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School Commissioned to Conduct Analysis of Latino Coverage

February 2, 2006

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the nation’s leading organization for Latino journalists, has commissioned the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University to conduct an in-depth analysis of coverage of Latinos by the nation’s three leading news magazines.

Cronkite researchers, led by Dr. Dina Gavrilos, will conduct a content analysis of all 2005 issues of Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report.

The study will explore news trends and portrayals of Latinos and Latino-related issues by these magazines. Results of the research will be unveiled at NAHJ’s 24th annual convention, June 14-17 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“We look forward to our partnership with the Cronkite School on this important study,” said NAHJ Executive Director Iván Román. “The three news magazines we are examining help to shape the national news agenda every week. This is why we believe it is long overdue to examine their coverage of Latinos."”

The new study was the idea of Rafael Olmeda, an assistant city editor at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and NAHJ’s vice president for print.

“We’re very enthusiastic about this project and eager to see the results of the research,” said Olmeda. “We also look forward to discussing the results with the editors and publishers of the news magazines.”

“We are very excited to be participating in this important study,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “We believe this is just the kind of research journalism schools and journalism educators should be conducting in order to help better the news industry, with the goal of making U.S. news products truly reflective of our diverse nation.”

The NAHJ study is the latest Cronkite School initiative related to Latinos and journalism. In the spring, advanced photojournalism students will travel to Mexico to produce an in-depth photo essay of the children of the borderlands region. Next year, the school will launch the nation’s first specialization in the coverage of Latino issues. A veteran journalist will join the faculty in the fall semester to launch that program.

“We believe Latinos and issues related to Latino communities are poorly covered by today’s media,” Callahan said. “The Cronkite School hopes to improve that coverage nationally through its research, curriculum and professional programs.”

NAHJ is the largest association for Hispanic journalists in the country with more than 2,000 members. Founded in 1984, the mission of NAHJ is to increase the number of Latino journalists working in the nation’s newsrooms and to improve the media’s coverage of the Latino community.