Hispanic Link’s Salazar coverage wins award

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By Bianca Fortis

Hispanic Link News Service writers won honors in three of the nine featured journalism categories at New America Media’s second annual Washington, D.C. awards banquet Feb. 15.

The competition, for news or features published or broadcast in 2010, was cosponsored by the American University School of Communications to recognize ethnic media excellence in the Greater Washington region. More than 100 print and broadcast submissions in nine languages were judged by panels of multilingual journalists and journalism educators.

Two hundred invited guests joined in the salute, conducted at the capital’s University of California headquarters building. NAM ties together a network of more than 700 news organizations.

Hispanic Link journalists gained two top awards and one second place “honorable mention” for their entries.

Frank O. Sotomayor won in the Best Investigative News category for his 2,800-word account, “The Strange Death of Rubén Salazar — Accident or Assassination?” published Nov. 10 in Hispanic Link’s newsweekly and syndicated nationally by Scripps Howard News Service.

Salazar and other reporters interview former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961.

Salazar and other reporters interview former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961.

Sotomayor’s account pieced together the circumstances surrounding the Aug, 29, 1970, death of KMEX-TV news director Rubén Salazar, who was killed in an East Los Angeles café by an armor-piercing teargas canister fired by a sheriff’s deputy.  Salazar and his news crew were on lunch break while covering a Chicano Moratorium protest again the Vietnam War.

Sotomayor, for years an editor with the Los Angeles Times, is a senior fellow with the Oakland, Calif.-based Institute for Justice & Journalism.

Following disclosure Feb. 19 by Los Angeles Times investigative reporter Roberto López of a soon-to-be-released review by the Office of Independent Review, a citizens’ commission, of law enforcement agencies’ botched investigation into Salazar’s death, the case is now under new scrutiny.

Washington’s Spanish-language newspaper El Tiempo Latino was runner-up in that category for its article “Community Health Centers” by Paula Andalo.

Anne Hoyt, a Hispanic Link contributing columnist, won the top award for Best Broadcast with “Mexican Immigrants Returning to Their Homeland,” a story she enterprized and wrote for Grupo Radio Central’s Mexico City news outlet Mexicanal.

Runner-up in that category was Armando Guzmán’s exposé on “Worker Protections” for Azteca America.

Hispanic Link’s lead columnist José de la Isla, a winner last year for Best Commentary which called for a national commission on hate crimes, earned runner-up honors this time in the same category for “Fatty, Fatty, Two by Four,”  a Feb, 22 column about the politics surrounding the soft drink industry.

Visit newamericanmedia.org for a list of all the winners as well as photos from the event.

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Editor’s note: This column was previously published on Hispanic Link News Service.

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