Elvia Díaz, an award-winning journalist who joined The Arizona Republic’s editorial board in 2016, has been promoted to director of opinions and board chair, the primary Latina to function editorial web page editor for the reason that newspaper was based 132 years in the past.
As director, Díaz will edit The Republic’s Viewpoints section, opinion columnists and visitor writers, set the board’s agenda and, working with the chief editor and the board, form The Republic’s institutional voice.
She’ll function a liaison with readers and group teams in addition to civic, cultural and elected leaders as we establish points in want of collaborative options. She’ll promote open dialogue and provides voice to the unvoiced. When wanted, she’ll name for change and demand accountability.
A former reporter at the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico and the Statesman Journal in Oregon, Díaz joined The Republic in 1999, working as a reporter and editor on the metro and politics desks. She edited The Republic’s Spanish language publication, La Voz, earlier than stepping away two years in the past to concentrate on column writing.
“I fell in love with journalism the moment I became a Spanish newscaster for KBBF, a public radio station in Northern California,” she mentioned. “I haven’t stopped ever since.”
Her columns are each fearless and nimble, taking up the appropriate for political stunts at the border and the left for resisting funds for police in neighborhoods determined for protected streets. She has a transparent imaginative and prescient of the laborious highway forward.
“We’re facing turbulent political times when the future of America hangs in the balance. That’s not a cliché. It’s reality,” she mentioned. “We must face that reality head-on without reservations.”
Born in Michoacán, México, Diaz immigrated to the U.S. when she was 16 and briefly labored within the farm fields of Northern California alongside her dad and mom and older brothers. She earned a bachelor’s diploma from Sonoma State University and a grasp’s diploma in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.
In 2018, Diaz acquired Valle del Sol’s “Special Recognition Award” for service and management in the neighborhood. A year later, the Arizona Newspapers Association awarded her a Silver Key for a career of important contributions to journalism in Arizona.
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She begins this new function having already confirmed she will increase outreach to underserved communities whereas selling civil discourse throughout Arizona, particularly debate that opens space for brand new concepts.
Her promotion marks an vital transition at The Republic and a brand new starting for her predecessor, Phil Boas, who efficiently navigated the board by means of a interval of intense political and cultural division.
Boas is just not going far: He’s staying on the board and can launch a regular column to be revealed on the pages he edited for 20 years, the final 10 as director.
“Arizona blesses us with its natural beauty and human warmth,” he mentioned. “What a privilege it has been getting to know so many people in our state. Now it’s on to column writing and telling the stories of the state we love. I feel twice blessed.”
An unabashed however pragmatic conservative, Boas led the editorial board’s protection of Arizona’s immigrant populations within the wake of the so-called “show my your papers” legislation, serving to to craft a front-page editorial calling Arizona leaders to account for the racist coverage.
As Facebook and Twitter elevated hate speech and pundits mentioned America’s middle couldn’t maintain, Boas pushed to the center, a shift that angered conservatives as typically because it angered liberals.
Once the realm of conservative kingmaker and writer Eugene C. Pulliam, who died in 1975, The Republic’s opinion pages are in the present day extra of a spot to contemplate a variety of concepts within the pursuit of consensus options.
It’s a spot the place columnist Robert Robb’s fiscal evaluation can result in breakthroughs because the Arizona Legislature struggles to completely fund schooling, steadiness the funds and plan for future downturns. It’s a spot the place columnist Joanna Allhands can push the governor to rethink Arizona’s drought contingency plans.
Boas joined The Republic in 1999 from the Mesa Tribune, the place he was a reporter and editor. He beforehand labored at the Los Angeles Daily News and The Ontario (Calif.) Daily Report. He succeeded Ken Western as editorial web page editor in 2012 and charted a centrist’s course sure for battle with the newspaper’s roots as The Arizona Republican, based by partisans on May 19, 1890.
In 2016, he oversaw The Republic’s break with 126 years of historical past by endorsing a Democrat for president for the primary time. Death threats to the board adopted, however Boas remained dedicated to the refinement of the newspaper’s stances on public coverage and he strived to unite all Arizonans.
He collaborated with the Arizona Community Foundation and the Morrison Institute to assist create the New Arizona Prize, encouraging groups of individuals to assist remedy some of Arizona’s most difficult issues.
For a number of years, as Boas thought-about editorials on immigration, tax coverage and schooling spending, Díaz supplied an vital perspective. He’ll do the identical for her.
She inherits a board the place conservatives, liberals and centrists work facet by facet, together with Greg Moore, Abe Kwok, Robb and Allhands. Also reporting to Díaz, however not on the board, are metro opinion columnists Laurie Roberts and E.J. Montini.
As we head to the 2022 midterms, no group of opinion journalists on the earth is extra deeply knowledgeable on the problems that matter to Arizonans.
Greg Burton is government editor of The Arizona Republic.