Press Release

NAHJ Launches Initiative to Support Journalism in Puerto Rico
NAHJ Launches Emergency Initiative Aiding Communications and Amplifying the Local Journalism work in Puerto Rico

Media Contact: BA Snyder
Veritas Group for NAHJ

Washington, D.C., (October 2, 2017) – NAHJ announced today the launch of the Puerto Rico Emergency Communications Access and Journalism Initiative (PRECAJI) in response to the humanitarian crisis impacting the Puerto Rican people, NAHJ Puerto Rican based members and members in the U.S. with strong ties to the island. The PRECAJI is inclusive of a crowd funding campaign and a task force that will increase communications access for local journalists and help promote storytelling that will bridge the gap of information between the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The initiative will serve both the short term and long-term journalism objective(s), and is comprised of three phases:

1)  A new fundraiser launched on Generosity by IndieGoGo to raise money to purchase equipment for “communication stations” that will be set up in partnership by local journalists throughout all regions of the island without power. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation committed to match the first $10,000.00 raised during the crowd funding campaign. Equipment that is purchased will be used to send back information to an internal NAHJ coordinator who will help with family unification efforts already in use by US media outlets. Journalists will also be a source of information for other media outlets, investigative reporting projects and can share and distribute information on digital platforms through news partners/digital tools. Once the phones have been used in various areas and rotate to areas where power sources are still lacking, NAHJ will donate the phones to a local reporting center.

In addition, NAHJ will offer all Puerto Rican journalists and students studying journalism, complimentary memberships for 18 months. As NAHJ members, they can access member benefits such as trainings, scholarship opportunities, member discounts to events/conferences, digital platforms and job boards. NAHJ is committed to actively investing and supporting journalists in Puerto Rico for the next three years.

“Our NAHJ family has been significantly impacted by the devastation in Puerto Rico and we believe increasing access to communication efforts will not only help with family connectivity, but will ensure the important local stories have a chance to reach a broader audience,” stated Alberto B. Mendoza, Executive Director of NAHJ.

2) The new task force members are made up of industry leaders that will work toward    improving the tech, innovation, and media strategy elements of the initiatives objectives. The current designated task force members are:

(listed alphabetically by first name)

Alberto Cairo, University of Miami

Alberto B. Mendoza, NAHJ

BA Snyder, Veritas Group

Brian Lakamp, Totem Power

Carlos Martinez de la Serna, Univision News

Dr. Federico Subervi

Elisa Goldberg, Galvanize

Erine Gray, Aunt Bertha

Harvard Innovation Lab

Javier Palomarez, USHCC

Jose Zamora, Univision News

Joshua Baer, Capital Factory

Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now

Julian Castro, Former U.S. Secretary of HUD

Latino Public Radio Consortium

Laura Wides-Munoz, Fusion

Liz Heron, Consultant

Luis Rodriguez, GAHCC

Luis Rosero, Telemundo

Lyn-Hou Ramirez, GDA

Mariana Santos, Chicas Poderosas

Mc Nelly Torres, Investigative Journalist – NAHJ member

Michael Oreskes, NPR

Mindy Marquez, Miami Herald

Monika Mantilla, Altura Capital Group

Natasha Marquez

Nathalie Alvaray, Univision News

Rafael Mejia, NAHJ National Board Member, Puerto Rico

Ramiro Cavazos, SAHCC

Robert Hernandez, USC Annenberg

Ruben Cantu, CORE Media Enterprises

Sasha Costanza-Chock, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Selymar Colón, Univision News

Sharahn Thomas, NPR

Thomas Miranda, Sparkovation

Veronica Martinez, ATX Hispanic Hackers

Victor Hernandez,

Victoria Rivas-Vazquez, Telemundo

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will be providing support for the communications initiative, but NAHJ will continue to seek other funding. The first meeting between the members will be held Friday, October 6th in Washington, D.C.

In the coming weeks, these individuals and companies will pull together their resources and technology expertise to solve the current issues limiting communications for these communities. “We are grateful that these industry leaders have made a commitment in time and effort to a necessity that enables efficiency,” commented Brandon Benavides, President of NAHJ. “Because of their expertise and network, we will be able to move quickly to both evaluate and address what’s needed throughout the island.”

3) NAHJ will commit to providing Puerto Rican members with access to trainings either through partnerships or scholarships for the next three years. NAHJ will work on a long term strategy in partnership with local members to determine the best ways to support the journalism industry in Puerto Rico.

Following this initial announcement, NAHJ will continue to communicate the progression of initiative elements, task force collaboration and partners involved. Designated digital platforms of the association will be utilized to convey the evolution of each phase achieving both short term and long-term goals.


About NAHJ The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is the largest organization of Latino journalists in the United States and dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. The mission of NAHJ is to increase the number of Latinos in the newsrooms and to work toward fair and accurate representation of Latinos in news media. Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists. NAHJ has approximately 2,125 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators. For more information please visit or follow on Twitter @NAHJ.

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