2022-2023 Impact Report and Remarks by Outgoing President Magda Salazar

Hispanic Communicators DFW: 2022-2023 Impact Report

Closing a Chapter in Empowering Hispanic Journalists and Communicators in North Texas

After almost ten years as a volunteer and two as President of Hispanic Communicators DFW, I am eager to reflect on the progress made by our organization in supporting journalists and communication professionals across North Texas. It is an honor to join a legacy of leaders who have guided this organization through its 40-year history. I am excited at the work completed, grateful for the opportunity to advocate for journalists, and humbled to have met and worked with many incredible and dedicated storytellers. Over the past two years, we launched several initiatives to preserve our legacy and provide essential resources for professional growth. See a recap of events in our 2023-Year-In-Review.

Past, Present, Future:

One of the most dynamic parts of our tenure was leading during a time of past, present, and future; our arc of work included archiving our history and the stories of past presidents, taking on more local responsibility as an independent nonprofit, mental health, covering intense current event stories, supporting Spanish-language professionals, and artificial intelligence in our respective industries.

However, witnessing the ascension of a Latina to an executive role and the professional departures of six prominent DFW veteran Hispanic media leaders resonated with me the most. It was a leading factor in program development. Recording our stories and advocating for our community’s impact on nuance in storytelling in and for Hispanic communities took on so much more meaning. (See also a 2023 report by an NAHJ task force on representation in investigative newsrooms.)

The work to secure our stories for future generations and the need to create opportunities for Latinos to lead newsrooms leaves considerable room for growth.

Legacy Preservation and Advocacy:

At the heart of our mission lies preserving our organization’s rich history and advocating for Hispanic journalists and communicators. In collaboration with the University of Texas at Arlington Special Collections Library, our efforts to archive our organization’s historical documents continue, ensuring that future generations can learn from our past experiences. Additionally, through partnerships with esteemed professionals and organizations, we have advocated for the continued representation and inclusion of Latinos in journalism and communication roles across the DFW market.

Programs and Initiatives:

Throughout the past two years, we have launched several impactful programs to support our members’ professional development and foster in-person and virtual engagement:

  • HCDFW Conversations + Networking: A platform for engaging current leaders in discussions about growth, education, and access within the journalism and communication fields.
  • HCDFW Mentors with Kristin Diaz: Kristin Diaz leads monthly mentorship interviews that provide invaluable guidance and insight for aspiring professionals.
  • HCDFW Workshops: Upcoming workshops focused on skill development and industry trends to equip our members with the tools needed for success (content forthcoming).

Digital Transformation and Engagement

As the industry considers the impact of AI and technology in journalism and communications, it’s hard to ignore that organizations like HCDFW rely heavily on the volunteer efforts of the same communities. To support our work and future endeavors, I am pleased to have led the organization’s digital transformation through the implementation and use of technology that improves reporting and engagement, increases brand awareness and outreach locally, and makes more content available to our audience through recorded sessions on YouTube.

Lessons Learned and Future Growth:

Reflecting on our achievements, we recognize the ongoing need for skills, support, and commitment from our members, partners, and the broader community. We have learned valuable lessons about the importance of organizational structure, volunteerism, and strategic planning. I encourage future board members to commit to enhancing our programming, expanding our outreach efforts, and fostering stronger relationships with media executives and corporate partners.

Call to Action:

As we transition leadership, we urge our members and partners to remain actively involved in our mission. Your contributions, whether through committee involvement, mentorship participation, or fundraising support, are essential to our continued success. We also encourage media executives to collaborate with us to advance the inclusion of Hispanic journalists and communicators, thereby enriching our industry and community as a whole.

Acknowledgments:

I sincerely thank our dedicated board members—Pio del Castillo, Ana Cruz, Jessica Amador, and Camila Ramos—for their unwavering support and commitment. Together, we have achieved remarkable success and laid the groundwork for future growth.

I am also thankful to the following media and business leaders who allowed us to support them, shared their journeys, mentored others, partnered with us, and enhanced the HCDFW story:

  • Media Leaders and Presenters: Rebecca Aguilar, Raquel Amparo, Gilbert Bailón, Alfredo Carbajal, Ana Cruz, Eraldo “Dino” Chiecchi, Alfredo Corchado, Kristin Diaz, Cynthia Garcia, Norma Garcia, Yolette Garcia, Juanita Hernández, Everardo Huerta, Kim Keller, Nancy Leal, Ken Molestina, Narda Pérez, Gary Pina, Miguelangel Piñero, Julian Rodriguez, Anayeli Ruiz, Vinicio Sinta, Dianne Solis and Dora Tovar
  • Media Professionals and Scholarship Essay Judges: Itzel Hernandez, Brenda Lepenski, Adriana Lopez, Fernando Mejía, Ángel Pedredo, Pedro Silva
  • Business Leaders: Jorge Baldor, Nelly Cuenca, Lydia Gonzalez, Diana Marquis, Maricela Martinez

“Working with Magda has been so much more rewarding than I could have anticipated. Thanks to her creativity and open mind, and through her leadership of Hispanic Communicators DFW, I was able to recruit and encourage my staff to become more involved in the organization. For the first time in my experience with the group, thoughtful and intentional content became the priority and I am so proud of the ways in which I and my station were able to help contribute to that mission.” Raquel Amparo, President and General Manager, CBS Texas.

2022-2023 in Review:

  • Selected as the 2023 National Chapter Cup recipient by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
  • Launched three platforms to support the mission: HCDFW Conversations, HCDFW Mentors with Kristin Diaz, and HCDFW Workshops.
  • Advocated for the staff of Al Día and other journalism professionals facing changes in their roles.
  • Re-introduced the HCDFW Hall of Fame and inducted three deserving members, Diana Marquis, Evelyn Hernandez, and Mercedes Olivera.
  • Awarded $19,500 in scholarships to seven recipients.
  • Hosted 20+ events on leadership, networking, and mental health topics.
  • Developed and implemented the capacity to accept memberships locally and partnered with NAHJ for dual-membership benefits.
  • Recorded 11 interviews with past HCDFW presidents and founders.
  • Developed partnerships and increased membership outreach and engagement.
  • Collaborated with six bilingual media professionals to read and score scholarship essays.
  • Implemented technology and designed processes to support memberships, donations, financials, and project management.
  • Relaunched the Where Are They Now effort.
  • Launched new pages to highlight members, partners, content and achievements for the Hall of Fame, Programs, NAHJ Chapter Cup Awards, Sponsors, and Corporate Members.

As we look ahead to the future, let us continue our efforts to empower Hispanic journalists and communicators, champion the nuance in storytelling shared by the Latino experience, and uphold the 40-year legacy of Hispanic Communicators DFW.

Magda Salazar
HCDFW President, 2022-2023

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