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230+ journalist submissions, 20 award winners; Fresno-based media, ONME News' publisher was a winner

By ONME Newswire

The year of 2020 proved to be more than tumultuous start for the United States and the world, battling a mysterious COVID-19 pandemic. Information was skewed, misleading or not correctly given through many sectors of the President Donald Trump Administration, causing frustration for the masses of people trying to take cover from the fast-spreading virus.

However, ethnic media stepped up, taking a major role in communicating with their niche communities; on shoe-string budgets, ethnic media successfully transitioned from the 2020 Census mass reporting to a sudden COVID-19 pandemic, quickly communicating on the ground with many of their ethnic readers, viewers and listeners as to what was really happening concerning this unknown virus.

The ONME Network was on the forefront of the pandemic, finding a way to help virtually communicate with California African-American audiences online and on local television through their public access TV partners. In fact, The ONME Network was barely launching its newly revamped weekly video and audio podcast networks at the end of 2019; never in a million years did the ONME Network team think that would be the most prominent way to communicate to the masses quickly and effectively for the upcoming year. Reporting commenced and increased, as podcast hosts featured COVID-19 updates live and pre-recorded; the next step was figuring out how to cover local and statewide elections without being able to deal with candidates and information sources in person--California was still on lock-down along with parts of the nation. Even members of the ONME Network team were personally affected; some podcast hosts were not able to maintain their shows because of the ravaging "Rona" attacking them and their families.

However, key podcast show host producers stepped up to manage all news information for its local Central Valley audience, as well as its online California audience. Julia Dudley Najieb took on the project to tackle the dense information concerning the local, county and state elections. She first extensively covered the election and voting processes in a "pre-election" 8-part series, explaining propositions, the electoral college, and voting California-wide, teaching the audience about the importance of the vote and where to vote:

Thereafter, Dudley Najieb did a live series multicasting to the television and online audiences simultaneously, starting with election night, Nov. 3. It would be from those three live media series she would later receive an award for from The California Ethnic Media Awards a year later:

(1) Watch recap of ONME News' election coverage; it's not over yet, according to election officials - (2) Election 2020: ONR recaps on CA and Central Valley Black candidate wins and losses this election -

(3) ONR 12-15-20: Check out the Northern California Black election winners serving, starting in 2021 -

Ethnic Media Services and California Black Media – joint sponsors of the multi-lingual California Ethnic Media Awards for outstanding reporting in 2020 – commenced a special online celebration on June 3, from 6-7:30 pm/9-10:30 pm EST. Hosts for the evening were Odette Alcazaren-Keeley and Pilar Marrero, both distinguished veterans of the ethnic media industry. Some 20 elected officials, community leaders, scholars and writers paid tribute to the sector in video taped remarks. Gov. Gavin Newsom opened up the ceremony with his welcoming remarks:

Ethnic media has quickly become an increasingly indispensable bridge for communicating with the diverse populations within our state...

You've worked against enormous to make sure our communities were informed about historic news events of the year, from COVID-19 to the tragic murder of George Floyd to the movement for racial justice, to the Nov. 3rd Presidential Election, to the January 6th attack on the nation's capitol, and to California's vaccine roll out ...

You are key to sustaining an inclusive communications infrastructure that knits our communities together when so many forces, as you know well, threaten to drive us apart.

Selected from 235 submissions from reporters working in print, digital, TV and radio platforms in eight languages, the winners were chosen by judges with language and cultural fluency who know the challenges of working in the sector. The 20 selected winners from seven categories included covering the epic news developments of 2020, from COVID-19 and the economic downturn to the movement for racial justice, immigration reform, the Nov. 3 elections, and the 2020 Census. Each winner will receive a cash award of $1,000.

“The ethnic media awards spotlight the people who produce a parallel universe of news largely invisible to general market media but indispensable for communicating with our diverse society,” said EMS director Sandy Close.

Central Valley-based digital media publisher, Julia Dudley Najieb, received award for her "3-Part Reporting Series on the coverage for the 2020 Elections."

“The pandemic made 2020 the most challenging year for ethnic media and the awards are an opportunity to recognize the entire sector for its dedication to informing audiences against the odds,” said Regina Brown Wilson, Executive Director of California Black Media.

“Thank you to all the journalists, reporters, editors, photographers and publishers who work long hours without recognition every day. You are committed to telling stories and covering underreported stories that we would otherwise never hear,”


Watch full awards ceremony below!


About Julia Dudley Najieb

Julia Dudley Najieb is the chief executive officer of Info Media Distribution (Info-MD) which creates video content and online copy to be distributed through its several offline and online news media, video, and audio podcast platforms.

Regionally, for California, Info-MD produces and distributes offline and online news programming from a Black perspective for ONME News, a Central Valley-based digital news media platform, and The ONME Network, which is a culmination of original news audio and video podcasts, distributed throughout California, featuring hyper-local and California-wide news and issues relative to the Black experience. Dudley Najieb is executive producer and publisher of The ONME platform which is available offline, desktop and via mobile.

ONME, which stands for “One New Media Expression,” recently expanded its digital and offline footprint over the last several years from the Central Valley to include the Silicon Valley and East Bay Black communities of California to serve its public access TV audiences, featuring its popular news podcasts such as It’s ONME Local, ONME News Headlines, The Ken McCoy Entertainment Report, News and Coffee Morning Show with Joquoya Murphy, News Too Real with Julia Dudley Najieb and California Upcoming Events with Jordan Murphy.

Dudley Najieb has managed and produced original, regional, TV news programming for Bounce TV, local NBC & CBS affiliate TV channels, and nationwide business channel, BizTV.

As a published author, the San Jose, CA native who resides in Fresno, CA was featured in 2017 as an expert in TV ONE's nationally syndicated docudrama Thou Shalt Not, where episode four, Holy Terror, documented the mass killing of Marcus Wessons' family; Dudley Najeib documented, wrote and published the first book on this infamous family murder.

Dudley Najieb attended Hampton Institute and CSU, Fresno, receiving her BA in journalism, minor in French, minor in marketing, California Clear Teaching Credential in English and a number of other certifications and professional degrees.

Receiving numerous awards for her community involvement, Dudley Najieb’s most recent award includes 2020 Producer of the Year from Central Valley-based public access TV station, CMAC for her endeavors in reporting regional ethnic news to residents through the broadcasted news podcasts.


Here are the California Ethnic Media Award Winners


About Ethnic Media Services:

Ethnic Media Services works to enhance the capacity of ethnic news outlets in California and nationwide to inform and engage diverse audiences about broader public Issues that impact their lives. Its mission is to build a more inclusive communications infrastructure that connects historically isolated communities with each other and with mainstream public life. Launched in January 2018 by veterans of New America Media following its closure in 2017, EMS operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the San Francisco Study Center. For more information go to or contact Julian Do at

About California Black Media:

California Black Media exists to facilitate communications between the Black community, media, grassroots organizations and policy makers by providing balanced, fact-based reporting to a network of over 22 Black media outlets across California. Based in Sacramento, CBM’s news coverage focuses on leading state public policy issues that impact the lives of people in the communities it serves.

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