California State Controller, Malia M. Cohen, opened the “Ethnic Media Awards” ceremony in Sacramento, saying “Ethnic media are closing the gap, giving a voice to people who sometimes feel invisible.” 

California State Controller, Malia M. Cohen, opened the “Ethnic Media Awards” ceremony.

Journalist Rossana Drumond received First Prize in the Editorial – Commentary category for print and digital newspapers for her interview with José Hernández, detained in Mesa Verde Center, California. In his incarceration, José answered questions and reported on the poor conditions that Hispanics experience in ICE jails and detention centers. This First Prize was shared with journalist Javier Alvarado of Alianza News.

“My father is Chinese and my mother is Peruvian. I always wanted to be a journalist, but my father didn’t want to because he said I would never make money and that if I wanted to be a journalist I just had to take a piece of paper, a pen and a camera and that’s it. However, I followed my dreams, and I am a journalist and Publisher of Alianza Metropolitan News, a printed and digital newspaper in Silicon Valley,” said Rossana Drumond to the audience when she received the award.

When sharing the award, Javier Alvarado highlighted the importance of the fight against racism that is undertaken through Alianza News, telling stories and testimonies of immigrants who are vulnerable every day due to the color of their skin, sex, language or race.

Award for the radio program Alianza Contra la Violencia Doméstica

Also, Rossana Drumond wins the Second Prize in the Broadcast Category for her radio program Alianza Contra la Violencia Doméstica and shares it with Dr. Marcos Gutiérrez, also host of this popular and highly accepted program by the community.

“With information, education, prevention and with references to access to different resources we are helping with solutions to end domestic violence, a crime that often goes unreported. The Hispanic Latino community is one of the more vulnerable and affected. This award for Alianza Contra la Violencia Domestica radio program motivates us to continue doing excellent work, this recognition is for the community especially for the victims who suffer in silence and for the survivors who decided to change that life of abuse. We thank the Blue Shield of California Foundation for supporting this great project” comments journalist Rossana Drumond.

Rossana interviewed Aaron Salas, who was born a man and had to grow up as a woman. Aaron was a victim of psychological and physical domestic violence. Recently, a doctor diagnosed him with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, which is a classification of intersexuality. Aaron’s shocking and brave testimony and his desire to move forward are an example for thousands of people.

Both awards won by Alianza News were selected by 26 judges among 300 media outlets that competed in the “Ethnic Media Awards.” It should be noted that in the last 16 years and under the direction of Rossana Drumond, Alianza Metropolitan News has won 89 national journalism awards granted by NAHP (National Association of Hispanic Publications), GLAAD Media Awards, Ethnic Media Awards, California Publishers Association, among others.

Closing the Gap

Prior to this year’s California Ethnic Media Awards, a Symposium and Expo was held in Sacramento with leaders of state agencies and communications companies to create greater equity in public education campaigns.

During the information sessions, which also included a Panel of reporters, moderated by Jenna Lane of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. During the Panel, the reporters analyzed how stories, initiatives and taboos about domestic violence are covered in the media.
Evelyn Escalera, executive of PG&E, Martha Aszkenazy, Publisher of San Fernando Sun, Rocio Ramos, Steve Robles of Radio Lotus.
Alianza Metropolitan News joined the Ethnic Media Symposium and Expo.
Voces Maya – Radio Balam making history

It is important to highlight the talent and professionalism of Dana Levine, from EMS, who led the organization of the Ethnic Media Awards Conference, considered a total success because it managed to bring together the ethnic media, hold sessions, bring the people who make the decisions in information campaigns, politicians, leaders and have a conversation between everyone. 

“There is growing recognition that ethnic media was indispensable to the pandemic campaign. And there is growing concern among lawmakers to support local media that serve immigrants and communities of color. Now comes the next part: continuing the conversation with leaders in the state capital,” said Sandy Close of Ethnic Media Services (EMS.)

California Black Media (CBM) Executive Director Regina Brown Wilson said that for the first time, ethnic media came together to exchange ideas with decision-makers on how to build more inclusive communications. 

Also participating in this event were Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Secretary of Government Operations Amy Tong, and Secretary of Transportation Toks Omishakin.

In addition to Michelle Baass, Director of the Department of Health Care Services; Susan DeMarois, Director of the Department of Aging; Becky Monroe, Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs for the Department of Civil Rights, and Marcela Ruiz, Director of the Office of Equity for the California Department of Social Services, who shared priority issues and the challenges of reaching and engaging diverse communities of California.

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