New York Times Reporter Jennifer Medina to Give Keynote Address at SPJ/LA Banquet

Jennifer Medina.  Photo credit: Earl Wilson

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is thrilled to announce that Jennifer Medina, national political correspondent for The New York Times, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet.

The event will be held March 25 in downtown Los Angeles, honoring longtime regional journalists in print, broadcast and digital media.
Medina is currently covering the 2020 presidential campaign, with a focus on the West. Her reporting looks at how race, immigration and gender are shaping the nation’s politics and public discourse.

During her time in California, Medina has written about immigration raids in the Inland Empire, Disneyland employees living in their cars and the state’s chronic public education problems. She has covered breaking news extensively, including several mass shootings, and is often called upon to find humanity amid tragedy.

Medina joined The New York Times in 2002. She grew up in Riverside, graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in print journalism and political science. She speaks Spanish and Hebrew.

Proceeds from the banquet go toward scholarships for journalism students. The banquet has previously hosted such acclaimed journalists as Walter Cronkite, Andrea Mitchell, Ted Koppel, Linda Ellerbee and others.

This year’s Distinguished Journalist honorees are: Maria L. La Ganga, Metro reporter for The Los Angeles Times; Southern California News Group senior editor Tom Bray; retired KNX1070 reporter and anchor Diane Thompson; KTLA assignment manager Vance Scott; and Lynell George, journalist and essayist.

The Freedom of Information Award will go to David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition.
The Distinguished Journalists Awards banquet will be held on Wednesday, March 25 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the event are:

  • $100 for SPJ/LA members
  • $140 for non-members
  • $80 for students
  • Tables of 10 are available for $1,000 

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. The three levels of sponsorship are:

  • Platinum ($5,000): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, event signage, logo included on the website and in emails, one complimentary banquet table.
  • Gold ($2,500): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on the website and in emails, five complimentary banquet tickets.
  • Silver ($1,500): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on the website and in emails, two complimentary banquet tickets. 

You can also support SPJ/LA by purchasing an ad in the banquet program:

  • Back page program ad: $600
  • Full page ad: $350
  • Half-page ad: $250
  • Quarter-page ad: $150 

The Distinguished Journalists Award, created in 1976, honors journalists who have achieved a record of accomplishment over a number of years. The award recognizes journalists in television, radio, digital media, newspapers with a circulation of 90,000 or more, and newspapers with a circulation of less than 90,000.

The Freedom of Information Award goes to people – typically not journalists — who have championed freedom of the press and helped further the free flow of information.

For details on sponsorship or to make a reservation, please contact Sarah Favot at or 617-756-5643.

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