TV Network News Tunes Out Hispanics p.36

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By: Mark Fitzgerald Network television news programs are tuning out Hispanics, according to a study released by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
While Hispanics comprise more than 10% of the nation's population, in 1997 Hispanics and Hispanic-related issues appeared on fewer than 1% of the 12,000 stories aired on ABC, CBS and NBC network news programs, the study said.
And coverage of Latinos is heading in the wrong direction, the study found. The 112 stories that focused on Hispanics were 25% fewer than the number aired in 1996.
"Unfortunately, the results are about what I expected," NAHJ president Dino Chiecchi said. "This is very disappointing. I was hoping that Hispanics had appeared in more news this year. The industry needs to take more serious steps in correcting this wrong."
This was the third annual version of the news content study NAHJ calls the "Network Brownout" report. It was funded by the National Council of La Raza and conducted by media consultant Diane Alverio of Baldwin/Alverio Media Marketing and Rod Carveth, chairman of the mass communications department at the University of Bridgeport, in Connecticut. They analyzed 546 hours of network news time and found just four hours and 10 minutes devoted to Hispanics or issues important to them.
And those issues comprise a limited menu. Nearly two-thirds of all coverage was devoted to just three topics: crime (26.8%); affirmative action (23.2%); and immigration (14.3%).
Researchers also found a paucity of Hispanics appearing as experts ? which happened only twice on non-Hispanic issues, when Latinos spoke on brain cell research and gender equity ? and just five times on Hispanic-interest issues.
Still, those five Latino experts constituted a statistically infinite increase over 1996, when none were featured.

?(Editor & Publisher Web Site: http: www.mediainfo. com) [caption]
?(Editor & Publisher, July 4, 1998) [Caption]

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