NBC reporter, Latina journalism pioneer Cecilia Alvear dies

NBC reporter, Latina journalism pioneer Cecilia Alvear dies

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Cecilia Alvear, who fought for Latino inclusion in newsrooms and reached unprecedented heights for a Hispanic woman in journalism in a decades-long career with NBC news, has died, her partner said Tuesday.

Alvear, who also served as president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, died at her home in Santa Monica after suffering from breast cancer that recurred in 2012, her longtime partner George Lewis said. Alvear was 77.

A native of Ecuador born in the Galapagos on the island of San Cristobal, Alvear came to the U.S. in 1965 and worked in a congressman’s office until getting a job as a TV news production assistant in 1971.

At the time, roles for women in journalism were few and roles for Latinos were even fewer. As she moved through various jobs in local television in Los Angeles, she was often the only member of either group working in news production. But she fought to make sure that the environment would change.

“She was a relentless campaigner for more diversity in newsrooms,” Lewis told the Los Angeles Times.

In 1982, NBC News tapped her to run its Mexico City bureau. From there she covered wars and revolutions in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and she produced several interviews with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

“I met Cecilia in 1982 when she was sent, as an NBC producer at the height of the Cold War, to run the war coverage of NBC in Latin America,” Anne-Marie O’Connor an ex-LA Times reporter, told the paper. “At the time it was rare to even meet a female producer, much less an Ecuadorian-born Latina who spoke English with an accent. Cecilia broke the mould.”

Alvear never graduated from college, but she completed a prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1989.

In 1994 while on assignment in Mexico, she learned she had breast cancer for the first time. She was free and clear of the disease until it returned 18 years later.

She remained with NBC until her retirement in 2007.

She is survived by Lewis, four sisters, and two half-brothers.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Arrests made outside Shaw Centre

A man and a woman were taken into custody.

Silverbacks fall 3-0 at home to visiting Grizzlies

A fast-paced show of skill on both sides

Veteran reporter to stay at Global Okanagan

Blaine Gaffney was given a layoff notice after a miscommunication

Update: Heavy snow disrupts flights at Kelowna International

Kelowna - Expect snow in the Okanagan, Southern Interior and the Kootenays

New BCFGA president well prepared for new task

Oliver orchardist Pinder Dhaliwal has been BCFGA vice-president for five years

What’s happening

Check out what is happening this weekend in the Okanagan-Shuswap.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

Ski Patrol and SAR search for missing skier

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read