Diversity Discussion: Journos More Important Than Ever, Says Salinas

NEW YORK — While journalists, and those connected to Hispanic audiences in particular, had a busy 18 months covering the presidential election, the real work starts in the coming weeks, said Maria Elena Salinas, anchor of Noticiero Univision.

Salinas was a keynote speaker at the B&C/Multichannel News Diversity Discussion event here on Monday (Dec. 5).

“I think our job now is more important than ever,” she said.

Salinas, in TV news since 1981, noted that she’s never seen an election cycle quite like 2016. “I’ve never covered an election where the next day people are crying and afraid,” she said, referring to the Hispanic community’s fears over loved ones being deported, among other issues.

She mentioned a sense of betrayal among some viewers, who felt that the network’s push to get people to vote would elicit a different result.

Salinas, who anchors alongside Jorge Ramos, said “things have calmed down a little bit” since Nov. 8. “I think eventually time heals all wounds,” she added.

The veteran anchor suggested people give President-elect Donald Trump a chance to do right by the country, and by the Latino population. “Give him a chance to see if he can govern,” she said while acknowledging in the next breath that Trump does not possess governing knowhow.

Mark Robichaux, editorial director of Multichannel News and B&C, interviewed Salinas. When Trump kicked off his campaign with an address that labeled Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug smugglers, Salinas said the whole of the Hispanic population felt the sting.

“When you attack one specific community, in this case undocumented immigrants, you are really attacking all of them,” she said.