NAHJ President considers limiting event access and partnership affiliation with Sinclair Broadcasting Group

Washington, D.C. – Today, the President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), Hugo Balta, expressed great concern over confirmation that Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBG) mandated another ‘must run’ segment fueling misplaced hostility toward refugees seeking asylum.  The propaganda read by former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, is similar to his segment this past June regarding the Trump Administration’s initial decision to separate families at the border. In a statement on Sunday evening, NAHJ responded to the assault on the migrant caravan seeking asylum and issued expectations of newsrooms covering the humanitarian crisis.

This morning, NAHJ reached out to SBG leaders Chief Executive Officer Christopher Ripley and Senior Vice President of News Scott Livingston, for a chance to discuss the disturbing mandate. Neither individual has responded to the request for a meeting.

It is not the first time NAHJ has expressed concerns over the broadcasting company’s choice to mandate agendas to local stations. Earlier in the year, a conversation led by NAHJ leadership over Sinclair’s “must-read” message read by anchors at its local television ended in an explanation by Ripley and Livingston that it was a “teaching moment.” Ripley had also noted in the same phone call to NAHJ that the company’s “open door policy is real and Sinclair employees shouldn’t worry about retribution when speaking to the company about concerns.”

In addition to concerns over the credibility of local stations and news organizations, the decisions mandated from the corporate level are negatively impacting local journalists.

“While we may not have seen eye to eye throughout the years, NAHJ and Sinclair Broadcasting Group have always maintained an open dialogue making for a respectful relationship,” said Balta. “If that respect is not continued, we will have to consider limiting their presence at any future NAHJ led events.”

Sinclair has been a longtime recruiter and participant at local chapter career fairs and the national conventions and 2018 international conference. As the largest national organization for Latino journalists, NAHJ represent about 2,500 journalists, media professionals and students in the U.S. and worldwide.

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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 2,500 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.

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BA Snyder
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BA@VeritasAustin.com