NAHJ Responds to ESPN Announcer’s Disparaging Remark

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists denounces ESPN announcer Mitch Holthus’ offensive comment during Saturday’s Kansas State Vs. Florida basketball game.

After a play in-which Kansas State guard, Angel Rodriguez picked up a third foul, Holthus said: “That’s sometimes where the Puerto Rican temper kicks in there. They need him on the floor instead of picking up a third foul”. Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican native.

I was made aware of the incident by one of ESPN’s managers who oversees the network’s men’s college basketball telecasts. As many of you know, I am an ESPN employee.

One executive vice president told me that both Holthus and a producer accepted accountability for their actions and that they will be disciplined. Holthus apologized to Rodriguez, coach Bruce Webster and the public saying in part “I do apologize. I meant no racial slur at all…I have the utmost respect for Angel as a student athlete. I am very, very sorry in using a poor choice of words in making a point in last night’s K-State/Florida telecast”.

Regardless of his questionable intent, Holthus insensitive remark feeds an offensive stereotype against Latinos. NAHJ continues to work with media organizations in improving their sensibility in using such ethnic generalizations in their coverage.

In the last 24 hours I have spoken to several ESPN managers about how to prevent future incidents. All appreciate and welcome NAHJ’s input and assistance.NAHJ recognizes Holthus quick apology and recognition of his mistake as well as ESPN’s timely response.

Hugo Balta
President, NAHJ

Tagged , , , ,

President’s Message: December 24, 2012

Dear NAHJ Nation,

Feliz Navidad!

What better gift than your renewed faith in the leadership and work of the staff and board. You are certainly part of the continued growth of NAHJ. Thank you for volunteering in helping to organize, producing and participating in the various events throughout the year.

We also appreciate your financial support for NAHJ. Your donations help our association continue to grow membership services and become financially stable. I know how difficult it is for many of you to donate during these difficult economic times. I hope you realize how very grateful we are with your generosity.

I want to remind you of three things:

  • December 31, 2012 is the last day you will have to donate to the 1,000 Voces for NAHJ. I appreciate your donation of $20 or more for our association.
  • You now have until January 31, 2013 to renew your membership or become a new member for $50 that’s good for 12 months. If you run into any issues applying online, please reach out to me.
  • Lifetime membership is $1,500 until January 31, 2013.

I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday.

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Tagged , , ,

NAHJ Board Meeting Summary

This is a summary of the board meeting in San Antonio on Friday, December 7, 2012. All members of the board were present with the exception of Region 4 Director Roberto Pazos and Region 7 Director Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez. Atlanta Chapter President Nick Valencia attended on behalf of Roberto Pazos. The board voted to allow Valencia to participate in this meeting as an alternate for Pazos.

Finances: NAHJ expenses cut by $400,000, revenues below what was expected, NAHJ has about $350,000 in cash & 80K in investments.

Fundraising: Board was trained by Bill Bennington, fundraising expert on methods to raise money.

Other business: NAHJ attorney recommended organization re-incorporate because of issues that surfaced.

Bylaws Committee will review current bylaws and submit changes to the board for review. Members will vote on any changes.

Executive session: Topics discussed included NAHJ elections, Social Media Policy, Ivan Roman, Code of Ethics for Student Projects, and Anna Lopez Buck.

Executive Director’s Report: $50 membership has been successful, membership special extended, CNN support for NAHJ Journalism Awards, United Airlines support, The Pepsico Foundation support for scholarships, Excellence in Journalism conference sponsors, and NAHJ ending year with 2000 members.

NAHJ Chapters: Board unanimously voted to approve the San Francisco Bay Area and Las Vegas chapters.

2013 NAHJ Elections for Regional Directors: Elections committee will be to help in process. Call for nominations for Region Directors will be between May-June 2013.

Tagged , , , ,

Call for Panel Proposals and Ideas for 2013 Excellence in Journalism Conference

NAHJ Members, 

Do you have an idea for a panel for the 2013 “Excellence in Journalism” conference in Anaheim, CA?  We’re looking for panel ideas that can benefit journalists, educators, students and professionals in the field of communications.

The topics can vary. Here are some examples: 
  • Strategy in getting a job
  • Using your journalism training in the communications field
  • The new definition of a journalist
  • Social media and ethics
  • Teaching from lecture to practice
  • Public relations: building a relationship with the media
  • Effective resume writing
  • Prepping for the interview

Our conference will be a joint effort with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).  There will be two deadlines:

  • January 1, 2013 is the deadline for general panel ideas for the conference. Proposals should be for the general conference.  Submit idea here>>
  • February 1, 2013 is the deadline for panel proposals for NAHJ specific ideas.  Submit idea here>>

Don’t wait to submit your ideas.  Send them now!
Tagged , , , , ,

President’s Message: December 17, 2012

Hugo Balta at Region 5 Conference

Hugo Balta at Region 5 Conference

Dear NAHJ Nation,

A few things to share with you .

First, to all the fortunate students who were awarded an NAHJ scholarship this year — ¡Un Fuerte Abrazo! Their work is inspirational and a great example of hard work paying off.

I want to take this opportunity to thank NAHJ Academic Officer, Dr.Federico Subervi. He chaired the Scholarship Committee. I also want to thank the committee members for their work and time; Dr. Celeste Bustamante, University of Arizona, Jessica Retis, California State University-Northridge,  Dr. Juan Vadi-Fanttauzzi, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (Puerto Rico) and Dr. Lourdes Lugo Ortiz, University of Puerto Rico – Muchisimas Gracias.

Over the last seven days, I traveled to four cities to meet with NAHJ members and sponsors. I spent time with members in San Antonio at the Region 5 Conference. And I was able to celebrate with members in Miami for the South Florida Chapter charity mixer.  It was great to personally thank longtime members for their continued support as well as welcome many new members to our association.

I met with sponsors, General Motors (GM) at their headquarters in Detroit, as well as Fox News Network in Manhattan.

GM Headquarters in Detroit

GM Headquarters in Detroit

Both meetings gave me the opportunity to thank them for their continued support and share NAHJ’s strategic work. I was able to tell them about NAHJ’s return to strong financial footing and our plans for judicious growth. The meetings also provided a forum to invite them to expand their sponsorship participation.

GM responded with a commitment to sponsor regional conferences. They more than doubled their investment in the coming year compared to what they pledged this year. Fox News is considering sponsorships at the “Excellence In Journalism” national conference, our regional conferences and the NAHJ website.

In the five months since being elected I have also visited with members in Chicago, New Jersey and Washington, DC. In the coming year, I hope to travel to as many regions as possible in order to learn more about the great work members are doing and how NAHJ can support those efforts.

Visiting the NAHJ South Florida Chapter

Visiting the NAHJ South Florida Chapter

I have already marked my calendar for two more events. On March 9th, I will be in New York City for the Region 2 Conference. And on April 20th I’ll be joining the NAHJ Dallas Chapter/Hispanic Communicators DFW for their scholarship banquet. I will be joining NAHJ Hall of Famer, Gloria Campos, who will be Master of Ceremonies, and NAHJ Hall of Famer, Ray Suarez who will be keynote speaker.

I will be visiting with members from the Los Angeles chapter this Spring. They recently elected a board and obtained their first corporate sponsorship for the Ruben Vives scholarship.

It is an exciting time to be part of the NAHJ family. With that in mind, the board has decided to extend our $50 membership renewal through January 31st, 2013. It’s also an opportunity for new members to sign up at a great price.

For those hoping to become lifetime members, the $1500 rate has also been extended. NAHJ understands the financial hardships that many journalists, students,academics and communication professionals are still enduring. The board wants to make sure that as many people who want to join our association get the chance to do so.

All the best,

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Tagged , , ,

The NAHJ votes are in for a new name for UNITY

You voted on a new name for UNITY and we have the results from our membership votes:

  • UNITY: Journalists of Color (25 votes) 14%
  • UNITY: Journalists of Color & Diversity ( 34 votes) 19%
  • UNITY: Journalists for Diversity (116 votes) 66%

We will now submit this list to the UNITY Name Task Force and the UNITY Board. The UNITY Board will have the final decision.

Thank you to all the members of NAHJ for voting on this very important issue.

Tagged , , ,

NAHJ Video Recaps The NAHJ/SAAHJ Region 5 Conference in San Antonio

NAHJ/SAAHJ Region 5 Conference

NAHJ/SAAHJ Region 5 Conference

If you missed the NAHJ/SAAHJ Region 5 conference on December 8th, here’s a recap of the event.  We expected 75 people and ended up with more than 170.   There was great turnout of professionals and students.

Thanks to the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists and its president, Nora Lopez for outstanding planning and organizing of a panels.  Also a big thank you to our sponsors: United and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Here’s more on the conference in a video produced by NAHJ secretary and KGO-TV reporter, Sergio Quintana.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support NAHJ and SAAHJ.

Tagged , , , , ,

NAHJ Letter to the FCC On Relaxation of Nation’s Cross-Ownership Rules

The Honorable Julius Genachowski Chairman
Federal Communications Commission 445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554Dear Chairman Genachowski:

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is troubled that the Federal Communications Commission is currently considering relaxing our nation’s cross-ownership rules without first addressing the impact of any rule change on broadcast ownership by women and people of color.

We are troubled that the FCC plans to lift the newspaper-TV cross-ownership ban in our nation’s largest markets even though a federal court warned the commission last year to study the effect of any rule change on broadcast ownership by people of color and women before adopting any new regulations.

We are also frustrated that the FCC has failed to listen to the numerous organizations of color who have called on the commission, for years to adopt policies to increase ownership diversity rather than promoting greater media consolidation which has made it harder for women and people of color to own broadcast stations. (Continue reading.. NAHJ_Letter to FCC)


Tagged , , ,

President’s Message: December 10, 2012

Hugo BaltaNAHJ President

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Dear NAHJ Nation,

Saludos from the Motor City, Detroit. I’m meeting with NAHJ sponsor, General Motors to talk about next year’s Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim and a new proposal for regional conferences.

I’m still very energized from the NAHJ/SAAHJ Region 5 conference in San Antonio! A special thank you to Elaine Ayala, Nora Lopez and the entire planning committee with the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists (SAAHJ). The conference was a huge success. We planned for 70 people, hoped for 100 and ended up with 175. Thank you also to our sponsors, United Airlines and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Your NAHJ board met for the final time this year. It was a very productive meeting. Our accountant told us our organization is on a financial good footing and added that we are doing very well, stronger than projected.

The board approved two new professional chapters: Las Vegas and San Francisco. Also, Anna Lopez Buck who has been our interim executive director is now officially our executive director. The board voted to make her position permanent.

These are just a few highlights of the meeting. Later this week, we will provide you the summary of the board meeting. We also want to thank the San Antonio Express News for hosting our meeting at its newspaper.

I will be in New York City and South Florida later this week to meet with sponsors and members. I will update you from the road.

Have a great week!

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Tagged , ,

Cast Your Vote For A New Name For UNITY

NAHJ Nation,

As many of you know, UNITY Journalists Inc assigned a task force to explore changing the current official name.

The UNITY Name Task Force was formed to address members’ concerns about how the previous name, “UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc.”was changed to “UNITY: Journalists Inc.” without their input at our April Board meeting.

The Task Force is offering these three names from the 107 submitted ideas. Per their direction, please select only the one name you think best represents the UNITY alliance:

  • UNITY: Journalists of Color
  • UNITY: Journalists of Color & Diversity
  • UNITY: Journalists for Diversity

All NAHJ members (journalists, associate members, students, academia, and lifetime members) in good standing will be able to vote.

Please cast your ballot by 11:59PM EST Friday, Dec. 14, so that the Task Force can present the results of this vote to the entire UNITY board. The UNITY board will make the final decision.

I will be sharing with you the results of our members votes. Please contact me if you have any questions on voting process.

Thank you,
Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

The electronic ballots are now open!

To vote electronically, you must access the ballot by logging in with your member I.D. number. It will ask for a password which is your first name.

Member I.D.:
Electronic Ballot URL: Click Here

When you log in, links to the ballot for which you are eligible to vote will come on the screen. Click on the ballot to start the voting process. It is required to vote for ONE choice.

Ballots close at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, December 14, 2012.

Tagged ,

Agenda for Upcoming Board Meeting on December 7, 2012







Dear NAHJ Nation,

Your board is meeting for the last time this year at the site of the Region 5 conference: Encuentro en San Antonio. I want to share with you the agenda for that meeting. All NAHJ members are welcomed to attend. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Hugo Balta
NAHJ, President

Board Meeting Agenda: Friday, December 7, 2012 

Meeting location: San Antonio Express News
San Antonio, TX 78205

8:30 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m.-11:00a.m:

  • Open and Welcome
  • Approval of Minutes for August 25 & October 19, 2012
  • Financial Report 2012 (Guest via phone: Jake Koenig)

10:45 a.m.-11:00a.m: Break

11:00 a.m.-1p.m. (Lunch Served at Noon)
Fundraising training  & idea session, Guest: Bill Bennington

1:00p.m. –1:15 p.m. Break


  • Bylaws Discussion: Report by Erin Ailworth
  • Guest via phone: Michael Lefever and Neel Maitra 
  • Executive Session

3:15p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30p.m. – 5:00p.m.

