CCNMA, NAHJ merge in an effort to boost newsroom diversity in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The boards of the California Chicano News Media Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have agreed to merge the organizations to better tackle diversity, training and development for members in Los Angeles and California.

“NAHJ came from CCNMA 30 plus years ago and today, we come back together,” said Mekahlo Medina, NAHJ President. “This new partnership will initially focus on Los Angeles, merging NAHJ LA and CCNMA’s boards and activities and then growing CCNMA’s presence in other chapters across the state.”

The memorandum of understanding agreed by both boards maintains CCNMA’s brand and initiatives as both organizations hope to grow and reach more mutual members across the state. NAHJ chapters in San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area will retain their independence as they also partner with CCNMA to expand our reach in California and throughout the nation.

“We’re looking forward to this new relationship with NAHJ in California,” said Joe Rodriguez, CCNMA President and former NAHJ board member. “The partnership will allow CCNMA to strengthen it’s signature job fair and scholarship programs as it begins to cast a wider net, from promoting journalism in minority high schools to helping veteran journalists expand their skills in a rapidly changing industry. I’d like to see our local memberships work together on every initiative from now on.”

“This is a historic moment for Latino journalists in the U.S.,” said Antonio Mejias-Rentas, NAHJ Los Angeles President. “By building on the legacy of these two important organizations, we can increase our ability to meet our shared goals of increasing Hispanic representation in mainstream media and providing training opportunities for our membership, including those working in Spanish-language media.”

The partnership is effective immediately with a transition period of 60 days for NAHJ LA and CCNMA boards.

Read more

Election results: CCNMA welcomes 3 new, 3 returning board members

Top left to right: Yvette Cabrera, Rachel Uranga, Miguel Melendez. Bottom left to right: Elizabeth Espinosa, Vanessa Martinez, Valerie Mia Juarez.

Top left to right: Yvette Cabrera, Rachel Uranga, Miguel Melendez. Bottom left to right: Elizabeth Espinosa, Vanessa Martinez, Valerie Mia Juarez.

Members voted and the results are in. CCNMA Board of Directors welcomes three new and three returning board members:

  • Yvette Cabrera, Voice of OC
  • Rachel Uranga, Los Angeles News Group
  • Miguel Melendez, USA Today Sports
  • Vanessa Martinez, Los Angeles News Group
  • Valerie Mia Juarez, KABC
  • Elizabeth Espinosa, Radio and TV personality
Read more

Scholarship to honor late Los Angeles Times photojournalist Rick Corrales

Rick Corrales was an award-winning photojournalist. Starting 2016, a scholarship in his name will support students pursuing photojournalism. (Sandy Corrales Favila)

To commemorate the life of award-winning photojournalist Rick Corrales, CCNMA is honored to administer a scholarship in his name beginning 2016.

The Richard Corrales Memorial Scholarship was created by Corrales’ sister, Sandy Corrales Favila. The award will go to a student interested in photojournalism. Students pursuing journalism will also be considered.

Corrales died on Nov. 7, 2005. He was 48.

Among his many achievements, Corrales invented the 360-degree Spinshot camera and was an innovator in 3-D animation software. In 1984, Corrales helped the Los Angeles Times team win the Pulitzer Prize for public service with his photos of Latinos in Southern California. He was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize for photo coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

More details about the scholarship will be available in January 2016.

Read more

Nominate someone (or yourself!) for CCNMA Board of Directors

Many award-winning and well-respected Latino journalists have served on the CCNMA board throughout its history, beginning with founders such as Frank del Olmo, Frank Cruz and George Ramos and current board members such as Mariel Garza, Joe Rodriguez and Sandy Nuñez.

Typically, these journalists are drawn to the group’s mission to help diversify newsrooms. Over the years, CCNMA has expanded its efforts by seeking grants and donations for scholarships, and creating programming for students and professional journalists. We couldn’t do any of that without the work put in by board members.

Interested in joining us? We’re accepting nominations until Nov.14. Email

Here are a few frequently asked questions about serving on CCNMA Board of Directors:

Q: What kind of commitment does serving on the board require?
A: Your main responsibilities are to attend quarterly board meetings, typically in January, April, July and October. While we understand that the work schedules of journalists are sometimes chaotic, we ask that board members make it a priority to attend these meetings.
Q: Is that it? Just going to meetings?
A: No, the organization relies on board members to share their expertise in other ways through its various programs. For example, the organization has an active mentorship program with journalism students at Cal State Northridge. CCNMA would love to expand the program to other interested colleges, but needs volunteer coordinators. Our board members also spearhead different programming initiatives such as the scholarships, Ruben Salazar Awards and the Journalism Opportunities Conference.
Q: I’m just starting out as a journalist and don’t have much journalism experience yet. Can I still serve as board member?
A: Absolutely! As you can see from the list of current board members, many are veteran journalists and a few are in management positions. However, there is no requirement in the amount of professional journalism experience. In fact, a mix of journalists from different media and experience levels can offer different perspectives to ensure the organization is best helping members at all levels in the journalism industry.
Q: Can anyone be a board member?
A: Per CCNMA bylaws, a board member must be a working journalist and CCNMA member in good standing. CCNMA is looking for board members dedicated to motivating, encouraging and supporting Latinos interested in pursuing careers in the news media. (Not a CCNMA member? Join now.)
Q: Is this a paid position? What do I get out of being a board member?
A: CCNMA board members are motivated to devoting their free time to the organization simply because they believe in working to increase the number of people of color in newsrooms. Serving on the nation’s original news media group for journalists of color would give you exposure as well as invaluable networking opportunities.

Have more questions? Want to be nominated? Email us at

Read more

CCNMA scholarship application open

California students planning to pursue a career in journalism are invited to apply for the CCNMA scholarships.

Deadline is April 2, 2016. For rules and application, click here.

Read more