A Government Report Shows The Stark Reality of Latinx Representation In Media

Previously 10 years, “little change occurred” within the degree of Latinx illustration in media, in line with a authorities report launched Wednesday, confirming on a wider scale what many industry-level studies have illustrated over time.

The share of Latinx staff within the media business solely rose by a paltry 1% from 2010 to 2019 (from 11% to 12%), the report discovered, analyzing U.S. Census and federal employment knowledge. Latinx girls had been particularly underrepresented: They made up solely 3% of staff in media, whereas Latinx males accounted for 7%. The report additionally broke down what roles Latinx staff served within the business. Latinx individuals had been extra more likely to be in service jobs (19%) than in senior and govt administration roles (3%).

Carried out by the U.S. Authorities Accountability Workplace, or GAO, the brand new report is the second installment of a federal research on Latinx underrepresentation in movie, tv, music, journalism and ebook publishing. It was first requested in 2020 by lawmakers within the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, then chaired by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas).

Released last fall, the GAO’s preliminary findings had been the primary federal report in a few years to offer quantitative knowledge on the extent of Latinx underrepresentation within the media business. (The authors use the time period Hispanic all through the studies, explaining that the figures cited by the GAO use the time period “Hispanic or Latino” in knowledge assortment.)

Whereas individuals figuring out as Hispanic or Latino make up practically 20% of the overall U.S. workforce, they maintain solely about 12% of media jobs throughout the nation, the 2021 report discovered. This severely impacts the methods Latinx persons are represented in information and leisure, and the methods Latinx tales are advised and disseminated.

“Final yr’s GAO report on Latino underrepresentation in American media put a nationwide highlight on the business’s failure to recruit and retain proficient Latinos,” Castro mentioned in a press release Wednesday. “From entry-level to the C-Suite, Latino voices are lacking from the primary image-defining and narrative-creating establishments in American society. This invisibility signifies that People don’t know who Latinos are or how we now have contributed to the success of our nation.”

“This yr’s report will likely be a call-to-action to attain larger Latino illustration in media and allow the Latino narrative to lastly be a part of the bigger American narrative,” he continued.

The brand new GAO report expanded its evaluation utilizing knowledge from the previous 10 years as an alternative of 5. It additionally checked out what steps main media firms have publicly taken to enhance range of their workforces, and what federal businesses just like the Equal Employment Alternative Fee and the Federal Communications Fee ought to be doing higher.

The GAO interviewed an array of staff, advocates and specialists, corresponding to researchers on the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and UCLA who’ve studied Hollywood illustration for years; unions just like the Display screen Actors Guild, Administrators Guild of America and Worldwide Alliance of Theatrical Stage Staff; {and professional} non-profit organizations like Latinx in Publishing and the Nationwide Affiliation of Hispanic Journalists.

They famous among the components which have led to Latinx underrepresentation in media, corresponding to monetary and academic limitations, much less entry to skilled networks, and the dearth of range in decision-making roles, from newsroom executives to expertise brokers.

For instance, an individual in publishing mentioned that “the pay construction that generally pays out small sums over a number of years is usually a deterrent to Hispanic authors with out extra monetary means to maintain them,” in line with the report. Others interviewed famous the “lack of range amongst determination makers might make them dismiss Hispanic content material as unmarketable to a broad viewers,” the report states.

Among the many GAO’s suggestions embrace extra particular demographic knowledge assortment and monitoring, in addition to improved data-sharing amongst federal businesses, in an effort to higher implement anti-discrimination legal guidelines.

For instance, the report discovered that the FCC doesn’t break down knowledge on whether or not violations they’ve investigated “affected explicit racial or ethnic teams.” In analyzing EEOC knowledge, the report discovered that from 2020 to 2021, the company investigated and resolved 24 discrimination circumstances “primarily based on Hispanic nationwide origin involving media firms.” EEOC officers advised the GAO that the variety of discrimination circumstances was probably an undercount.

Castro will current the report’s findings Wednesday at a Nationwide Press Membership occasion in Washington, which might be streamed here.

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