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Senator Clinton Salutes New America Media Award Winners

Washington, D.C., Nov. 15--Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton opened the First National Ethnic Media Awards with a powerful tribute to ethnic media's role in American journalism.

clinton "A fresh political wind is blowing in Washington," Clinton said. "Ethnic media represent the way the new Washington needs to connect to the new America," Clinton said.

Clinton headed a cast of Washington heavyweights who participated in the event, including Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie, FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps, District of Columbia Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, two veteran Congresspeople from NAM's home base, Mike Honda and Barbara Lee of California, and Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. NBC-WRC news anchor Pat Lawson Muse served as the evening's emcee.

"Ethnic media has come to Washington. Our challenge here is about making mainstream media more ethnic and ethnic media more mainstream," said Sandy Close, executive director of New America Media.

runnersupAs close to a dozen runners-up took the stage for a bow, the Washington Post's Len Downie marveled at the youthfulness and diversity of the honorees. Ethnic media is a force in American journalism that will energize all of us, he remarked.

The awards banquet, which drew a sellout crowd of over 500 to the elegant Grand Ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel, gave out 23 first-place awards with cash prizes to ethnic media journalists from across the country.

"The Mayflower Hotel was the most appropriate venue for ethnic media's historic landing in Washington," Close said. "You come to a place, you meet people, you begin to participate -- and all of a sudden you feel you belong."

workshopsThe award winners, their guests and dozens of ethnic media people attended the various all day workshops the next day, where topics ranged from covering issues of the elderly to the future of the ethnic vote.

Workshop presenters included noted pollster Sergio Bendixen, Simon Rosenberg of New Democratic Network, and Gloria Tristani of Benton Foundation as well as representatives of NAM sponsors including AARP, Freddie Mac, Hewitt, The California Endowment, the National Academy of Social Insurance, WETA-FM and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Participants raved about sessions. "The marketing workshop was the best I've attended in 20 years," said Anh Do, English-language editor of the Vietnamese daily, Nguoi Viet.