All posts by Claudia Cruz

Workshop: How to Weed out the Right Marijuana Stories

Marijuana-dispensaryIn November 2018, Californians approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. The initiative, which passed by 57.13%, became a state-wide law on Jan. 1, 2018.

But the implementation of the law has become a mismatch of ordinances from city to city confusing smokers and non-smokers alike. Further, there is still no end in sight for the federalist conflict – to the contrary – Attorney General Sessions has made it clear that the Trump administration will continue to uphold marijuana’s current classification as a Schedule I drug (right alongside heroin) impacting cannabis-based business’ opportunity to open bank accounts and store their revenues, among other things.

Still, states like Colorado and Washington are raking in the dough. For fiscal year 2017, Colorado’s revenue from medicinal and recreational use of cannabis surpassed an astounding $247 million. Washington’s 2016 marijuana-related revenue was a whopping $189 million.

As the implementation of Prop 64 takes effect over the course of 2018 there will be many opportunities for journalists to write truly informative stories that go beyond how many plants you can grow in your backyard or whether dispensaries are allowed in your city.

How will legalization affect Latino farmworkers? The state’s water supply? Smoking regulations in rental apartment buildings? DUI enforcement? Employer drug-testing requirements? And that’s just scratching the surface!

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists Bay Area chapter invites you to explore how you can also create a marijuana beat within your newsroom with some of the leading reporters of the cannabis industry.

Confirmed panelists:

  • Ricardo Baca, the founder of Grasslands, a content agency serving businesses and individuals in the cannabis and hemp industries; Baca was also the former editor of The Cannabist, The Denver Post publication
  • Others still to announce!


  • John Diaz, editorial page editor for the SF Chronicle

YOU MUST RSVP on the EVENTBRITE because we will need to give security each of your names. Refreshments and pizza will be provided.

See you there!


Join the NAHJ Bay Area Board

Candidate mixer
Candidate mixer

After three years at the helm of the chapter, Vanessa Nevarez, Joe Vázquez, Joe Fitzgerald-Rodriguez and Claudia Cruz will step down. This means that it’s your opportunity to take on a leadership role and help shape the future of the Bay Area chapter.

Elections will be held late this Spring, which means the search is on for a few good journalists and media professionals to join the board!

Curious? Interested? Come learn about the process and what the roles entail!

Join us on Jan. 31 at Don Ramon’s for a Prospective Board Candidate Happy Hour Mixer. If you know someone who is not yet a member but would be a great addition to the Board, bring them too!



Nick Perez Joins the Sacramento Bee as the NAHJ Bay Area Summer 2017 Intern

New York, NY, September 19, 2016. Nick Perez poses for lighting assignment #3. 09/19/2016. Photo by George Goss New York City News Service.
New York, NY, September 19, 2016. Nick Perez poses for lighting assignment #3. 09/19/2016. Photo by George Goss New York City News Service.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalist Bay Area Chapter proudly announces that Nick Perez, a recent graduate of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, has been awarded the Jennifer Garza Memorial Internship at The Sacramento Bee for the summer of 2017.

Perez, a native Los Angelino, is a multimedia and multiplatform journalist focused on urban reporting and whose work spans themes like the revitalizations of neighborhoods, the struggle for a living wage, and diversity in the workplace. Perez also enjoys photo journalism and dabbles in design.

“We were drawn to Nick’s work immediately and were impressed by his range of journalism and technical skills,” said Scott Lebar, managing editor of The Sacramento Bee. “We look forward to him joining us in the newsroom to help in our visual and digital storytelling efforts. He’s a talented guy.”

The Sacramento Bee and the NAHJ Bay Area Chapter established the 10-week Jennifer Garza Memorial Internship in honor of the Sac Bee reporter (now deceased), who had interned with the flagship news organization before becoming a staff writer. The goal is to give aspiring journalists the opportunity to gain a practical education, professional experience and a great time in the state’s capital.

The interns are assigned a mentor and get to listen to experts, from the publisher to investigative reporters, talk about the ever-changing world of journalism. Perez’ internship stipend this summer will be $3,937.50.

Perez follows in the footsteps of other NAHJ Bay Area intern alumni of this scholarship at the Bee. For the summer of 2016, the newspaper accepted three students: Erasmo Martinez, Nashelly Chavez and Alejandra Reyes.

“Your interns have made a difference in our newsroom. Nashelly Chavez is now our cops reporter, and I have high hopes for Nick’s contributions,” Lebar said. “I always remember that we first arranged this in memory of Jennifer Garza, a reporter here who valued diversity, and we’re upholding a standard she held dear.”

Prior to attending CUNY J-School, Perez received his Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from Azusa Pacific University.

For the first time ever, and modeled after the Sac Bee program, the NAHJ Bay Area Chapter and The Fresno Bee partnered to co-sponsor an intern, Ashleigh Panoo, in their newsroom this summer. Both the Sac Bee and Fresno Bee internship are paid in part by a grant from PG&E.

Supporting the NAHJ Bay Area Chapter

Throughout the year, the Bay Area Chapter hosts a variety of activities, workshops and applies for grants in order to raise funds for the chapter. Our next fundraiser will be podcast producing workshop with the award-winning NPR news program, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting on Saturday, May 20, 2017. More information to be posted soon.

Another way we fundraise is simply by having members. Your membership fees help fund chapter activities. Want to join? Here’s the link.