Editors Note: The biweekly column of La Prensa Persa (The Persian Press), is an opportunity for members of the middle-eastern communities to communicate and talk about the many issues facing them, immigration law, civil and constitutional rights to name a few, which not only impact that community but also impact the Hispanic community.
By Kathy Hadizadeh
“La Prensa Persa” (The Persian Press) column of La Prensa San Diego weekly newspaper was awarded by New California Media (NCM).
“La Prensa Persa” Column started back in Jan. 2003. It was just after the introduction of INS Special Registration procedure for certain nationalities. The Iranian community, coming from a country appearing in the Axis of Evil list was among the very first targets of this procedure. For the first time, this large immigrant population was facing the need for a strong and united voice as an immigrant body. One of the frustrations was to make sure that other immigrant communities who might have gone through the same path during early establishment phases in the United States hear their voice. Hispanic community, the largest established immigrant community was one of the most important targets for this purpose. They had gone through ups and downs to reserve the rights they have right now. It seemed important to seek their support. Development of this notion led to the start of La Prensa Persa column.
NCM, America’s most diverse media network, announced the winners for the 5th Annual NCM Awards, dubbed “The Ethnic Pulitzers” by The News Hour With Jim Lehrer. The awards were presented on Tuesday, November 18 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco as a kick-off to the NCM EXPO held the next day.
“The awards recognize journalistic excellence in ethnic media in California where they represent the primary news source the new mainstream media for over half of the state’s new majority of ethnic residents,” says Christina L. Azocar, Ph.D., director of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism (CIIJ) at San Francisco State University, NCM’s long-time collaborator in judging the awards.
“This year’s entries showcase the strength of ethnic media in chronicling the intimate lives and concerns of America’s ethnic communities, from homeland politics and health care to civil liberties and the environment,” says NCM executive director Sandy Close.
NCM is an association of more than 600 print, broadcast and online ethnic media organizations founded in 1996 by the nonprofit Pacific News Service. NCM promotes the editorial visibility and economic viability of ethnic media nationwide through an inter-ethnic editorial exchange, multilingual polling, a one-order/one-bill ad placement service and the annual NCM EXPO & Awards.
NCM awarded La Prensa Persa column under the category of “ Special Achievement” for serving as a bridge builder between the two communities.
Daniel Muñoz Jr., editor of La Prensa San Diego and Kathy Hadizadeh, writer of this column participated in the Award banquet. Daniel Muñoz in his speech at the time of award mentioned how the notion of such a communication between two nations was formed over the uneasiness of Persian community about INS Special Registration. “As a minority that had largely eschewed politics in the U.S., Iranians turned to one community who had a long history of fighting for its civil rights- the Hispanic community” said Daniel Muñoz. It was Ramin Moshiri, his Iranian friend who asked Daniel to help to get the story out to the media “to put a face on Iranian community.”
La Prensa Persa editor, Kathy Hadizadeh
“La Prensa Persa aims to put face to “Persian” community as immigrants. This column talks about their problems as immigrants, their achievements and success stories outside the boundaries of their homeland and the interesting cultural exchanges and mixes that have taken place over time.” said Kathy Hadizadeh at the time of receiving the award. “My hope is to extend this newly built bridge to a mutual cooperation channel between two of the oldest civilization is the world in a new land other than their homeland.”