2020 California Ethnic Media Awards Ceremony

Click here to register in advance



20 winners  will receive cash awards of $1000 each

Ethnic Media Services and California Black Media – joint sponsors of the multi-lingual California Ethnic Media Awards for outstanding reporting in 2020 – announced today that the winners and finalists will be identified at a special online celebration on June 3, between 6-7:30 pm/9-10:30 pm EST.

Some 230 entries were submitted, over half in languages other than English.  Judges with in-lnaguage and in-culture fluency selected 20 winners in seven categories covering the epic news developments of 2020, from COVID-19 and the economic downturn to the movement for racial justice, immigration reform, the Nov. 3 elections, and the 2020 Census.  Each winner will receive a cash award of $1,000.

“The ethnic media awards spotlight the people who produce

a parallel universe of news largely invisible to general market media but indispensible for communicating with our diverse society,”  said EMS director Sandy Close.  

 EMS will post all winning entries with English language translations, along with the names of finalists and all those who submitted entries on a landing page on its website the night of the awards. 

“The pandemic made 2020 the most challenging year for ethnic media and the awards are an opportunity to recognize the entire sector for its dedication to informing audiences against the odds,” said Regina Brown Wilson, Executive Director of California Black Media.

Please register early to attend the online awards. Use this link:


For more information about the awards, please go to https://ethnicmediaservices.org/2020-california-ethnic-media-awards/



Ethnic Media Services:

Ethnic Media Services works to enhance the capacity of ethnic news outlets in California and nationwide to inform and engage diverse audiences about broader public Issues that impact their lives. Its mission is to build a more inclusive communications infrastructure that connects historically isolated communities with each other and with mainstream public life. Launched in January 2018 by veterans of New America Media following its closure in 2017, EMS operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the San Francisco Study Center.  For more information go to WWW.ethnicmediaservices.org or contact Julian Do at jdo@ethnicmediaservices.org.

California Black Media:

California Black Media exists to facilitate communications between the Black community, media, grassroots organizations and policy makers by providing balanced, fact-based reporting to a network of over 22 Black media outlets across California. Based in Sacramento, CBM’s news coverage focuses on leading state public policy issues that impact the lives of people in the communities it serves.  For more information contact Tanu Henry at tanu@cablackmedia.org





2020 California Ethnic Media Award Winners


Census Category



Rose Davis, Indian Voices: English Language Print/Online

Census and the Fourth Estate: Power to the People


Araceli Martinez, La Opinion: In-language Print/Online

Fears of not being counted persisted among Latinos



Crystal Liang, Sky Link TV: In-language Broadcast TV

SF Count Cooperates with Community to get everyone counted


Frank Blanquet, First Nations Experience (FNX): 

Culture Story: Census 2020

COVID Category



Kalynh Ngo, Người Việt Daily News: In-Language Print/Online

Vietnamese Doctor Alleviates Disparities in Border Towns

Christina Oriel, Asian Journal: English Language Print/Online

Two-part reporting series on COVID-19 pandemic in the Filipino community

Bernardino Claros, Steven Carter, Lucia Erazo, and Francisco Martinez

Lo Nuestro TV: In-language Broadcast TV

A special 1-hr report on COVID with live reporting from Los Angeles, Madrid, Washington, DC, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.


John Thai Xuan Dinh and Ngoc Lan Thi Nguyen

Little Saigon TV: In-language Broadcast TV

Stepping up: Vietnamese community mobilized to help combat the pandemic and its impacts


Troy Espera, Steve Angeles, and Jon Santos

TAYO News/ABS-CBN: English Language Broadcast TV

Three-part reporting series about COVID-19 impacts in the Filipino community




Economic Crisis Category


Mariah Brown and Chuck Gibbs, Jr.

Black Voice News: English Language Print/Online

Housing Inequality Worsens As COVID pummels Black California



David Weijiang Wang, Sing Tao Daily: In-language Print/Online

Businesses go on the offense in critical times


Kayi Li, Sky Link TV: In-language Broadcast TV

Chinese restaurant Far East Cafe slated to close after 100 years during the pandemic



Immigration Category



Erick Huerta, LA Taco: English Language Print/Online

South Central swap meet faces uncertain future for immigrant owned businesses



Han Li, World Journal – SF: In-language Print/Online

Chinese DACA recipients want you to see them



Carl Johnson and Annette Nackie” Moli

PolyByDesign: English Video Streaming

Panel of experts discussing the urgent need for disaggregated data on Pacific Islanders during both the Census and pandemic.



