The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is disappointed by the lack of news coverage of the Latino community in Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report.
According to a study conducted by Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, in conjunction with NAHJ.
NAHJ released the report last week during its 24th annual convention in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The report, conducted by ASU's Dr. Dina Gavrilos, examined coverage of Latinos by Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report.
The report found that out of 1,547 total stories published in 2005 by these three magazines,. In addition, out of these 18 stories, 12 focused solely on the topic of immigration.
This inaugural study also provided an in-depth analysis of the Latino portrayals found in these magazines. The analysis found that Latino immigrants were often portrayed as a negative and disruptive force in U.S. society.
Even so, the report found six stories about Latinos that portrayed them more positively. For example, these stories examined their growing political power and influence.
Time devoted a cover story to what it deemed the nation's 25 most influential Latinos that included profiles of activists, politicians and entertainers. Meanwhile, Newsweek published a cover story about Antonio Villaraigosa's historic election as the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles in nearly 150 years.
The report also found that out of the 1,547 total stories published, 214 (13.8 percent) mentioned or referenced at least one Latino. Although this number seems encouraging, the participation of Latinos in these stories was often not significant. These references occasionally included a Latino that was quoted as a source, but most often, they were merely passing mentions.
"We are proud to be part of this important study and congratulate Dr. Gavrilos and her team on their work," said Chris Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School at ASU. "We hope this benchmark study will help the news industry better understand and identify some of the issues associated with the coverage of Latinos so that news products are truly reflective of our diverse nation."
NAHJ commissioned this report because it sought to produce a companion to its annual research report on television network news coverage of Latinos (Network Brownout Report). It was the idea of NAHJ vice president of print, Rafael Olmeda, to focus on magazine coverage since these magazines are agenda setters for U.S. public discourse.
NAHJ selected ASU's Cronkite School to conduct the study after a nation- wide search for a research team.