We are finally here. It’s the week of the NAHJ Conference and I hope you will be at the convention supporting NAHJ. I also hope you will vote in our election. It’s important for you to take part and elect the new leaders for NAHJ. When you vote, remember I am the person with Leadership, Trust and Experience and I am the better candidate because of those attributes. Vote at this link if you are going to the conference or not. https://eballot.votenet.com/nahj/login.cfm
Let me tell who I am. I was born in East LA, the son of migrant workers. My father grew up in the toughest housing project in East LA and would go pick fruit and vegetables with his family in Fresno. From his humble beginnings, I was able to attend school and placed an importance on graduating from school. I also wanted to do something very few Latinos were doing and be a role model to younger Latinos. I went to college at Cal State Fullerton and USC, graduating from USC in 1991 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. I got into a college with high standards and many doubted I would graduate let alone succeed in the business. I have done that and more. I have been a broadcast journalist working in the Southwest for the last 19 years, mostly as a reporter. I have worked in Texas, Arizona and California.
I became active with CCNMA and NAHJ in college and have never looked back since then.
I can remember my first NAHJ Conference in 1990 in San Francisco, like it was yesterday and going to my first Job Opportunies Conference . I was involved with the student projects from NAHJ and won scholarships from both, CCNMA and NAHJ. I had many great role models, including Frank del Omo, George Ramos, Julio Moran, Henry Mendoza, Dr. Felix Guteirrez, Pete Moraga, Henry Alfaro, Carla Aragon, Minerva Perez, Diane Alverio, Ernest Gurule and Bertha Coombs. They all formed me into a great young professional, full of energy with the ability to lead people and a person willing to stand up for what’s right in the field of journalism.
Let me talk about my accomplishments during my six years on the NAHJ Board and why you shold trust my experience and leadership:
REGION 8 REP (1999-2001) REGION 5 REP (2006-2007 AND 2009-CURRENT)
* As region rep, we held the first Spanish Language Conference while I was the representative in Region 8. We also reached out to other areas, including Portland and the Northwest, holding events in places where we never had events in the region. As Region 5 Director, we held the first border regional conference in El Paso, a regional conference in San Marcos, a regional conference in Houston, Again, all areas where the region had never held regional conferences. We have held multimedia seminars on college campuses in Texas. We have trained several hundred journalists and college students aspiring to succeed in this business. It was all done on the regional level. We also have established seven student chapters and professional chapters. I am a co-founder of one of the first NAHJ chapters in the Rio Grande Valley. This was all made possible through my active involvement with the region, listening to members and executing what they want.
VP of BROADCAST (2006-2008)
Stood up for Telemundo employees and spoke out against NBC when they consolidated news divisions. When broadcast journalists were laid off from CBS and others lost their jobs, I led the fight for them to get free UNITY registrations so they could attend the conference and get back on their feet. When NAHJ members criticized the Parity Project for eliminating jobs for veteran journalists, I supported the measure to suspend the operation at the San Jose Mercury News and made sure we examined other Parity Projects so that wouldn’t happen at other newspapers or broadcast stations in the project. I served on the RTNDA board as the NAHJ Board Rep. I made sure diversity was maintained in newsrooms and questioned layoffs, aimed at Latino journalists.
MY PLANS IF ELECTED and why you should trust me as VP of Broadcast
* Recruit members who have left NAHJ, develop a marketing plan for freelancers/multimedia members and reach out to Spanish Language members to join the group.
We can do this by holding many events throughout the regions. In Region 5, we have been able to do this and maintain our members. It’s proof if we are active, we will give members a reason to join and stay involved in the group. I want to reduce the membership rates and make sure convention rates are kept affordable so all members can attend our biggest and best event of the year. Also, I would like to bring back dual memberships for groups, like CCNMA and DFW Network of Communicators, so we can recruit more members back to NAHJ. Many journalists cannot afford to pay for two groups. If we can get them to pay for two at one price, it would mean more members and help with fundraising efforts. I will support giving displaced journalists free memberships and registrations to regional and national conferences. It is important to get them training, so they can be better prepared and get jobs in this competitive world of journalism.
* Be Prudent with our money and be a good steward of finances:
When I left the NAHJ Board, we were doing ok financially, but a year later, we are in the red and faced with big problems. Asking our membership to raise $300,000 was a little much for people struggling in the industry, so we will come up with a plan to diversify our fundraising efforts and not rely on money from media companies because the money is not there anymore. We will have to reach out and find other sources of money. We also must eliminate lavish spending and booking of hotels, like the Hyatt Regency, so we can meet our budget and get out of the red. The biggest thing is to make sure we live within our means.
* Against media consolidation and creation of duopolies in broadast markets
I will oppose any media consolidation proposal or plans to create duopolies because it will consolidate jobs and eliminate voices in the newsroom. I opposed the NBC Universal Comcast and will be an independent voice for you, the journalist.
* Will take stances of unfair depictions of Hispanics in the news
News groups depict Hispanics in bad lights from time to time. We, at NAHJ, are too slow to react, sometimes. I will push for faster responses and to come up with solutions for these news departments so we can educate them on the proper way to report on Hispanics. We should be an expert in the field of reporting on Hispanics and news departments should come to us, if they have any questions.
* I want to have a personal relationship with broadcast members who call our NAHJ office for help and aren’t getting assistance. We must be more responsive to our members and run NAHJ, like a business. I will create an e-mail so members can tell us the problems and get the answers for them.
* Will Mandate A Bi-Annual Review of NAHJ Executive Director
The NAHJ Executive Director hasn’t been given a review in years. As an executive officer, I will make sure we review him/her and the person knows what they are doing right and what they need to improve. If the person doesn’t want to change or adhere to changes, as an executive officer, I will vote for discipline until the changes are made.
So that is my plan. If you have read it, you now know why I am a person you can trust to lead your organization based on his experience. I am not about being tied to cronies or cliques. You will notice I am not part of a slate and don’t have endorsements. I refuse to be a part of slates or endorsements. I am my own person and don’t want to be a part of that stuff. I don’t need people to endorse me. It’s a sign of a weak leader and someone who needs to hear good things about themself. I am all about leadership and success. Just look at my proven record. I will not fail you. If you need a leader with a vision and who can, if need to be, fill in as NAHJ President, if something were to happen to him/her, I am that person.
Vote Manny for NAHJ Broadcast VP!