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.