By: Karina Valdes
At the 70th Annual Student Media Awards, University of Miami’s student media outlets were recognized for achievements during the 2018-2019 academic year. The ceremony also acknowledged an exceptional alumnus of the School of Communication Department of Journalism and Media Management who has made an impact in the media profession. Javier Morgado, B.S.C. ’98, received the 2019 South Florida Communicator of the Year award for his contributions to the field.
Morgado is the executive producer of CNN’s morning show, New Day, and oversees editorial production and the strategic layout for the show. He was also a part of the CNN team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for their coverage of the devastation Hurricane Maria caused to Puerto Rico.
In his acceptance speech, Morgado dedicated his award to “journalists who are in harm’s way every day.”
“There are people in Venezuela trying to cover a really, really crazy unfolding story who at this minute are in harm’s way. I just want to dedicate this award to people like them who are doing the hard work of journalism and risking their lives to do it,” said Morgado.
Morgado shared with students how, just a short time before the ceremony, he was receiving notifications from CNN on the crisis in Venezuela. After CNN broadcast a live feed of military vehicles running over protestors, the network was taken off the air by Nicolás Maduro’s regime in an effort to suppress free speech.
“It’s not like here where you guys can take control of the air waves and put on whatever you want. It doesn’t work that way in a lot of places around the world especially where my parents are from in Cuba, and in Venezuela, in North Korea, in China. I could go on and on,” said Morgado.
Touching on the subject of transparency, Morgado relayed to students the importance of the press being able to ask questions of their government. In the United States, journalists who are a part of the White House press corps have access to the President and other high-ranking government officials during press briefings in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.
“That room means a lot to people like me. It’s the only checks and balances that we have in asking questions of the people who run our country,” said Morgado.
He shared the importance of the first amendment and encouraged the room full of student journalists to ask tough questions of their elected officials.
He also advised students to “focus on writing.”
“There will always be a demand for quality journalism. If you are a really good writer, it will open the door to every opportunity that you want. I can tell you that it’s worked for me,” said Morgado.
The 70th Annual Student Media Awards were held on April 30 at the University of Miami School of Communication. Below is a list of the student media award winners.
Student Award Winners