Getting A Diverse Staff Involved p.16


HIRING A DIVERSE staff is important. Managing a diverse staff correctly is important, too.

That was the opinion of pan elists at an American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors convention session in San Antonio.

Several of the speakers advised feature editors to encourage their minority reporters to suggest story ideas.

"We have ethnically diverse writers," said Los Angeles Times editor/life & Style Alice Short. "If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have stumbled on many stories in a timely manner or at all."

One of these articles covered a group of Latina women toiling as domestics in the U.S. after having worked as professionals in their home countries. The piece included a description of a Thanksgiving dinner they shared on a Sunday because their employers couldn't spare them for the holiday.

Short said another Times story focused on a group of ethnically diverse teachers sharing a car pool for 22 years.

"What does bringing in minorities do for you? You would probably have the macarena story two years before Al Gore did it on TV" remarked Albuquerque Journal assistant features editor Nancy Baca with a smile.

She added that minority reporters who suggest certain articles don't necessarily have to be the ones to write them.

"Don't always pigeonhole them into doing ethnic stories," said Baca.

Short did note that it might be better for particularly sensitive articles to be written by a reporter of the same ethnicity as the people interviewed. She cited one Times piece about tensions between American-born and foreign-born Latinos.

"We got a lot of positive reaction to it," Short said. …


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