Thursday, October 1, 2020

Pew Hispanic Center Releases Study on News Coverage of Latinos

The Pew Hispanic Center, in conjunction with the Project for Excellence in Journalism, two arms of the Pew Research Center, released a study of Hispanics in the media which analyzed more than 34,000 news stories. The study concluded that news coverage on Hispanics is not focused coverage on the life of this group; rather the focus tends to fall on event-driven news stories in which Hispanics are involved.

The study used news stories that appeared in major media outlets between February 9 and August 9, 2009. It was found that of the 34,452 stories examined, only 645 contained significant references to Hispanics – only 57 of these focused directly on the lives of Hispanics in the U.S.

It is no surprise that the biggest story that referenced Hispanics was the nomination and eventual confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. More than one third of the Hispanic-related stories were about this historic nomination.

While immigration was a hot topic in previous years, it was the subject in less than one in ten stories relating to Hispanics in the six months examined. The authors found this to be a reflection of the degree to which the issue fell off the radar during the early months of the Obama administration.

The study also examined coverage of Asians, African Americans and Muslims. The study examined 55 U.S. news outlets, including 13 newspapers, 15 cable programs and 7 broadcast network evening and morning news shows, 12 prominent news websites and 9 news radio and talk programs.

Pew Hispanic Center