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PRESS CONTACT:                                                                                                                                            BA Snyder                                                                                                                                                      NAHJ                                                                                                                                                   512.630.6337                                                                                                                 BA@VeritasAustin.com

NAHJ meets with Trump Administration Leaders at The White House

WASHINGTON D.C. – March 27, 2017 – Monday afternoon president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Brandon Benavides, sat down to meet with Helen Aguirre, Director of Media Affairs at The White House. Executive director Alberto Mendoza and DC Chapter President Melissa Macaya were also present during the meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office building.

The discussion between NAHJ and The White House consisted of a specific agenda outlined by president Benavides focused on upholding traditions of The White House press coverage. This included the importance of renewing conversations on issues that affect the Latino communities across the country and expectations moving forward to keep the tradition of an NAHJ pen and pad White House Briefing. Negotiations have begun for when the briefing will be scheduled.

Benavides noted during the conversation that for the past 28 years there has been a Latino Affairs Liaison working with previous administrations. The White House disclosed that Helen Aguirre, Director of Media Affairs and Sofia Boza, Director of Regional Media are both bilingual in English and Spanish and acknowledged opportunities for the association to continue to meet with them in the future. During the meeting Aguirre offered if any NAHJ member would like to request to be added to The White House list for press releases and/or opportunity to schedule Skype calls with the Director of Media Affairs, they may do so by putting in a request with NAHJ directly.

“As president of NAHJ, I have identified certain priorities that fall within maintaining past traditions, as well as taking on new initiatives with The White House administration leaders,” commented Brandon Benavides. “Their acceptance of our meeting request itself is notable and today we received a warm welcome upon arrival to the Executive office. My expectation is that this line of open communication will continue to be ongoing throughout the president’s administration.”

In the past it has been difficult for Hispanic media to have direct access to the communications office of the vice president and even less opportunity for interviews.  Moving forward, Benavides looks to turn around the previous system and close the divide with Vice President Mike Pence’s media staff. The vice president’s communications team has said that they look forward to a future opportunity to speak to members of Hispanic media.

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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 2,000 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators. For more information please visit NAHJ.org or follow on Twitter @NAHJ.