Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Article excerpt

IT SEEMS TO be two steps forward and one step back for Hispanic advancement at the nation's biggest newspapers, according to a new survey.

A report from the National Association of Hispanic journalists (NAHJ) showed that while the number of Hispanics employed at 60 of the top 100 newspapers increased since 1990, it dropped significantly from 624 in 1992 to 552 in 1993.

The report, "No Headlines, No Headway: Hispanics in the News Media Losing Ground," was co by the NAHJ and the National Council of La Raza. It includes surveys of Hispanic staffers in both print and broadcast media.

"I think it is cause for concern for several reasons," commented Gilbert Bailon, NAHJ president and assistant managing editor at the Dallas Morning News.

Bailon pointed out that while the news media are losing talented people, "the number of Hispanics in the country is growing at a tremendous pace."

This trend leads to a growing gap between the percentage of Hispanics in the newsroom and in the total population, he noted.

Among the 60 responding newspapers, 48 reported staffs that were less than 5% Hispanic -- some were less than 1% -- and only five had staffs that were 10% Hispanic, or higher.

While 15% of all 552 Hispanic newspaper staffers were managers, they still comprised only 2.5% of all newsroom managers. Most worked as reporters/writers (52%), while copy editors made up 18% of the Hispanic work force, and photo/artists, 15%.

As a percentage of the work force, the Hispanic reporters/writers comprised only 4. …

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