Salinas, Maria Elena 1954-

views updated

Salinas, Maria Elena 1954-


Born 1954, in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of Mexican immigrants; married Eliott Rodriguez, 1993; children: Julia Alexandra, Gabriela Maria, two stepdaughters. Education: East Los Angeles Community College, graduated, 1970; attended University of California, Los Angeles.


Home—Coral Gables, FL. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, journalist, news analyst, commentator, columnist, public speaker, social advocate, and television and radio broadcaster. Noticiero Univision, coanchor, 1987—; Aqui y Ahora (a television news magazine), cohost; Radio Unica, daily commentator. Worked as a reporter for KMEX-34 television, Los Angeles, CA, 1981. Guest on television programs, including Latino USA. Established the Maria Elena Salinas Scholarship for Excellence in Spanish-Language News, administered by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.


National Association of Hispanic Journalists (founding member and former vice president).


Emmy Awards for network broadcast of town hall meeting with Mexican President Vicente Fox and for coverage of Hurricane Mitch in Central America; Edward R. Murrow Award (as member of reporting team) for coverage of Atlanta Olympic Park bombings in 1996; Journalist of the Year distinction, Hispanic Media 100; International Scholar Award and Distinguished Dean's Speaker, Goizueta Business School, Emory University; Striving for Excellence Award and Lifetime Achievement Award, Broadcasting Training Program; Superior Achievement Award, National Association of Hispanic Publications; Lifetime Achievement Award, California Chicano News Media Association; Gift of Hope Award, Women's Hope Fund.


(With Liz Balmaseda) I Am My Father's Daughter: Living a Life without Secrets (memoir), Rayo (New York, NY), 2006.

Author of weekly syndicated column on U.S. Hispanic issues and Latin America for King Features Syndicate; author of weekly column for Univision Web site.


Maria Elena Salinas is a well-known and respected Hispanic journalist, broadcaster, and writer. She is recognized for her work in both television and radio broadcasting, as the coanchor of the highly rated Spanish-language newscast Noticiero Univision, and as commentator for Radio Unica. A biographer on her home page noted that "Salinas has interviewed more world leaders, dictators and political figures than any other female journalist," including most U.S. presidents since Jimmy Carter, Pope John Paul II, Vicente Fox, Manuel Noriega, Augusto Pinochet, Alberto Fujimori, and the notorious but "enigmatic Mexican rebel leader Sub-Comandante Marcos." She also serves as an advocate for Hispanics in the United States, covering issues such as immigration reform, voter registration and political outreach, health and immunization, and education.

In her memoir, I Am My Father's Daughter: Living a Life without Secrets, Salinas describes her family history and upbringing, recounting stories of her entry into journalism and her rise to prominence in a field once bereft of minority women in positions of prominence and authority. She credits the influence of her father as the strong force that pushed her to work hard and achieve success. Salinas describes her father's mysterious past, how he was an upper-class intellectual from Mexico City who was shunned by his family after meeting and marrying Salinas's mother, a poor seamstress from Sinaloa. A thread running through the book is Salinas's attempts to find out about her father's life before he met her mother; the surprising secret she finally uncovers reveals volumes about her father's background, personal character, and relationship with her mother. Throughout, Salinas also recounts many stories of her life in professional journalism, her personal struggles with motherhood and family, and her dedication to the Hispanic community that she serves with her writing and reporting. Library Journal reviewer Regina M. Beard noted that Salinas's book serves as a "credible introduction to Spanish-language broadcast journalism and may serve as an inspirational story as well."



I Am My Father's Daughter: Living a Life without Secrets (memoir), Rayo (New York, NY), 2006.


Latino Leaders, February-March, 2002, Anita Savio, "Forget the Pope and Sub-Commandante Marcos, the Real Story Is Maria Elena Salinas, Miami, Florida (Television Reporter and Journalist)," profile of Salinas, p. 42.

Library Journal, March 1, 2006, Regina M. Beard, review of I Am My Father's Daughter, p. 100.

Publishers Weekly, February 13, 2006, review of I Am My Father's Daughter, p. 73.


Maria Elena Salinas Home Page, (December 10, 2006).

About this article

Salinas, Maria Elena 1954-

Updated About content Print Article