The devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 200,000 people from 14 countries. Months after the disaster, heartbroken families were still searching for missing loved ones.
Veronica De La Cruz was working at CNN and reporting from the “Victims and Relief Desk,” connecting the displaced.
“It was the most amazing experience and made me realize the power of the Internet,” De La Cruz says.
Veronica was born in the Central Valley and spent her early years in Half Moon Bay before her family moved to Southern California. She spent her formative years as a competitive figure skater.
She returned to Los Angeles to attend college before embarking on her journalism career. Veronica started out as a music journalist after pitching a show to a dot com. The pitch led to a job which allowed her to travel the world interviewing musicians and DJs.
She then moved to Yuma, Arizona to take a morning and mid-day anchor and evening reporter position at the NBC affiliate. Then, it was on to CNN where she helped launch the first streaming news service, CNN Pipeline.
She eventually became an anchor and correspondent at CNN where she was the first journalist to use Twitter on the air in 2007 and the first to use “the magic wall”, a huge monitor that employs multi-touch technology. It has become a staple of the cable network’s political coverage allowing anchors to display data and election results.
While at CNN, Veronica was honored with an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia award for her coverage of the Indian Ocean tsunami and a prestigious George Foster Peabody award for her work during Hurricane Katrina.
“Katrina victims were calling the newsroom to tell us the water was up to their neck and to please get them help,” she says. “Those moment will haunt me forever.”
While at the network, she covered lots of breaking news including the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, the death of President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, the 2008 collapse of Wall Street and the housing market.
But, she is most proud of her in-depth reports on the homeless, the plight of the migrant farm worker and CNN’s special “Asian in America.”
After almost six years at CNN, she moved to NBC News & MSNBC where she was a host of “First Look” and NBC’s “Early Today Show”. She also served as a correspondent for both NBC and MSNBC.
Veronica joined KPIX 5 in 2014 as an evening anchor and to launch Bay Area Nightbeat, a fast-paced evening newscast on KBCW where she enjoys engaging with viewers across various social media platforms.
She has always been at the forefront of new technology.
“My Twitter feed is an amazing resource. It allows me to connect with viewers to find out what issues really matter to them,” she says. “Coming home to anchor a news program that incorporates social media in the very community where I was raised is a great honor.”
Veronica is half Filipino-Chinese and half French-German Jewish and grew up hearing multiple languages at home. As a member of the Asian American Journalists Association, she often mentors the next generation of journalists.
When she’s not at the station, she volunteers with her non-profit, “Hope for Hearts,” dedicated to her younger brother and mother, who both died of heart disease. She also enjoys listening to her massive record collection and attending live shows.
She enjoys spending her free time with her son and dog, Bianca.