Maria Elena Salinas| Mexican American Broadcast Journalist
A journey with her community for 3 decades.
By: Elizabeth Nunez
When I think of leaders in journalism, I can't help but to think of Maria Elena Salinas. As I was growing up in California I remember turning on the TV to Univision every afternoon. Through her voice I learned about the major events that were occurring in the world and the Latino community. She conveyed honesty, professionalism, and connection with the Latin community. It was an inspiration to see Maria Elena, who is of Mexican descent reporting the news. Salinas creates opportunities for Latinos in journalism. For starters, she is a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. In 2006 she became inducted into their Hall of Fame. In addition, she personally sponsors the Maria Elena Salinas Scholarship, which is a scholarship for students interested in Spanish news broadcasting. In interviews Salinas talks about her journey and oddly enough she did not want to be in the broadcast field. She wanted to work in marketing, but the opportunity to work in radio presented itself first. This is like my experience since I have changed majors and can relate to her on that level.
Maria Elena’s achievements includes:
· Co-anchor of Univision's nightly newscast, Noticiero Univision, and the network's news magazine, Aquí y Ahora. According to Univision, Salinas is the "most recognized Hispanic journalist in the United States.
· 4 Emmy awards
Salinas was born to Mexican Immigrants Los Angeles, California in 1954. Her career in journalism began in 1981 as a reporter for the television station KMEX-34the local Spanish-language television in Los Angeles. Her exceptional coverage of the Hispanic community in Southern California led to her promotion as co-anchor of Noticiero Univision in 1987. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I can relate to her upbringing. My spark for a career in journalism came to rise due to news personalities such as Salinas. I look at her as an idol and think she is a prime example that dreams do become reality.
Engagement with Community
According to The New York Times, Salinas became the “Voice of Hispanic America” .During her career she conducted interviews in Spanish and English. Whether interviewing celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, or Presidents of nations, Salinas knew how to ask the correct questions. Salinas built a connection with the Latino community through politics. This was accomplished by interviewing every U.S president since Jimmy Carter. She made it a mission to motive Hispanics to become involved in politics.
Maria Elena Salinas possesses the prime example of an impeccable career in journalism. For 37 years she delivered the news to millions of people. She left her mark in the community by creating a connection through transparency and effective communication. She retired from Noticiero Univision in December 2017. She currently works for CBS News team as a contributor in freelance stories.
About the author
Elizabeth Nunez is a new public relations professional in Denton, Texas. Elizabeth studies journalism with a focus in public relations and a minor in marketing and Spanish. She is expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in May 2021.