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NPR’s Richard Gonzales and Uri Berliner receive SPJ New America Award for Hurricane Katrina coverage


For immediate release

Lauren Rochester, SPJ Awards Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 210, lrochester@spj.org
Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Manager, 317-927-8000 ext. 215, ahenkel@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to name Richard Gonzales and Uri Berliner of NPR as the recipients of its New America Award, which honors work that explores and exposes issues of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities living in the U.S.

The entry, “Latinos get little thanks for rebuilding New Orleans,” illuminates the employment struggles of New Orleans’ Hispanic population, which increased 57 percent since Hurricane Katrina, largely due to the boom in construction jobs in the wake of the disaster. But in recent years, the workers have faced unemployment, immigration raids and employers refusing to pay for the work they've done.

The piece was chosen due in large part to the strong sound bites chosen by Gonzales, a correspondent for NPR’s Weekend Edition, and Uri Berliner, an editor for the show.

“This is the little known, but important, story of Hispanics who came to New Orleans to rebuild the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” the judges explained. “While many have been paid little -- or nothing at all -- for the work they have done, the workers have faced other challenges, including raids for illegal immigrants. The piece captures their challenges, frustrations and possible courses of action in a compelling manner.”

Listen to “Latinos get little thanks for rebuilding New Orleans.”

This is the eighth year the award has been presented. The recipients will be honored Sept. 22 at the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet during the Excellence in Journalism conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Purchase tickets here.

For complete details on the New America Award, including past recipients, please click here or contact awards coordinator at 317-927-8000 ext. 210.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.


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