NAHJ New York City launch update

Just wanted to give everyone an update from the NAHJ New York City launch meeting.

It was great meeting those of you who were at the meeting. For those who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you at something in the future – and we’re working to plan/organize a number of things to choose from.

The turnout was great. We had 25 people able to make it out. And I know a number of you also e-mailed me about want to make it, but couldn’t.

We identified a few different things to work on in the beginning.

– Social media strategy. I’d like to figure out a way to keep everyone up-to-date that doesn’t rely on just one person sending e-mails, posting to Facebook, etc. We all know that interactivity is what makes social media so successful, so let’s put it to work for us. I have a tapped a few people from the meeting who said that was their interest. Any feedback on the best way to reach you with information using social media would be helpful. If you’d like to be involved in this social media strategizing, let me know.

– Fundraising. This is something we need to do at a national and chapter level. I don’t want to just sit and ask you all to open up your wallets and give NAHJ money (although, you’re more than welcome to do so), but given NAHJ’s financial situation, there needs to be some kind of effort to bring in money.We discussed a silent auction that we’re looking to do in November/December. If you’re interested in fundraising and/or assisting on this, please let me know.

– Skill exchange. We’re going to try to set up some kind of database (even just as simple as a Google doc, where we can set up a skill exchange – i.e. you help me for two hours learning how to use Final Cut Pro, then I’ll help you for two hours trying to set up your blog). I’m looking to get this set up in the next month.

– Spanish-language. We had a number of people express interest in doing some events/training geared specifically toward Spanish-language media. I have talked to a few of those people already and will be reaching out to more this week about working on this front.

– Collaboration. I’m going to be speaking with someone from AMSE this week about some kind of panel or training even we can do together. I’ve also had some interest from NYWICI (NY Women in Communication) and ONA (Online News Association) on doing mixer-type events.

– Future meetings.

Location: I have been told NBC might have space to host us for a future meeting, but we’re always looking for meeting space. The way it’s worked with NAHJ New England is we get a host who gives us conference room space for the meeting (usually they spring for like pizza or some food, but that’s not at all a requirement) and we generally invite someone to talk about the company’s diversity efforts, how NAHJ can help, etc. if they like. It’s basically as hands off or involved as the company letting us use their space likes.

Time: Also, I am trying to figure out the best meeting times. I know that journalism is not a 9-to-5 industry. I’m not sure if the best approach is to have two regular, but different meeting times, maybe alternating every month (i.e. one month, a weeknight evening; the next month, a weekend late morning). Once we get underway with mixers and training events, etc., we’ll probably end up with events at a variety of times. But obviously the meeting time worked for everyone who was at the meeting, but without getting too specific for those of you that wanted to come but couldn’t, what would work?

There were also some great ideas and suggestions raised at the meeting – some advocacy suggestions, things we can do to help bring the issue of Latinos and media to the forefront following the census data release, etc.

But let me know what you’d like to see, ideas for what we can do, things you’d like to be involved in, etc. The more people we get involved, the more successful this chapter can be.

Feel free to reach out to me on anything. I’ll keep you all posted.

Maria Burns Ortiz

Region 2 Director
National Association of Hispanic Journalists


Region 2 Update – Post-convention edition: NYC Chapter, Denver Challenge-Fundraising, Sports Task Force and More

Hi Region 2 members,

Hope all is going well – and that everyone is weathering the lovely heat wave. (I’m trying to remind myself that this is what I dream of in January.)

To those of you that were in Denver, it was great to see/meet you all. It was a smaller convention, but I’m hopeful we’re going to do big things with the momentum that we are taking from it. To those of you that couldn’t make it, you were missed, but we will still have events to offer you the second half of this year.  We’re working to shift the idea that if you can’t make it to the convention, then you’re missing out on the bulk of what NAHJ has to offer.

Here’s what going on around Region 2 and NAHJ.

NY Chapter

NAHJ’s NY chapter formation is in the works. Jose Bayona has done a great job in taking a lead on this endeavor as have the many members who were at the Region 2 caucus in Denver and who have come back energized and are working to get this chapter off the ground (Yvonne Latty, Kirk Gimenez, Jorge Arangure, the list goes on). Thank you all so much!

We’re looking to get the first meeting nailed down in the next few weeks, and some events are already in the planning stages. I think the key to this success is delegating – and some wonderful members have already stepped up on that front. If you’re interested in leading something up on that front, please let me know. Otherwise, if you just want to come, mix and meet fellow members, that’s great too – and I’ll have information for you on that soon.

Check us out on Facebook:

Sports Task Force

We officially re-launched the NAHJ Sports Task Force in Denver with a great panel and the World Cup Lounge. We are going to be working to bump these efforts up substantially in the next year.

Thank you so much to this year’s speakers – all of whom have Region 2 ties: moderator Jorge Arangure (ESPN the Magazine) and panelists Mario Fraticelli (, Eric Ortiz (New England Sports Network/NESN), Angie Clemmons (Denver Post, but former Region 2 director) and Paul Gutierrez (Sacramento Bee, but formerly at Sports Illustrated in NYC).

We have already been told that we will have more sports programming next year in Orlando, so that’s in the works.

We’re also going to launch a mentoring program – so if you’re looking for a mentor (student, early career, etc.) or you’d like to be a mentor, let me know.

Check us out on Facebook:!/group.php?gid=133690243328026

Job Board

I’m going to create a job page with all the job openings I get as well as links to job sites for media companies within Region 2. I will be putting this up on the blog (and linking to the Facebook page), but please send me any open jobs that you know of  – now or in the future. They don’t have to be in Region 2.

