Four longtime journalists will be inducted into NAHJ’s 2016 Hall of Fame. The board of directors voted to honor Zita Arocha, Veronica Villafañe, Hugo Balta and Robert Montemayor.
Montemayor, who died in October of last year, will be honored posthumously.
The induction will take place during the Hall of Fame Honors Luncheon on Friday, August 5 at the NAHJ annual convention in Washington DC.
Zita, a former NAHJ Executive Director, is currently a senior lecturer in the UTEP Department of Communication since 2004. She is also the Director of multimedia web magazine borderzine.com. Prior to entering the world of academia, she spent over 20 years working as a reporter for The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Miami News and The Tampa Times.
Veronica, President of NAHJ from 2004 to 2006, is the founder, Editor and Publisher of Media Moves. Over the span of two decades, she has worked as an on-air reporter, anchor and producer for Spanish and English-language media companies, including Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Español, Fox 11 News and the San Jose Mercury News. She transitioned from TV into digital news management, overseeing editorial content for a variety of websites, including impreMedia’s La Opinion.com and several other of its online properties.
Hugo Balta, NAHJ President from 2012 to 2014, is currently Senior Director of Multicultural Content for ESPN. Before joining ESPN in 2011, he worked as Managing Editor at WCBS in New York. He previously spent 14 years in several roles at Telemundo, NBC and MSNBC, including News Director at WNJU and news producer at WNBC and WTVJ.
Robert Montemayor (posthumous induction), a 35-year media veteran, died from cancer in October of 2015. He was part of the LA Times reporting team that won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Meritorious Public Service for the series “Southern California’s Latino Community.” During his career, he worked for the Dallas Times Herald, the Wall Street Journal, McGraw-Hill, and Business Week Magazine. He later became a journalism professor and Director of the Latino Information Network at Rutgers University.
Disclaimer: As the editor and publisher of this site, I wrote this piece, which includes me as one of the inductees.