  • Executive Director Report
  • Membership/special $50 rate
  • National/Local professional chapters finance sharing
  • Professional chapter request:Las Vegas & San Francisco, presentation by Mekahlo Medina, Region 7 & 8 Liaison
  • Anaheim Convention: Report by Mekahlo Medina, convention co-chair
  • 2013 National Elections Discussion – Review Procedures and Timeline
  • New Business

5 p.m. Adjourn

6:30 p.m. Region 5 Opening Reception, Hyatt Regency
Garden Terrace, overlooking San Antonio’s Riverwalk -Level 1
123 Losoya Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Tagged , ,

NAHJ & SAAHJ Region 5 Conference: Politics, Social Media, Ethics, Health, Diversity, and Drug Cartels

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists have one great Region 5 conference “Encuentro en San Antonio” planned for December 7-8, 2012.

The conference will take place  at the Hyatt Regency in downtown San Antonio.  Register today! Here are some of the highlights you can look forward to:

Friday, Dec. 7, 2012
5-7 p.m.–Registration begins

7 p.m. Opening Reception
Garden Terrace, overlooking San Antonio ’s Riverwalk
Entertainment by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s professional dance troupe, the musical talent of Conjunto Heritage Taller, among other surprises. Silent Auction benefitting SAAHJ

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012
8 a.m. Registration begins
Continental breakfast sponsored by the San Antonio Express-News

8:30 a.m.Welcome by NAHJ President Hugo Balta & SAAHJ President Nora Lopez

8:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Morning Plenary 
The Latino Vote: How Did it Count?

A panel of experts will present a series of reports on the Latino vote and its impact on the 2012 presidential election.


10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

Navigating Social Media (and How to Not Regret Your Tweets)
Feeling behind on your social media use? Don’t know what exactly to tweet? Lacking in Facebook friends? Thinking about getting on Tumblr? This panel will give you the 411 on trends to look for, use of hash tags, ways to learn where your traffic is coming from, and how to groom an online presence.


Ethics Hold’em
The San Antonio chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists will host a game of Ethics Hold ’em, a poker-styled tournament that will explore the ethical dilemmas faced by journalists and how to handle them. It’s played with a modified deck of cards. Attendees will be divided into small groups.
Organizer: Eva Ruth Moravec, president of the San Antonio chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Luncheon and Discussion, sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

La Salud de Texas: A briefing on how where we live, learn, work and play impacts the health of Latino Communities


1:30 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.  “ America By The Numbers”
A screening of Maria Hinojosa’s new PBS show produced by her Harlem-headquartered company Futuro Media Group. The screening will be opened by a videotaped welcome from Hinojosa to the NAHJ Region 5 conference. “America By the Numbers” pilot episode focuses on the town of Clarkston , Ga. , which Hinojosa calls “the Ellis Island of the South.”

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
My Neighbors the Zetas: Looking Beyond the Guns and Violence
As national and state media devote much of their coverage on the Mexican drug cartels cross-border gun battles, kidnappings and other violence, reporters often miss stories in their own backyards.  You don’t have to live on the U.S.-Mexico border or work in a foreign bureau to find similar stories.  Enterprising journalists can uncover new angles to demonstrate how cartel activity affects your neighborhoods, local government, crime, courts and business across the nation.


Thanks to United, a conference sponsor

Se Habla Spanish: The Future of Spanish-Language TV in the United States

While language is key in reaching Latino television viewers, new research shows that many are bilingual. This key group targeted by advertisers is still turning to Spanish-language news and programming. Nielsen ratings reveal significant numbers of bilingual viewers in San Antonio turn to Spanish-language TV even though they speak English.  Mainstream networks are paying attention to the trend.

  • Panelists to be announced
  • Moderator: Brenda Jimenez, reporter/anchor, Univision KWEX-TV

4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Diversity in the American Newsroom: What Has Happened to the Goal?
While this year’s election shows the growing power of minority groups, most studies show that newsrooms and prevalent coverage remains dominated by white men. Many minority organizations think that newsroom leaders aren’t striving to reflect their communities.  Newsroom managers in Texas discuss the issue including hiring and promotions of minorities.


One-on-One Video and Resume Critiques:
Are you looking to improve your resume or do you need feedback on your video reel? NAHJ Board members will be providing  one-on-one sessions throughout the day on Saturday, Dec. 8.  Contact the following via Facebook to get a time slot:

  • Hugo Balta, NAHJ President  and Coordinating Producer at ESPN, will be available to provide feedback on resumes.
  • Rebecca Aguilar, NAHJ  VP of Online and Emmy award-winning freelance reporter, will provide video critiques.
  • Mekahlo Medina, NAHJ VP of Broadcast and Emmy award-winning TV anchor/reporter at KNBC, will provide video critiques.

Don’t miss this conference: Register here or download Region5-CONF-RegForm

See you in San Antonio!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

President’s Message: November 26, 2012

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Dear NAHJ Familia,

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

A few things to share with you. As some of you know, the three finalists for UNITY’s name were chosen by members of the UNITY Name Task Force. Per the Chair, they did not pick the names that got the most votes. Fifty-two people sent in suggestions, but they submitted 107 ideas. All of the suggestions were shared with all the Task Force members, who were asked to send their top three choices. The Task Force picked the three finalists as a committee.

These are the three names:

  1. UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc.
  2. UNITY: Journalists of Color & Diversity Inc.
  3. UNITY: Journalists of Color & for Diversity Inc.

The next step is for all eligible voters from each association member of the Unity Alliance to vote by December 13. I will provide more information on the process by next week.

We’re less than two weeks away from the NAHJ Region 5 Conference: Encuentro en San Antonio, The Latino vote, healthcare and border
violence. ABC News’ John Quinones and newly elected Texas congressman Joaquin Castro are among the special guests who will attend the December 8th conference. I hope to see many of you there.

And tis the season of giving and what better gift than an NAHJ lifetime or regular membership. Remember you can become a lifetime member for $1,500, join NAHJ or renew for $50 (good for 12 months). Both discounted rates are good only until December 31, 2012.

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Tagged , ,

President’s Message: November 19, 2012

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Dear NAHJ Family,

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and friends. I hope that you have the chance to share a bountiful table surrounded by the ones you love. This is a time to count your blessings and I have much to give thanks.

I’m grateful for your generosity to our association. Many of you have donated to 1,000 Voces for NAHJ, volunteered your time at events, become lifetime members and renewed your membership.

I know your family like mine, very often has to endure us missing holidays and important dates because of our profession. Please extend my gratitude to them. Thanks to them, we are able to pursue our passion while having a solid foundation of support at home. Your family is certainly members of our NAHJ familia.

Feliz Dia de Accion de Gracias! Que Dios los bendiga.

Hugo Balta
NAHJ, President

Tagged , ,

ABC News’ John Quiñones Part of December Region 5 Conference in San Antonio

John Quiñones                             Joaquin Castro     

ABC News and host of “What Would You Do?” John Quiñones will moderate the morning plenary at the Region 5 Conference in San Antonio.

The plenary on Saturday, December 8, will feature newly elected Texas congressman, Joaquin CastroYou may remember him as the man who introduced his twin brother, Julian Castro at the 2012 Democratic National Convention where the San Antonio Mayor gave the keynote speech.

Quiñones, an NAHJ Lifetime member and the Castro brothers have something in common.  They grew up in the same San Antonio neighborhood.  

Register today for the Regional conference that is packed with social media and journalism panels. There will also be one-on-one resume and video critiques conducted by NAHJ board members, Mekahlo Medina, Rebecca Aguilar and Hugo Balta.  More details coming soon. 

The luncheon session titled “La Salud de Texas: A Briefing on How Where We Live, Learn, Work and Play Impacts the Health of Latino Communities”  sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.   

Don’t miss this conference: Register here or download Region5-CONF-PreRegForm

Tagged , , ,

President’s Message: First 100 Days

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Dear NAHJ Members,

Tuesday marks 100 days since being elected NAHJ President.

I’m very grateful for your confidence. And, I appreciate your continued support for the NAHJ Board and staff. We have accomplished a lot, but we still have more work ahead of us.

Last month we announced plans to join SPJ and RTDNA for their annual “Excellence in Journalism” national conference. I’m happy to announce that VP of Broadcast, Mekahlo Medina and former NAHJ President ,Veronica Villafañe will be Conference Co-Chairs for NAHJ at the event in Anaheim. Both NAHJ Lifetime members have extensive experience planning and executing NAHJ and UNITY programs. They will work closely with Interim Executive Director, Anna Lopez-Buck on sponsorships.

In the coming year, all of NAHJ’s Regional Directors will be up for re-election. I’m pleased to announce that NAHJ Secretary Sergio Quintana will serve as Chair of the Elections Committee. Members interested in helping build a thriving NAHJ should consider running for Regional Director in your area.

The board is also looking at our bylaws with the goal of updating the language. Members will be asked to vote on suggested changes as part of NAHJ’s 2013 election.

When I ran for this office, I pledged to make NAHJ the best journalism and communications organization in the country for all of its members. In my first 100 days, I’ve traveled a lot to help fulfill that pledge. I have seen the hard work of our fellow members and chapter presidents. I’ve been especially impressed by the efforts of Region 2 Director Ivette Davila-Richards, Region 3 Director Chris Ramirez, and Atlanta President Nick Valencia. They each helped produce regional conferences that were a success.

Soon I will be traveling again. I will be joining a group of NAHJ members for an exclusive tour of United Airlines‘ network operations center (NOC) in Chicago. The high-tech NOC is where 1,200 of United’s employees coordinate their aircraft, schedules, crews and maintenance teams around the globe, 24/7.

What better way to celebrate my first 100 days in office than to be with fellow NAHJ Members and one of our Premier Sponsors.

Hugo Balta

Tagged , , , , ,

Suggestions Needed for a New Official UNITY Name

Dear NAHJ Nation,

Do you have an idea for a new official UNITY name? We’ve been asked to submit our suggestions. UNITY is looking for a name that reflects the unity of all of the alliance partners, as well as the organization’s mission statement. 

If you have a name that you think is the right fit for UNITY please submit it before the deadline, Sunday, November 11, 2012.U

Update (11/10/2012): The deadline has been changed to Thursday, November 15, 2012.

Please send your ideas to

The alliance partners will be voting on the top five names. If you have any questions, contact UNITY chair, Janet Cho at

We would appreciate your help.

Hugo Balta,
NAHJ, President

Tagged ,


Robert Zimmerman Q & A with
NAHJ Central Florida Chapter

The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case in central Florida has grabbed national and international attention ever since the shooting death in February 2012. It’s a story that many of our NAHJ members have been covering in Sanford, Florida outside Orlando.

On November 1st, the NAHJ Central Florida Chapter invited George Zimmerman’s older brother, Robert to its “Café con Leche” event. About 30 people attended the Q & A session; even reporters from the local media covered the event.

Robert Zimmerman has become the spokesman for the family. His brother, George is out on bond on murder charges and is scheduled to go on trial in June 2013.

Chapter Vice President, Jose Luis Dieppa says about Robert Zimmerman “In a nutshell he was very candid and did not answer anything related to the defense or anything that will have put in risk the family security.”

Check out the stories by The Orlando Sentinel and an interview by News 13’s, Ybeth Bruzual, also an NAHJ member.

  News 13 interview (video) 

News story: Orlando Sentinel

News story: Spanish version




The NAHJ Central Florida chapter has also invited Trayvon Martin’s parents for a Q & A session. We’ll keep you posted. 

Tagged , , , ,

Remembering Kathy Pellegrino: Veteran journalist and mentor

Photo courtesy:

NAHJ is saddened at the passing of Kathy Pellegrino.

Many NAHJ members will remember Kathy as a recruiter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and as a champion of minority journalists. She was a true believer in diversity in the workplace and helped many of our members find a place in the newsroom. Kathy knew the need for newsrooms to reflect the communities they served, and never wavered in her beliefs.

Kathy was also a familiar face at the convention job fair for many years. Thanks to her efforts, the 2006 NAHJ convention in Ft. Lauderdale was a success. She not only helped secure funding within her own company, but she also helped organize events. 

Kathy was a passionate supporter of NAHJ, and was a committed member for many years.

She will be remembered and missed by many.

On behalf of NAHJ,  we offer our sincerest condolences to her family and friends.

Hugo Balta
President, NAHJ


Tagged ,

President’s Message: Oct. 29, 2012

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Dear NAHJ Nation,

I can’t thank you enough for all your help in building our organization.

This is an exciting time for NAHJ with lots of progress being made! We’re working on producing a dynamic national convention with exceptional programming that will be more affordable to members. This December we will be hosting “Encuentro En San Antonio”.  It’s a conference that will complete an unprecedented number of regional events this year to best serve you. And, professional chapters are hosting engaging networking events that strengthen nuestra familia de periodistas.

On the fundraising front, our 1,000 Voces for the NAHJ initiative has raised nearly $20,000 in donations and commitments. I know we can do more to reach our final goal of $90,000.

The board and staff invite you to become a Lifetime member for only $1,500.  Our Lifetime membership is usually $3,000.  But now until December 31, 2012–you can become a Lifetime member for $1,500 and pay it in installments.  We will work out a payment plan.

When it comes to advocacy, NAHJ has never been more important than it is today.  Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the population.  But a recent study by the American Society of News Editors revealed that we are still underrepresented in newsrooms.  It means that important issues like immigration are lacking input from Latino/Hispanic Journalists who can provide a unique perspective.  Finally, the recent Presidential debates also highlighted an absence of journalists of color and lacked questions that addressed issues that affect our communities.

