Nov 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

The media's reckoning over Hispanic representation

Illustration of a hand with a megaphone shouting at a building

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Monday met with The New York Times to discuss the lack of Latino representation at the paper.

The big picture: Leaders in the Hispanic community have for years been putting pressure on U.S. media companies to include more Hispanic representation in their coverage. The election has served as a wake-up call for many news outlets to take those calls seriously.

  • "These issues go beyond cultural cluelessness to not fully understanding what’s at play," says Fernando Espuelas, a Univision radio host.

Driving the news: Sources say the CHC meeting was a candid conversation. Participants included business executives at The Times, including president and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien.

  • "The meeting demonstrated a commitment from the New York Times to ensure Latinos are fairly represented and accurately portrayed," said a source familiar with the meeting. "Hopefully there will be a future conversation with the news and editorial side of the company.”

What to watch: Media companies that target Hispanics have been making efforts to put more Hispanic voices in leadership positions.

  • Univision added four new independent directors to its board last week, all of whom are Hispanic.
  • Fuse Media, an English-language media company that serves mostly Hispanic and multicultural audiences, sold a majority stake to a Latino-led management group last week.
  • The Los Angeles Times last month pledged to become a more "inclusive and inspiring voice" of California after months of pressure from its Hispanic employees to hire more journalists that reflect the paper's readership.
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