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

VIDEO: Royal Bay Secondary students take flight in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Play tells the story of the orphan who becomes Peter Pan

WATCH: Oak Bay wins regional skating competition

Winning tradition continues leading up to provincials

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

Most Read