- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2006

NEW YORK

A study has found that the three main newsweekly magazines ran few stories about Hispanics last year despite the growing U.S. Hispanic population.

The five-month study released yesterday found that only 18, or 1.2 percent, of the 1,547 stories that appeared last year in Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report were predominantly about Hispanics.

Joseph Torres, deputy director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, which commissioned the study, said the coverage of Hispanics tended to focus on immigration despite the fact that most are U.S.-born. Of the 18 stories that were mainly about Hispanics, 12 focused on immigration, the study found.

In those stories, Hispanics often were portrayed as a “disruptive force” to U.S. society, Mr. Torres said. “That falls into a stereotypical pattern,” he said, and “creates a false impression of the contributions Latinos are making to society.”

Mr. Torres did say that the study, which was conducted by researchers at Arizona State University, noted that both Time and Newsweek devoted cover stories to Hispanics last year, with Time listing the 25 most influential Hispanics in America and Newsweek chronicling a “Latin Power Surge” after the election of Antonio Villaraigosa as mayor of Los Angeles.

“We praised them for that” in the study, Mr. Torres said of the twin cover stories on Hispanics. “Often there are too few of those stories. … Outside of immigration, the coverage was much better.”

“This report raises important issues,” said Steve Koepp, deputy managing editor of Time. “We welcome the feedback and are glad to see our cover story on the 25 most influential Hispanics commended for its broad representation of Hispanics in America. With that story and our recent cover on ‘America’s Secret Work Force,’ our goal is to look past the cultural stereotypes.”

Donna Dees, a spokeswoman for U.S. News & World Report, said the magazine’s mission is “to help readers of all backgrounds make sense of the week’s news events.”

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