NAHJ President honors one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) remembers and mourns the devastation following Hurricane Maria’s landfall in Puerto Rico. All the association’s digital platforms will be used to reflect and honor the fellow American citizens affected by the hurricane and the journalism representing those voices.

“One year ago we became aware of the need for an increase in communications access for local journalists and help to promote storytelling to bridge the gap of information between the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico.” said Hugo Balta, NAHJ President. “While we grieve those loved ones we lost, the lives forever changed and those who have suffered; I am of proud our industry, our community and our members for taking this tragedy and creating stronger relationships and a better support system.”

In October 2017 following the devastating hurricane, NAHJ launched an emergency initiative aiding communications and amplifying the local journalism work in Puerto Rico. The launch of the Puerto Rico Emergency Communications Access and Journalism Initiative (PRECAJI) was in response to the humanitarian crisis impacting the people Puerto Rico, NAHJ Puerto Rican based members and members in the continental U.S. with strong ties to the island.

The initiative served both short term and long-term journalism objective(s), and was comprised of three phases funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation and a crowd funding campaign open to the public. After delivering tech equipment to Puerto Rico newsrooms, the launch of the collaborative journalism project: #ConnectPuertoRico with two social hubs on Facebook and Twitter has helped to keep communities informed, play a significant role in a higher quality of journalism following the devastation and also has provided opportunity to local journalists on the island. The Facebook group can be found here and the Twitter profile @ConnectPRnews.  Through the current hurricane season, social media users can join the conversation, follow updates of the journalism collaboration and the entire NAHJ initiative using #ConnectPuertoRico.

Additionally, NAHJ has offered all Puerto Rican journalists and students studying journalism, complimentary memberships for 18 months. As NAHJ members, these members can access benefits such as trainings, scholarship opportunities, member discounts to events/conferences, digital platforms and job boards. NAHJ has re-launched a chapter in Puerto Rico and is committed to actively investing and supporting journalists in Puerto Rico for the years to come.

“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.



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 2,300 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators. For more information please visit or follow on Twitter @NAHJ.

Media Contact:
BA Snyder
Veritas Group for NAHJ