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Posts Tagged ‘Hugo Balta’

MSNBC Will Apologize For ‘Cringeworthy’ Cinco de Mayo Celebration

MSNBC cinco de mayoMSNBC will apologize for its coverage of Cinco de Mayo on “Way Too Early,” Maynard Institute’s Richard Prince reports in his Journal-Isms column.

As the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed point out, the show featured a number of “cringeworthy” Mexican stereotypes. Louis Burgdorf was wearing a sombrero, shaking a maraca and taking tequila shots. Thomas Roberts, the show’s host, had a sombrero, several bottles of tequila and plastic margarita glasses on the table in front of him.

“This is simply the worst example I have seen of a discriminatory stereotypical portrayal of any community by any media,” says Hugo Balta, a former MSNBC producer, now the the president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. “The fact that this was done by a news organization is abominable.”

Balta spoke with “Way Too Early” executive producer Alex Korson, who apologized, “expressed his remorse at how the producers allowed the segment and behavior to continue.” Korson said an on-air apology will be made.

>Update: “On Monday, Cinco De Mayo, ‘Way Too Early’ made sarcastic references to the way some Americans celebrate the holiday. It was not our intention to be disrespectful and we sincerely apologize for the ill-advised references,” MSNBC said in a statement. The show will also apologize on the air tomorrow.

Watch a segment from the show after the jump. Read more

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NAHJ to Leave UNITY

UnitylogoThe board of the National Association for Hispanic Journalists has voted 13-2, with two members absent, to leave UNITY: Journalists for Diversity.

“It’s a bitter sweet decision,” writes NAHJ president Hugo Balta. “The board believes in the concept of UNITY, but feels the organization needs to reform to meet the new challenges minority journalists are facing in an industry that is continuously changing.”

This follows the departure more than 2 years ago of the National Association of Black Journalists. The NAHJ and NABJ were charter members of Unity which was founded in 1990 as an alliance of journalism organizations pushing for fair and accurate news coverage about diversity while challenging news executives to hire staffers that reflect the nation’s diversity.

This leaves the Asian American Journalists association (AAJA) and the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) as well as National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), which joined in 2011, as members of UNITY.

Journal-isms has more on the vote…

NAHJ Elects New Board Members

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists announced new leadership at the quadrennial Unity conference on Friday.

Hugo Balta, (right) a coordinating producer at ESPN, was elected president of the organization. Balta has held previous leadership roles at MSNBC and at  New York stations WNBC, WNJU, and WCBS. Mekahlo Medina, a reporter at KNBC, was elected VP of broadcast. Here’s a look at other new board members and officers.