Embracing Her Voice, Empowering Her Community: ANCA-WR to Honor KTLA 5’s Ellina Abovian with Excellence in Media Award for Her Ongoing Efforts to Raise Awareness About the Armenian Cause at Nov. 12 Event

October 19, 2023

By: Katy Simonian

The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) will honor KTLA 5’s Ellina Abovian with the Excellence in Media Award for her unwavering commitment to raising awareness about the plight of the Armenian community and the many contributions Armenians continue to make on a local, national and global level. Her honor will be a highlight of the 2023 Awards Gala which will take place on Sunday, November 12th at The Omni Hotel in Los Angeles. 

Following nearly ten months of Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of Artsakh and its military onslaught which resulted in the forced depopulation of Artsakh, the ANCA-WR Board seriously considered canceling this year’s Awards Gala. However, remembering the inspiring words of Artsakh Foreign Minister and last year’s Freedom Award honoree David Babayan, who is currently unlawfully imprisoned in Baku, the ANCA-WR Board decided that it must not cower in the face of Azeri aggression and that it must forge ahead in a show of unity and resilience against the injustices inflicted on our people, pledging to donate a portion of the proceeds toward humanitarian assistance for Artsakh genocide survivors. 

“A free and truly independent press – fiercely independent when necessary – is the red beating heart of freedom and democracy.” Dan Rather’s words echo through Ellina Abovian’s work and commitment to covering issues important to Armenians everywhere. For Abovian, raising her voice in order to amplify the voices of the Armenian community, is a calling that fulfills the highest principles of her profession.

Her work is an inspiration to the Armenian community and beyond, as she has fought to cover the recent attacks against Artsakh and the Armenian homeland in an era of obstruction and efforts to subvert reporting on the ever-developing crisis in the region.

An award-winning, Emmy nominated assignment journalist and at times co-anchor of the top-rated news station and morning show on KTLA 5, Abovian is a fixture across Los Angeles, and is often front and center, covering stories from union strikes and developments in local government to human interest stories that connect and inform people of their shared experiences.

Born in Armenia, Abovian immigrated to the United States with her family when she was only a year old. From an early age, she developed a natural curiosity about the world and began to write stories about the people in her neighborhood, in what she endearingly named “The Windsor Chronicle,” in reference to the apartment building where she lived with her brother and parents. 

After earning a degree in broadcast journalism from California State University, Los Angeles, Abovian relocated to San Luis Obispo in 2011 to work as a “one-woman-band” journalist where she filmed, wrote, and edited her own stories in addition to being in front of the camera.

Throughout her career which spans over a decade, she has worked for CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout California. In 2015, Abovian moved back to Los Angeles to work as a staff reporter for KTLA 5 News. 

Abovian, who speaks four languages – English, Armenian, Russian and French, dedicates much of her work to offering coverage of causes impacting the Armenian American community in Southern California and beyond. She has supported Armenian organizations such as the Armenian American Museum, the Armenian American Medical Society, Homenetmen and the Armenian Hearing Aid Project, among others.

Most recently, she spearheaded efforts at KTLA 5 to inform the public on the growing need for international intervention to stop the horrific attacks against Armenian civilians in Artsakh. Her thoughtful coverage continues to enlighten the public on what has become a full-fledged genocide of the peaceful Armenians of Artsakh, drawing a clear connection between our local community and the need to recognize the crimes against humanity of the past and present in order to promote national and international security for a peaceful future.

In addition to her continued coverage of U.S. policies toward Armenia and efforts to safeguard the country from further threats, Abovian has focused on the many contributions of Armenians to the city of Los Angeles, where many have lived and thrived for over a century. To mark this year’s April 24 commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in conjunction with Armenian History Month, Abovian produced a series of pieces on Armenians whose ingenuity has made an impact in business, sports, music, the arts and film, including a profile of legendary film producer Steve Papazian, a Vietnam veteran who went on to become the President of Warner Bros.

Her work to raise awareness about the Armenian community was recognized this past April by the L.A. City Council, as Council President Paul Krekorian honored her as an individual “making a positive difference” in ensuring Armenians have a voice and are heard with a growing presence in the news.

For Abovian, who lives in Glendale with her husband and young sons, using her platform as a journalist to raise awareness about the needs, struggles and victories of the Armenian people is a responsibility she embraces with a proud and grateful heart. “I am so humbled by this recognition. It truly is an honor. The ANCA has always been a great example of what we can achieve as a collective community when it comes to our homeland,” says Abovian. “I am thankful for the privilege of having this platform for raising awareness as well as uplifting our community.”

As a journalist, she sees the Armenian community as a beautiful part of the complex tapestry of Los Angeles and has endeavored to share that beauty in solidarity with all people who seek justice and peace.

“Ellina Abovian’s coverage of the Armenian community, particularly her recent stories on Artsakh have been exceptional. She has for years dedicated air time to put in context, the importance of defending Armenia and Artsakh for the sake of international security,” says ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “Her poise and empathy have shed light on issues that affect the Armenian community and serve as an example of excellence in journalism.”

It takes courage to defend a truly independent press, as doing so creates an environment where democracy can flourish in truth by encouraging greater participation in public service. Ellina Abovian has served her community through sharing stories that illuminate the connection between the Armenian homeland and Diaspora, celebrating the power and grace of the Armenian people.

For more information about Ellina Abovian’s admirable commitment to sharing stories about Artsakh, Armenia’s rich history and the need to raise awareness about crimes against humanity, and to purchase tickets for the 2023 ANCA-Western Region Awards Gala, please click here. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s gala will be donated to support Artsakh Genocide survivors.

The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.

Katy Simonian is a member of the 2023 ANCA-WR Awards Gala Committee.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Sonia Meroian
Email / Tel: (818) 745-4555
Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region
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