Latinos

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 change.org 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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