A report on network news from the National Association of Hispanic
Journalists found a sharp rise in the number of Latino sources used in stories
on Latino issues. But the study -- entitled "The National Brownout Report" --
concluded, "Latinos continue to be marginalized" on the evening newscasts of
ABC, CBS, NBC and Cable News Network.
Cable leader Fox News Channel was not included because the network's stories are not
in the Vanderbilt University archives used for the study, although the NAHJ would like
to include the network next time around, if possible.
The study objected to what it considered stereotypical characterizations of
Latinos through what it said is the use of food and "festive" music as
background for stories, the objectification of Latino women as sensual, emphasis
on ghetto or barrio neighborhoods and what it said was the frequently used
"image of the border to suggest a divide between the Latino and non-Latino
populations and to define Latinos as illegal immigrants."
The organization urged networks to better monitor hiring of Hispanics, akin
to efforts in local television, radio and newspapers. "NAHJ believes that the
lack of newsroom diversity is a major reason why there continues to be a
brownout of Latinos on the evening news," the report said. "But NAHJ has no idea
how many Latinos work at the networks."