DENVER — On Tuesday, Free Press’ News Voices: Colorado project released Think Big. Act Now: A Call to Action from Latinx Coloradans for Equitable and Just Local News. The report is the result of a year-long collaboration of the Free Press initiative, Free Press allies in the state and Latinx Coloradans, who engaged in a series of facilitated discussions to dream up a future for local news that reflects the experiences, needs and demands of Latinx people throughout Colorado.
Think Big. Act Now presents four recommendations for the future of Colorado media:
- Holding newsrooms accountable for increasing Latinx diversity on staff, among sources and in stories.
- Creating programs for Latinx youth to learn about the impacts of news media and participate in its change toward accurate, fair and equitable coverage.
- Supporting existing and emerging networks of Latinx information providers, storytellers and community members.
- Building Latinx-owned media power.
The discussions that led to these recommendations were facilitated by News Voices: Colorado, the Colorado Media Project and the Colorado News Collaborative (COLab), which convened the Latinx Voices Working Group. Discussions often focused on the distance between what Latinx communities see as the future of local news and the barriers they face in getting there.
“Community members and journalists alike were in no mood for appeasement. Anger coursed through the public conversation,” reads the report. “[W]hat became clear was the shared desire among community members and journalists to create momentum for tangible, lasting changes in the ways in which newsrooms cover the state’s Latinx communities — including how those newsrooms welcome and support Latinx journalists.”
“If a just society relies on an informed population, it must include an obligation to inform all who make up that population,” said News Voices: Colorado Manager Diamond Hardiman. “We are asking everyone in Colorado to 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. The four recommendations aim to make Colorado the first state in the country that has equity in all areas of the media. It’s a dream we can make reality by acting now.”
"Being part of this project has been a beautiful and challenging experience,” said Brenda Vargas, Latinx Voices working-group member and president of Movimiento de Radical Cultura. “Oftentimes, we as people of color do not have spaces to share our stories and experiences, or have our opinions validated. Having this space to not only converse but also actively create solutions and seek reparations for issues that we see in the media has been so empowering. Know that the change that is to come is solely because we have demanded that change and have been willing to fight for it; we all deserve access to accurate, antiracist and just news."