NAHJ’s 40th Anniversary Conference Will Spotlight Extraordinary Progress, Enduring Challenges for Latinos in News

— When the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convenes next month in Hollywood for its annual conference, the event will spotlight the extraordinary impact the organization has had since its founding 40 years ago, when few Latinos worked in American newsrooms and the Hispanic community was stereotyped or ignored in coverage —

Washington, DC — June 12, 2024 — (NOTICIAS NEWSWIRE) — This year, the NAHJ 40th Anniversary Conference and Expo will feature the induction of four Hall of Fame members who personify the progress of Latinos in news. 

  • John Quiñones, a former farmworker, has earned seven national Emmys in his four-decade career with ABC News
  • Ingrid Ciprián-Matthews, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, is the first Latina president of CBS News
  • Rafael Prieto Zartha was a vice president of the California Chicano News Media Association when they met in 1982 to discuss the creation of a national organization. Two years later, he helped found NAHJ.
  • Steve Padilla, a legendary Los Angeles Times editor, may be better known as a writing coach to a vast diaspora of journalists across the country.

While Latinos have made remarkable strides, NAHJ’s mission is far from done. Latinos are still underrepresented in newsrooms, especially at the senior management level, at a time when Hispanics represent close to 15% of eligible voters and 19% of the population. Journalists of color hired in the past few years have been disproportionately affected by recent newsroom layoffs.

“Informing and engaging all Americans is essential to the success of our multicultural democracy, especially as we move toward becoming a majority-minority country,” said NAHJ President Yvette Cabrera. “Latino journalists often help new Americans and overlooked communities connect to the news, while giving the rest of the country a much more accurate and nuanced understanding of their Hispanic neighbors.”

For the first time, NAHJ’s annual conference is supported by an honorary host committee and community partners, signaling broad-based alignment with NAHJ’s mission. Committee members are prominent Los Angeles-area Latinas from the media and entertainment industries, while the community partners are local and national organizations. 

From its start in 1984, NAHJ now has close to 4,000 journalists and media executives as members; more than 1,500 of them are expected to attend the annual conference at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles on July 9-13. NAHJ has grown by supporting Latino journalists at every stage of their careers, principally through:

  • Scholarships and educational support 

NAHJ has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to aspiring journalists since its founding, including $34,000 in 2023. In addition to providing emerging journalists with experiences through student programs NAHJ also coordinates with various media organizations to offer internships that can launch young journalists’ careers.

  • Training and Professional Development

This year’s conference features nearly 90 workshops and training sessions; NAHJ local chapters and national staff also organize many more professional development opportunities throughout the year.

  • Networking and Community Building

 Many NAHJ members credit the organization for giving them support at every stage of their careers; our conferences, chapters and programs provide opportunities for young journalists to connect with seasoned professionals. 

  • Chapters and Local Groups

NAHJ has numerous chapters across the United States, fostering local networks and support systems for Hispanic journalists.

Most recently, NAHJ introduced the Adelante Academy to strengthen its professional development capability. The first cohort – a group of Latina journalists preparing for top leadership positions – began their program at Columbia Journalism School in January and will present their final projects at the conference.

NAHJ’s other pillar is advocacy, not only for more newsroom representation by Latinos and press protections, but also for accurate portrayals of the Hispanic community. This year alone, NAHJ spoke out on several issues, including:

  • The community impact of layoffs at the LATimes, Univision and elsewhere
  • The injustice of a Los Angeles city suit against watchdog group that published city-released photos of undercover police
  • The safety and freedom to report of journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • How to write fairly and accurately about immigration, a key election-year issue
  • In defense of professional and student journalists who were arrested or attacked while covering protests across the country.  

The Hollywood conference will open with a full day of journalism training open to students, journalists and others. Participants can choose between workshops in climate/environmental reporting or in data & investigative journalism. Then NAHJ will host a public town hall meeting on Election 2024: Empowering Hispanic Voters as AI Amplifies Misinformation.

Plenary sessions during the conference including a panel discussion on Exploding the Myth of the Monolithic Hispanic Vote. The conference will also feature the Ñ Awards, recognizing excellence in journalism by NAHJ members.