The mission of NAHJ is to meet all these challenges.  We work to boost the hiring and advancement of Latinos/Hispanics in journalism.  We work to educate students and media professionals to thrive in a continuously changing industry.  And we promote the fair and accurate coverage of our community.

Help us continue that mission.  Make a pledge now to “1000 Voces” and/or  become a Lifetime member.  Your support will make NAHJ one of the best journalism organizations in the country.

You can become a Lifetime member by emailing interim executive director, Anna Lopez Buck at

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments you may have.

Thank You,

Hugo Balta

President, NAHJ

Tagged , , ,

NAHJ Board Meeting Summary


This is a summary of the board meeting via teleconference on Friday, October 19, 2012. All members of the board were present for the teleconference, with the exception of Mariela Murdocco (she had a work conflict) and Roberto Pazos.

2013 NAHJ National Conference

  • Board members considered four options for the 2013 national convention.
  • The first option was a stand alone event in Albuquerque. The city’s convention center and a couple local hotels provided some competitive bids. But it was determined that a stand  alone convention was expensive, especially when compared to other options.
  • The second option was a shared event with the California Chicano News Media Association in Los Angeles. Sharing resources with CCNMA provided a better cost savings than a stand alone event. But it would also mean lots of work for the NAHJ staff and fewer benefits for members.
  • The third option was a shared event with the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio and Television Digital News Association in Anaheim. Interim Executive Director Anna Lopez-Buck made a strong recommendation that the board accept this option because it provided several cost benefits for NAHJ, especially with the organization’s limited staff. The partnership also represents better programming for members at a cost for them that will be lower than previous stand alone and Unity conventions.
  • The final option was not having a convention at all.
  • After nearly an hour of discussion and several questions from board members, all participating in the conference call voted unanimously for the third option.

Filling The Vacant Region 5 Director Postion

By a clear majority, the NAHJ Board approved member Bonnie Gonzalez as Interim Region 5 Director. The position has been open for more than a year. Gonzalez is a morning reporter for Time Warner Cable News 8 in Austin, Texas.

Tagged , , , ,

for Annual Excellence in Journalism Conference

Dear NAHJ Nation,

It’s a done deal!  We’re going to Anaheim! Please read the press release below for more information. Mark you calendars.

Hugo Balta, NAHJ,President

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2012

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) will partner with the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) at the annual Excellence in Journalism Conference in 2013 in Anaheim, Calif.

Earlier this week, the SPJ and RTDNA boards both voted to approve the partnership. NAHJ’s board met on Oct. 19 and voted unanimously to approve its participation at EIJ13.

“I’m excited about the opportunity for NAHJ to work with two well-respected associations in producing a conference that will be dynamic and engaging for all of our members,” said NAHJ President Hugo Balta. “Our members asked for a national conferenece with better programming at a reasonable price, and the board and staff have answered.


Vince Duffy, chairman of RTDNA and news director at Michigan Radio said, “We are very excited to have the NAHJ be a part of EIJ13. Another strong journalism organization joining us will allow us to create an even better conference for all of our members.”

“While all three groups will maintain their unique conference events, together we will produce a major journalism event,” said SPJ president Sonny Albarado. “This should draw all journalists that are eager to discuss challenges facing the profession and gain new skills and knowledge to help them meet those challenges.


The Excellence In Journalism conference will be in Anaheim, Calif, from August 24-26.

Tagged , ,

President’s Message: 2013 NAHJ Convention and Interim Region 5 Director

Hugo Balta
NAHJ President

Dear NAHJ Nation,

Good news! NAHJ will be having a convention in 2013!

On Friday afternoon your board voted unanimously in favor of joining RTDNA and SPJ for a national convention in Anaheim, California in August 2013. The next step is for the boards of RTDNA and SPJ to vote in favor of the partnership. They are expected to meet this week.

As you may know we had also considered conventions in Los Angeles and Albuquerque. Thank you to the exploratory committees for all three cities. They did an amazing job in a very short amount of time.

I also want to thank our interim executive director, Anna Lopez Buck. She has been working very hard on this convention project for months. Anna has been in constant communication with the executive directors of SPJ and RTDNA. She was able to provide the board a very detailed report on the proposed convention between the three journalism organizations. This report helped the board make the right decision for the membership.

I will be providing you more information about the 2013 convention as we move forward.

Here’s another piece of good news. Our interim Region 5 Director is Bonnie Gonzalez . She’s a television reporter in Austin, Texas. Bonnie has been very active with NAHJ. She was a panelist at our convention in Puerto Rico and most recently at UNITY in Las Vegas. The board voted her in on Friday afternoon.

I appreciate her volunteering to join. Bonnie fills a position that has been empty since March 2012. I look forward to working with her.

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns.

Hugo Balta
NAHJ, President

Tagged , ,

NAHJ President, Hugo Balta to be honored by Peruvian Journalists

Hugo BaltaNAHJ President, Hugo Balta is being honored by a group of Peruvian journalists from the New York City area for being the first Peruvian-American to lead our organization. “El Dia del Periodista Peruano” will happen on October 19, and part of the proceeds from the event will go to NAHJ’s fundraiser, “1,000 Voces.”

Hugo is honored by the recognition. He says “I accept this honor not only on my behalf, but on behalf of all the hard-working Peruvian and Latino journalists who work tirelessly to keep the public informed.” More than 400,000 Peruvians live in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area. It is the largest Peruvian community outside Peru.

NAHJ members are invited to join Hugo at the recognition event. It will take place at 8 p.m. at the Schuetzen Park/Casino Room, 3167 Kennedy Blvd., North Bergen, NJ. Cost for the event is $40 per person and includes dinner. For more information or to reserve a spot contact: Alejandro Román (732) 762-9474, Javier Carlos (201) 522-2831 or Manuel Avendaño (973) 575-0953.

Congratulations Hugo!

Tagged ,

President’s Message: Oct. 14, 2012

We promised you regional conferences that would provide training, and information to make you better as a journalist. We came through. On October 13, two NAHJ regions held successful conferences and dozens of people attended.

Felicidades a Region 4 Atlanta Chapter, Nick Valencia, for organizing a very successful conference in Atlanta. Nick is the president of the Atlanta chapter of  NAHJ.  Congratulations to Region 3 Director, Chris Ramirez , for putting together an outstanding conference in Washington, D.C.

I extend my congratulations and gratitude to the NAHJ Staff,and many members who volunteered to helped make the Atlanta and Washington,D.C. events a success. Many thanks to the panelists, guest speakers and our sponsors: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, United, Cox Enterprises, and American University. 

As you can see, it takes an army of dedicated, passionate people to realize the many projects NAHJ produces for its members. I invite all of you to join us for NAHJ’s final 2012 regional conference in San Antonio on December 8th. More details to come soon on that conference.

The board is also having a meeting via conference call on Friday, October 19th. Here’s the agenda:

  • Discussion on 2013 national convention: Can we have one considering space, dates, cost, revenue & programming etc.?
  • Partnering with CCNMA in LA
  • Partnering with RTDNA and SPJ in Anaheim
  • Going at it alone in Albuquerque
  • Not hosting a national convention
  • Voting on location for 2013 national convention location if we get to this point.
  • Vote on interim region 5 director: Bonnie Gonzalez is a reporter in Austin, TX has asked to serve.

Contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Hugo Balta
President, NAHJ

Tagged , , , , ,

Antoine Sanfuentes Named NBC News Senior VP

Antoine Sanfuentes
Photo Courtesy: NBC News

Congratulations to NAHJ member, Antoine Sanfuentes.  NBC News has promoted him from Washington bureau chief to senior vice president of NBC News and chief deputy to NBC News President, Steve Capus. Sanfuentes becomes the highest ranking Hispanic at NBC. He will be based in New York City.

Sanfuentes will oversee the DC Bureau, investigative reporting, strategic partnerships, and NBC News with Brian Williams.  He tells us, “I am honored to assume this position as NBC News continues as the top news leader. We are uniquely positioned to do what we do best by serving our audience with the best reporting around on broadcast, cable, and the internet.”

Sanfuentes says he will continue to push for diversity initiatives. He adds, “I am humbled to lead our NBC News diversity council, which brings all the core editorial decision makers together to coordinate and promote diveristy on-air and behind the scenes.”

NAHJ hopes to work closely with Sanfuentes, NBC News, and Comcast in their diversity efforts. NAHJ President, Hugo Balta says, ” Congratulations to Antoine and to NBC News. Diversity breeds innovation resulting in business growth. It is inspiring to see NBC promote not only a qualified candidate to such an influential decision making role, but also a candidate who reflects the emerging majority of this country.”

Tagged , , ,

PBS NewsHour’s Ray Suarez, keynote speaker at NAHJ Region 3 Conference

Ray Suarez

Don’t miss Ray Suarez, PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent at the NAHJ, Region 3 Conference in Washington, D.C.  Suarez, a NAHJ Hall of Fame Inductee, will be the keynote speaker at the October 13th event.  The “Cultura at the Capital” conference is being held at the  School of Communications, American University, which is co-sponsoring the event.

Here are the sessions for the day:

Workshops Session I
  9am- 10:15am

Hiding online — Using social media to find people and stories that matter

Covering Elections Abroad

  • Pablo Gato, CEO, GATO Communications and former International & National Correspondent, Producer and News Director (moderator)

Workshops Session II

Uncovering the truth in government

  • David Donald is the data editor at the Center for Public Integrity. He’s also a former training director, Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc.

Re-tooling the media, block by block: How hyper-local reporting is muscling in on the metro news turf.

Lunch Break  Noon -1:30pm

Armando Guzman

Luncheon Panel–
Latin America’s growing influence in time of change

  • Eric L. Olson, Associate Director, Mexico Institute of Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • John Feeley, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Armando Guzman, Washington Bureau Chief,  TV Azteca

Keynote address by Ray Suarez, PBS NewsHour

Workshops Session III  1:30pm -2:45pm

La Fuerza del Lenguaje: Examining how Spanish-language media continues to thrive and shape political debate this election season.

Audio-Video Storytelling:Writing for the Ear, Vocal Delivery, and Non-narrative Video Storytelling

  • Jill Olmsted, Associate Professor, Journalism Division Director in the School of Communications, American University (moderator)
  • Rob Roberts, Multimedia producer, former senior video editor for USA Today

Workshop Session IV  3pm- 4:15pm

2012 Political Landscape and Overview

  • Eli Reyes, Editor of Politics & Government Pod, The Washington Post (moderator)

Film Screening of “In Search of the American Dream”  4:30pm – 6pm

The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with director/writer, Baldemar Rodriguez and film co-stars, Shaina Sandoval and Lupe Casares.   The moderator for the session will be Suzanne Gamboa, Race and Ethnicity Reporter at the Associated Press (Washington, D.C.).

Newseum Special 

All registrants will receive a discounted ticket to the Newseum for $16.95 by simply showing their registration badge.

Register Today


  • $40 for members
  • $50 for nonmembers
  • Students who are NAHJ members get in for $20
  • nonmember students for $25

To register>>> Region 3 Conference Registration 

For more information, contact Anna Lopez, NAHJ’s interim executive director, at, or Chris Ramirez, Region 3 director, at

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Mayor of Atlanta Scheduled to Open the NAHJ Region 4 Conference

Mayor Kasim Reed

Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed will deliver the opening remarks at the NAHJ Atlanta Regional Conference on Saturday, October 13th.  The conference, “Identidad en el Presente: A Conference for Southeastern Journalists” is being hosted by Cox Enterprises.

A rising star on the national stage, Mayor Reed was inaugurated as the 59th Mayor of Atlanta in 2010 and was named by Governing Magazine as one of the top state and local officials of the year in November 2011.  He has been a guest speaker and panelist at numerous national and international conferences, including the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America .

A graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C, Mayor Reed is also the Chairman of the Transportation and Communications Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  

Update (10-2-2012): Mayor Reed plans to be available for questions from the attendees after his opening remarks. 

Other notable attendees you can expect to see at the conference:

  • Roxanne Garcia-Bell is the Southeast Region Bureau Chief for NBC Network.  She oversees the network’s coverage of Latin America.
  • The Executive Editor of CNN en Español, Arthur Brice will also be a featured panelist.  Brice sets the editorial tone at CNNE, reviewing any delicate or sensitive stories and topics.
  • Mexican journalist Arturo Chacon is coming from Ciudad Juarez , Mexico . Chacon is the go-to stringer for top international journalists visiting Juarez .

 Conference Highlights:

  • Burying Your Biases: What is Objectivity?
  • What’s Love Got to do With It? A briefing on teen dating violence & domestic abuse in the Latino community Luncheon, sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • DREAMers: A panel on the impact of young undocumented immigrants.
  • Diversity and the 2012 Elections
  • Spanish Media – Culture shift or culture shock?
  • Freelancing: “The Art of the Hustle”
  • Reporting with your iPhone: Apps for Journalists
  • Who Do You Trust? Navigating Your sources
  • You are what you air – Ethics Workshop

Pre-Registration by Oct. 12, 2012. For more information and to register–more>>

Tagged , , , ,

Region 3 Conference: Investigative reporting, using social media to find stories, and Latinos & Politics

Make plans to attend the NAHJ Region 3 Conference “Cultura at the Capital: Covering Latin America’s growing influence in the nation.” The  conference is being held on October 12-13, 2012 at American University in Washington D.C.  NAHJ is pleased to have the School of Communication at American host the event.

