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VOA Spanish Programs Win Gabriel, Chesapeake Bay Emmy Awards

(L to R) VOA Spanish staff: John Burnett, Giaconda Reynolds, Judith Martin and Iacopo Luzi.
(L to R) VOA Spanish staff: John Burnett, Giaconda Reynolds, Judith Martin and Iacopo Luzi.

Voice of America’s Spanish broadcasting service won a first place 2022 CMA Gabriel Award in the Single Story - National Release: Radio - Spanish language category for its special radio feature “Impacto cambio climático en la sobrevivencia regional” ("Climate Change – Impact on Regional Survival”).

Supported by VOA Spanish correspondents in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, senior editor Gioconda Tapia Reynolds, producers John Burnett and Héctor Contreras, and coordinator Judith Martin Rodriguez, explored the issue of climate change in four Central American nations seriously affected by natural disasters, including drought, hurricanes, storms and floods and their deadly effects on agricultural production.

“What an honor for the VOA Spanish service to win two such prestigious awards,” said Acting Latin America Division Director Sandra Thomas-Esquivel. “These two stories – so different, yet both so compelling - really showcase the depth and variety of quality program offerings VOA Spanish produces for its audiences.”

VOA’s Latin America division also received a 2021 National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter Emmy Award in the category of News Feature – Light Feature (Single Report and Multiple Reports). VOA Spanish TV reporter Iacopo Luzi won an Emmy for “Cuando las cigarras se convierten en un postre de chocolate” – (“When cicadas become a chocolate dessert”). The story attracted the judges’ attention for its creative presentation of the subject. For some, cicadas are a plague. However, Luzi found a local business owner who decided to create a recipe to eat the insects and saw the recent "invasion" of the Washington Metropolitan area by cicadas as a business opportunity.

Initiated in 1965 and administered by the Catholic Media Association, the Gabriel Awards honor excellence in film, broadcast, and cross-platform media productions released in the United States and Canada.

The National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter is one of the largest of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with more than 1,500 members. It oversees The Emmy Awards regionally, including all media outlets in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.