Nick Valencia is a CNN correspondent based at the network's global headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Nick Valencia is a CNN correspondent based in the network's global headquarters in Atlanta. He regularly appears across CNN, CNN International, HLN and CNN en Español.
In 2018, Valencia was the first TV correspondent to interview Stormy Daniels, the porn actress purported to have had an affair with President Trump. His interview was the start of a string of exclusive reports he would break throughout the year. In early 2018, Valencia interviewed Senator Marco Rubio one-on-one following criticism from the mass shooting survivors in Parkland, Florida. He was the first to interview Alice Johnson seen as the face of prison reform in America after her clemency was granted. Later, Valencia traveled to cover teacher walkouts in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, Valencia was the first to break the story about the U.S. government taking DNA samples of migrants in U.S. custody. In the summer, he spent a month along the border as CNN's lead reporter on President Trump's zero tolerance family separation policy that was later lifted. In Georgia, Valencia and his team were allowed exclusive access into the Stewart Detention Center, known as the black hole of immigration facilities in the United States. In California, Valencia's video of the Paradise Fire, the most devastating in state history, went viral and brought more attention to the plight of those effected.
Valencia has traveled across the country and into Mexico for a series of in-depth reports on the lives of undocumented immigrants. In 2017, he reported often from Clarkston, Georgia, to show the impact President Trump's policies had on the refugees in the U.S. During CNN's hurricane coverage, he was in all three major hurricanes, including Hurricane Maria landfall in Puerto Rico. In Texas, during Hurricane Harvey, while on-air Valencia helped reunite a son with his father who he feared had died in the storm.
Valencia has extensively covered race-related issues in America, including a rash of police shootings across the country. He has reported from riots in Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Ferguson and Charlotte. Early in his career, Valencia was on-the-ground in places like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez during the height of Mexico's drug war. In 2015, he was the first American inside the tunnel used by drug kingpin El Chapo to escape a Mexican prison.
Since 2013, as a general assignment reporter Valencia has covered everything from presidential elections and congressional races, to Ebola outbreaks and prisoners-of-war, including the return and sentencing of U.S. Army hostage Bowe Bergdahl. Over the years, he has reported from state legislatures across the country on controversial religious freedom bills, as well as the so-called Transgender Bathroom Bill in North Carolina. He's also been on the ground during multiple natural disasters, and covered terrorist attacks, including the Orlando Pulse night club shooting and the murder of nine people inside the historic Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
He started at CNN in 2006 as a teleprompter operator, traveling to Uganda as a one-man-band. Since then, he has been nominated for an Emmy and been part of three Peabody Awards at CNN. In his six years as a CNN correspondent, he has twice been nominated by The Atlanta Press Club as "Broadcast TV Reporter of the Year." In 2013, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) awarded Valencia its inaugural "Sí Se Puede" Excellence in Leadership award. Also that year, The Huffington Post acknowledged him as one of the most influential Latino journalists in America. He was named one of the "Top 50 Latinos" to follow on Twitter.
A graduate of USC's Annenberg School of Journalism, he is the former documentary filmmaker for the National Champion USC football team. Originally from Northeast Los Angeles, he currently lives in Atlanta, where from 2010-2014 he served as President of the local chapter for NAHJ. He currently serves as the National Vice President of Broadcast for NAHJ.
You can follow his stories on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CNNValencia