Voice of OC Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana Jr. was honored last week with a lifetime achievement award by CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California at the organization's annual Ruben Salazar Awards dinner at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Founded in 1972, CCNMA is the oldest regional organization in the U.S. representing journalists of color. The organization is known throughout the media industry for its educational and professional programs.
It has directly bolstered the number of journalists of color in the news media by sponsoring workshops as well as the largest job fair on the West Coast for journalists of color and a scholarship program that has awarded more than $700,000 to more than 700 students.
Santana was recognized along with LA Times Staff Writer Robert Lopez, Univision 34 anchor Teresa Quevedo and Luis Torres, formerly with KNX Newsradio.
“CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California honored Norberto Santana Jr. with a Lifetime Achievement Award not only for his years as an investigative journalist, but for his entrepreneurship in co-creating a website in Orange County that focuses on accountability journalism, especially in communities of color, which are often ignored by the mainstream media,” said Julio Moran, the organization's executive director.
“Elected officials need to be held accountable, and Voice of OC helps communities that are often voiceless have a voice in keeping their local governments in line.”
CCNMA receives support from foundations and media companies including: The Robert F. Kennedy Foundation, The Freedom Forum, the Times Mirror Foundation, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Foundation, McClatchy Newspapers, KABC-TV (ABC), KNBC-TV (NBC), KCBS-TV (CBS), KTLA (Tribune Co.), Fox and Univision.
“It’s very humbling to be recognized by CCNMA, a group that helped me get started in this business through simple job references, networking and mentoring,” said Santana. “I hope my work always honors the efforts of the pioneers that founded the organization and sacrificed so much to make my job possibilities so much more vibrant.”
“It’s also a unique honor to lead the amazing group of investigative journalists we’ve assembled at Voice of OC, whose work continues on a daily basis to help local residents, activists and elected officials craft better and more accountable public policy.”