Petition seeks to include more Afro-Latinos in Latin-American media

What do Latinos look like?

Well, what does a fruit look like. Or what does a car look like? Or what does a house look like?

There are many types of delicious fruits, or cars, or houses, each with its own distinctive features.

It’s not until we dig deeper into those features that we realize what kind of fruit we are eating, what car we are driving, or what house we will live in.

A HuffPost Latino Voices article titled “These Images Show #WhatLatinosLookLike” sought to take images of Latinos and show the world that Latinos are not just the brown-eyed, black-haired individuals many people are accustomed to seeing in mainstream media.

Since the HuffPost article was published, the hashtag has taken off and found renewed vigor at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists annual convention, which took place in Aug. 6-10.

“People look at us and automatically assume they know what we are,” says Victoria Arzu alongside her sister Sophia Arzu in a youtube video that calls on Latin American media to include more Afro-Latinos and other minorities in its programming. The two started a petition called “Proyecto Más Color” on and it has already surpassed its original goal of 100 signatures and now seeks to get 1,000.

According to the petition:

This is important because there has been a lack of representation of the diversity of the Latino culture, especially regarding the representation of Afro-Latinos. The only explanation for this disparity is discrimination. The younger generation of Afro-Latinos needs role models to look up to. Afro-Latinos have been oppressed for too long. We have the right to be represented in Latino media.

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Newsrooms see uptick in diversity numbers

Surveys detailing diversity numbers in print and broadcast newsrooms have been released. Both mediums show slight improvements; still, neither completely reflect the ethnicities and cultures that make up this country.

While total newsroom employment declined 3.2 percent, the number of journalists of color at daily newspaper newsrooms increased by 1 percentage point to 13.3 percent, according to the American Society of News Editors’ (ASNE) annual newsroom census — a stark comparison to the 37 percent of people of color in the country.

The number of Latinos at newspapers increased to 4.46 percent of newsrooms from 4.26 percent.

Online-only news sites reported that 20 percent of the workforce was made up of people of color based off the 105 organizations that responded, according to the ASNE. People of color made up nearly one-third of all part-time employees (28.3 percent) and more than one-fourth (25.7 percent) of volunteer contributors.

The Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA) released its own report on diversity in newsrooms and found that 22.4 percent of TV newsrooms were journalists of color, also up 1 percentage point from the previous year and the highest in 13 years. However, that number includes Spanish-language TV stations, where most employees are Latino. Excluding the Spanish-language TV stations, the percentage of journalists of color in TV was 19 percent, a drop from 19.4 percent in 2012.

The percentage of Latinos working in non-Spanish-language TV stations fell from 5.5 percent to 5.3 percent. Including Spanish-language TV stations, Latinos make up 9.1 percent of TV newsrooms.

In radio, the percentage of journalists of color was 13 percent, the highest level since the mid-1990s. Most of those gains came from non-commercial radio stations, about “two to three times as high” as commercial stations, according to the survey.

Latinos working in radio, presumably not including Spanish-language radio, increased to 6.2 percent — up from 5.7 percent the previous year.

Ironically, the RTDNA survey found that Latinos make up 78 percent of newsrooms at Spanish-language TV stations, a drop from 89.1 percent in 2012. It would appear that even Spanish-language stations aren’t a safe work haven for Latinos.

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CCNMA President Yvette Cabrera nominated as “local hero”

For her significant contributions to improving and enriching the lives of others, investigative reporter and CCNMA President Yvette Cabrera was nominated as a KCET 2014 Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero.

“No matter how busy she is, Yvette always finds time to lend a helping hand to those around her — especially those who are finding their way through journalism. She goes above and beyond as a journalist and her work has done so much for the community.”” 

Nuran Alteir, Freelance writer/photographer, nominator


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Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas front and center of immigration debate

The story of journalist Jose Antonio Vargas being detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents has been trending on social media from his arrest to his release.

Vargas was detained earlier this week in Texas due to his undocumented status. He has been released on his own recognizance hours after being detained at the airport in McAllen, according to published reports.

The incident has put Vargas in the middle of the immigration debate, which has reached a fever pitch in the U.S. and divided the country.

Vargas, a former Washington Post reporter who was born in the Philippines, said he intentionally made the trip to Texas with “the purpose of shedding light on the children who parts of America and many in the news media are actively turning their backs on,” Vargas said in a statement.

It’s not the first time he’s made such an effort. He also wrote and directed the film “Documented.” The documentary looks at the impact being undocumented has had on his life.

The ACLU also issued a statement in response to the detention:

The ACLU of Southern California is greatly concerned by the Department of Homeland Security’s decision Tuesday to detain Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was in Texas to report and write on the current crisis at the border.

While we understand the impact immigration issues have in the Latino community, this event has made us wonder: At what point does a journalist’s extensive coverage meet bias and activism?

Then again, he’s been very straight-forward about his perspective and undocumented status.

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36th Journalism Opportunities Conference


Event to take place Oct. 23 and 24.

USC Davidson Conference Center
3415 South Figueroa Street (at W. Jefferson Boulevard)
Los Angeles, CA 90089

The Journalism Opportunities Conference is an event co-sponsored by:

The 2014 CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California Journalism Opportunities Conference is open to all students and professionals, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Students eligible to participate in the job fair must be college sophomores, juniors, seniors or graduate students. Job interviews are walk-ups, although some recruiters may schedule their own appointments. Not all recruiters will be at the job fair both days, with the most on Friday.

Operating hours of the Job Fair will be: Thursday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed noon to 2 p.m. for lunch; Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed noon to 2 p.m. for lunch. Registration opens at 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.

RELATED: Register to be a recruiter/exhibitor

Workshops and panel discussions will be held both Thursday and Friday.

Meals: Coffee and tea will be provided each morning. Registration includes one ticket each for the Friday luncheon. No meals will be provided on other days or times.

Parking: Parking is available at USC Parking Structure D at W. Jefferson Blvd. and Royal St. for $10 a day. There is also 4-hour metered parking on the street.

Fees: Registration is $25 for students and $50 for professionals.

Note: Those who pre-registered by Friday Sept. 26, 2014 will receive free registration provided in part by The California Wellness Foundation, with a refundable $20 deposit. The deposit will be returned when you pick up registration material on-site. If you fail to show up, the deposit is forfeited. Registration fees will apply after Sept. 26, 2014.

Cancellation/Refund Policy: Cancellations made after Sept. 26, 2014, are nonrefundable

Hotels: If overnight accommodations are needed, please contact CCNMA for recommendations.

For more information contact CCNMA at (424) 229-9482 or email at

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