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Monday, October 11, 2010

Sobre Sandra Rodriguez Cotto

Para los que no me conocen

SANDRA D. RODRÍGUEZ COTTO

A seasoned journalist with an award-winning career that spans almost two decades in Puerto Rico and the United States, Sandra D. Rodríguez Cotto has complete experience in all areas of journalism and public relations.

Her career as a reporter included working in radio, daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and television for media outlets such as Univisión network (Miami, Florida), Telemundo Network (New York), WRSU-FM (New Jersey), and in the following media in Puerto Rico: Guía de Televisión, Buena Vida and Imagen magazines, Caribbean Business, de Moda magazine, and El Nuevo Día. She was also the Caribbean stringer for Agence France Press.

As a reporter, she covered all types of subjects from entertainment to politics, social issues, business and religion. She was best remembered for her special coverages of Cuban issues including the visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba, and the terrorists’ attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. But she also became well-known for her investigative work in the coverage of a number of developments that had far reaching consequences in Puerto Rico’s economy, government and society.

Some of her best remembered investigative reports include a nepotism scandal and the privatization of the local Telephone Company, the analysis of the Cuban economy, the infamous “Brookstone case” and the breastfeeding laws that prompted a political reform and a local awareness of the need of mothers Puerto Rico, and the case of the “Russian Boy” whose custody was sought by his biological family in Lithuania and Russia and by an influential judge in Puerto Rico.

She has interviewed local and international rulers and personalities as different as former Nicaragua’s president Violeta Chamorro, Nobel-Prize winners Rigoberta Menchú and Desmond Tutu, Ricardo Alarcón (president of the parliament in Cuba), former First Lady and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, international pop sensation Ricky Martin, actress Liv Ulman, TV-news anchor Larry King and comedian Bill Cosby, among many others. That is why many of her articles have been printed in various newspapers and magazines in Latin America and the US. She was also part of the initial group of the TV program “Prensa Libre (Free Press) and was the TV spokesperson for El Nuevo Día’s daily news segments.

Ms. Rodríguez Cotto has received multiple recognitions for her journalistic work, from organizations such as the Puerto Rico Association of Journalists, the Women of the Americas League, the Lions Club, Solidarity Award, the Medical Association of Puerto Rico and the House of Representatives Award. In 1997 she was selected “Journalist of the Year” by the Puerto Rico Manufacturer’s Association. She won five Overseas Press Club’s awards, including the “Eddie López Journalistic Excellence Award”, the most coveted prize in the journalism field in the Caribbean – a recognition that has been given to only 17 reporters in over 40 years. She was named one of the “Top Ten Distinguished Women” by the local magazine “Caras”.

She served for two terms as president of the Overseas Press Club and was a member of the board the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and is a founding member of the Center for Freedom of the Press in Puerto Rico.

By 2004, Sandra and fellow journalist Pepo Garcia established Avant Communications Consultants, the only firm in Puerto Rico created by two reporters that specializes in communications consulting and strategies development. In 2005, they cofounded Meet the Press Media Seminars a subsidiary of Avant Communications Consultants. This company, that is also the first one in its type in Puerto Rico formed by journalists, offers workshops and seminars on communication techniques, how to get media coverage and media trainings. The group has offered public seminars in different hotels throughout the country, as well as private workshops to individuals or small groups.

Sandra holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Masters Degree from the School of Public Communication of the University of Puerto Rico.

She does voluntary work or is associated with diverse professional and community-based organizations such as “Centro para la Libertad de Prensa; the Center of Studies and Educational Resources of the Cantera Peninsula (a program that helps empower a poor community in San Juan, and the International Women' s Media Foundation. She is also a founding member of the Rutgers Alumni Club of Puerto Rico.

Sandra is also very much involved in all causes related to people and children with disabilities, a cause close to her heart, due to her daughter’s diagnose of cerebral palsy, the Asociación Pro Bienestar de los Niños con Impedimentos (Association of Parents for the Welfare of the Children with Dissabilities), the only Parent-center based on the US Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act on the island.

Sandra still participates in the media as guest columnist in several local newspapers, ina magazine published in Latin America, as well as in the social media. She currently participates as a media and news analyst and contributor in Univision Radio WKAQ AM, in its highest daily rating show “El Azote de Noticias”.

(ESPAÑOL, breve)

Con dos décadas de experiencia como periodista, tanto en Puerto Rico como en los Estados Unidos, posee una experiencia completa en el quehacer periodístico.

Trabajó en radio, prensa, revistas y televisión en medios como la Cadena Univisión (Florida), Cadena Telemundo (Nueva York), WRSU y The Star Ledger (New Jersey), Agence France Press, Caribbean Business y El Nuevo Día. Ha recibido múltiples reconocimientos por su labor periodística Se destacó en coberturas variadas como la visita del Papa Juan Pablo II a Cuba, el paso de huracanes por el Caribe y los ataques terroristas a Nueva York en el 2001. Algunas de sus coberturas investigativas incluyen el caso de la privatización en la Compañía Telefónica, el caso de “Brookstone” y el sonado caso del niño ruso.

Posee un bachillerato de Rutgers University en New Jersey, y estudios en Maestría en la Escuela de Comunicación Pública de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Fue presidenta del Overseas Press Club, miebro de la junta de la National Association of Hispanic Journalists, y miembro fundador del Centro para la Libertad de Prensa en Puerto Rico.

Con Pepo García fundó en el 2004 la firma de relaciones públicas Avant Communications Consultants, la primera compañía en su tipo en ser establecida por dos ex periodistas. En el 2005 cofundó Meet the Press Media Seminars, una subsidiaria de Avant que se dedica a ofrecer talleres y adiestramientos para corporaciones e individuos sobre comunicación y en manejo ante los periodistas. Pertenece a la Asociación de Relacionistas Profesionales y a la Public Relations Society of America. También colabora activamente con diversas entidades relacionadas a las personas y niños con impedimentos, una causa cercana a su corazón debido al diagnóstico de perlesía cerebral de su bella hija.

Sandra se mantiene activa en los medios como columnista y colaboradora de periódicos locales y revistas en América Latina, así como en los medios sociales. Desde comienzos de 2010 regresó a la radio como colaboradora del programa “El Azote de Noticias con Dávila Colón” y que se transmite por WKAQ Univisión 580 AM. Tiene una sección semanal en la que aprovecha su experiencia profesional para hacer análisis de la prensa, los medios noticiosos y todos los temas de comunicación, que se titula “En Blanco y Negro”.

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