Fewer immigration/ethnic reporters means fewer stories. Even journalists should be able to do that math

Great piece by Mizanur Rahman at Poynter.org today on a new Pew survey.

Bottom line is that with fewer reporters covering ethnic news, only events drive stories. There is no longer the staff available to do a little digging for enterprise stories.

And it shows in the kinds of stories published and I bet it shows in readership numbers.

From the Pew Report:

From February 9 to August 9, 2009, only a fraction of stories contained substantial references to Hispanics—just 645 out of 34,452 studied. And only a tiny number, 57 stories, focused directly on the lives of Hispanics in the U.S., according to a media content analysis done jointly by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Hispanic Center, both of which are projects of the Pew Research Center.

Rahman notes:

The perfect world solution, in today’s environment of dwindling resources, is focusing hard to make sure nearly every beat — from government to gardening — incorporates coverage of your most important diverse communities.

But the more practical solution may be to change the rules of the game. For the last two decades, we’ve talked about doing more, more, more. We need to do more stories illustrating the diversity of our community. That’s been the mantra.

If a local reporter is looking for a story with an international angle, start with the local ethnic communities.

First posted at Journalism and the World, the blog of the SPJ International Journalism Committee.


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Filed under International News Coverage, Story Ideas

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