Ruben Salazar

b. 3 Mar 1928, Juárez, Mexico …. d. 29 Aug 1970, East Los Angeles, CA


A longtime reporter for the Los Angeles Times before becoming news director for Spanish-language TV station KMEX, Ruben Salazar devoted himself to covering issues in the Latino community, including immigration and border issues, the poverty of inner-city schools, prison conditions, and black-brown tensions. Salazar was killed by a police-fired tear gas canister after covering an East L.A. protest against the Vietnam War. Charges were never filed, and the case remains controversial. Salazar was no political activist, but he embraced his position as a principled advocacy journalist — self-consciously breaking through the silence which most of the establishment media imposed on the Latino community. His death made him a martyr, and spurred other Latino journalists to form the organization that eventually became the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey