Voice of OC journalists continue to be recognized for their groundbreaking work by the nation’s top journalism groups.

This week, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana Jr. was announced as a finalist in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists awards for his columns delving into the systemic failure of Orange County officials to reach out to local Latinos when it came to Covid response and vaccinations. 

Santana led the Voice of OC newsroom in chronically death rates among Latinos as well as penning columns on the importance of recognizing the dead and speeding Covid testing and vaccinations in working class neighborhoods.

His column, “A Chance to Cheat Death For Dia De Los Muertos,”  has been selected as a finalist in the Al Newharth Award for Investigative Journalism. 

Voice of OC Photography Director Julie Leopo is also a finalist for the prestigious Ruben Salazar Award with the California Chicano News Media Association in the digital division for her photo essay published by KCET.

Her photo essay, “In Oxnard, Latinos By the Beach Create A New Reality”  delved into how local Latino families connect with the beaches near Oxnard, CA with many locals seeing similarities to their homes in Zacatecas, Mexico. 

CCNMA Journalists of Color announce winners at their annual awards banquet this week in Los Angeles while the NAHJ award winners are announced at their annual conference in Washington, D.C.

CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California is a non-profit, professional organization that aims to promote diversity in the news media by providing encouragement, scholarships and educational programs for Latinos pursuing careers in journalism. The organization’s mission is to foster an accurate and fair portrayal of Latinos in the news, and to promote the social, economic and professional advancement of Latino journalists.  

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is a national network of professionals and students dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry, while providing a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists.

The beginnings of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) can be traced back to a 1982 convention in San Diego. Organized by the California Chicano News Media Association (CCNMA) and a few journalists from the rest of the country, the convention attracted 300 participants. Hispanic journalists throughout the United States had already started an informal professional network, meeting at seminars sponsored by other industry groups, such as the American Society of Newspapers Editors. The need for a formal national organization grouping all Latino journalists had reached full maturity by the 1982 San Diego convention.

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