By Jorge Quiroga
A paper by Jorge Quiroga, fall 1993 fellow, examines press coverage of the Hispanic community in the United States. Quiroga argues that the press serves as a gatekeeper, denying members of the Hispanic community full membership in the American political and social community. He describes how media coverage of Hispanic issues is frequently inadequate, with stories speaking “about Hispanics, not to Hispanics.” Using a case study approach, he examines the quantitative and qualitative coverage of events in several cities to establish a broader pattern of coverage. He documents problems that include a lack of newsroom diversity, newsroom attitudes, limited knowledge about Hispanics, stereotyping, and inconsistent efforts by Hispanics to hold the press accountable. The paper also serves as a larger case study about the role of the media in the definition of community.