NAHJ Hall of Fame Gala gallery: Association honors pioneers in the industry

Headlined by Actor Diego Luna, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame Gala on Saturday featured plenty of laughs, some tears and lively music. The annual event is mean to honor the accomplishments of the Latino pioneers who have left their mark on the journalism industry.

Luna, star of the upcoming Disney+ series “ANDOR” set to release on September 21, took to the stage before the awards to speak on diverse representation in the media. Luna plays Cassian Andor in the Star Wars television series and is one of few characters to feature a Spanish accent in the sci-fi universe.

His speech then made way for the recognition of four Latino journalism trailblazers.

The association posthumously inducted Houston Chronicle photographer Steve Gonzales into the hall of fame. Gonzales died in late June after a years-long battle with cancer. Gonzales’ son and daughter accepted the honor on his behalf.

The association also honored Rebecca Aguilar, a reporter for 41 years and Society of Professional Journalists president. Aguilar said she appreciates the association for helping her along the way, including “the good, bad, and ugly.”

Robert Hernandez received his honor for his work in the digital journalism space. Hernandez said thanked his family for helping him along the way and asked for journalists to take a stand for others’ civil liberties.

And Diana Fuentes also was honored for her role as a pioneering editor and reporter with over 30 years of experience. She also is the executive director of the Investigative Reporters and Editors and the first woman to head the organization.

The association also recognized John Quiñones, Maria Hinojosa and Jean Guerrero with the NAHJ President’s Award for their distinguished careers in journalism.

Dayana Villanueva graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in economics from New Mexico State University. She reports in English and Spanish and focuses primarily on social issues, such as asylum-seekers in the U.S.-Mexico border. Reach her at dpva228 [at] nmsu [dot] edu and on Twitter @DayanaViar.

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