Columbia Journalism School

Maria Hinojosa, 2012 Chancellor Award Winner

On November 14, 2012, Maria Hinojosa became the first Latina journalist to receive the John Chancellor Award. Hinojosa is the founder of The Futuro Media Group and the executive producer of “America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa: Clarkston Georgia,” which premiered on PBS as a Need To Know Election 2012 special. She has worked for over 25 years as a news anchor and reporter for PBS, NPR and CNN.

"Audiences believe in what Maria says, and believe in her because she has remained authentic, curious and caring," said Jay Kernis, producer at NBC, at the award ceremony.

To honor Maria and celebrate her career, Kernis was joined by Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma; Rose Arce, Senior Producer at CNN; Paula Kerger, President & CEO of PBS; and John Guardo, Associate Producer at NPR.

In October 2011, Hinojosa became the first Latina to anchor a FRONTLINE report. "Lost in Detention" explored abuse at immigrant detention facilities. As the anchor and executive producer of her own long-running weekly NPR show, Latino USA, and anchor of the talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One from WGBH/La Plaza, she has informed millions of Americans about the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States.


"She is in so many ways emblematic of the new world in which we all live," said veteran journalist Tom Brokaw.

Calvin Trillin, journalist and humorist, reminisced along with Brokaw about their late colleague, longtime NBC News anchor John Chancellor. "He was – on first meeting – not everyone's idea of a reporter," Trillin said. "He had a civility which I regret is not always associated with our trade, a love for language and a disdain for delivering the news in shrinking sound bites."

The John Chancellor Award is given each year to honor Chancellor’s legacy as a pioneering television journalist. It is presented to a reporter with courage and integrity for cumulative professional accomplishments.

See the ceremony video:


Clip from 2012 Chancellor Winner Speech - Maria Hinojosa from Alfred I. duPont Awards on Vimeo.


2012 John Chancellor Award Ceremony from Alfred I. duPont Awards on Vimeo.

About the Winner

Maria Hinojosa, a groundbreaking news anchor and reporter for PBS, NPR, and CNN, has covered America’s untold stories and highlighted critical issues at home and abroad for over 25 years. As the anchor and executive producer of her own long-running weekly NPR show, Latino USA, and anchor of the talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One from WGBH/La Plaza, she has informed millions of Americans about the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. 

In October 2011, she became the first Latina to anchor a FRONTLINE report. “Lost in Detention” explored abuse at immigrant detention facilities, garnering attention from Capitol Hill to both the mainstream and Spanish-language media. Hinojosa launched the Futuro Media Group in April 2010 with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism focused on the cultural diversity of the American experience.

Previously a senior correspondent for NOW on PBS, and currently a rotating anchor for Need to Know, Hinojosa has reported hundreds of important stories---from the immigrant work camps in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, to teen girl victims of sexual harassment on the job, to stories of the poor in Alabama. Her investigative journalism holds the powerful accountable. As a reporter for NPR, Hinojosa was among the first to report on youth violence in immigrant communities. During her eight years as CNN's urban affairs correspondent, Hinojosa took viewers into communities that had rarely been shown before on television.

Hinojosa has received numerous awards for her work including: three Emmys; the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged; the Studs Terkel Community Media Award; the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her groundbreaking “Child Brides: Stolen Lives”; and many more. In addition to her broadcast work, Hinojosa has a weekly syndicated column for King Features/Hearst and is author of two books.   

She was born in Mexico City, raised in Chicago, and received her BA from Barnard College.  She lives with her husband, artist German Perez, and their son and daughter in Harlem.

Works by Maria Hinojosa

"America By the Numbers" : In this election year, an intimate look at how changing demographics are reshaping the political landscape of America.

"Frontline, Lost In Detention"A yearlong investigation with FRONTLINE and the Investigative Reporting Workshop that uncovered a troubling picture of abuse inside America’s vast immigrant detention system, and documented the far-reaching impact of the Obama administration’s controversial immigration enforcement policies.??(PBS, October 2011)

"The Bronx River"An audio travelogue down the Bronx River, the only freshwater river that runs through New York City. For the majority of low-income Bronx residents, it’s one of their only connections to nature and a break from urban life. (Latino USA on NPR, August 2011)

"Who's Helping Our Wounded Vets?"This story revealed how little has been done to help the family caregivers of wounded veterans, and reported on dedicated efforts to support them. (NOW on PBS, January 2010)

Offical Press Release - 2012 John Chancellor Award

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