María Elena Salinas

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María Elena Salinas
María Elena Salinas.jpg
Salinas interviewing Secretary of State John Kerry, 2015
Born Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Awards 2014 Peabody Award[1]
News and Investigative Reporting

María Elena Salinas is an American broadcast journalist, news anchor, and author. Salinas has been the co-anchor of Noticiero Univision, the flagship evening news broadcast on Univision, since 1987. Since 2000, she is also a co-host on Aquí y Ahora (Here and Now), a news magazine program also broadcast on Univision. These two programs are watched by millions of viewers across the Americas, including 18 Latin American countries.[2]

In the course of her career, Salinas has covered many of the major stories of the day and has been recognized for her work as a journalist and philanthropist. She was described in 2006 as the “Voice of Hispanic America” by the New York Times.[3]

Journalism career[edit]

Salinas began her journalistic career as a reporter, anchor and public affairs host for KMEX-TV, the Univision affiliate in Los Angeles, in 1981. Recognized for her reporting on the impact of daily news to the increasingly growing Hispanic community in Southern California, she assumed the anchorship of the national Spanish language news program Noticiero Univision in 1987.

As an anchor, she has conducted high-profile interviews with prominent global figures, ranging from Latin American Heads of State to Zapatista Army of National Liberation spokesman Subcomandante Marcos and every U.S. President since Jimmy Carter. She has also interviewed celebrities, such as Jennifer Lopez,[4] Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan.

Salinas has reported both domestically and internationally, on topics ranging from the struggles of the Dreamers and the plight of refugees and immigrants, elections around the globe, dictatorships, drug traffickers, Latin American guerrilla insurgencies, and epic disasters including Haiti’s earthquake in 2010 and the tornadoes that swept through Oklahoma in 2013. Salinas’ was among the first female journalists to report from the war-torn streets of Baghdad.

In 2004, Salinas was a moderator of the first-ever bilingual national Democratic presidential candidate debate on Hispanic issues, and three years later she co-hosted the first-ever Democratic and Republican presidential candidate forums in Spanish on the Univision Network.

Valued for her knowledge and expertise on Hispanic issues, she has been interviewed by noted journalists, Katie Couric[5] and Bill Moyers,[6] among others.

A former columnist, her work in both English and Spanish was distributed by King Features Syndicate.[7]

Public service and philanthropy[edit]

Focused on her mission to empower the Latino community, for nearly two decades Salinas has worked as a volunteer with NALEO, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, encouraging immigrants to vote and participate in the political process. The program has grown to become a Peabody Award-winning initiative entitled "Ya Es Hora" (It's Time), for which she serves as the official spokesperson.

Salinas is one of the founders of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and was inducted into the association's Hall of Fame in 2006. Salinas also sponsors the Maria Elena Salinas Scholarship for college students interested in Spanish news broadcasting.

She also sits on the boards of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund[8] and the International Women’s Media Foundation.[9]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Salinas has won numerous awards and distinctions for both her journalism and philanthropic work.

Salinas won a 2014 Peabody Award,[10] Walter Cronkite Award and Gracies Award for her news and documentary special "Entre el abandono y el rechazo" (Between Abandonment and Rejection), a prime-time report on the exodus of Central American children to the United States, which judges praised as "balanced and revealing."[11] [12] [13] [14]

In 2014, she won the Broadcast Legend Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California.[15] In 2012, with her co-anchor Jorge Ramos, she received an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences .[16] Earlier in her career, Salinas was part of the Univision News team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for the network’s coverage of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings in 1996.

For her philanthropic work, Salinas is a recipient of the Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women, and has been honored by organizations including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, among others.

In 2016, Salinas served as commencement speaker in American University[17] and California State University, Fullerton[18] and received an honorary doctorate from American University.

Personal life[edit]

Salinas' parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the 1940s. She was born in [19] Los Angeles in 1954. As a child, she lived in Mexico for 7 years, and was reared in Los Angeles. Since 1991, Salinas has lived in Miami with her 2 daughters, Julia Alexandra and Gabriela Maria.

Salinas' autobiography, Yo Soy la Hija de mi Padre (I Am my Father's Daughter) was published in 2006. It covers her discovery that her deceased father had once been a Catholic priest, and her investigation into this.[20][21]


  1. ^ "Univision's Salinas Wins PEABODY Award,". April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Univision Corporate Communications María Elena Salinas Bio". 
  3. ^ ""Voice of (Hispanic) America", The New York Times,". April 30, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Jennifer López habla con María Elena Salinas on 'Aqui y Ahora'". November 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Maria Elena Salinas of Univision appears on KATIE". February 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bill Moyers' The Rise of Hispanic America". October 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Salinas ends syndicated column". February 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Salinas, Board Member Bio". 
  9. ^ "Board and Staff". Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Entre el Abandono y el Rechazo (Between Abandonment and Rejection)". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  11. ^ "Salinas Receives Broadcast Legend Award". January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Univision's Salinas Wins Gracies Award for Special News Documentary". 
  13. ^ "Maria Elena Salinas receives prestigious 2015 Peabody Award for hard-hitting news & documentary special, 'Entre el abandono y el rechazo' (Between Abandonment and Rejection)". 
  14. ^ "Univision Wins Cronkite Investigative Awards, 'Adweek". March 11, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Salinas Receives 2014 Broadcast Legend Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California". 2015. 
  16. ^ "Univision`s Award-Winning Journalists Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas Honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences". Oct 2, 2012. 
  17. ^ "AU Announces Spring 2016 Commencement Speakers | American University Washington DC". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  18. ^ "CSUF News Center - Opera Star and Univision News Anchor to Address Cal State Fullerton Class of 2016". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  19. ^ Allocca, Kevin (October 28, 2009). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, MARÍA ELENA SALINAS, UNIVISION NETWORK NEWS ANCHOR?". Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Maria Elena Salinas". Maria Elena Salinas. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  21. ^ "I am my Father's Daughter: Living a Life without Secrets". April 3, 2007. 

External links[edit]