SOURCE: National Association of Hispanic Journalists

National Association of Hispanic Journalists

November 23, 2009 14:45 ET

NAHJ Journalism Awards Honor the Best of 2008

Winning Work Helped Improve Education, Reveal Suicide Cover Ups, Save Lives

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 23, 2009) - Crusading education coverage, investigations that saved lives of liver transplant patients, and a detailed telling of the Bush administration's economic legacy headlined the excellent work honored in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists' 2009 Journalism Awards announced this week.

Among the eight awards given, the honor in the TV Investigative category went to a probe into a cover up by authorities to hide the number of suicides by veterans, led by CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian and producer Pia Malbran. A revealing look at the dangerous and often horrendous trek by Central Americans crossing through Mexico to get to the U.S. by La Opinión writer Gardenia Mendoza Aguilar won this year's Guillermo Martinez Marquez Award for Latin American Reporting.

"Despite less participation than in previous years, the quality of the work was just outstanding, both in its range of topics and in the depth of talent these colleagues demonstrated by what they put on the page or on the air," said NAHJ Executive Director Iván Román.

Luis Fábregas and Andrew Contin of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review were honored in the Print Investigative category for their probe into how a liver transplant system driven by profit was actually killing people and spurred reforms which have saved lives. In the Television Documentary category, judges cited excellent editing, imagery and treatment of the topic to award TVE Espana's Jose Jimenez Pons and Llucía Oliva de la Esperanza for their work on how growing poverty in the U.S. under the Bush administration is affecting people, including many Latinos.

The Detroit News' editorial writer Amber Arellano's crusading pieces using investigative journalism to reveal the true magnitude of the black and Latino male high-school dropout problem received the award for Print Commentary. Winning in the Print Feature category, the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Frederick Melo and Brandi Jade Thomas gave readers a well-written immigrant-dreams-gone-bad tale from the hometown Guatemalan village of an undocumented immigrant accused of striking a school bus with her minivan in Minnesota and killing four children.

Julio Rivera Saniel of WKAQ 580 Univision Radio in Puerto Rico, won the Radio Reporting award for his look into the life and resistance in San Juan's poor community of La Perla. A CBS News team led by correspondent Byron Pitts detailing the suffering of a family of a deceased Marine sergeant whose skin cancer was misdiagnosed while serving in Iraq won in the Television Feature Large Market category.

For more information and the judge's comments on the winners and to see the work being honored, click here,

Several categories were declared vacant by the judges due to a lack of participation in an exceptionally difficult economic and professional year for journalists and the news media industry. NAHJ also decided not to give its most prestigious ñ awards in 2009, usually presented at the Annual Noche de Triunfos Journalism Awards Gala, which was cancelled this year. The ñ Awards include the Leadership Award, the Emerging Journalist Award and others.

Honors in all the categories and the ñ awards are expected to be given in 2010 as NAHJ holds the often inspiring gala next fall.

Founded in 1984, NAHJ's mission is to increase the percentage of Latinos working in our nation's newsrooms and to improve news coverage of the Latino community. NAHJ is the nation's largest professional organization for Latino journalists with more than 1,400 members working in English and Spanish-language print, photo, broadcast and online media. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Iván Román
    (202) 662-7178