CCNMA NAHJ MOU Decision; Message from CCNMA Board of Directors

We were disappointed to hear that the directors of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists voted recently to end a promising partnership with the California Chicano News Media Association. We still believe CCNMA and NAHJ can work together in the nation’s largest Hispanic news media market, but abandoning the partnership so soon is not the best way to start.

We were more than willing to amend the agreement to save it. One example was the hiring of an administrative manager who would have worked for both organizations in California. Any differences we had over the position could have been ironed out in the interest of maintaining the partnership we began with the overwhelming approval of NAHJ’s board just 18 months ago.

Frankly, the entire action was a surprise because we never received fair notice or due process under NAHJ bylaws. Under the partnership, signed in 2016, CCNMA became a chapter of NAHJ with specific rights.

CCNMA board members believe that our combined memberships, journalistic talents and spirit can produce a powerful voice for Latino journalism and communities on the West Coast. The opportunity is still there if only we can get past the fear of risk and groundless liabilities.

​​Meanwhile, CCNMA will ​continue ​with confidence in a rapidly changing journalism landscape that requires new and bold ideas.​ Many of us in California ​have been loyal members​ ​of both organizations​ for decades. ​We don’t see a divide​. We see ​only opportunity in unity.

Joseph Rodriguez, CCNMA President & Board Chair

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Evelyn Larrubia Named Latina Journalist of the Year

Los Angeles – The CCNMA NAHJ board has selected Evelyn Larrubia from KPCC as the 2017 Latina Journalist of the Year.

The honor is the first award of its kind given by CCNMA NAHJ for outstanding journalism done in the preceding year by a Latina journalist in California.

The board was impressed by Larrubia’s work at KPCC guiding investigations like “Officer Involved, A KPCC investigation into police shootings in Los Angeles County” and into conflicts surrounding L.A. Unified’s iPad program: “LA schools iPad project: How it started… before the bidding began”, the lack of arts education in Southern California and the misuse of election funds in Inglewood’s school district: “Inglewood school funds were used to attack former school board candidate.”

The board believed Larrubia’s deep reporting on the causes of rising family homelessness in California as well as projects on bilingual learning and poverty in Los Angeles schools are among the stand out examples of journalism the board hopes embodies the spirit of the Latina Journalist of the Year award.

We celebrate Larrubia and her accomplishments at Latinas breakfast, this Wednesday, October 4th at the Line Hotel on 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010, at 9am.

The breakfast also celebrates the 45 most influential Latina journalists in Los Angeles, the recipients of the Ruben Salazar Award and the five students who are the recipients of the CCNMA annual scholarship program. It also kicks off our partnership with HispanicizeLA, the day long program that focuses of diversity, digital, film and social media.

To register for the HispancizeLA conference, please register here. CCNMA NAHJ members receive the VIP Journalist badge for just $45. Here is the link to register: [Enter code: CCNMA]

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CCNMA Names Los Angeles’ Most Influential Latina Journalists

From national news to entertainment news, local investigations to sports, CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California is excited to unveil it’s first ever 45 most influential Latina Journalists in Los Angeles.

“On our 45th anniversary year, the California Chicano News Media Association is proud to honor 45 leading Latinas in Southern California journalism,” said Joe Rodriguez, CCNMA President. ”The range of their hard work spans all news media. Their influence reaches millions and their example will inspire many more young Latina women–and men–to pursue careers in journalism.”

The list was compiled by the CCNMA board of directors and is based on three-criteria: the quality of work, the size and importance of the journalist’s reach (broadcast, circulation, social media), and the arc of the journalist’s career—résumé and future.

Here is the list (alphabetical order)

  1. Diana Alvarado KMEX
  2. Ashley Alvarado KPCC
  3. Annette Arreola KNBC
  4. Kim Baldonado KNBC
  5. Leslie Berestein Rojas KPCC
  6. Cecilia Bogran KMEX
  7. Claudia Botero KMEX
  8. Maryhelen Campa CBS News Producer
  9. Ana Patricia Candiani Telemundo 52
  10. Cindy Carcamo LA Times
  11. Crystal Cruz KCBS
  12. Mandalit del Barco NPR West
  13. Laura Diaz KTTV
  14. Alysha Del Valle KNBC
  15. Dunia Elvir Telemundo 52
  16. Paloma Esquivel LA Times
  17. Erika Flores KMEX
  18. Daniella Guzman KNBC
  19. Liz Hernandez Access Hollywood
  20. Miriam Hernandez KABC
  21. Azalea Iñiguez Telemundo 52
  22. Leticia Juarez KABC
  23. Jovana Lara KABC
  24. Ellen Leyva KABC
  25. Lolita Lopez KNBC
  26. Suzanne Marques KCBS
  27. Jennifer Medina New York Times, Los Angeles Bureau
  28. Natalie Morales Access Hollywood
  29. Anabel Munoz KABC
  30. Sandy Nuñez ESPN
  31. Dinorah Pérez Telemundo 52
  32. Elsa Ramon KCBS
  33. Norma Roque KMEX
  34. Nicole Santa Cruz LA Times
  35. Gina Silva FOX11
  36. Gabriela Teisser KMEX
  37. Marla Tellez FOX 11
  38. Alexis Tirado Buzzfeed
  39. Michelle Valles KNBC
  40. Kathy Vara KNBC
  41. Vikki Vargas KNBC
  42. Eleanore Vega CBS News, Los Angeles Bureau Chief
  43. Luz Villarreal CBS Evening News
  44. Cindy Von Quednow KTLA Digital
  45. Myra Zuleta CBS This Morning

