Latino Community Media Workshop

By Ricardo Parra

(Indianapolis, IN — June 7, 2003 ) How do you get news coverage for important issues and stories such as tobacco prevention and the dangers of second-hand smoke? How do you build better media relations? How do you prepare for a news conference? What is the best time to plan a news conference or have an event covered?

These and many other questions were examined as more than two-dozen participants from the Latino community gathered in a classroom at St. Mary Catholic Church in Indianapolis on Saturday morning, June 7. Participants learned how to increase media coverage at the media workshop sponsored by the Indiana Latino Institute with the assistance from channel 6 reporter and journalist Rafael Sánchez.

The first segment of the workshop focused on marketing, public relations and reaching the English-speaking mainstream media. Workshop presenters included well-known former broadcast journalists and TV personalities Clyde Lee and Diane Willis of Lee/Willis Communications.

This segment examined preparation for news conferences, organizational image enhancement, public relations, building media relations, how to prepare news releases, whether to send emails or faxes, best time to have a news conference, timing of news conferences, publication resources, identifying and cultivating media contacts, the role and resource of the editorial board, and the importance of the personal or human side of the story.

The second segment focused on television media with workshop presenters

WXIN Fox 59 TV reporter Lourdes Duarte, WTHR channel 13 assignment and operations manager Shelley Triol. This segment discussed tips to having news events covered, the importance of being clear and concise, the use of bullet points, and what the assignment editors and managers look for.

Lourdes Duarte also discussed “Hoy en Día Indiana,” a Sunday morning Spanish/English public affairs program, aired monthly on Channel WB4, covering all of Central Indiana. Next showings are June 15 and July 6 at 10:00 A.M.

The third segment of the workshop focused on the Spanish language media. Workshop presenters included Ildefonso Carabajal editor and publisher of La Ola Latino-Americana, Gladys J. Sánchez, director/editor of La Voz de Indiana and Alejandra Castillo of Univisión Indianapolis, Channel 17.

This segment examined the importance of the Spanish language media in serving and covering the community, the different approaches and selections of news coverage, for example, health, education, immigration issues, and items aimed at the interest of the Spanish speaking community. Other areas discussed covered the reasons to publish solely in Spanish or in a bilingual format, strengths and limitations, involvement from community in getting the news and stories covered, and whether fax or email is preferred.

When it comes to Spanish language TV, Univisión Indianapolis, Channel 17, is now in Indianapolis. It is a part of the largest Spanish language TV network in the U.S. and is building a local presence in Indianapolis. It has a local news broadcast at 11:00 P.M. and plans to expand its local news coverage in the future. For more information about Univisión, Channel 17, contact Alejandra Castillo at 317-824-WIIH. Email:

Participants gave the workshop high marks and praise in their evaluations, and said they learned quite a lot. Workshop participants and leaders indicate they would like to see the workshop repeated in the future. Participants agreed that Rafael Sánchez did an excellent job at calling together a diverse group of presenters, which provided participants with excellent insights about how they can promote their programs in the media.

For information about the programs offered by the Indiana Latino Institute, contact Amelia Muñoz, program director at email:

Telephone: 472-1055 ext. 100.