Helga L. Salinas


Engagement Reporting Fellow, ProPublica Illinois

June 2018-Dec. 2018
  • Defined the ProPublica Illinois voice on social media ("useful, assertive, interested"). Doubled ProPublica Illinois' social reach while maintaining accounts daily.
  • Streamlined newsletter production by formalizing editing schedule and topics while also defining newsletter voice.
  • Worked with reporters on investigative projects to identify communities and audiences, find ways to reach them and involve them in reporting. For example, I created and maintained the Facebook group for Driven into Debt's The Ticket Trap.
Tools: Google Analytics, Chartbeat, CrowdTangle, Buffer, Sprout
Related: Who are you, readers? And do you trust us?

Social Media Producer (Audience Development), The Seattle Times

  • Managed The Seattle Times Facebook page and Twitter feed.
  • Use analytics to make decisions about sharing stories and producing assets to increase reach and community engagement.
  • Developed social media strategy for breaking news and enterprise stories to maintain timeliness and accuracy.
  • Implemented social media best practices and work with web producers, editors, and reporters to ensure quality of social discussion.
  • Wrote up daily and weekly social media reviews.
  • Addressed sensitive news coverage as a member of the diversity and inclusion task force.
Tools: Google Analytics, Buffer, RivalIQ, Chartbeat, Facebook Insights, CrowdTangle
Related: Under Our Skin: Readers respond to issues of race, policing, and inequality

Journalism Instructor, UCLA Student Media

October 2015-January 2016

Taught an introduction to journalism class about digital storytelling and workshops on using social media for sharing stories, building communities, and reporting.

Social Media Producer (Project), Los Angeles Times

June-September 2015
  • Managed main Facebook page, main Twitter feed, main Instagram account, and Snapchat.
  • Oversaw social media assets and strategy on Twitter and Tumblr for #EmergingUS, a project on race, immigration, and identity. Live-tweeted and curated social media about race and culture in L.A.
  • Enhanced stories with shareable charts and graphics.
  • Solicited and curated user generated content.
Tools: Hootsuite, Chartbuilder, Meme Generator

Advisor to the Newsmagazines, UCLA Student Media

September 2014-February 2015

Advised student newsmagazines that cover the Black, Latino/a, Queer, Feminist, Jewish, Muslim, Asian- American communities on campus and in L.A. about publishing digitally, training and managing staff, building and engaging audiences.

Visuals Team Intern, National Public Radio (NPR)

June-August 2014

Worked with a group of photographers, editors, developers, and web designers to build a variety of info graphics that included ‘Behind the Civil Rights Act,’ in collaboration with CodeSwitch, NPR’s race and ethnicity desk, and the Society of News Design award-winning project ‘Demolished.’

Tools: GitHub, NPR Visuals Team’s News App Template

Columbia Fellow, Univision Communications, Inc.

June 2013-March 2014

Reported, coded and managed projects for La Huella Digital. Communicated between the newsroom and the developers of Univision Interactive. See my website for a full list of projects and stories.

Tools: HTML, CSS, Javascript, Isotope, U.S. Map JQuery Plugin, Leaflet JS, Timeline JS


  • Developing stories for the web and audience-centered reporting
  • Communicating ideas across disciplines
  • Realtime verification of user-generated content
  • Adapting stories across media platforms
  • Developing interactive story components
  • Developing social and growth strategy for branded assets
  • Conversational in French and Spanish


MS in Journalism, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

May 2013

Focused on digital media with coursework in data visualization and news web design.

Tools: HTML, CSS, MediaQueries, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, Google Fusion Tables & Charts, using CSV and JSON files

BA in History and Comparative Literature, UCLA

June 2012

Honors thesis, “Empowerment through Alternative Student Media: The Establishment of the Newsmagazines at UCLA from 1968 to 1990.”

Awards & Affiliations

Speaking engagements


  • ASNE Emerging Leaders Institute, ASNE-APME News Leadership Conference Oct. 2017
  • CNN Diversity Fellowship for Social and Mobile Journalists (Video Submission), ONA 2015
  • Columbia Journalism Master’s Project featured in Tow Center’s Innovation Showcase, 2012-13
  • National Association of Hispanic Journalists Scholarship, 2012-13
  • Outstanding Commitment, La Gente Newsmagazine, 2010-11
  • La Gente’s Fall 2010 “Immigration Issue,” Region 11 Mark of Excellence for Best Student Magazine at a four-year College/University, Society of Professional Journalists


  • Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting
  • Migrahack
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • National Association of Hispanic Journalists
    • Webmaster for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists for the Columbia University Chapter 2012-2013
  • Online News Association