Conference highlights:

  • Opening reception hosted by NAHJ DC Chapter
  • Luncheon “Latin America’s growing influence in time of change”
  • Hiding online: Using social media to find people and stories that matter
  • IRE presents Investigative reporting
  • Politics and how Latinos can shape this year’s elections
  • La Fuerza de Lenguaje: Examining how Spanish-language media continues to thrive while other news companies are shrinking.
  • Film screening of “In Search of the American Dream”, a dramatic film by film maker Baldemar Rodriguez.

Special Presenters: 

Eric L. Olson is a senior associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Olson oversees the Institute’s work on U.S.-Mexico security cooperation and research on organized crime and drug trafficking between the U.S., Mexico, and Central America.

Baldemar Rodriguez is Houston-based film maker.  He will screen his latest movie, “In Search of the American Dream,” during the conference and will be present to discuss his film.


Registration is $40 for NAHJ members, $50 for nonmembers. You must pre-register for the conference on the NAHJ Web site. There will be no on-site registration available.

Pre-registration before Oct. 13, 2012.  Pre-Register here>>>

Questions or comments, please contact Chris Ramirez, Region 3 director, at or Anna M. Lopez-Buck at

Tagged , , ,

President’s Message: September 10th

Dear NAHJ Nation,

A BIG THANK YOU to all of the members (and their colleagues and friends)who have joined the first 100 voices of the “1,000 Voces” for NAHJ.

We have raised nearly $15,000 in donations and pledges in the first month of the campaign. We are on track in meeting our goal of $85,000 by 12/31/12. Please continue to encourage your social circle to donate to 1,000 Voces.

Thank you to all the members who sent in their questions for the Commission on Presidential Debates. This weekend I had a meeting with the presidents of the UNITY Alliance and discussed their respective associations’ questions. This week I will be sending CPD co-chair Mike McCurry the final collective questions for the moderators’consideration. I will be sharing those questions with you  at the end of the week.

Hugo Balta

NAHJ, President

President’s Message: September 10th (Español)

Nación NAHJ:

MUCHÍSIMAS GRACIAS a todos los miembros (y sus colegas y amigos) que forman parte de las primeras 100 voces de las “1000 Voces” por NAHJ.

Hemos recaudado casi $15.000 en donaciones y promesas en el primer mes de la campaña. Estamos en camino de alcanzar nuestra meta de $85,000 para el 31 de Diciembre de 2012.

Por favor continúa promoviendo la campaña a tu círculo social para que donen en este enlace: 1000 Voces

Gracias a todos los miembros que envían sus preguntas a la Comisión de Debates Presidenciales (CPD por sus siglas en inglés). Este fin de semana tuve una reunión con los presidentes de la alianza UNITY  y discutimos las preguntas de sus respectivas asociaciones. Esta semana enviaré al Copresidente de la CPD Mike McCurry el conjunto final de preguntas para consideración de los moderadores. Compartiré con usted esas preguntas al final de la semana.

Hugo Balta

President NAHJ

NAHJ General Membership Meeting Minutes

National Association of Hispanic Journalists
General Membership Meeting
Mandalay Bay Hotel
Lagoon HIJ
Date:Aug 2 2012

PRESENT: President Michele Salcedo, Financial Officer and Vice President of Print Russell Contreras, Vice President of Broadcast Manny De La Rosa, Vice President of Online Fernando Diaz, Secretary Erin Ailworth, Region 1 Director Miguel Angel Rosa, Region 2 Ivette Davila-Richards , Region 3 Director Chris Ramirez, Region 4 Roberto Pazos, Region 6 Rosa Morales, Region 7 Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez, Academic Officer Federico Subervi, Student Rep Jose Antonio Acevedo

ABSENT: Region 5 (vacant), Spanish-Language At-large officer Marcela Garcia, Region 8 Director Elaine Aradillas, At-Large Officer Rebecca Aguilar (arrives at 12:36 pm)

GUESTS: Anna Lopez-Buck, executive director

Meeting called to order at 12:20 pm by President Michele Salcedo. Delivers president’s summary.

HIGHLIGHTS: NAHJ ended 2011 with a surplus for the first time in years. The organization has just finished a year in transition and continues to move forward. We closed the office in the National Press Building and went to a virtual office. We were paying something like $72,000 a year in rent and that is now down to $3600. We still need more time to transition — we didn’t get into this situation over night and we won’t fix all the problems quickly. We have been operating under a very conservative budget, especially coming into UNITY. With the loss of NABJ and the continued economic stress, we figured this convention would be smaller than it has been in the past. So we were very conservative in projecting any revenue from UNITY. At the Board’s meeting earlier this week, we met with SPJ’s comptroller, who is handling our accounting (a savings of about $20,000, including membership work). So far, the very difficult cuts that the board was forced to make have stabilized the organization and the board is now reviewing its strategy for moving forward.

This year, NAHJ piloted an effort to organize more regionals and those have gotten good response from both members and sponsors. Regionals, we think, are a way for members to interact with NAHJ and get training without the big expense of attending a national convention. Fully paid registration numbers for our national conference have run about 400 to 500 members in the last few years. With three regionals held this year, we attracted about half that number, which shows that regionals are on track and could grow. This year at Unity we are offering training for chapter and regional directors, so that we can build NAHJ’s leadership. Part of that training is going to be event planning — how to find and negotiate for space, how to put together panels and create committees. We have some new professional chapters that have been forming — Albuquerque and Los Angeles. A Las Vegas chapter is in the works. Those join strong chapters, like those in Atlanta and South Florida. By the end of the year we will have produced at least seven regional conferences. We’ve been meeting with lots of sponsors — United renewed its grant this year, CNN Is working with the local chapter in Atlanta on scholarships, Eli Lilly is supporting us.

Russell delivers the financial report for 2011 at 12:35 pm.

HIGHLIGHTS: An electronic copy of the financial report has been sent to all members. We are working to get hard copies in the room. At the Virtual Town Hall meeting on July 17, we presented the financial report before the general membership meeting for the first time in years — and as dictated by the bylaws. The 2011 budget showed a surplus of $117,000 for the first time in years. We ended 2010 with a negative balance of -$16,000. Anna helped close that gap in 2011 by going after money that had been pledged to NAHJ but never collected. Austerity measures were also taken, including staff layoffs and moving to the virtual office. Under the 2012 budget passed in April the board is expecting to have a surplus of at least $100,000.

Earlier this week at the board meeting, we found out that NAHJ’s expenses are down on almost all line items, and our revenues are higher than expected. For example, at UNITY, we expected to have about 350 paid registrants. We have about 500 now. We have more than $339,000 in total assets currently, and more than $200,000 in the bank. Though we are headed in the right direction, the next administration needs to remain vigilant to ensure that NAHJ stays on track. We must keep these austerity measures in place, but we also need to start putting together a slow, strategic plan for growth so that when the time comes, we can augment staff again. The board has not made a decision on a 2013 conference because we are still working the numbers. The board should not move forward until it is sure that a national convention can make the organization money. Russell thanks the NAHJ financial committee and NABJ president Greg Lee (who is also NABJ’s former financial officer) for offering advice and helping to get NAHJ back in the black.

Anna delivers the Executive Director’s report at 12:48 pm.

HIGHLIGHTS: This has been a very tough year for NAHJ. The organization transitioned to the virtual office in Aug. 2011 and Anna works from a home office. We also made our membership and accounting systems virtual, entering into a partnership with SPJ to handle our back office operations. We have been working with NAHJ’s old accountants, Halt Buzas & Powell, as we transition into the SPJ partnership and work with their comptroller. Phone and fax numbers remain the same so that members can still reach Anna and Kevin Olivas.

The staff has been concentrating on regionals since this summer and have put on three so far. Goal was to have four regionals this year, but we expect to have seven completed by the end of the year, including in DC, Atlanta and Puerto Rico. Those regionals have been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Tomorrow morning the regional and chapter directors will have training sessions to learn how to plan regional events and conferences, and learn how to handle governance issues. There is also a Saturday board meeting from 8 am to 3 pm, and the new board will be undergoing training, as well.

Floor opened to membership questions at 12:54 pm.

Monica Rhor: As a member who cares deeply about the organization, she says she has been extremely troubled by the behavior of the board over the last two years. She says there has been a lack of transparency, accountability, and respect for members who have been shut down or insulted for asking questions. She would like the board to respond to some of those concerns, and to accusations that she says have been leveled against her that she is unprofessional and classless — resulting in her being blocked from participating in student projects.

Michele: There’s a difference between transparency and just opening the books and files to anyone who wants to come in and take a look at them. As a 501(c)3, we are governed by bylaws, articles of incorporation, stringent IRS regulations and other requirements. That requires the board of directors to act in the best interest of the organization. Transparency means that the membership understands how the board arrived a decision. Transparency is not opening the books to everyone who asks. Michele says she has personally answered Monica’s questions and those of other members very patiently. Still, the questions continue, often before the board is even given a chance to respond, and yet the board is then barraged with even more questions. Michele says she thinks there has been plenty of disrespect back and forth and the board has often felt it has been under siege while juggling full-time jobs and trying to still get information to NAHJ members as quickly as possible. Part of the problem is that some answers are not easy to find because NAHJ’s operations were left in such disarray in the last few years and that is all being worked out know. The board, Michele says, doesn’t object to being held accountable, but does object when there are accusations and smears against the board and elections committee. We need the input from all members not just the input of a group of Facebook members who carry on constantly. As far as the student projects, Michele says that she thinks there was a concern that Monica’s position regarding the board of directions has been quite openly posted on Facebook for the public and sponsors to see, that when you handle students in the student project, Monica would have a bias.

Monica: She says that she respects that as a board we have to to protect the records of the organization. But how does that square up with the bylaw provision allowing members to ask for the records of the organization?

Michele: After speaking with NAHJ’s attorney, the board was advised that a member should sign a non-disclosure agreement and review the financials at the office in DC in order to protect the financials from being disseminated beyond NAHJ members. We cannot have our unaudited financials posted all over Facebook per the attorney. If anyone acting as a member is interested in gaining information on NAHJ the board is more than happy to provide it, per the bylaws

Monica: She asks for a copy of the lawyer’s recommendation.

Michele: Says she sent those recommendations to Monica.

Russell: Members have called him and he has spent up to an hour talking them each through their financial questions. In terms of the student projects, he thinks there needs to be new blood in the student projects.

Monica: Says she wishes that Russell had not gone behind her back.

Hugo Balta: Introduces himself as a lifetime member, candidate for president and former board member. What plans do we have for fundraising at the convention? he asks. Understanding that any nonprofit depends on fundraising, what is the plan for growing revenue?

Russell: At this convention, we have a number of fundraising efforts going on. The board is talking to media executives, hoping to get donations from them. Each board member has a goal of raising $5,000. We are also selling NAHJ pins for $30 to celebrate NAHJ’s 30th year. We are also selling NAHJ’s stylebooks. We need to meet these fundraising goals to stay in the black. Our gala fundraising has been successful, but we will at some point need to hire a full-time fundraiser.

Michele: Part of the $5,000 goal is to sell lifetime memberships for $3,000. Regional conferences are also part and parcel of growing membership and providing training, networking, and programming at a local level. The board hopes to have meetings planned in all eight regions next year, regardless of whether we have a national conference. In terms of holding a national conference, those finances need to be heavily scrutinized. Generally, following a UNITY year, attendance at a national conference falls and it is not likely that we’d be able to turn a profit.

Hugo: He says the board seems to be focused on regional conferences, but can the fundraising at those meetings match what is fundraised at a national conference. How much have the regional conventions raised? Also, will the new board be able to make an educated decision on having a national conference? Shouldn’t that have been the job of this board, to offer a recommendation to new officers? Shouldn’t this board provide that leadership?

Michele: The assumptions that that Hugo is making about nationals go back to whether we should have such a meeting. The national conventions have not generated enough money in many years. If they had NAHJ would not have been in the red two years ago. We used to get the bulk of our funding from the national conferences, but that is no longer the case. Media companies and organizations are no longer helping their employees attend such conventions the way they used to, and so people are having to watch their wallets to determine if they can afford to lay down $2,000 to attend a convention. When she says that the board is going to need to parse this out, she means that they should do that while also strengthening the structure already in place to hold regional conferences. The question then becomes whether the board is going to want to go to Albuquerque — where we have a proposal for a convention. Anna is working on that analysis now, after finally receiving some extra financial information that was missing from the original proposal. Albuquerque could be a viable location that is cheap to travel to, and where members could drive in to. These times and the economy now require us to be extremely careful and prudent so that we make money on our endeavors instead of losing it. That way we can eventually rehire staff, occupy an office and build membership. We’re working toward that by building relationships with sponsors, and by trying to be creative. We know what doesn’t work.

Russell: A previous board had chosen El Paso as the 2013 location, Russell adds, but that decision was rescinded on the false premise that El Paso could not handle a convention of that size. That was a disservice to El Paso.

Federico: The board has been working to mend relationships with sponsors, too.

Marisol Bello: How much are the regional conferences bringing in compared to what we have raised through a national convention?

Michele: Right now the regional conventions are being funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and are breaking out at about $5,000 a piece. That’s low and we can do better, but remember that previous national conventions did not raise money, such as in Denver or Puerto Rico. Orlando netted about $120,000 in very rough numbers, and there’s a question of whether we made money when staff time and pay is factored in. That’s not enough to help the budget. We are currently talking to three or four sponsors who are interested more in regional conferences than a national conference. We hadn’t been to Albuquerque in 20 years but we got a turnout of 40 folks. The numbers aren’t overwhelming, but they’re a good baseline.

