In Powerful Open Letter, Los Angeles Times Latino Journalists and Allies Call for a More Diverse Newsroom

Jul 21, 2020
3:40 PM

(Via the Latino Caucus under the L.A. Times Guild)

An open letter published Tuesday by Latino employees of the Los Angeles Times and allies is calling on the management of the newspaper to create a newsroom that accurately represents the community it serves.

“For much of its history, the Los Angeles Times has covered the Latino community in dehumanizing ways, painting us as criminals or victims or simply ignoring us,” the letter starts. “The Times slurred Mexicans as ‘greasers’ and ‘wetbacks’ and immigrants without legal status as ‘border jumpers’ and ‘illegal aliens.’ It advocated for the invasion of Latin American countries, and vilified Central Americans as they sought refuge in Los Angeles during the exodus of the 1980s.”

“Today The Times continues to fail, in its staffing and coverage, to reflect a region where nearly one of every two residents is Latino. In doing so it has neglected to serve what should be its largest audience,” the letter added.

The letter was signed by members of the L.A. Times Guild’s Latino Caucus, other Latino staffers who are not guild members and the L.A. Times  Guild’s Black Caucus.

According to the letter, “only 13% of The Times newsroom is Latino” and “of 109 editors and managers, only 11% of them are Latino.” Census data from 2019 noted that Los Angeles’ Latino population is close to 49%.

Inspired by the formation of the L.A. Times Guild’s Black Caucus, the Latino Caucus’ letter listed a series of 14 demands to the newspaper’s management team, which include a sepcific plan to hire and promote more Latinos in the newsroom, especially for those departments that have no Latino staffers or just one Latino staffer. The letter also asked for the newspaper to “formally apologize for fomenting episodes of anti-Latino hysteria in California and the United States.”

A #SomosLAT hashtag shared other insights about the open letter:

The full open letter is here.