Racial Justice Category



Julian Mark, Mission Local: English Language Print/Online Media

Maurice Caldwell had his conviction overturned a decade ago: city attorney says hes a killer



Thien Le, Nguoi Viet Daily News: In-Language Print/Online Media

Peaceful protest demands justice for Mr. Floyd in Westminster



Danny Morrison

Cesar Chavez Foundation: English Language Video Streaming

Three-part reporting on racial justice with a focus on Bakersfield, Central Valley.




Truc Ho Truong, SBTN: In-Language Broadcast TV

Three-part reporting series laid bare the social-political divisions within the Vietnamese communities in California/Texas against the background of racial protests across the country.


Kiyoon Kim, YTV America: In-Language Broadcast TV

Coverage of the Korean community’s involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement in Los Angeles



Climate Change Category



Jorge Macias, Univision Online: In-Language Print/Online Media

“Devastating forest fires in California surpass record



Giovanni Albanese, Jr., India West: English Language Print/Online Media

“Napa wildfires ravage vineyards – how Indian American owned wineries largely escaped



Elections Category



Leslie Layton, Chico Sol: English Language Print/Online

Elections and Gridley’s political slumber



Ruslan Ghurziy, Slavic Sacramento: English Language Print/Online

“Why refugees from the USSR are voting for Trump



Juan Esparza, Vida En El Valle: In-Language Print/Online

“Portrait of the newly elected mayor Madera, a 63 year old postal service worker whos turning the town upside down

Julia Dudley Najieb, ONME News Media: English Language Broadcast TV

“Three-part reporting series on the coverage of the 2020 elections”



Commentary Category



Stephanie Williams, Black Voice News: English Language Print/Online

“Keeping It Real – Can you spell backwards, forwards”


Nestor Fantini, Hispanic LA: In-Language Print/Online

“Bomb Agrabah!: on the attack of the factual truth and the creation of the alternate realitty”



Henrietta Burroughs

East Palo Alto Today: English Language Video Streaming

“The Black Lives Matter movement: where do we go from here?”



Ruben Tapia, Radio Bilingue: In-Language Radio

Two-part series about lead poisoning in the underserved community of Southeast Los Angeles that has impacted thousands of homes and countless children.



Media Innovation Category



Henry Sales, Madeleine Bair, and Jacob Simas

An alliance of Radio BalamEl Timpano, and Oaklandside

Using online radio streaming in indigenous languages of Mam, Kakchiquel, and Quiche languages to provide news and information and a voice to the Mayan community in the SF Bay Area.



Special Commendation


Jeanne Ferris, News from Native California

“Parallel Worlds – the converging paths of the Nuumu, Newe, and Nisei in Payahuunadu



Ethnic Media Poet



Tony Lai, Khmer TV

Producing a reporting series on COVID health information and incorporate CDCs health advisory messages into Khmer language poems to inform the Cambodian community during the pandemic.



Youth Voices




Vansh Gupta, Siliconeer

Creating a platform called Gen-Z, which gives students a voice in the community to showcase the brilliant minds of tomorrow: their stories, struggles, and aspirations.



2020 California Ethnic Media Award Hosts


Pilar Marrero


Odette Alcazaren-Keeley




2020 California Ethnic Media Award Judges


Anthony Advincula, Claudia Mendoza-Carruth, and Debra Nakatomi


Fiona Chan, Gabriel Lerner, and George Koo


Dr. James Yu, Jaya Padmanabhan, and Dr. José Luis Benavides


Julian Do, Kaiping Liu, and Khalil Abdullah


Nell Bernstein, Philip Choi, and Pilar Marrero


Sandy Close, Sunita Sohrabji, and Tanu Henry


2020 California Ethnic Media Award Tributes


Ditas Katague, Director, California Complete Count, Census 2020 Office

Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO Education Fund

Mayra Alvarez, Children’s Partnership

David Hayes Bautista, Directory of the Center for the Study of Latino Health at UCLA

Rigoberto Reyes, Head of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for LA County

Vincent Pan, Co-director of Chinese for Affirmative Action

Jon Christensen, UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability

Thomas Saenz, CEO of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)

Sandip Roy, Author and journalist, formerly of India Currents and New America Media

Jan Masaoka, Director of Cal Nonprofits

Ricki McCarroll, NUNA Consulting

On the night of the awards EMS promised to publicize the acceptance speeches of two winners that were either cut short or needed translation.  We’re pleased to present them here.

Winner of the Census category for English language print/online media
Rose Davis, Publisher and Editor of Indian Voices
Winner of the Economic Crisis category for in-language print/online media