Marisol: We’ve been hearing about the board meeting yesterday and a student being blocked from the meeting. How does that reflect on us a media organization, and why isn’t social media allowed?

Michele: We meet as directors of a nonprofit organization, not as journalists. As a nonprofit organization we are not open the public. Members, however, are allowed to attend — but not necessarily in their capacity as journalists. As for the social media, a board policy was adopted on the recommendations of the attorney and a nonprofit consultant to not allow social media so that we can ensure that the board can have an open discussion and foster the organization without having to worry about what’s going to end up on Facebook or Twitter when we get into a passionate discussion or handle sensitive topics. Because of the nature of social media, it could allow misinformation be promulgated. Once the board makes a decision, we are more than happy to communicate it. We are responsible to the members but we have no obligation to talk to the public.There’s a distinction between public and membership.

Marisol: Is this an issue that the board will revisit? She thinks it would be good to allow members to follow along with what the board does through Twitter and other social media. We are an organization of journalists, so shouldn’t we be more open? Facebook and Twitter are helpful platforms. Not to use the resources doesn’t make sense, especially given where journalism is going.

Michele: The IRS and the other regulations nonprofits are governed by do not make a distinction between nonprofits that are made up of journalists, and nonprofits made up of other types of people. As a board, we must ensure that we are not harming the organization in any way. And that means not allowing misinformation to be Tweeted or shared on Facebook. It’s one thing to be Tweeting out of a general membership meeting like this one, but it’s another to allow Tweeting from a board meeting that is only supposed to be open to NAHJ members and not the public at large. The board needs time and space to discuss NAHJ issues without worrying that it’s being taken out of context. We are trying to figure out policy and action in order for this organization to go forward, and we are happy to share those policies and actions once decisions have been made. Michele has been thinking about revisiting the social media policy, but after speaking with NYT executives yesterday she has firmed her position: they agree that the meetings should not be live-Tweeted because decisions need to be hashed out before being released to members.

Marisol: Does that policy also apply to covering the board meetings in general?

Michele: Members may attend meetings but, again, not in their capacity as journalists. The board needs space to make decisions. This policy was implemented on the advice of NAHJ’s pro bono nonprofit attorney, who is an expert on governance issues, and a nonprofit consultant.

Marisol: What about the debate over where we should go with memberships? Is it time to revisit who is a member, who can vote, whether corporate journalists and bloggers can have the same rights of mass media journalists?

Michele: The bylaws are clear on who can and cannot vote. The bylaws are definitely outdated and does not cover journalists who mainly report online or through blogs. The members will have to vote on any changes because it will be a bylaws change.

Brandon Benavides: He thanks NAHJ’s staff for being such a resource to the DC chapter, which he heads. The chapter made $3,970 at a fundraiser with the staff’s help, he said. He also talks of workshops that brought in money after working with Anna to get catering and such paid for. For the past two years we’ve done all our programming through our own fundraising. Will the chapters begin to get a dues split again?

Michele: No, the board recently voted to keep the dues coming straight to national. Provisional chapters will still continue to get a dues split so that they have seed money to help their fundraising efforts.

Brandon: He says that policy concerns him because chapters still need seed money to do fundraising.
Michele: How much money did you just raise? she asks? That should prove that established chapters can stand on their own. We do believe that the provisional chapters will need help, which is why they will get seed money.

Sergio Quintana: There’s a lot of talk about raising money from media companies and from membership. How much money have we raised in the past and how much are we looking to raise from non-media companies?

Anna Lopez-Buck: For years we have been diversifying our funding and we’ve been raising more money from non-media companies than from media companies. We are depending more on them, but we have to be careful who sponsors us because we are a journalism organization.

Sergio: So how much is being raised by each?

Anna: We probably get about 65 percent or more from non-media organizations like GM, Coca-Cola, etc. We haven’t set a goal for what percentage we would like to get from media companies.

Michele: We can get you more details after this meeting.

Lynn Franco: She says she her questions have been covered.

Cesar Arredondo: When does the board estimate that NAHJ will rehire staff? Has there been a consideration of issuing a membership card to members.

Michele: We used to send out membership cards on an annual basis, and we need to revisit doing that again. As for hiring staff, first we need to figure out how we will fundraise and hold conventions. We could hire a staff after that, perhaps as early as next year but it all depends on how the finances look and whether NAHJ is in the black.

Jackie Guzman: How do you feel about the legacy you are leaving as board members?

Michele: She says she thinks that this board has been remarkably responsible and the legacy that we are leaving is that NAHJ is on solid financial footing. That has not been the case for years.

Fernando: I have been the subject of warranted criticism for the web site, so my legacy is not good. But the board has definitely left NAHJ in better financial position, but we need more member engagement. voting numbers are low and that needs to change. In terms of the website, he had big plans, but those fell short as we decided to curb costs and couldn’t justify the expense for the website. He is not running in large part because as VP of Online he had to monitor the fights on Facebook and that left a bad taste in his mouth and took time away from his day job. Don’t just ask questions here, he says, please vote. He may not be on the board on Saturday, but he will be a donor and a fundraiser. When we question what we get for our $75, you get future generations of us, so it shouldn’t be about $75 freaking dollars. Fundraising is not natural for a journalist, so be patient and help the board.

We stop questions at 1:51 pm to move on to the candidate forum, after a vote from members. Michele asks those with additional questions to email her. Their questions will be answered and posted on the website.

We start candidate statements at 1:52 pm.

Cesar Arredondo, for Spanish Language at Large: Says he is running because we need more programs and activities in Spanish. If members think that we have a crisis in English language journalism, he says, well you should visit a Spanish language newsroom. They need help and training. He would depend on volunteers to organize local workshops on the important issues and training in your communities.

Josie Tizcareno Pereira: Not present.

Mariela Murdoco: Not present.

Elizabeth Alvarez for At-Large: Not present

Chris Ramirez for Secretary: He is currently the Region 3 director for the board and works at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The job of board secretary is to be the bridge between members and the board, to communicate. He pledges to be transparent, but also knows that he will need to be a fundraiser. Information and money is what is going to keep this organization alive.

Sergio Quintana for Secretary: He is a reporter at KGO television in San Francisco, and is not part of a slate. He says he is someone who knows how to make friends quickly and be flexible. Chris mentioned fundraising as a key job of the board. He says he comes from San Francisco which is the land of nonprofits and he hopes to bring the lessons he learned there to the position. He says communication and a workable website are among his high priorities.

Federico Subervi for Academic At-Large: Says thank you for those who voted for him last go around. What he hopes to contribute to the board is civility and wisdom. He will also continue reaching out to the students and journalism faculty that can and will contribute to the organization.

Nicole Chavez for Student Rep: She is a multimedia student at UTEP El Paso. She was born in El Paso and raised in Ciudad Juarez. This summer she moved to Georgia to intern at the AJC. She feels her minority status very much there and the experience has been a learning experience. She is inspired by other students. She wants to keep the spirit of NAHJ alive and encourages students to vote and show that they are the future of NAHJ.

Blanca Torres for Financial Officer: She is a reporter with the San Francisco Business Times. She is running unopposed and wants to thank all those who have voted. Yes this has been a difficult year for NAHJ, but her focus is going to be on looking forward and continuing to build NAHJ’s finances, then working on the best ways to use that money to grow the organizations. She also wants to build trust among the board and its members.

Francisco Cortes, for VP Online: He is the director of Fox News in New York. He created the very first news site in English for Latinos in the US. Latinos are fast paced and engaged online, so he says he lives, breathes and sleeps digital media and digital journalism and wants to bring that experience to NAHJ so that NAHJ’s website will become what it should be: interactive, featuring chapter events, and integrate social media and job postings.

Rebecca Aguilar for VP Online: She says she thinks many of in the audience knows who she is. She has been an NAHJ member since the late 80s and a journalist for 30 years. She is now an online journalist with Wise Latinas and three blogs. She says she has already created a website for NAHJ that can be online within a week. She asks for the other members who are online to lend their help. She says she thinks Fernando did the best he could with what he had. She also wants to put the website in Spanish, as well.

Mekhalo Medina for VP Broadcast: He started with NAHJ when he was 16. He believes in NAHJ’s members and in the organization. We all need to make the organization better. We are an organization of journalists, but also friends. We believe that more Latinos should be in newsrooms across the country and we need to do more to remember that. He says he wants to make NAHJ great again, an organization that people look up to. Wants to bolster the experience of new members. He wants to work with Rebecca to redo the website. He wants a newsletter twice a month to let members know what is going on. Memberships need to be updated and organized.

Nick Valencia for VP Broadcast: Great leaders create other great leaders, as NAHJ leaders have done. He is a 28-year-old Mexican American from Los Angeles but works in Atlanta now at CNN. He says through NAHJ he has become an ambassador for Latinos and wants to take what NAHJ ALtanta has been doing to the next level by working on the national board. We all deserve respect and we are more relevant than ever. NAHJ Atlanta has helped him move from teleprompter operator to weekend correspondent. NAHJ is about accomplishing goals.

Erin Ailworth for Vice President of Print: Encourages everyone to vote, and outlines her goals as VP of Print: to be a bridge between the board and journalists in newsrooms, to be a voice for NAHJ members whose organizations and job places are changing rapidly, and to help improve communication.

Hugo Balta for President: He has been a member since 1995. His success has been because of NAHJ. What you get with Hugo as a candidate, and what is missing from the current board, is the leadership. We need a leadership that is more inclusive, that allows the members to participate and to offer criticism. We need to build fundraising because that is our lifeblood. We also need a working website because that is NAHJ’s business card and a place where members can interact. We need to have a national convention in 2013 — that is not an impossible task. We need to go from saving NAHJ to restoring it. He can appreciate what it means to lose jobs. He wants to the continue the conversation on how to improve the organization

Russell Contreras: He has been on the board one term and it has changed him. As NAHJ financial officer, he and the financial committee guided the organization to its first surplus in years, and our projections are that that will continue. He has a plan on the web for how to move forward in the next three, six, and nine months, and into the future. The plan includes bringing in more members through social media and technology — web chats, online seminars, etc. He stresses that he will look at having a national convention and partnering with other organizations to do that. He wants to look at our partnership with UNITY and how that can be revamped.

Meeting ends at 2:20 pm.

NAHJ Board Meeting Minutes

NAHJ Board Meeting
July 31, 2012
Location: Unity 2012, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas
Time: 1 pm to 5 pm

PRESENT: President Michele Salcedo, Financial Officer and Vice President of Print Russell Contreras, Secretary Erin Ailworth, Region 1 Director Miguel Angel Rosa, Region 2 Ivette Davila-Richards (arrives at 1:23 pm), Region 3 Director Chris Ramirez, Region 4 Roberto Pazos, (arrives at 1:24 pm) Region 6 Rosa Morales, Region 7 Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez, Region 8 Director Elaine Aradillas, At-Large Officer Rebecca Aguilar, Academic Officer Federico Subervi, Student Rep Jose Antonio

ABSENT: Region 5 Director (vacant), Vice President of Broadcast Manny De la Rosa, Vice President of Online Fernando Diaz, Spanish-Language At-Large Officer Marcela Garcia

GUESTS: Executive Director Anna Lopez-Buck, and staff Yaneth Guillen and Linda Hall, member Bob Butler, student project members Elizabeth Chavolla and Nadia Khan arrive at 1:50 pm; member Sandra Gonzalez arrives at 2 pm.

President Michele Salcedo calls meeting to order at 1:15 pm.

ITEM: Approval of Minutes for April 21 board meeting, June 19 conference call, July 2 conference call, July 17 town hall
MOVED: Russell
DISCUSSION: Fix date and time on the Hall of Fame minutes.
VOTE: Unanimously approved by voice vote.

Executive session entered to discuss personnel at 1:20 pm. Moved by Russell. Seconded by Chris. Unanimous by voice vote.

Executive session ends at 1:27. Moved by Federico. Seconded by Nadine. Unanimous by voice vote.

ITEM: To extend the contracts for ED Anna Lopez-Buck and staff member Kevin Olivas from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2012.
MOVED: Russell
VOTE: Unanimously approved by voice vote.

ITEM: Repeal NAHJ’s accrued vacation policy that is currently in effect and implement and industry standard policy that requires employees to use their vacation and sick days by year end.
MOVED: Russell
SECOND: Rebecca
VOTE: Unanimously approved by voice vote.

Anna introduces Yaneth and Linda, staff members who have been working with us for the convention. Linda Hall works for SPJ and handles our registrations.

Financial Report is delivered by Russell at 1:34 pm.
HIGHLIGHTS: The NAHJ Town Hall meeting was held on July 17 and the organization released a financial report to members. It was the first time NAHJ has used this format to deliver the financial news to members. The news was good — NAHJ has a $117,000 surplus for 2011. Our austerity budget, move to a virtual office, and work by Anna to collect money past-due to NAHJ is what contributed to the surplus. We need to make our 2012 fundraising goals so that we can start to pay back the loans to the scholarship fund and the endowment.

Jake Koenig, SPJ’s comptroller, is dialed in on a conference call at 1:36 pm so that he can go over our current accounts, which SPJ has been handling since our agreement to share back-office operations.
HIGHLIGHTS: For the first six months of 2012 NAHJ is doing well, with revenue ahead of the budget, and expenses on budget. Net income is currently $339,396. Expenses for the Unity 2012 convention have not yet been incurred, so some areas look really under budget but those will even out. All our regular day-to-day expenses are underbudget, though. Michele asks: If we stay on track, could we project having a nearly $700,000 surplus? He says he wouldn’t extrapolate that far in large part because Unity will be a big expense, but we have been saving so far.