Also, if you’re job searching, don’t forget to visit NAHJ’s career center:

Denver Challenge/Fundraising

Thanks to the generous support of the Ford Foundation, McCormick Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, NAHJ has been selected to participate in the Challenge Fund for Journalism. We will be awarded $25,000 if we can raise that same amount from individuals.

As those of you who were in Denver know, NAHJ is still struggling to regain its financial footing. The budget was cut and the projections were redone after our shortfall last year, but NAHJ still needs to do some substantial fundraising this year.

We will be holding some events in Region 2 between now and the end of this year that will benefit both our members and help raise money for the national organization. I will get that information out as we get details.

However, you can also help by donating – either a one-time donation or monthly giving.

For more information:

NAHJ New England

Thanks to everyone that came out to the World Cup event. We’re trying to set the location of our next meeting, and I will get that out as soon as we have it. If you’re in New England and not a member of the chapter, please come check it out.  Also, congratulations to NAHJ New Englanders Russell Contreras and Erin Ailworth on being elected to the NAHJ Board of Directors. Erin is NAHJ’s new secretary and Russell is NAHJ’s new financial officer.

Keep Up-to-Date

As always, if you have any information you think would be of interest to other members (upcoming events, job openings, internships, stories, blog links, resources, etc.), please send it my way. I update the Facebook page as I get stuff and I try to post that to the Region 2 blog and @nahjregion2 Twitter account as well.

If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, anything, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks so much!

Maria Burns Ortiz

Region 2 Director
National Association of Hispanic Journalists

Page 2 Contributor/Soccer Writer
Freelance Journalist


Check out the Region 2 blog:

Become a fan of NAHJ Region 2 on Facebook:

NAHJ Region 2 is on Twitter:

What We Discussed at the NAHJ Board Meetings in Houston

I attended the NAHJ Board meetings in Houston last weekend and wanted to give everyone an update on all things NAHJ.

We talked about the future of NAHJ, our fundraising efforts, the upcoming Denver convention and ways we can provide skills, training and resources to our members at a regional level.


A major discussion at our meetings was fundraising. As I’m sure you know, NAHJ is working to raise $300,000 by Dec. 15, 2009.

To clear up some misunderstandings, I think it’s important to note that we are not $300,000 short due to any kind of mishandling of funds. NAHJ operated under the assumption that it would bring in $330,000 from our annual convention. This is was a considered to be a reasonable expectation given what NAHJ traditionally brings in from the event.

However, given the economic situation facing the industry, we did not meet those projections. We did, however, turn a profit from our convention – and not every organization can say that. We also realize that going forward we need to continue to tighten our budget and diversify our funding sources so we are not in this situation again.

In addition to the day-to-day expenses of running the organization, NAHJ has funded:

– $110,000 in student scholarships in 2009 alone.

– 76 journalists from across the country received convention assistance, many of those receiving funds had been laid off from their job and would not have been able to attend otherwise.

– 63 students and 33 student mentors were able to attend the convention and take part in the Student Projects/Student Campus programs.

We’re doing good things, and we’re working to continue to serve our members. Please consider giving to the Count Me In campaign:

Anything you can give is greatly appreciated. Donations are tax-deductible.


A major focus going forward is going to be providing workshops and training at the regional level.

At the moment, I am working to set up two regional conferences in the next 12 months. We will be holding a conference in Boston, put on with the NAHJ New England chapter, in early 2010, and tentatively a conference for New York to be held in the Fall 2010 – as a follow up to the Denver convention for those of you that attend and a way to share what we learn in Denver for those that can’t make it out to Colorado.

We also have a few other smaller events in the works, and I will send information on those events as soon as details are confirmed.


Also, we’re really looking to build up our chapters – both at the student and professional level. We think that having local groups within each region will really help us provide those essential non-convention networking opportunities.

Each chapter receives half of its members’ dues to host chapter events each year. If you’re interested in creating a chapter, please let me know. I will work to help you set it up. For more information on chapter requirements please visit,

The North Jersey and New England chapters both have several events in the works – I will be sending out the details as they’re finalized.

We also have several student chapters. Syracuse, continues to be a strong student presence within the organization, while Stony Brook and Columbia (a chapter for students and alumni) are newly formed chapters.

We’re also looking to reestablish our presence at Brooklyn College and Lehman College.

With this in mind, I would LOVE to establish a New York City chapter. If anyone is interested, please contact me, and I will work to put interested parties in touch and with all the signature verification, paperwork, etc.


NAHJ is really trying to ramp up its career center. Please check it out:

If you need your membership number, contact me or Paulo Luizaga (

We’re really encouraging you to post your resume in the resume bank. You can keep your name and other identifying information confidential – prospective employers will be able to contact you through the site. Employers are searching the resume banks, and NAHJ uses it as well when they’re asked for suggestions.


NAHJ members can now renew their membership for 2010. Membership is $75 for professional, academic and associate members; $35 for students.

To renew, go to:

I will continue sending out information on upcoming events, job openings, internships, etc. as well updating our Region 2 Facebook page and blog. If you have any information you think would be of interest to other members (i.e. stories, blog links, resources), please send it my way.

If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, anything, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks so much!

Maria Burns Ortiz

Region 2 Director
National Association of Hispanic Journalists


Become a fan of NAHJ Region 2 on Facebook:


Like many other organizations in today’s economy, cuts in funding and in attendance at our excellent annual convention in San Juan have left NAHJ with a $300,000 budget shortfall. As a result we need to raise $300,000 before December 15, 2009.

Can you make a donation to NAHJ? Can you raise $200 for NAHJ?

Please visit for more information and to donate.

Columbia Chapter Launches

The NAHJ chapter at Columbia University held its first meeting on Sept. 24.

All Columbia students and alumni in the New York area are invited to join. The next meeting is planned for late October (check back here for the date).

In the meantime, if you’re interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Kristina Puga at for more information.