Latinx Voices Group Calls Us to Dream a Bigger Future for Local News
Over the past year, Free Press’ News Voices: Colorado project has collaborated with Latinx Coloradans to dream up a future for local news that reflects the experiences, needs and demands of Latinx people throughout the state.
We’ve heard people dream about what it would look like to be able to own their stories and feel represented in coverage. We’ve heard calls for local newsrooms to help heal communities that have been harmed by racist media practices — and create coverage that authentically captures the joy and power of Latinx people.
We’ve also heard a lot about what barriers historically and currently stand in the way of getting to that future we have been collectively dreaming. We’ve heard about the need for more resources to provide multilingual coverage for people who are Spanish speakers and/or speak Indigenous languages. We’ve heard that people are weary and frustrated with systems that hoard power and make it difficult for Latinx storytellers to succeed. And we’ve heard the need for local newsrooms to build workplace cultures that value Latinx reporters and stories.
Think big. Act now.
In the spring of 2021, News Voices: Colorado, the Colorado Media Project and the Colorado News Collaborative (COLab) convened the Latinx Voices Working Group. We hosted a series of discussions to create a set of recommendations and action steps that community members, newsrooms, funders and policymakers could take to address the distance between what Latinx communities see as the future of local news and the barriers we face in getting there. The report also features resources and examples from across the nation to support groups and individuals looking to implement the working group’s findings.
Through facilitated discussions, power mapping and guided visioning, the group helped shape four recommendations in an in-depth report titled Think Big. Act Now: A Call to Action from Latinx Coloradans for Equitable and Just Local News.
The four recommendations named in the report are a reflection of the Latinx Voices conversations, as well as the global context of COVID-19, racial-justice uprisings responding to the brutality of policing and newsroom reckonings happening both in Colorado and nationally. This context has helped foster conditions of transformation and create a portal to address local news’ legacy of harm within Latinx communities.
The four recommendations follow three major themes: increasing Latinx diversity in staff and coverage in newsrooms, redistributing resources and power back into the hands of Latinx storytellers and investing in young Latinx media-makers and storytellers.
Check out a summary of the recommendations below:
- Hold newsrooms accountable for increasing Latinx diversity on staff, among sources and in stories.
- Create programs for Latinx youth to learn about the impacts of news media and participate in its change toward accurate, fair and equitable coverage.
- Support existing and emerging networks of Latinx information providers, storytellers and community members.
- Build Latinx-owned media power.
Check out the full report to read more about these recommendations and learn about steps you can take to create an equitable and just media system where you live.
The report serves as a call to action for community members, journalists and funders to create momentum for tangible, lasting changes in the ways in which Colorado newsrooms cover the state’s Latinx communities — which includes how those newsrooms welcome and support Latinx journalists.
We ask that you think of and use this report as a starting point toward needed change — and as a tool to support the redistribution of storytelling and narrative power into the hands of Latinx communities both locally and nationally.
If you’re interested in learning more about this work, reach out to us here.