How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Should there be more reporters of color covering immigration?

Photo by dovcharney/Flickr (Creative Commons)

American Apparel clothing company CEO Dov Charney is interviewed during an immigration rally in Los Angeles, Sept. 24, 2008.

A new study that analyzed front-page newspaper stories covering the 2012 election since the beginning of this year has found the majority of those stories to be written by non-Latino white reporters. 

Which is not a news flash exactly. As much as many media outlets have tried to diversify their newsrooms, their shortfalls have been well-documented. But one interesting aspect of this study was that it breaks out different coverage areas, including immigration — an issue of high sensitivity for those who are foreign-born or of immigrant descent.

Even on that beat, almost 95 percent of the immigration-related stories were written by white reporters, according to the study. Less than one percent of the stories, respectively, were written by Latino or Asian reporters.

The data was compiled by the The 4th Estate, which is related to the media analysis company Global News Intelligence. It looked at front-page stories in 38 of the "most influential print media" in the U.S. For stories related to the 2012 presidential election, the analysis found 93 percent of them written by white reporters. Asian American reporters wrote 4 percent of the stories, black reporters wrote 2.1 percent, and Latinos wrote 0.9 percent. 

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Do we live in the nation's most diverse city? It depends.

Photo by Chelsea Nicole Conner/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The skyline as seen from the Griffith Observatory, August 2010

As it promotes its special quarterly issue highlighting Los Angeles, the magazine GOOD recently posted an interesting short piece that examines how diversity is measured - and where, depending on the metrics, Los Angeles places among other large U.S. cities.

From the piece:

If you look at the total number of minorities in an area, Los Angeles does come out on top. According to county-level data from the 2007 U.S. Census, Los Angeles County has more Hispanic residents (4.7 million), Asian residents (1.4 million), and Native American residents (146,500) than any other in the nation. But that’s largely because Los Angeles County has more people, period. L.A. County has 9.8 million residents, nearly twice that of Cook County, Illinois, the second largest.

Another method is to look at the percentage of minorities in an area. By this measure, according to the online data repository City-Data, New York is the most diverse major city, with only 35 percent of residents identifying as “white only,” followed by Dallas, Chicago, and Houston. However, City-Data’s figures don’t jibe with the 2005 to 2009 U.S. Census American Community Survey, which places the New York figure at 45.4, behind Chicago’s 41.9 percent.

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