The San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is proud to announce our 2022 Journalist of the Year, Tijuana Press editor Vicente Calderón.
For many years, San Diego journalists whose beat includes the border have turned to Calderón for assistance navigating the complexities of the region. They’ve always found an enthusiastic guide, willing to go above and beyond to help his colleagues. Veteran border journalist Sandra Dibble described Calderón as a “journalistic institution.”
In addition to reporting on Tijuana for his online news site, Tijuana Press, Calderón has collaborated with San Diego journalists on important stories about the San Diego-Tijuana region. He’s currently working with Voice of San Diego’s MacKenzie Elmer on an ambitious series of stories exploring the environmental impacts of the Tijuana River.
“Vicente has been a bridge between San Diego and Tijuana’s journalism communities for so many years,” said Scott Lewis, Voice of San Diego’s editor and CEO.
“He has always been there for me and my staff when we need to make a connection or pull off a story with implications for both sides of the border,” Lewis said. “I cannot fathom how many fewer things we would know without him.”
Wendy Fry, who covers the border for the San Diego Union-Tribune, said Calderón “works tirelessly to cover so many key issues affecting both sides of the border.”
Fry noted that Calderón has continued his reporting despite the dangers faced by Mexican journalists.
“At a time when Tijuana journalists are grappling with the devastating loss of two of our colleagues, and the fear of violence becoming a consequence of their coverage, Calderón has been brave,” Fry said. “He’s a leader in responsibly and ethically pushing authorities for answers and justice. He also generously takes time out of running his own news site to mentor colleagues and help explain Mexico’s realities to San Diego journalists because he genuinely cares about the border region being covered accurately and responsibly.”
Dibble also pointed out that Calderón has persisted in his reporting despite the numerous challenges faced by Mexican journalists, including low pay, threats to their personal safety and pressure to back off certain stories.
“Despite all these challenges, he has persisted in a profession he loves deeply,” she said.
“Among his Tijuana colleagues, he has been unrelenting in his demands for accuracy and fairness, and unyielding in his calls for high ethical standards,” Dibble said. “In cases of abuses and attacks against journalists, Vicente has stood firm in his calls for justice.”
Dibble said she’s often turned to Calderón to get a deeper understanding of border region politics.
“I have witnessed his generosity with others as well — seen him help outsiders gain context, but also watched him show the way to new generation of Mexican journalists,” she said. “Vicente is independent, idealistic, courageous, generous — what more can one ask for in a journalist?”
Celebrate Calderón and our other award winners at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Liberty Station on Thursday, July 21, from 6:30 to 9:30. We’ll launch our ticket website and a list of award winners on July 6, so check back.