Our revenues have exceeded expenses by $339,000. Federico asks: If we subtract the money from the reserve account and the scholarship account, how much is left in the operating account? We open the balance sheet document provided the board, which shows that as of June 30, the cash balance is $208, 770.31. At the same time in 2011, it was $86,000. What this report shows is that the operating account has about $200,000. The scholarship fund increased by a $50,000 deposit into that account. We go over how the endowment is broken down. $85,000 is due to the scholarship fund from the operating account. Michele asks if the audit will go into more detail on that. Rebecca says she had difficulty understanding what he said because of the telephone connection.

Total current assets are $564,000. Disney expense has been paid and is no longer listed as a liability. Total equity of NAHJ is $477,000. Rosa and Miguel ask if we can switch to another system. We switch from video chat on Skype to a cell phone on speaker in order to continue the call. Chris asks Jake to clarify line 52 of unrestricted net assets which is listed as -$43,902. Jake says this number and a few others show that at some point in the past restricted funds were used for unrestricted purposes. Michele clarifies that this report from Jake is part of our overall attempt to unravel what has been happening with the financials for the last few years. Andrew Powell’s firm was handling finances before but they were handed over to SPJ at the beginning of the year. They are working on an audit now. Rosa asks if this is the most recent and accurate financial report, and if the last statements are no longer good? Michele says the last audited statements we had were done in 2007. Reports have not been done on an annual basis. 2011 was the first year we had our accountants compile an annual compilation, which will become an official financial report once it is audited. That compilation was what was presented at the Town Hall earlier this month. Anna clarifies that the previous reports from the last few years were always compiled by the executive director and not by accountants. So now our financial documents are going through much more scrutiny. Because they are not being generated by staff, they are much more reliable reports. Rosa says it sounds like we are instituting consistency that was lacking before. Michele says this board is committed to making sure this organization is back on sound financial footing. The past pattern of losses — spending more than we took in — was astonishing.

We blew through an excess of $2 million in one year back in the 2006 to 2007 time period. Board training has not been consistent and board policies have not been codified. This year we are trying to fix that by bringing in the lawyers, a well known nonprofit board consultant, and someone to do fundraising training. Last year we were left with a month and a half of operating funds, meaning that we had to take drastic measures going forward to fix NAHJ’s finances and become more confident in our financial position. Nadine asks if these numbers will be submitted for taxes. Not these specific numbers, Michele says, because this is an update for the board. Russell says this is the most detailed financial report he has received in the last two years as financial officer — and he asked for these types of things from the previous board and staff but never got them. Miguel asks about line 53 for temporarily restricted assets — $108,000. Jake says the net assets of the organization is what’s left over after you subtract your liabilities. There are generally three classes of net assets, including this one, which is donations given to the organization for a specific purpose. Once it is used for its purpose, it is shifted over and listed in the unrestricted asset class. $19,000 is still outstanding to NAHJ in the accounts receivable listing. We can see who owes money in another document shared with the board.

Executive Director’s report is delivered by Anna Lopez at 2:38 pm. No written report is available but Anna says she will submit it to the board once the convention is over.
HIGHLIGHTS: As of yesterday the paid registrations numbered 524 registrations. That does not include any onsite from today until Saturday afternoon. As you saw in the financials, we have collected about $66,000 in revenue from registration. These are raw figures, but Anna expects to generate $182,000 in gross registration fees. That does not include credit card/merchant fees, so we’ll need to update that number once Unity reconciles their books. She budgeted for about $100,000 for the 2012 budget with just 350 registrations. So we are above those numbers. The trend for the last few years we’ve had about 400 paid registrants so she originally made her projection lower than that to make sure that we’d live within our means. For the banquet on Friday night, for food and beverage, we are limited to 600 banquet seats. We have about 448 people planning to attend, and 60 sponsors who will attend. That leaves us with 72 tickets still free. After that we will close the banquet. Anna then goes over the board’s convention schedule — meetings, meet and greets, and such. The president’s reception will be a small reception for our four sponsors, GM, United, Pepsi Co. and Univision. Board members are asked to attend but do not have to stay the whole time if they have other commitments to honor. This year Univision increased its support to NAHJ to $50,000. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will also attend. Anna has asked Kevin to have 20 corporate members by the end of this year. We have nine right now. We want them to use our career resource center to get in touch with members. We need to push members to upload their resumes here. We will do a pre-gala reception. Ivette will be the producer for the gala. Sandra is producing the video for Mando. Manny has been working with CCNMA to produce the Hall of Fame video. We’re still waiting for an update on that. Our emcee will be from Univision. Federico asks if any of the fences have been mended, like with the Ford Foundation. We’re still working on that, and are hoping to get a meeting with a rep from the Ford Foundation who is here.

ITEM: Consideration of Albuquerque for National or Regional meeting
DISCUSSION: Tabled for future consideration.

Elections Committee Report given by Elaine at 3:11 pm.
HIGHLIGHTS: Elaine says at no point did anyone ever call her about all of the little flair ups that were going on. She cannot recommend to any board member to take over the position given the vitriol the elections chair has to deal with. In the course of this committee assignment, she was told she was not classy, her journalism skills were questioned and she was accused of rigging elections. She would like to say for the record that she and the committee could not have been more fair. They were guided by Diana Fuentes who has been a board member. So much stuff happened on Facebook that she found it to be a form of cyber-bullying. Out of courtesy she has monitored the NAHJ pages, but with work commitments and travel she has not kept close watch on the pages, and took flak for that from some members. No one ever contacted her by phone to take up their concerns. She would like to address concerns that have arisen from interactions with certain members. She recommends having an elections committee made up of non-board members. She would also recommend ditching the requirement for a reference, and only contact employers to verify jobs and skills. She would also recommend going over the elections guide to fix any issues with deadline and date requirements. As for Sal Morales — he withdrew his nomination, so Elaine let it go at that. Though he was a great journalist, he is no longer a working journalist as defined the bylaws. Committee decided to make sure that you have work published that you were paid for, and that you weren’t working for a government or PR agency. They decided it would be obnoxious to ask for W-2s or bank statements.

Mekhalo sent an email saying he was upset because the committee called someone other than the reference that he sent NAHJ. When the committee called that number, they were under the impression they were speaking to the person that Mekahlo had sent them to. As for Hugo, the committee spoke to the employer via the number that Hugo provided — and he provided an HR reference. That’s why the committee called HR. And when a campaign video popped up showing Hugo in front of moving boxes and talking about a new opportunity in a new market, the committee decided to call both Hugo and get back in touch with his HR person. That’s when Elaine says her journalism skills were questioned. The idea that she am trying to manipulate elections could not be more ridiculous. Again, she says, she could not be more fair. The level of bullying that occurred was astounding and astonishing and there were many many times that she says she wanted to resign as elections chair and as a board member. The elections committee policies need to be revamped to protect the committee from this type of vitriol in the future. The board should have done more to defend Elaine. Maybe on Facebook there should be an elections page so that communications can be compiled there. Federico wonders if we should go into executive session so Elaine can go into more detail and perhaps discuss whether any of the behavior merits any sanctioning — if possible. Rebecca admits that she is one of the ones who took Elaine to task and she says she thinks that the elections committee did a sloppy job. No one on the board should be on the elections committee, Rebecca says.

As to Elaine’s description of the interactions on Facebook, Elaine may call it cyber bullying, but Rebeca says she calls it being very persistent and blunt. If she feels that Hugo Balta or Mekhalo Medina was mistreated, she will speak out. She says she handled her issues via emails with Elaine and kept it off Facebook, but Michele reminds Rebecca that she is all over Facebook with comments that amount to character assassination. Elaine says that when it came to elections, certain discussions got so heated that some people lost their heads and took on a shrill, demanding tone. She says she felt that she follows the rules over and over again. Any issues that were brought to her attention, the committee attempted to address. Nadine says she is the elephant in the room — the person who vetted Hugo. She asked employers two questions to verify employment, based on a plan the committee came up with and followed. She says she does not have the time or desire to destroy someone’s career, so to attack her on Facebook and elsewhere on false claims is shocking. She takes Rebecca to task for not calling her even after Nadine extended the invitation to talk over their differences.

Elaine says some ideas that have come up to create the next committee is to have each region nominate a member. She wants people to know how thorough the committee was, and how fair they tried to be, and that way future committees can be fixed. Michele notes that the Elections Guide was developed over a year long period, were given to the board to review, did not receive any comments and so they were passed. Past commissions have been made up of board members, but perhaps that needs to change. What was new is the character assassinations and attack ads. That’s reprehensible from people who are supposed to be peers and colleagues. She fears that that will hurt our ability to find someone to be elections chair in the future. Differences of opinion are not founded in fact. Just because you say something doesn’t make it true, Michele says. At the end of the day, the committee followed the guidelines, fixed issues that needed to be addressed, and we’ve tried to conduct a comprehensive election. Miguel says he agrees that the election committee should not be made up of board members. Michele also reminds the board that we have a published ethics policy and we need to put those guidelines back out to members so that they understand how their actions should be guided. Chris asks if the volume of people running made the work difficult? Elaine says no. She says she understands that people get so wired up because they are passionate about NAHJ, but they don’t need to let that bleed over into being disrespectful.

Fundraising report delivered by Anna at 3:50 pm.
HIGHLIGHTS: Anna has shared with the board a list of the Unity sponsors, along with their bios so that the board may become familiar with them and talk to them about NAHJ and what we have been doing, and thanking them for their support. Anna says that we want to make sure that we keep in touch with funders, finding out when they close their budgets and make funding decisions in order to maximize support for NAHJ. We really need to push individual donations. We have a commitment to raise $90,000 as a board from individuals. That’s $5,000 per board member. Anna says she would like us to start reaching out to executives and non-NAHJ members to give out of their own pocket and not as part of their company. And go after matching funds, if possible. We want to tell the story of our transition: yes, we laid off most of the staff, and our goal is to bring back staff only once we are on sound financial footing, and our programming is solid. We are planning to increase the number of our regional conferences — we’re hoping to do eight, one for each region. Chapter leaders and regional directors are attending training at Unity for the first time to do all of this. Our current convention model has not been working — they have not been profitable enough to sustain NAHJ through the year. We need to figure out a new model. Michele says the rule of thumb is that if an organization is going to do a national conference, 60 to 80 percent of its annual budget should come from conference revenues. Corporate membership is $2000. Send potential sponsors to Anna. Talk about funding regionals and restructuring our national convention model. Have been talking about increasing the fee to become a lifetime member from $2500 to at least $3000. It was started as a way to get more donations in the door. In a one year period, you’d pay that off at $250 a month. We will sell NAHJ pins for $30 to celebrate NAHJ’s 30th anniversary. Slogan is “Life begins at 30.”

ITEM: To raise the lifetime membership to $3,000 for NAHJ’s 30th year
MOVED: Nadine
SECOND: Russell
VOTE: Unanimously approved by voice vote.

New business begins at 3:44 pm.

ITEM: Make permanent the policy of 100 percent retention of dues on the national level, except for new chapters in their first year.
MOVED: Russell
DISCUSSION: In the fall of 2010 we passed a resolution to stop splitting dues with chapters temporarily in order to help solve our cash flow problems. In the interim, chapters have stepped up and started to raise their own money, while the dues fees have helped NAHJ national. Elaine asks for a clarification that the national would only take dues, while whatever the chapters fundraise they get to keep. Michele thinks that we’ll eventually need to revisit a dues split, but not right now. Elaine questions whether we should instead be reverting to the split given that NAHJ now is in the black. Michele argues that no, the chapters have proven that they can stand on their own, and could even start charging their own local chapter dues. Nadine asks if Atlanta is an NAHJ chapter that is independent? Anna and Michele say no, that our chapters operate under our 501c(3). Under our bylaws, Michele says, technically the chapters were supposed to develop their own 501c(3)s after their first year, but that has never happened. That’s one of the reasons we have the regional and chapter leadership training on Friday. We need to start teaching them how to be independent and create their own 501c(3)s. How do we convince potential members to pay both national and local dues Rosa asks? They will get discounted conference fees, access to career center, and a free subscription to Hispanic Link. Elaine asks if we vote against this, will we return to the 50 percent split? If we don’t extend the policy, Michele says, we would return any dues collected from the beginning of this year forward.
VOTE: See roll call below

Elaine: Nay
Federico: Abstain
Rosa: Yea
Rebecca: Nay
Jose Antonio: Yea
Nadine: Yea
Rusell: Yea
Chris: Yea
Robert: Nay
Miguel: Nay
Ivette: Abstain
Erin: Yea
Michele: Yea

Four nays. Seven yeas. Two abstentions. Motion passes

Action items from Regions
ITEM: To create a local NAHJ chapter in LA, pending verification of required number of NAHJ members needed for chapter creation.
MOVED: Elaine
DISCUSSION: Elaine submits an application, letter of intent, letter from the region 8 director, and a list of the required number of NAHJ members. The group has already started looking into how to make itself its own 501c(3). The group cannot vote for officers until approved by the board.
VOTE: Unanimously passed by voice vote.

Nadine says she will be meeting with members in Nevada to talk about forming a chapter.

