Maria Elena Salinas, the Most Recognized Latina in Broadcasting

Mariia Elena Salinas

Image courtesy of Nuestro Stories.

What does it take to be inducted into the National Association for Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame? It takes courage, grit, and the kind of personality that manages to build a connection with the viewer far beyond just the typical broadcaster who delivers the news. 

This is precisely why Maria Elena Salinas, fondly referred to as the most recognizable Latina in broadcasting, found herself inducted in 2017. 

For over three decades, Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas created a space for Spanish-speaking communities to feel like their stories were not only seen and heard but that they were paid attention to and cared about because she was from their community. 

In a space where mainstream media often left Spanish speakers out, Maria Elena Salinas, Jorge Ramos, and Noticiero Univision created a space where Latinos could find out about the things that impacted them here in America and what impacted their families at home. 

The voice of a community

Maria Elena Salinas began her journalism career in 1981 at KMEX-TV, the Univision affiliate in Los Angeles. She acted as an anchor for local news until she was brought on as an anchor for Noticiero Univision in 1987. 

Through her work, Maria Elena Salinas has interviewed a host of world leaders ranging from Subcomandante Marcos of Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional to Manuel Noriega to Gloria Estefan (another featured icon in our series) and was one of the first female journalists during the war in Baghdad. 

Throughout her career, she has not only led the way, but she has tried to ensure that she was able to clear a path for those who came after her. 

Maria Elena Salinas is one of the founders of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and serves on the International Women’s Media Fund board. Salinas has also created a scholarship in her name for students interested in pursuing broadcasting. 

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Olivia Monahan Chicana journalist, editor, educator, and organizer in Sacramento whose sole focus is to shed light on stories on our most impacted and marginalized communities, but even more importantly, for those stories to humanize those normally left out. She is an Ida B Wells Investigative Journalism Fellow 2022 Finalist, a member of the Parenting Journalists Society, and has bylines in The Courier, The Sacramento Bee, The Americano, Submerge Magazine among others.