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When Optics Are More Valuable than Revenue

Here’s why the National Association of Hispanic Journalists returned conference-related money to a sponsor.

Is it important for your meeting sponsors to share the perspectives of the majority of your attendees or members? Last week, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists answered that question in the affirmative. On August 22, the NAHJ dropped Fox News as a sponsor of a September educational conference, returning $16,666 of sponsorship money to the news network. The reason: To protest the network’s coverage of immigration issues.

What’s more, NAHJ President Hugh Balta urged the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association, co-producers of the conference, to return money they received from Fox News as well. They chose not to do so; Balta said that their reasoning was “to give Fox News a larger platform to discuss what [the two associations] label as a ‘teachable moment.’”

Fox News has several employees who are members of NAHJ, and a network spokesperson said that “we are committed to fostering a diverse and collaborative workplace environment, and have been recognized in the industry for our advancement in this area.”

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