Manny Garcia wins diversity leadership award from APME, ASNE

(Aug. 22, 2018) — Manny Garcia, Ethics & Standards Editor for the USA TODAY Network, is the winner of the 16th annual Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership from the Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of News Editors.

The McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership is given annually to individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and a graduate of Kent State University. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002. A past president of APME and former member of the ASNE Board of Directors, McGruder was a relentless diversity champion.

Garcia will receive $2,500 and a leadership plaque at the 2018 ASNE-APME conference in Austin, Texas.
“His voice is powerful; he's always a proponent of reaching out to people from underrepresented segments,” said ASNE President Alfredo Carbajal. “That's who he is. Diversity is not an intellectual concept for him. He lives diversity and inclusiveness every day, in every intervention and in every connection … The beauty is that he marries the need for diversity in news reports and in newsrooms, with high standards and ethical decision-making.”
Carbajal also praised Garcia for his work as a board member of ASNE and chair of the ASNE Leadership Committee. Garcia has spent countless hours volunteering his time to coach and mentor managers of color enrolled in the ASNE Emerging Leaders Institute.
Garcia's influence also extends to newsrooms across Gannett, parent company of the USA TODAY Network. Randy Lovely, vice president of community news for the USA TODAY Network, was one of two leaders who nominated Garcia for being a dedicated journalist, passionate leader and committed mentor. Garcia was recently promoted from east regional executive editor to a nationwide role upholding journalistic ethics and standards.
“As ethics and standards editor, Manny is the face of our commitment to fair, balanced and representative journalism,” Lovely wrote in his nomination. “And I can think of no one better to represent those core values. In his role, Manny is mentoring a newly formed Diversity Committee at USA TODAY while continuing to push for diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our coverage and staffing.”
APME President Jim Simon said that Garcia “truly represents the best of what Bob McGruder stood for."
"What stood out most clearly from the nominating letters we received was Manny's personal impact and influence on so many journalists that he worked with,” Simon said. “One former colleague put it aptly: 'Manny was simply born to be a mentor.'"
Garcia is a former editor of the Naples Daily News. He spent 23 years as a reporter and editor at the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald. He's known for building diverse teams, whose work has jailed public officials, exposed sex trafficking, changed laws, protected taxpayers and helped free an innocent man serving life in prison for murders he did not commit. He and his newsrooms have won several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, IRE Awards and the National Edward R. Murrow Award.
“Bob McGruder is the bright star that we all reach for as newsroom leaders,” Garcia said. “I'm humbled and honored to accept the award and carry the torch onward. My career started with editors who understood that my background and life experience was different, and necessary. My passion is to build confident newsrooms that thrive and win because they are diverse.”
About the Associated Press Media Editors
The Associated Press Media Editors advances the principles and practices of responsible journalism; supports and mentors a diverse network of current and emerging newsroom leaders; and champions the First Amendment and freedom of information. APME trains journalists to thrive in a rapidly changing environment and promotes forward-looking ideas that benefit news organizations and the communities they serve. The organization works closely with The Associated Press, the largest independent media operation in the world.
About the American Society of News Editors
The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, opinion journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.