “The writing is excellent as a piece of prose and well done on radio. She presented a story vivid with color and yet managed to tuck the Guatemalan tragedy neatly into the reader’s and listener’s mind without having to unleash that 800-pound gorilla.”

There were no winners this year in the other categories.

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

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.

The awards will be formally presented at CCNMA’s 34th Scholarship Banquet on May 30, 2014, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The honorees that night will be Dawn Garcia of the Knight Fellowships at Stanford; Phillip Rodriguez, producer of the film “Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle”: Tony Valdez of Fox11 in Los Angeles; and Southern California Public Radio 89.3 KPCC in Pasadena.

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#CincodeFallo shows we still got a long way to go

MSNBC’s attempt at humor on Cinco de Mayo shows that this country still has a long way to go regarding race relations.

A segment supposedly highlighting a “Mexican Heritage Celebration” featured MSNBC’s Way Too Early host Thomas Roberts telling viewers the history of the holiday. The explanation is cut short of any depth when an Anglo reporter wearing a sombrero staggers on and off screen as he swigs from a tequila bottle while shaking a maraca.

“It’s also an excuse to drink tequila on a Monday morning at work for Louis,” says host Roberts, adding “you have to drink the whole thing and eat the worm.”

They can’t even get their drinks straight: Mescal has a worm in it, not tequila.

This incident comes on the heels of the Donald Sterling fiasco, in which the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers is heard making racist remarks regarding blacks in a recording.

In many ways the MSNBC incident is worse. This is a news organization that is supposed to deliver unbiased news to the public. It is supposed to be accurate in its depiction of people and issues. It is supposed to have the public’s trust.

Instead, it used Cinco de Mayo as an opportunity to poke fun by using props that play to negative stereotypes. Did MSNBC learn nothing from Buzzfeed’s 20 do’s and don’ts of Cinco de Mayo?

Still, the uproar over the MSNBC incident is nowhere near the uproar over Sterling.

This incident demonstrates the need for more diverse newsrooms. The recent recession has been an excuse for many newsrooms to cast aside diversity efforts. The percentage of journalists of color in newsrooms remains stagnant or has dropped, while the percentage of people of color in the country continues to grow.

Many people, especially in those areas of the country that don’t have diverse populations, learn about other cultures through what they see in the media. The issue is exasperated by the fact that much of the mainstream media, especially national media, only cover Latinos on ethnic holiday celebrations and as criminals or “illegal immigrants.”

What makes the incident even scarier is that MSNBC’s parent company, Comcast, wants to take over Time Warner Cable, and capture an even bigger piece of the media pie — and, with that, an even bigger impact on how viewers see Latinos.

MSNBC officials have apologized for the insensitive and racist segment, but CCNMA stands with NAHJ in calling for the people at MSNBC responsible for the segment to be disciplined.

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