New American Media Honors Excellence in Journalism among California’s Ethnic Media Journalists and News Organizations

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, September 21, 2017 — “If we work together, we could do better. That’s the spirit that has driven New American Media from the start,” says NAM Executive Director and Executive Editor Sandy Close at the 2017 NAM California Ethnic Media Awards Ceremonies held recently at the PG&E Auditorium in downtown San Francisco.

Twelve winners were awarded in different categories that comprised of Immigration, Health Care, Education, Politics, Gender Issues, the 2016 Elections, among others.

ABS-CBN International The Filipino Channel’s (TFC) daily news program, BA (Balitang America) won for Outstanding Coverage of Voter Engagement. The BA Team (L-R) Production Coordinator Jon Cana, News Desk Editor Henni Espinosa, Executive Producer Troy Espera, and Video Journalist Rommel Conclara shown here with NAM Executive Director Sandy Close (center).

ABS-CBN International The Filipino Channel’s (TFC) daily news program, BA (Balitang America) won for Outstanding Coverage of Voter Engagement. In a post event article released on their website, New American Media wrote that judges praised the breadth and depth of reporting, noting BA’s team took ‘the most divisive and unpredictable’ election in recent memory ‘by the horns.’”

In his acknowledgement speech, BA Executive Producer Troy Espera expressed gratitude to the entire team. “In 2016, we were proud to offer the most comprehensive US presidential election coverage in our program’s history. Thanks to the efforts of our news team — our reporters, editors, producers, shooters – we not only followed the candidates, but we dug deep to find the Filipino Americans involved at every level of the election process – from official campaign surrogates, to delegates, poll workers, and of course voters – all proud Filipino Americans who shared their stories with us so that others in our Fil-Am community would see what real civic engagement looks like.”

The honor is shared with anchor Gel Santos-Relos, BA’s other video journalists Don Tagala and Steve Angeles, editors Danny Manansala and Jon Santos, graphic artist Mike Carrion, and directors Jonas De Leon and Sam Simbulan; to the freelance reporters around the country, and to the viewers of TFC who support the show every day.


Troy Espera, BA Executive Producer, thanks New American Media for recognizing the work they do at BA. “The Filipino Channel and BA, our news program, has been reporting on the Filipino community for 15 years, not just here in the Bay Area but nationwide, throughout North America. We even report on Canada, so it’s tireless work, we love our jobs, and it’s great to be recognized for the efforts that we make.”

New American Media fulfills a very vital and significant role to make the voices of the immigrants, the youth, the elderly, and the ethnic minorities be heard.

Joseph Orozco, Station Manager of Tribal Radio KIDE FM and one of the four recipients of the Ethnic Media Champion Awards, echoes the responsibility of ethnic media in communities when he said “it confirmed in me that (ethnic) media and communications is important to us and for us because we share the thoughts, the feelings, the visions, the wisdom, and the hope of our people, while corporate media extends a message that impedes the justice and liberty of many people in this land of the free. I’m very proud and very happy to be among the New American Media.”

Espera shares the same sentiment as he underlined the importance of ethnic media, “we want our voices to be heard, our stories to be told by people that are like us and who know our stories.”

The awards ceremony was hosted by Odette Alcazaren-Keely, NAM Awards Chair and National Media Network Director, and by Martin Reynolds, Co-Executive Director for External Affairs and Funding of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

 The founding members of New California Media, which subsequently became NAM, were recognized and paid a brief tribute. The evening also marked the 10th year since Chauncey Bailey, veteran journalist and one of the founding members of NAM, was killed in the line of duty while investigating corruption in his community.

BA’s Jon Cana & Troy Espera with Flora Xu of Sing Tao Daily, winner for Outstanding Sports Coverage for her story on “American Boy Embodies Shaolin Spirit.”

Ethnic media brings to fore the collective voice of all the communities they represent. Sing Tao Daily’s Flora Xu emphasized that “everyone’s voice should be heard.” As NAM Executive Director Close further shared, “we are people on the move. We move to survive. Migration. Diaspora. This is the media of Diaspora populations. We have a future because we serve communities that might otherwise not get news, not connect to one another, and not have the visibility and the sense of a collective presence in our public culture.”

Click here for the full list of winners and merit awardees of the 2017 NAM California Ethnic Media Awards.

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