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News & Press: NABJ News

Durham, Balta to Co-Chair 2016 Joint NABJ-NAHJ Convention

Tuesday, October 27, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aprill Turner
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WASHINGTON (Oct. 27, 2015) - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) have named Elise Durham and Hugo Balta as convention co-chairs of the 2016 joint convention in Washington, D.C.

NABJ President Sarah Glover and NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina are proud to bring both organizations to the nation's capital under both Durham’s and Balta’s capable leadership. The joint convention will be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel from Aug. 3-7, 2016.

Balta is an award-winning journalism veteran of more than 20 years, and is NAHJ’s immediate past president. He is the senior director of multicultural content at ESPN, where he leads initiatives in raising the quality, profile and delivery of diverse news gathering and storytelling. Balta has also led television news departments in several markets for NBC, Telemundo and CBS producing news, entertainment and commercial work for the U.S. and Latin American markets.

"I'm honored and thrilled to be the co-chair of the NAHJ/NABJ joint national conference,” Balta said. “I look forward in assisting both organizations in producing an event that will be relevant to, reflective and inclusive of our members.”

Durham returns to serve as NABJ's Convention Chair, she has also previously served as the organization's Program Chair. Durham is a two-time Emmy® and five-time Telly® award-winning journalist and public relations professional with more than 20 years of experience. She will soon begin a new job as assistant vice president for communications, marketing and media relations at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Fla. Prior to her work in higher education, Durham spent nearly 15 years as a television news producer.

"I am thrilled to, once again, lead the convention planning and program efforts for NABJ,” Durham said. “The 2016 convention is particularly unique because in partnership with NAHJ, we represent the largest minority journalism organizations of color in the nation. With this also being an election year, I am looking forward to working with Hugo and the rest of the joint team to make this one of the most exciting, educational and impactful conventions ever.”

The convention will feature comprehensive journalism training, specialty programming, national newsmakers and the largest journalism career fair in the country.

"Elise and Hugo make a great team and will plan an excellent convention for the members of both organizations,” Glover said. "Elise brings years of experience as a former NABJ convention and program chair, branding/marketing expert and executive producer."

"Hugo is the right person for this job. He helped envision it from the get-go and he will do an amazing job at executing what will be an amazing conference for NABJ and NAHJ,” said Medina.

Both organizations anticipate increased convention attendance, possibly making this the largest such conference since the 2008 UNITY: Journalists of Color meeting in Chicago.

The summer 2016 conference will be the fifth convention for NABJ in Washington, and the fourth for NAHJ.

About The National Association of Black Journalists:

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit

About The National Association of Hispanic Journalists:

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancements of Hispanics in the news industry. Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists.  For additional information, please visit


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