CCNMA will honor these Latina journalists on October 4th at the CCNMA “Latinas” breakfast and honor of them with the prestigious “Latina Journalists of the Year award.”

We invite you to attend the breakfast from 9:00-10:00 at the Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Tickets available here.

The breakfast benefits the CCNMA scholarship fund and will highlight the great work of all the Latina journalists on the list.

It also kicks off Hispancize LA, the largest social media and influencer conference in California. CCNMA is a proud parter of Hispancize LA that will incorporate social media training, technology development in story telling and diversity discussions in the tech and news industry.

If you like to attend the event, register here.


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Dear Members,

I’d like to offer this brief update on discussions between the Califonia Chicano News Media Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. As many of you know, our 1-year-old partnership in Los Angeles came under review during last week’s NAHJ conference in Anaheim.

At this crucial point, NAHJ President Brandon Benavides and I would like everyone to know that our groups are talking constructively. I hope to get back to you soon with some details. For now, thank you for your patience.”


Joe Rodriguez
Journalist, San Jose CA



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A Letter to CCNMA/NAHJ Members in Los Angeles from CCNMA President Joseph Rodriguez

Joseph Rodriguez, CCNMA President

After a long career in journalism, I can look back now and credit my start and accomplishments to two Latino journalism groups that today find themselves on the brink of a disastrous divorce.

As many of you know by now, the biggest news from the Excellence in Journalism Conference in Anaheim was a vote by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to revisit the fledgling partnership with the California Chicano News Media Association. If the two groups don’t strike a deal soon, the partnership could end, and Latino journalism in Los Angeles may never become the social, political and cultural force it ought to be.
But before I discuss how we can save this united front, let me tell you my story related to CCNMA and NAHJ.

Back in the 1970s, I was just another indecisive college student from East L.A., too unconfident to pursue a writing career—until I met members of the fledgling California Chicano News Media Association.

Today we’d call them “role models” or “disruptors” because they challenged the elitist, old boy hiring habits of American newsrooms and opened enough doors for me and thousands more young Latino journalists.
Not too many years later, as a reporter on the East Coast, I joined another new group, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists . It shared the same mission—to further integrate American newsrooms and deliver better and accurate coverage of Latino communities and issues. I served on the NAHJ board in the mid-1980s and helped to established the group’s student scholarship program.
Over the past decades, the two groups prospered and grew even as they feuded over turf. Que pendejadas, I thought back then. We’re the same people, with a common goal, the same “espirito!” Why don’t we join forces, even merge the two groups?
Eventually, as legacy news media have declined in the Internet Age, we got that chance. Looking for a way to remain relevant, some of us on both boards promoted the idea of a partnership based in Los Angeles. The deal basically allows CCNMA autonomy in its hometown and offers NAHJ a West Coast headquarters. L.A. journalists became members of both groups for the price of one.
We hammered out a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016. But today the agreement is in jeopardy. To be sure, each group has concerns as this merger evolves, so I’m just going to describe a path for saving the CCNMA/NAHJ partnership in Los Angeles from a premature death.
First, before this year ends, the NAHJ board should vote on the hiring of an administrative manager for the newly combine Los Angeles chapter in 2018. Initially promised to our chapter in late 2016, the position is our  highest priority. You simply cannot run ambitious, influential programs –like saving high school journalism in Latino neighborhoods and teaching residents how to watchdog their city halls– without an office staff to raise funding, grow membership and revenue, and marshal the talents of individual, Latino journalist volunteers.
If NAHJ rejects the position, or even tables the decision, then the next step should be CCNMA’s.
I don’t think we should end the partnership for the lack of one office manager, as important as that person would be.
We could, for example, make this counter offer: Instead of getting the administrative manager, the CCNMA/NAHJ Los Angeles Chapter gets to keep 100 percent of NAHJ and CCNMA dues paid by members until we can hire a manager on our own.
The deal would accomplishment two things: Sooth the nerves of NAHJ board members worried about expenses and liability issues, and give the Los Angeles partnership a modest and steady income as it grows membership.
The partnership between NAHJ and CCNMA offers Latino journalism the best opportunity for growth and influence at a time our people and cultures  are under political assau;t, and as too many news media organizations neglect their promises to diversify their ranks.
Our partnership offers too much promise to abandon so soon.
–Joe Rodriguez is a former reporter and columnist with the San Jose Mercury News, among other papers, and teaches journalism at San Jose State University.
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