October 1st, 2012
SPJ membership drive Q&A: Sandra Gonzalez hits the ground running in Las Vegas
By Holly Edgell
Note to readers: The 2012 Society of Professional Journalists Membership Drive runs Sept. 4 to Oct. 4. As membership chair, I’ve assigned myself the task of sharing the stories of members around the country through a series of Q&A posts. If you would like to share your thoughts via Q&A or in a guest post, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also interested in hearing from people wondering why they should join and former members who have constructive ideas about how SPJ can serve the profession. Please share these posts with non-members!
Q&A with Sandra Gonzalez, Las Vegas
Sandra is the newest member of the reporting team at KSNV-TV in Las Vegas. In her first week on the job she had the opportunity to cover President Obama’s campaign stop. Not bad! Sandra spent six years reporting in New Orleans, first at WVUE-TV and then at WGNO-TV.
Edgell You have a new job in Las Vegas. What are you looking forward to covering in your new city?
Gonzalez I am an open book, full of excitement with my sleeves rolled up ready to cover politics, crime, education, economy, whatever needs to told. But, at the end of the day, it’s always about people, and how they are affected. What a great city to be in! I can’t wait to see what lies ahead and what I will be witnessing and sharing.
Edgell You recently returned from EIJ 2012 in Fort Lauderdale. Can you share a favorite moments or takeaway?
Gonzalez I was was an SPJ Diversity Fellow and I really enjoyed the friendships I made with the other fellows who have the passion for journalism like I do, who like to share information and experiences on social media like I do, and understand the challenges we have faced in our different regions of the country. We were also exposed and introduced to so many leaders in the industry. One who stood out was Anne Vasquez of the Sun Sentinel. She has transformed her career from reporter to management, from print to digital, from state to state. Her courageous adventure in her career inspired me as I have continued to morph in this ever changing industry.
Edgell When did you join SPJ and why?
Gonzalez I was exposed to SPJ last year when the Excellence in Journalism conference was in New Orleans in 2011. I was a reporter in New Orleans for six years, and at the time, a one-man band. That’s where I was introduced to the Diversity Committee by Rebecca Aguilar, a 2011 Diversity Fellow. I also met Sonny Albarado, who was President-elect at the time. I felt like this was an organization I wanted to be a part of and I was invited to became part of the SPJ Diversity Committee.
Edgell You also are an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. What do you see as the benefits of belonging to both SPJ and NAHJ?
Gonzalez I have been active with NAHJ for many years. I like what it stands for, fair portrayal of Latinos in the news, and making sure there are Latinos in newsrooms. Now that I have been introduced to SPJ, I think the two organizations with their focuses on enhancing and strengthening the core of journalism, just blend together. I am also highly impressed with SPJ’s outreach efforts to bring journalists of diverse backgrounds into the fold to train them with leadership and confidence to take back to their respective communities and of course, companies.
Edgell Fill in the blank: Life without my SPJ membership would be…
Gonzalez …missing out. I think my life has blossomed with the influence SPJ has made on my career as a journalist. I have learned so much and have been exposed to so much, and know there is so much more I can learn as journalism continues to evolve. As a Latina, and a TV reporter, I really appreciate SPJ’s relationship with RTDNA and other journalism organizations like NAHJ. I hope to become active in the SPJ Nevada chapter now that I am in Las Vegas.
Contact the Las Vegas SPJ chapter president Charles Zobell: email@example.com
More about the SPJ Membership Drive: Toolkit and Calendar included!
Find your SPJ chapter!