Michele wants to table a proposal from Jose Antonio and Fernando Diaz that students be given full voting privileges because it is a fundamental bylaws change and needs more discussion. Rebecca says she would like to discuss this issue now. Elaine brings up that none of the board has seen the proposal. Discussion is tabled.

Action items from Committees — none.

Motion to adjourn made by Federico at Michele’s direction. Second by Erin. Adjourned at 5:20 pm.

The Hartford Courant responds to NAHJ’s concerns

Dear NAHJ Members,

As you may recall, on August 21, NAHJ contacted The Hartford Courant over it use of Google Translate to publish a Spanish-language version of its news. Thursday, I got a call from
Rick Hancock. He’s the Digital Platform Manager at the Courant.

Mr. Hancock admitted that the strategy of clicking on the words “Courant en Español” on the newspaper’s website is limiting.  Since our letter, the Courant has changed the website tab to read “Noticias.” Hancock says they are using this translation method,because they have economic challenges.

He assured me that his team can and will do better in serving the Latino community. Mr. Hancock accepted NAHJ’s offer of providing guidance as the Hartford Courant moves forward in developing and executing better initiatives to serve their Spanish-language readers.

As stated in the letter, I repeated NAHJ’s optimism, concerns and commitment.
We applaud the Hartford Courant’s willingness to provide a service to the Latino community.

We are troubled by a practice that does not meet the high journalistic standards of the newspaper. We stand ready, drawing from the well of experience and talent of our members to assist in making improvements.

I appreciate Mr. Hancock’s openness to constructive criticism and willingness to listen to better options that the Courant can use. My feeling is that Mr. Hancock is
someone who does champion diversity and NAHJ looks forward in resolving this issue.

Hugo Balta

President, NAHJ

Tagged , , , ,

NAHJ Board Meeting Summary

Here is the summary of the NAHJ Board meeting we had via teleconference on Saturday, August 25, 2012

  • Attendance at UNITY – Executive Director Anna Lopez-Buck reports that the final amount of revenue from UNITY is still being calculated because there was some duplication. Which is to say that some NAHJ members are also members in one or more of the other UNITY partners, so there is still an effort to clear up that overlap.
  • Planning for 2013 – The budget for 2013 will begin to take a viable form in October. The goal set by President Balta is to have a budget ready for the board to vote on by the first quarter of 2013.
  • Fundraising – The goal set for board member fundraising is $90,000. The strategy should include contributions from members, as well as seeking funds from companies, other organizations, and non members. The first effort launched by President Balta is the “1000 Voces” campaign. Since it’s launch, about $10,000 has been raised or pledged.
  • Prior Board’s Decision To Retain 100% Dues From Chapters – This agenda item took up plenty of meeting time. The board agreed to study concerns from chapters by creating a special committee, and revisit the issue during a future board meeting.
  • Additional Committees – Five additional committees were created; Governance, Membership, Communications/Public Relations, Advocacy, Finance and Fundraising. Each committee is led by a board member and should include between three and six people.
  • Temporary Support Staff – To achieve several strategic goals, two temporary part-time employees will be added to support Executive Director Anna Lopez-Buck. The first, an administrative assistant. The second, a programming director.
  • 2013 National Convention – After some study it was decided that joining RTDNA for their convention in Anaheim provided limited opportunities for sponsorship and revenue, so that option was tabled. The possibility of joining with CCNMA for a convention in Los Angeles is currently being studied. A convention in Albuquerque is still a possibility.
  • Temporary Lifetime Membership Discount – The board voted to approve a temporary discount for Lifetime memberships. The rate will be $1500.00 for the remainder of the last quarter of 2012.

Full board meeting minutes must still be approved by the entire board before they can be made available to members. In the meantime, feel free to ask any board members questions based on the summary.

Sergio Quintana

Secretary, NAHJ

Tagged , , , ,

President’s Message (August 27th)

Hugo Balta, President, NAHJNAHJ Nation,

What a busy two weeks!

I would like to once again recognize interim Executive Director
Anna Lopez for her tireless efforts in getting NAHJ a meeting with Mike McCurry, co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates. I’m proud of the work our association is doing in leading this continuing discussion.


I hope we will have similar success in reaching out to the Hartford Courant. NAHJ is reaching out to the newspaper in the hopes of assisting them in improving their efforts in reaching the Latino community.


 I want to congratulate and thank Yvonne Latty again for joining the UNITY board as NAHJ representative. She replaces Cecilia Alvear, who resigned for health reasons. Cecilia is a former NAHJ president who tirelessly champions for the benefit of all journalists and served the UNITY board with dignity and wisdom. I’m very grateful for her service and I am comforted that she will remain on the World Affairs committee.

Here’s an update on the “1,000 Voces” for NAHJ fundraising campaign. After two weeks, 80 have joined the growing number of voces and we have raised $10,500 in donations and commitments. I can’t tell you how grateful and proud I am of all of the generous donors. Please continue to invite members, colleagues, family and friends to join “Voces”. Their tax-deductible investment helps NAHJ continue to grow the programming and services that support our members and the community they serve.


On Saturday, the board had a very productive meeting. A summary will be posted later this week, but I wanted to share a specific topic discussed: membership.

Some of you will say, “he buried the lead”, but I say – I just saved the best for last!

Membership renewal is no longer on a calendar year; it is on an anniversary basis. For example, if you renew this month, you don’t have to renew until August 2013. That also means that if you renewed your membership February 2012, you do not have to renew until  February 2013.

Here’s the bonus, if a person renews their membership or joins NAHJ for the first time between now and December 31, 2012 – the cost is only $50.  Remember our regular membership fee is $75 and will go back to that price on January 1, 2013.

I believe this anniversary date renewal is a better practice for all members. I hope all of our members and even former members who want to come back to NAHJ will take advantage of our $50 special.  I also hope that our members share this $50 opportunity with people who want to join for the first time.

I’m excited, many of you have shared with me your excitement about the first four weeks. Thank you very much for your support of me, the board and staff.

I hope you agree, together –we’re all off to a good start!

Hugo Balta, President, NAHJ

President’s Message: En Espanol (27 de agosto)

Nación NAHJ,

 ¡Qué par de semanas hemos tenido!

 Quiero agradecer públicamente a la directora ejecutiva interina Anna Lopez por sus incansables esfuerzos en conseguir una reunión de NAHJ con Mike McCurry, copresidente de la Comisión sobre debates presidenciales (Commission on Presidential Debates). Estoy orgulloso del trabajo que nuestra asociación está haciendo al tomar el liderazgo en continuar esta conversación.


Espero que tengamos un éxito parecido en nuestros esfuerzos con el Hartford Courant. NAHJ busca establecer una vía de comunicación con el periódico con el propósito de ayudarles a mejorar sus esfuerzos de informar a la comunidad latina.


Quiero felicitar y agradecer a Yvonne Latty nuevamente por unirse a la junta directiva de UNITY como representante de NAHJ. Yvonne remplaza a Cecilia Alvear, quien renunció por motivos de salud. Cecilia es una ex-presidente de NAHJ  quien lucha incansablemente a favor de todos los periodistas y fungió en la junta directiva de UNITY con dignidad y sabiduría. Estoy muy agradecido por su servicio y me complace saber que ella permanecerá en el comité de asuntos mundiales (World Affairs committee).

Aquí les informo sobre lo más reciente de la campaña de recaudación de fondos “1,000 Voces” para NAHJ. Después de dos semanas casi 80 personas se han sumado a la creciente cantidad de voces y hemos recaudado más de $10,500 en donaciones y promesas. No hay palabras para expresar lo agradecido y orgulloso que estoy de todos los generosos donantes. Por favor continúen invitando a otros miembros, colegas, familiares y amigos a unirse a “Voces”. Su inversión en NAHJ es deducible de impuestos y ayuda a seguirá aumentando la programación y servicios de apoyo a nuestros miembros y sus comunidades.


El sábado, la junta directiva llevó a cabo una reunión muy productiva. Esta semana se publicará un resumen, pero quiero compartir con ustedes uno de los temas discutidos: la membresía.

Algunos de ustedes dirán, ¡Hugo escondió la noticia principal! Al contrario: ¡guardé lo mejor para el final!

La renovación de membresía ya no se basa en el año natural; ahora la membresía es vigente por un año después de la fecha de inscripción/renovación.

Por ejemplo: si uno de los miembros renueva su membresía el 27 de agosto del 2012, no tendrá que renovar hasta el 27 de agosto del 2013.

Esto también significa que si un miembro renovó su membresía el 2 de febrero de 2012,  no tendrá que  renovarla hasta el 2 de febrero de 2013.

No solo eso… Si alguien renueva su membresía o se enlista como miembro de NAHJ por primera vez desde hoy  hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2012 – el costo es sólo $50 (la cuota de membresía regular es $75 y nuevamente entrará en vigencia el 1 de enero de 2013).

Creo que esta renovación (en la fecha de aniversario) es una mejor práctica para todos los miembros y espero que todos los miembros y personas que quieren unirse por primera vez o regresar a NAHJ aprovechen de la oferta limitada de $50.

Estoy emocionado y muchos de ustedes han compartido conmigo su entusiasmo durante las primeras cuatro semanas.

Muchas gracias por apoyarme, a la junta directiva y al personal.

Espero que usted esté de acuerdo, ¡(todos nosotros en NAHJ) estamos empezando con el pie derecho!

Hugo Balta, Presidente, NAHJ

NAHJ Member, Yvonne Latty Appointed to UNITY Board

Hugo Balta, President of NAHJ, has appointed Yvonne Latty to the UNITY Board where she will represent the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Balta says “Yvonne Latty is not only an accomplished journalism professor and author; she’s also one of us. A committed member of the NAHJ family. A champion for diversity in newsrooms. A clear voice for fairness and accuracy in the portrayal of people of color. Yvonne is a trusted mentor and partner who will represent NAHJ on the UNITY board with passion and compassion.”

Latty currently teaches at New York University. She’s also a documentary producer and award-winning journalist. For 13 years, Latty was a reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, where she won awards for her work.

Latty is never too busy to give back to journalism. She’s been a loyal member of NAHJ and NABJ for almost 20 years, and a member of NAJA and NLGJA. She’s excited about her new appointment to the UNITY board. Latty tells us “I am honored to serve on the UNITY board as we share similar goals. Our voices are much stronger united and this is a crucial time for all of us.”

As we all know, UNITY has had its own changes and challenges, especially with the departure of NABJ. Latty respects NABJ’s decision, but hopes they return to UNITY. She adds “I believe it is up to the new UNITY board to figure out the next steps and what needs to be changed and tweaked to make this partnership work for all members. As a woman who lives with so much diversity, I understand how complex all our positions are and how passionate we feel about it.”

Latty who is Dominican and African-American is also the mother of two daughters. She will be replacing Cecilia Alvear who decided to step down. We appreciate Alvear’s work with NAHJ and UNITY.


Tagged , , , , , , ,

NAHJ Meets with the Commission on Presidential Debates

Mike McCurry and Hugo Balta

Mike McCurry (CPD) and Hugo Balta (NAHJ)

After more than a week of insisting for a meeting, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) finally accepted NAHJ’s offer to sit down and discuss its choice of moderators in the presidential debates.

On Thursday, NAHJ interim Executive Director, Anna Lopez and I met with Mike McCurry at his office in Washington, DC. He’s the co-chairman of the CPD, and also the former spokesman for President Bill Clinton. We were told that Janet Brown, the commission’s executive director was not available to meet with us.

Our meeting was positive and productive.

After our introductions, McCurry was complimentary on the argument outlined in NAHJ’s letter to the CPD. He acknowledged the impact of the booming Latino population on the nation and its importance in the outcome of the presidential election. In a response to my letter to the CPD, Brown had indicated that there would be no change in the four moderators it had chosen. I still asked McCurry if it would be possible to add a Latino moderator or moderator of color. His answer was quick and straight forward, “no.” This was disappointing, but I pressed on.

McCurry’s answer was not defensive or a contradiction of his earlier support. In fact, he spent a considerable amount of time explaining how the CPD’s committee wrestled with the challenges of choosing four moderators from the dozens of candidates. Several times he indicated that a Latino candidate almost made the final four, but was not chosen, because of the new debate format of one moderator. McCurry stated the candidate would have been better at what he called a “pilot, co-pilot” format where two moderators ask questions.

I shared with McCurry my concerns that while each of the moderators’ experience and talent is unquestionable, they cannot adequately represent the Latino community in their questioning. I challenged Brown’s response to our letter where she stated “The four journalists chosen to moderate the 2012 debates see their assignment as representing all Americans in their choosing topics and questions.” Using myself as an example, I explained to McCurry that while I have an affinity for African-American culture and women’s issues; I could never represent them successfully, because I am neither. It would be irresponsible for me to believe that I could be their voice.

Photo Courtesy: CPD

Since we couldn’t have a moderator of color in the group, I suggested that we be allowed to submit questions that the moderators could use during the debates. The questions would be compiled by NAHJ along with the Unity Alliance (AAJA, NAJA, and NLGJA) and NABJ. I argued that it would be more meaningful for the moderators to use their position, as a conduit in asking questions given by the diverse journalism associations that have the pulse of each of their communities. The moderators are journalists and journalists are supposed to be the voice of the voiceless for all communities.

McCurry welcomed the opportunity and promised to submit the questions. He acknowledged that it would be very difficult for the moderators not to take advantage of such an offer. I have asked the UNITY Alliance and NABJ to submit a list of questions to me in the next two weeks. I plan to have a conference call with the presidents of each of the organizations to discuss the final list of questions that will be submitted to McCurry.

