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SPJ announces recipients of the 2006 New America Award
Heather Porter, Programs Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 204
Guy Baehr, Awards and Honors Committee, 732-932-7500 ext. 8024
Indianapolis — The Society of Professional Journalists announced today the recipients of its New America Award. First Place went to AARP Bulletin and AARP Segunda Juventud for “Get Smart With Your Money/Sabios con su dinero.” EVS Communications, in collaboration with NBC4 and Telemundo Washington, won second place for Línea Directa, their Spanish-language television series.
This is the third year for the award, which is designed to honor collaborative public service journalism by ethnic and mainstream news media working together to explore and expose issues of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States. The recipients will receive their awards at the society’s annual Sigma Delta Chi Awards banquet July 20 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The first-place entry from AARP Segunda Juventud and AARP Bulletin was a community-focused personal finance insert that showed journalism can’t take a cookie-cutter approach for everyone. Instead, sources, examples and interpretation must be tailored to include the target audience.
When the editors of AARP Bulletin decided to put together a financial planning package for the over-50 crowd, the staff at Segunda Juventud decided that their readers would benefit from such information too. But the Segunda Juventud editors realized that for the information to connect with their Hispanic audience they needed more than a simple translation.
The team tailored the planned AARP reader survey to include a large sample of Hispanic participants, then studied the results for key points and differences with the general population. They sought out Hispanic financial planners and Latino couples who would agree to have their finances reviewed and then discussed in print. The same expert advice underpinned both the English- and Spanish-language packages. The effort went so smoothly that editors at the two publications say they plan to collaborate more often.
The second place winner, Línea Directa, is the longest running Spanish-language community education television show in the Washington, D.C. area. The show airs every Sunday at 6 p.m. and tackles tough issues rarely explored on commercial television, but important to its target audience of recent immigrants. The show’s topics range from worker safety and predatory lending to the Afro-Latino experience and the benefits of union membership to Latinos.
The show, hosted by Arturo Salcedo Martinez and produced by Eduardo Lopez, is the result of a unique collaboration among three independent media organizations: EVS Communications, the non-profit organization that produces the show; NBC4, the local NBC affiliate that provides free studio facilities; and Telemundo Washington, the local Spanish language broadcast and cable station that provides it with its prime local time slot for family viewing.
Judges said other work of note in the contest included an entry from Media General’s TBO.com and CENTROtampa.com in Tampa, Fla., for their collaborative efforts to make Spanish-speakers aware of what was said during a gubernatorial debate immediately after the debate happened. During the debate, CENTROtampa.com, the Spanish language Web site component of CENTRO Grupo de Comunicación, collaborated with WFLA 8, the NBC affiliate in Tampa. WFLA provided graphics and up to the minute news, which was translated on the spot and then placed on both CENTROtampa.com in Spanish and on TBO.com in English.
For complete details on the New America Award, please visit www.spj.org or contact Programs Coordinator, Heather Porter at 317-927-8000 ext. 204.
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.