Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hispanics Under-Covered by Mainstream Media

At nearly 16 percent of the American population, Hispanics are the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority group. And yet, Hispanics and the issues that pertain to them are woefully under-covered in the mainstream press.

That's the conclusion of an exhaustive study released this week by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

In a six-month study of more than 34,000 major-media news stories ending Aug. 9, the center found that less than 3 percent contained substantial references to Hispanics.

And the vast majority of those -- all but 57 -- were event-driven, meaning Hispanics were merely one of many elements in the story. In other words, about one in 600 stories were expressly devoted to "the life and times of this population group." Meanwhile, nearly one in six Americans is Hispanic.

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