In looking at how NAHJ can assist the CPD in the future in choosing candidates to moderate debates, McCurry had a couple of suggestions. He urged us to continue pressing media companies to recruit and promote Latino journalists to prominent positions. This would help grow the pool of candidates for future debates. He also recommended that NAHJ assist in developing the bench of future presidential debate moderators by suggesting journalists to moderate other debates for congress, senate, or governor.

I believe our meeting was encouraging. The CPD now knows where we stand on this issue. Members, together we will work on making sure that Latino journalists are not left out of the presidential debates in the coming years.

Hugo Balta
President, NAHJ

Tagged , , , ,

Agenda for Upcoming Board Meeting on August 25

Dear Members,

Here is the agenda for our board meeting we will conduct via conference call on August 25:

  • Approve board meeting minutes for July 31, August 2 and August 4
  • Finances: 2012 budget, 2013 budget planning, fundraising
  • Discuss previous boards approval of permanent policy of 100% retention of dues on national level except for new chapters.
  • Assignment of committees
  • Support staff for remainder of 2012
  • Regional conferences for the remainder of 2012
  • Update on information being gathered to determine a possible 2013 national convention in Los Angeles
  • President’s expectations of board members: communication, leadership, accountability
  • Open forum (if time permits)

Hugo Balta

President, NAHJ


NAHJ Reaches Out to the Hartford Courant

Dear NAHJ Members,

This is the letter NAHJ sent this week to The Hartford Courant (regular mail and email) following the criticism the newspaper received for using Google Translate in translating their English language stories to Spanish for their Courant En Español section.

We are hopeful they accept our invitation in assisting their efforts in reaching out to the Latino community.

Hugo Balta
President, NAHJ


Update (8/24): Let’s give credit where credit is due. This issue was first revealed by Bessy Reyna, an opinion columnist with, and she continues to do follow-up columns on her initial report. Bessy is also a former opinion writer for The Hartford Courant. Thank you Bessy for bringing this issue to our attention.


Tagged , , , , ,

Sergio Quintana is the new NAHJ Secretary

Sergio Quintana

Congrats to Sergio Quintana who’s been elected as the new NAHJ Secretary. Chris Ramirez will remain as Region 3 Director. Both will play a vital part in making NAHJ one of the best journalism organizations in the country.

The Elections Committee reports:

Total votes for NAHJ Secretary: 364
Votes during extended election: 31
Sergio Quintana: 17 Votes, 55 % of the vote
Chris Ramirez: 14 Votes, 45 % of the vote

Tagged , ,

NAHJ Calls for a Latino Voice in the Presidential Debates

Photo courtesy:
Commission on Presidential Debates

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists calls for the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to add a Latino journalist to its choices for moderators in the presidential debates.

While NAHJ shares in the enthusiasm of the inclusion of women (CNN’s Candy Crowley and ABC’s Martha Raddatz); it is concerning that a journalist of color was not chosen to also join PBS’s Jim Lehrer and CBS’s Bob Schieffer in questioning any of the candidates.

There has never been a Latino journalist chosen as moderator.

In a time when the Latino community is driving the population and economic growth of the United States (more than 50 million according to the 2010 Census; a 43% increase since the 2000 Census); how could it be that their voices are still being ignored?

The influence of the Latino community in the U.S. is far reaching. This population is driving the entertainment, health and technology industry with a purchasing power estimated at $2.2 billion in the first quarter of this year. This is significant on its own, a game changer when you consider that in 2020, it is projected that Latinos will account for nearly 20% of the total population in the U.S., one-third of the total population in 2050.

Latinos will help decide the next president of the United States.

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) found that 40% of all new voters in 2008 were Hispanic. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials(NALEO) projects this year the number of registered Hispanic voters will be 10 million. These voters do not only have an influence on domestic matters, but also internationally because of their deep roots to their country of origin. Those relationships, largely driven by the Mexican community (representing the largest group of Latinos residing in the U.S.) will have an impact on not only the next president, but all presidents and their governments from this point on.

Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos
Photo courtesy:

The track record of a diverse group of moderators chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates is disheartening. The last African-American to moderate a presidential race was Carole Simpson in 1992. No Asian-American has ever been at the helm of questioning (presidential and vice presidential debates).

NAHJ invites the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to a discussion about the vetting process for chosing moderators. The Latino impact on media is astounding. Univision’s success in reaching Latinos (according to Nielsen: adults, 18-34) in both Spanish language and English language markets alone merits revisiting the CPD’s decision.

NAHJ shares in Univision President Randy Falco’s disappointment and observation that there certainly are many potential Latino journalists to consider, among them Univision’s Jorge Ramosand Maria Elena Salinas, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart.

Now, more than ever before, Latino voters have the power to decide the outcome of the presidential race. It is the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ hope that the CPD consider adding a Latino journalist to the panel of moderators already chosen. Allowing their voices to be included will enrich the conversation and bring to surface social, economic and philosophical issues that will not only have a great impact on the future of the Latino community, but the entire country as well.

I ask the leadership of the UNITY alliance: Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) join us in making this request.


Hugo Balta
President, NAHJ

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

NAHJ Nation

ImageDear NAHJ Nation,

Thank you very much for all your well wishes and willingness to volunteer. I hope you feel the same great sense of excitement and confidence as I do. We will do great things together.

In an effort to better communicate with you the comings and goings at NAHJ, the board is launching a biweekly newsletter. We believe this will help you stay up to date on events, projects, board business and other pertinent information. This will also enable you to provide us with valuable feedback.

For my part, I am leading a committee in exploring the possibility of a national convention in Los Angeles in 2013. I am meeting with the leadership of CCNMA, RTDNA and SPJ in August. My hope is to gather enough information for the board to make a decision by the end of the month, early September. We have enough information to discuss the possibility of hosting a national convention in Alburquerque, NM. In the end, based on the tight time frame the board will need to decide (based on logistics, budget, fundraising and others) whether it is prudent to host a national convention in Los Angeles, Alburquerque or not to host any at all.

The second item that I am leading is fundraising. Fundraising and increasing membership is paramount for the success of all not-for-profits and NAHJ is no exception. Fundraising provides the necessary means to continue and improve upon the services and programming of our association. The board and staff is working diligently in organizing regional conferences and networking events for the remainder of the year, a new website and staff support.

We need your help.

ImageI am launching the “1,000 Voces” fundraising drive.

I am donating $1,000 in the hopes of generating 1,000 donations and raise $85,000.

I am asking my fellow members, colleagues, friends and family to donate $20 or more for every dollar I am donating.

I ask you to do the same with your social circle.

In the end, it won’t be my donation, but ours…”1,000 Voces” for NAHJ.

Everyone’s budget is different.

Some of you will be able to give more than $20, maybe form a group and donate with others.

Already the board and longtime members like newly named VP of Talent Recruitment & Development at CNN Worldwide, Ramon Escobar have joined “1,000 Voces” making very generous donations.

Mr. Escobar has matched me dollar for dollar.  We already have 6 voces towards the 1,000 and have been able to raise more than $7,000.

It’s a great start.

I’d like to celebrate you or your group’s donation, but you can choose to remain anonymous…just give me the opportunity to personally thank you.

Remember that you can donate all at once or in installments by clicking on this link:

Be sure to mention that this is for “1,000 Voces”.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for your continued support.

Hugo Balta, President, NAHJ


Tagged , ,

NAHJ Nation (En Español)

ImageEstimados Miembros:

Muchas gracias por todos sus buenos deseos y su genuino espíritu de colaboración. Espero que sientan la misma confianza y el mismo grado de entusiasmo que yo.  ¡Juntos vamos a  hacer grandes cosas!

En un esfuerzo para mantenerlos informados de lo que está sucediendo aquí en NAHJ, la Junta está poniendo en marcha un boletín quincenal.  Creemos que este esfuerzo ayudará a mantenerlos al día de los eventos, proyectos, negociaciones y otras informaciones pertinentes a la Junta.  Esto nos permitirá que ustedes participen activamente y nos proporcionen información valiosa y sugerencias.

Por mi parte, estoy presidiendo un comité para explorar la posibilidad de una convención nacional en Los Ángeles en 2013. Me estoy reuniendo con los dirigentes de CCNMA, RTDNA y SPJ en agosto. Mi deseo es reunir suficiente información para que la Junta tome una decisión a finales de mes o principios de septiembre. Tenemos información suficiente para discutir la posibilidad de organizar una convención nacional en Alburquerque, NM.  Al final, basado en tan corto plazo, la junta tendrá que decidir (en base a la logística, presupuesto, recaudación de fondos y otros) si es factible organizar una convención nacional en Los Ángeles, Alburquerque o no hacerlo.

El segundo punto que quiero llevar a cabo es la recaudación de fondos. La recaudación de fondos y aumento de la membresía es de suma importancia para el éxito de todas las organizaciones sin fines de lucro y NAHJ no es la excepción. Las recaudaciones de fondos proporcionan los medios necesarios para continuar mejorando los servicios y los seminarios  de capacitación  que ofrece nuestra asociación. La junta y su personal están trabajando intensamente en la organización de conferencias regionales y eventos que establezcan conexiones profesionales (networking)  para el resto del año, además de un nuevo sitio web y personal de apoyo par los miembros.

¡Necesitamos su ayuda!

ImageEstoy lanzando “1,000 Voces” una unidad dedicada a la recaudación de fondos. Estoy donando $1,000 con la esperanza que inspire 1,000 donaciones. Les voy a pedir a mis compañeros, colegas, amigos y familiares a donar $20 por cada dólar que estoy donando. Les pido que hagan lo mismo con sus círculos sociales y profesionales. Al final no será mi donación, sino la nuestra… “1,000 Voces” por NAHJ.

Sabemos que el presupuesto de cada persona es diferente. Algunos podrán aportar más de $20.00, pero tal vez puedan formar un grupo y donar juntos.

Cuento con el apoyo de la Junta, al igual que dedicados miembros como Ramón Escobar, que recien nombraron como Vice Presidente de Talento en CNN Worldwide. Ramon esta igualando mi donación dólar por dólar.

Con las primeras 20 voces ya hemos logrado mas de $7,000!

Me gustaría celebrar que tanto ustedes como sus amistades son donantes, pero también pueden optar por permanecerse en el anonimato, si así lo desean. Por lo menos les pido la oportunidad de agradecerles personalemente.

Recuerden que puede hacer una contribución en línea con una donación de una cantidad total o en pequeñas cuotas presionando este enlace: 1,000 Voces” a Donar  para NAHJ

Déjeme saber si tiene alguna pregunta.

Gracias por su continuo apoyo.

Hugo Balta

Presidente, NAHJ

Tagged ,

NAHJ Board Meeting Summary

Here is the summary of the NAHJ Board meeting for Saturday, August 4, 2012:

  • Election for NAHJ Secretary — After a unprecedented tie in the election for Secretary, the board agreed to extend the election for two weeks. All eligible members who did not already cast a ballot can do so electronically until 5pm August 21st.
  • Repeal of policy regarding live coverage of board meetings — After a lengthy discussion regarding the policy prohibiting live reporting from NAHJ’s open board meetings, the new elected board repealed the ban in a 6-5 vote. (Yes: Balta, Medina, Aguilar, Rosa, Pazos and Chavez; No: Torres, Murdocco, Ramirez, Davila-Richards, and Morales)
  • National Convention 2013 — The board approved an exploration committee (Hugo Balta, Blanca Torres and Mekahlo Medina) to determine the details and feasibility of a National Convention in the Los Angeles area, possibly partnering with RTDNA and/or CCNMA. The board will examine those findings and also the Albuquerque proposal on August 25th.
  • Misc — The board discussed fundraising items, regional conferences, and social media strategy.

Full board meeting minutes must still be approved by the entire board before they can be made available to members. In the meantime, feel free to ask any board members questions based on the summary.

Resumen de reunión de la junta directiva de NAHJ

Aquí está el resumen de la reunión de la junta directiva de la NAHJ del sábado, 4 de agosto de 2012:

  • Elección para Secretario de NAHJ — Después de un empate sin precedentes en la elección para Secretario, la junta acordó alargar la elección por dos semanas más. Todos los miembros elegibles que no hayan votado aun, pueden hacerlo electrónicamente hasta las 5 p. m. del 21 de agosto.
  • Cancelación de la política de cobertura en vivo de las reuniones de la junta — Después de un prolongado debate sobre la política de prohibición de reportajes en tiempo real de reuniones abiertas de la junta de NAHJ, la nueva junta electa anuló dicha prohibición en una votación de 6-5. (A favor: Balta, Medina, Aguilar, Rosa, Pazos y Chavez; En contra: Torres, Murdocco, Ramirez, Davila-Richards y Morales)
  • Convención Nacional en el 2013 — La junta aprobó un Comité de exploración (Hugo Balta, Blanca Torres y Mekahlo Medina) para determinar los detalles y la viabilidad de una Convención Nacional en el área de Los Ángeles, posiblemente en asociación con RTDNA o CCNMA. La Junta examinará el 25 de agosto esas conclusiones y también la propuesta de Albuquerque.
  • Misc — La junta discutió temas de recaudación de fondos, conferencias regionales y estrategia de medios sociales.

Las minutas completas de la reunión de la junta deben ser aprobadas por toda la junta antes de estar disponibles a la membresía. Entretanto, no dude en formular a los miembros de la junta cualquier pregunta basada en este resumen.

Tagged , ,
%d bloggers like this: